How to Get Strong Nails

Add nail strengthener to both fingers and toes.

If you're wondering how to get strong nails, it's probably because your nails are dry or brittle. This condition is caused by a number of things, such as:

  • Frequent hand washing
  • Certain medications
  • Cold, dry weather
  • Health problems, such as psoriasis
  • Acetone nail polish removers
  • Genetics
  • Infections

The good thing is that you can often reverse these effects.

Advice on How to Get Strong Nails

There are a number of things you can do to strengthen your nails on your fingers and toes. The first thing you can do is apply a commercial nail strengthener, such as Nature's Plus Nail Strengthener. Apply it every day just as you would nail polish. It's best to apply it directly on the nail, but you can put it on over existing polish.

Other suggestions related to nail treatment that can help you make your nails stronger, or prevent them from getting weaker, include:

  1. Apply petroleum jelly to your nails each night and put on gloves or socks. If you don't have petroleum jelly, use olive oil instead.
  2. After you wash your hands, dry them thoroughly, spending two minutes or longer on the task. Do the same for your toes after you shower or swim. This will decrease your risk of getting a fungal infection.
  3. Always file your nails in one direction instead of back and forth. This can help prevent breakage. Don't file nails when they're wet -- and at their weakest.
  4. Remove nail color after you've worn it for 10 days. When it starts to chip and flake it can damage your nails.
  5. Trim your nails at least once a week to minimize the risk of breakage.
  6. Use a nail polish remover that's made with acetate as opposed to acetone or formaldehyde.
  7. Do not bite your nails or try to use them to open packages.
  8. Wear rubber gloves when washing dishes and gardening gloves when working outside.

Other than that, you can make some lifestyle changes. While these changes do not involve your nails directly, they will have a significant effect on them since you're improving your overall health. Here are some things you can do:

  1. Take a biotin supplement daily. This can help your body produce keratin, which is an important substance for growing nails.
  2. Eat calcium rich foods. If your nails have vertical ridges on them it is often a sign of a vitamin or mineral deficiency.
  3. Increase your zinc intake by eating a hard boiled egg each day. If you're a vegan, try wholegrain cereal or brown rice instead. White spots on the nails are sometimes a sign of zinc deficiency.
  4. Drink plenty of water. Water helps hydrate your entire body. This includes your hair, skin and nails.
  5. Increase iron consumption. You can get this nutrient from red meat or red beans.

Dangers of Acrylics

If you wear acrylic nails on top of your real nails you may be impressed by how nice your nails look and enjoy getting compliments on them. However, if you use acrylics regularly, you may find that when you remove them your actual nails are very weak. This is because both the acrylics themselves and the glue used to attach them to your fingers block moist air from reaching your nails.

If you try to remove the acrylics yourself instead of going back to the nail salon, you risk damaging your nails further. If you simply pull them off, you are likely to pull off the top layer of your nails along with them.


If you practice several of the suggestions above regarding how to get strong nails and your nails remain brittle, you could have a serious medical condition. It's a good idea to consult a doctor to determine if you need to have some lab work done.

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How to Get Strong Nails