Looking to find out brittle nails causes and ways to fix them? This article will help you heal your weak nails and turn them gorgeous long and strong.
It can be frustrating when your nails are weak. Brittle nails causes can vary, but the result can include splitting nails, thin nails, cracked nails, and dry nails. If you are like me, you do all the research possible to find the best tips and tricks to help heal brittle nails.
As someone who has dealt with thin, bendy, and weak nails for many years, I have found a way to maintain long, natural, and strong nails year-round. I’m super excited to share all of these tips and tricks with you to overcome your brittle nails.
This post is all about brittle nails causes and tips to help you fix up your nails to have them long and strong all year round.
BRITTLE NAILS CAUSES
Let’s cut to the chase, shall we? Brittle nails (aka onychoschizia) and having weak fingernails that just can’t seem to grow without breaking is no bueno on every level. Not only can this be very unappealing to the eye and make hands-on tasks harder to maneuver, but it can also significantly hinder your overall confidence – which I’d argue is the worst side effect of all. This is a leading reason why so many people choose to go the acrylic route, as it is the perfect way to cover up that brittle reality underneath.
But as anyone knows, sweeping issues under the rug certainly does not solve any problems. Those rules apply to nail care as well. Overall, you can get fake nails to gain a quick fix for brittle fingernails. But, what if I told you that there are several ways you can revitalize and strengthen your natural nails instead? Yup, you read that right. In short, there are so many holistic treatments/remedies out there to combat weak fingernails, and the secret to knowing which path to take starts with knowing the reason why you have brittle nails in the first place.
1. DRY NAILS (NOT ENOUGH MOISTURE)
First up is none other than lack of moisture. Now, there could be several reasons why your nails lack the necessary moisture they need to thrive. Some of those reasons include being exposed to cleaning chemicals frequently, washing your hands too much, or living in hot, dry environments. In all these cases, it can leave your nails stripped from natural oils and moisture they need, and you guessed it, resulting in brittle nails.
The solution(s)? The best thing you can do here is applying a quality moisturizer to your hands and nails each morning and night to help lock in water content, drink more water, and wear gloves when doing things like deep cleaning or washing the dishes. Working hands (linked below) is a truly incredible intensive moisturizer for your hands. I often use this in combination with my winter skincare routine to help deal with my dry skin.
In addition, it can be tempting to pick at your brittle fingernails, but that will likely do more harm than good. Instead, apply a nail hardening polish to protect your nails and help them strengthen over time. If you don’t have time to go get a manicure or do your nails at home, applying the polish below is truly a game-changer. It is like a coat of armor over your natural nails that will protect them from daily life.
2. WEAK NAILS (TOO MUCH MOISTURE)
On the other side of the spectrum, too much moisturizing can actually lead to weak fingernails in the long run. Generally speaking, if you use too many hand creams or use chemicals like acetone to remove nail polish, it can cause your nails to become overly saturated and make them much weaker.
In a nutshell, this is where having a healthy balance comes into play in terms of moisturizing and using nail polish remover that does not contain acetone to reduce this risk. For some more support here, think about using a standard hand cream just 1-2 times a day, and couple that with cuticle oil to help nourish, repair, and revitalize weak fingernails.
Also, if you’re going to use nail polish remover, try using one with hydrating ingredients added to help the moisture a little bit.
3. THIN NAILS (DIET, DIET, DIET!)
Many times, the reason behind weak and brittle nails is due to the overall diet. This is not to say that you don’t eat healthy day-to-day, but it could mean that you are not consuming enough of the vitamins your nails need to remain strong. For some more insight, the types of nutrients your nails need are protein, calcium, and biotin-rich foods such as eggs, veggies, and nuts.
If you happen to find adding more of these into your diet is challenging, then you can always take a biotin supplement or a hair skin, and nails vitamin as an alternative. Just make sure that you consult your doctor before doing so. Though the recommended biotin dosage is 3,000 mcg a day for up to 6 months, your doctor may state to take less based on your personal health and nail care objectives.
4. FRAGILE NAILS (COULD BE AGE-RELATED)
Yes, age plays a huge role when it comes to your nails, and it is an inevitable part of life that everyone faces. As you age, your nails change just like the rest of your body and can gradually become dull and brittle. Strange enough, as fingernails become weaker as you age, your toenails typically will get thicker and harder! Nonetheless, nails change over time as a result of internal and external factors that pioneer the texture, color, and thickness of your nails.
For this point, it might feel like a lost cause that nails change when you age because it is simply something that is a part of life. However, moisturizing regularly, using non-toxic nail polish/remover, leveraging strengthening base coats, wearing gloves when necessary, and eating healthy foods that can stimulate nail durability can all help reverse brittle nails and keep them in prime condition even as you age.
5. PAPER-THIN NAILS (YOUR NAILS NEVER GET A BREAK)
Remember how I said you could gain stronger nails naturally without covering them up with acrylics or constant polishing? Diving into this a bit more, part of that process is could actually be resting between manicure sessions. The bottom line? Your nails might be weak and brittle because they need a break. No, you don’t have to stop polishing or getting fake nails if you wish. But much like your hair, your nails also need to take some time to recoup and breathe. In fact, this is true even if you use non-toxic polish.
So, for this next tip, think about avoiding manicures and polish for about a month. Coupling that with a good diet, it can collectively help your nails regain their strength. You can also take it a step further and apply a keratin treatment while they are “resting” to help them renourish along the way.
6. BRITTLE PEELING NAILS (OTHER CAUSES)
If you have tried everything under the sun to get rid of your brittle fingernails and still have no luck, then this would be the ideal time to consult with your doctor to see if there is something else going on.
For example, weak fingernails that do not respond to any of the advice listed above could be a side effect of something else health-related. For example, an iron deficiency (anemia), hypothyroidism, or Raynaud’s Syndrome, which is a circulatory condition that can affect nail strength. Brittle nails could very well have nothing to do with your approaches at all. The sooner you address any underlying health concerns, the faster you’ll gain back those stronger, healthier nails.
7. BEING TOO AGGRESSIVE WITH YOUR NAILS
I often see extensive haircare routines that include protective hairstyles, silk caps, and satin pillowcases. These things protect the hair from wear and tear that we may not notice we are creating. The same goes for our nails. Sometimes we aren’t careful with our hands which can cause nails to break (think opening a can of soda using your nails). Even if our nails are strong, if we put excess pressure on the nails, they will break. Try being more gentle with your nails and being mindful of your hands. It will pay off.
Just A Little Bit Of Targeted TLC Is All It Takes
If you have gotten to this point, then there is a good chance you have read through the list above and aligned with at least one (perhaps more) of the culprits that can cause brittle nails. Whether it is age-related, under moisturizing or lack of essential nail care vitamins, these are all things that can take a toll on your nails and leave you with weak fingernails that break easily. Because of that, it stands to reason why 27% of women have brittle fingernails as we speak, making it an exceptionally common issue.
However, the good thing about this harsh story ladies and men both face is that it can result in a happy ending featuring strong, durable, and healthy nails. In the end, there may be tons of reasons for brittle nails, but it also comes with prime solutions to address them effectively.
With that being said, take some time to investigate why your fingernails might be on the weaker side. Once you do that, start trying out some targeted nail care TLC to see how your nails react to it. All in all, brittle nail remedies may not be a one size fits all type of thing, but with some mindful aligning and tailored approaches, then you are well on your way towards achieving those strong, natural nails you have always wanted.