How to Improve the Health of Brittle Fingernails

File nails in one direction only.
File nails in one direction only. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Healthy, groomed fingernails are a beauty ideal. It can take work to get them to that state. There are myriad things that can destroy the appearance and function of fingernails. Some of those things include nails that are ridged, brittle or flaky. Brittle nails are one of the most common issues. Brittle nails can lead to vertical splitting and nail breakage. There are ways to improve the health of brittle fingernails.

Things You'll Need

  • Multivitamin
  • Biotin supplement
  • Latex gloves
  • Moisturizer
  • Shea butter
  • Vitamin E oil
  • Cotton gloves (optional)
  • Glass nail file

Start taking vitamins. Nourishing your body from the inside is essential to improving the health of brittle fingernails. Take a multivitamin daily. Make sure that it contains calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc and niacin. Consume a biotin supplement daily. The standard dose to improve fingernails is two and a half mg. daily.

Protect brittle fingernails from excessive exposure to water. Always wear latex gloves when washing dishes or cleaning the house. Excess water consumption can make brittle nails worse. If you have to put your hands in water for a long period of time, such as when you go swimming, slather a thick moisturizer on them afterward.

Moisturize nails twice per day. Use pure shea butter or vitamin E oil on them. Rub the moisturizer or oil into nails and cuticles once in the morning and once before bed. For even better results, wear cotton gloves to bed after applying the moisturizer to the nails.

Use a glass nail file on brittle fingernails. They promote nail health. Other types of nail files can cause splitting and further brittleness. When using the glass nail file, only file the nails in one direction instead of back and forth across the top of the nails.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid using your nails as tools.

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