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How to Strengthen Brittle Nails

How to Strengthen Brittle NailsMany of us might remember when we were little girls, and our mothers would drink a concoction of gelatin and water every day to help their nails grow. As popular as this gelatin theory was in the 1950ís or so, there is little evidence available today to show that gelatin has any positive effect on the health or growth of our nails whatsoever. The good news is that other studies have shown some promising results in the area of effectively treating brittle nails through moisturizing treatments. There is also some anecdotal evidence to suggest that taking some types of vitamin supplementation can help strengthen brittle nails as well. While this is not proven at this point, there is generally no harm in taking supplements of nutrients like zinc and biotin if you choose.


Moisturizing appears to be the most effective means of treating brittle nails, and it can be done in a variety of ways. Many experts will swear by the tried and true petroleum jelly, and will apply it to their hands and nails multiple times a day for the best results. You can even purchase a pair of cotton gloves to wear overnight after smoothing plenty of petroleum jelly on your skin for an intensive softening treatment while you sleep. Another method is to simply keep a jar of petroleum jelly in a few key locations in your home, such as by the kitchen sink, television and your bed, to that you can apply it many times a day.


Another effective means of moisturizing your nails is to soak them in some type of oil for a short period of time. This can include olive oil or diluted bath oil, depending on your preference. Place your hands in a bowl of the oil for 15-30 minutes, and follow up with an application of moisturizer. The best type of moisturizer to use for your hands and nails is one that contains alpha hydroxyl in its ingredients. You can repeat this process weekly, or as often as your nails seem to require it.


Another effective way to strengthen brittle nails is to avoid substances that can cause further drying. One of the biggest culprits in drying out the nails is nail polish and nail polish remover. If you want to wear a nail polish, look for a brand that does not contain formaldehyde, since this ingredient can be very drying to nails. Polish removers that include acetone can also increase the problem of dry, brittle nails, so look for a nail polish remover that is acetone free. Water can end up being very drying to both the skin and the nails, so follow up your hand washings with an application of moisturizer and wear rubber gloves when you wash dishes or do any other cleaning that requires you to get your hands wet. By following these simple steps, you can go far in eliminating the problem of dry, brittle nails and ensure that your next manicure will look its best.


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