Addicted to acrylics? Suffer from brittle nail syndrome? Whatever the reason behind your paper-thin nails, there’s a way you can toughen up your talons without having to head to the manicurist. Follow our top tips on how to strengthen nails, and get your claws buffed to perfection in the comfort of your own home.
Keep Nails Short
This tip is what we like to call a ‘quick win’ because it’s a small change that can have a big impact on the overall aesthetic of your nails. Keeping nails short minimizes the surface area where water and chemicals can be absorbed, which are common causes of brittle nails. Long nails are also more prone to tearing, splitting and catching on things.
Filing nails until they’re ‘short and sweet’ will help keep them in a better condition, until you have confidence that they won’t bend or break if they are kept longer.
Wear Gloves When Washing Up
Soft brittle nails can be caused by over moisturisation, so constant exposure to water can leave them in the worst state. Where you can, keep hands and nails covered up. Gloves are a must when doing the washing up (or you can use this as an excuse to get out of chores!). And try to keep your hands out of the bathtub, rather than letting hands go all wrinkly in the water.
Supplement your Diet
A well-balanced diet is the secret to radiant skin, shiny hair and nails. And while you may be getting your 5-a-day and hitting the recommended water intake, you could also benefit by taking vitamin supplements to complement your regime. From calcium tablets to hard-working vitamins, it’s time to stock up!
Go au Naturel
Get your gels and acrylics professionally removed by a trusty technician (never pick off!) and give your natural nails time to breathe, restore and replenish. There’s no set time scale, but the longer you can go bare the better the results.
If you want to help the process along its way, coat nails and cuticles with a targeted treatment to promote the growth and harden the texture.
Apply Nail Cream & Cuticle Oil
If your nails are weak due to dehydrating external factors (eg. cold weather) then add a hit of moisture with a nourishing hand cream. The nails are made up of cells that expand when water is present and contracts when that moisture disappears, so creams that help bind moisture work the most effectively at strengthening.
This travel-friendly cream is perfect for on-the-go top-ups and is enriched with Pro-Vitamin B5 and almond oil for a softly scented finish.
Also, massaging in cuticle oil once a day will add plenty of moisture and aid the regenerating process of the nail.