Your nails are a reflection of your overall health. Broken, discolored nails can be indicators of nutritional deficiency, infection or some sort of a skin condition. Additionally, weak, cracking, and brittle nails can be quite painful, frustrating and aesthetically unappealing. If you have scoured through your local drugstore shelves looking for cures to no avail, you might need to look for natural remedies.
You do not need to resort to using chemical hardeners if you do not want to. Here are some natural ways to strengthen weak fingernails:
Do Not Buff
People usually buff to even out ridged fingernails. However, what you do not know is that the dips are weaker than the thicker parts. This means that buffing gets rid of the stronger part of your fingernails. If ridges bother you, use a top coat to fill in the dips. This will help you achieve the evenness you are looking for without damaging your fingernails. Turn to Dashing Diva, to find out what is the best top coat for your nail type. As there are different types of nails, the same top coat is not applicable to all. You do not want to create more damage by using the wrong product.
File Your Nails Better
You need to file against the edge of your nail. Once you take off the desired amount, use an emery board to file at a 45-degree angle from your nails. Doing so keeps the edges smooth, which prevents snagging.
Make sure that you buy a fine-grit nail file because the coarse varieties are for artificial nails, which can cause damage to your natural fingernails.
Hangnails are a result of improper nail clipping or splitting. If your nail rips away, your nail bed will be left torn or damaged. Just remember that even the slightest skin tear can allow infection to get into your body. You need to clip the hangnails as soon you as you spot them.
Whatever you do, do not chew off the hangnail because you will also tear off some skin. Moreover, nail chewing allows the transfer of bacteria from your mouth to the wound.
Do Not Touch the Cuticles
You should not remove your cuticles because they seal the nail bed off and protect it from bacteria. Unless you are a professional, do not try to cut off your cuticles. If you think that your cuticles are in bad shape, moisturize them instead. Softening of the cuticles will promote healthier growth of nails. You can also use cuticle-removing cream to keep your cuticles clean and trim.
Soak Your Nails
Soaking your nails in olive or coconut oil mixed with vitamin E will be good for them. Apply this mixture to your nails and let it soak for a few minutes to give them moisture. Avoid soaking them in water, as it will cause too much softening, which will further cause them to peel off or bend.
Be Wary of What You Put on Your Nails
Items such as nail polish remover and cleaning products speed up the aging process of your hands while damaging your nails. However, when you opt for gentler options, your hands will look fresh and young. Avoid using hand sanitizer because it contains alcohol, which dehydrates your hands and makes your nails brittle.
When cleaning around the house, make sure you use gloves to protect your hands from the harsh cleaning agents. You also need to stay away from nail polish removers with acetone because this chemical weakens the nail.
Do Not Use Nails as Tools
As your nails grow, the weakest part is the tip. When you use your fingernails as tools, you will put stress on the nail and pull it away from your finger – this will weaken your them. Avoid using your fingernails to peel off stickers, pop cans open or scrape off items.