Written by Debra Wyatt (last updated May 25, 2020)
Growing strong, healthy fingernails can be done with just a little time and care. One of the keys to healthy nails is to make sure you get enough protein in your diet. Take time and think about your nutrition; are you eating enough protein? Even if you are a vegetarian you can get plenty of protein with beans, nuts and tofu. Also, are you drinking enough water? Nails that are weak, splitting and fragile can be a result of not drinking enough water.
To start getting stronger nails, try being nice to them. Taking care of your nails will go a long way to getting longer, stronger healthier nails. First, try keeping your nails clean and dry. Water makes the nails softer, which will make it easier to break.
The only time that wet nails are good is when you want to trim them. Trimming dry nails will cause them to break or tear. So a good time to trim your nails is after taking a bath or shower. After trimming the nails use a good moisturizer on them. Rub the moisturizer in and massaging the nails at the same time.
Keeping the cuticles pushed back will also help keep nails healthy. Using an orange stick with a cotton ball wrapped around it that has been dipped in vitamin E oil to gently push the cuticle back. The oil actually strengthens the nail. Try rubbing vitamin E or shea butter cream into the cuticles every night, as this will also keep the cuticles from cracking.
When the nails have slits or small tears, repair them using nail glue or clear polish. Then leave the nail alone.
You will want to avoid hurting your fingernails. Be careful with harsh chemicals. Chemicals can and will affect your fingernails, causing them to chip and fray. Try using cotton-lined gloves when working around chemicals. Even the fingernail polish and polish remover can have ingredients that will actually harm your nails. If nail polish or polish remover has acetone, sulfonamide, or formaldehyde avoid them. These chemicals dry out the nail, leaving it brittle.
Don't use your nails as a tool such as picking at things, poking or prying. Using your nails as a tool will weaken them. This causes the nails to break, chip or fray.
To get your fingernails to grow faster and stronger, try using the keyboard, playing the piano or even drumming your nails. This gently "shocks" the nail, which is just enough to make them grow stronger.
With persistence and time you will have beautiful hands and healthy, strong nails.
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