42 Home Remedies for Brittle Nails
Having strong nails is key to having healthy nails, as well as long nails. When nails are brittle, they are more prone to breakage and other damage. By following the home remedies listed in this article you can both learn how to prevent weak nails and make your nail stronger.
Causes of Weak Fingernails
There are various factors which work towards making fingernails weaker. The longer a nail is, the more likely it will be to break or seem brittle, as there is more nail away from the nail bed. When a nail is attached to the nail bed (the pink part under the nail), it is less likely to come off. However, the white part of the nail is unattached, the more likely to break, chip, or have hangnails. Some of the most common causes for brittle nails are listed below.
- Nail or cuticle damage
- Fungal infections
- Cleaning chemicals
- Dry skin
- Thyroid conditions (Hypo- and Hyperthyroidism)
- Low iron and protein intake
If you have a fungal infection or a thyroid condition, you will need to treat those conditions before you can properly treat your nails. This article will cover some treatments for fungal infections for finger nails, but this article does not cover home remedy solutions for thyroid conditions.
Home Remedies for Brittle Nails
Keep Your Hands Warm
Having cold hands can lead to broken and brittle nails, so it is best do do everything in your power to keep your hands warm! When you are outside in the cold, make sure that you wear winter gloves or mitten. If you forget your mittens when you go out, make sure to warm up your hands next to a heater or dip them in warm water to warm them up again. This is a wonderful preventative measure to take to avoid brittle nails in the future.
Avoid Certain Nail Polish Removers
While it is perfectly safe to use most all nail polishes (avoid toxic nail polish), some nail polish removers can lead to trouble. This is because they contain harsh chemicals. It is best to avoid nail polish removers entirely, if you can. If you cannot, then at least avoid nail polish removers that contain acetone and formaldehyde.
Avoid Acrylic Nails
While wearing acrylic nails is fine if you are trying to grow your nails out, they can start to do more harm than good if you wear them once your nails are already long. This is because taking off the nails can cause damage to your real nail. For this reason, it is best to simply use nail polish if you want to add a design to your nails.
Trim Your Nails
One way to keep your nails from breaking is to keep them short. When you cut or file your nails, make sure to make them look rounded, rather than squared. This will make them less prone to breakage, even if they are longer than the average fingernail.
Don’t Cut Cuticles
While “cut” might be in the word, it’s best to avoid cutting your cuticles. Cutting your cuticles is more likely to do more harm than good. If your cuticles are longer than you would like them to be, try pushing them up with manicuring tools instead.
If your brittle nails are due to a fungal infection, then using oregano oil will be able to help. This is because of its antifungal properties. To use this home remedy, simply mix equal parts of oregano oil with olive oil. Rub this mixtron your nails each day to get the best results.
Another way to cure brittle nails due to a fungal infection is to use garlic paste. This can be bought at most grocery stores or made by crushing garlic and mixing it with enough water to form a paste. You can either eat this paste (or other forms of garlic) in your meals, or you can rub the paste on your nails. If you rub the paste on your nails, leave it on for an hour before rinsing it off.
Cornmeal is also wonderful at killing fungi. To use this home remedy, mix a cup of cornmeal in two quarts of water. Soaks your hands in this mixture for at least half an hour. Do this once a week to cure your nail fungus and to make your nails stronger.
Hydrogen peroxide is great at killing germs and fungi. To use this home remedy, all you have to do is dilute a cup of hydrogen peroxide with a gallon of water. Soak your hands in this mixture for twenty minutes. Do this once a day until you see results.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil both supports general skin and nail health and kills fungus. However, tea tree oil is powerful, so it is important to dilute in a carrier oil, like olive oil or coconut oil. To use this home remedy, dilute the tea tree oil and rub it on and around your fingernails. Use this once a day for a month to get the best results.
Yogurt works in two ways to combat brittle nails. The easiest way to use yogurt is to eat it. This way, you will take in the probiotics yogurt has to often. With this home remedy, any flavor of yogurt should work. SImply eat a cup of yogurt a day to get benefits from this home remedy.
The other way to use yogurt is to apply it directly to your nails. If you use this home remedy, you will need to use plain yogurt. Rub this on and around your nails. Let it sit for twenty minutes before rinsing it off with water. Do this up to three times a day to get the best results.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) can kill most any germs or fungi that might be causing your nails to become brittle. To use this home remedy, all you used to do is mix two tablespoons of ACV to a cup of water. You can add in a tablespoon of honey for taste, if you like. Drink this three times a day to cure your nails from the inside out.
Another way to kill bacteria and fungi is to use neem oil. This is one of the simplest home remedies on the list. Simply put a few drops of neem oil on a cotton ball. Rub your nails with the cotton ball. Wait for thirty minutes and then wash your hands. Do this once a day until your nails are beautiful again.
Coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter are all great natural moisturizers. Since brittle nails can sometimes be the result of dry skin, coconut oil can be of great assistance. Simply rub coconut oil, shea butter, or cocoa butter on and around your nails up to three times a day, every day, to see results. To learn how to make your own natural moisturizer, check out this article.
White vinegar, much like ACV, is great at killing bacteria and fungi. If you don’t like the taste of vinegar, then you’re in luck. All of you have to do for this home remedy is mix equal parts warm water and vinegar in a dish and soak your hands in it for half and hour. Do this twice a day, every day, until you no longer have brittle nails.
Since mouthwash can kill bacteria in your mouth, it can also kill bacteria that may be damaging your nails. Simply mix equal parts mouthwash and water. Soak your hands in this mixture for half an hour. Do this once a day, every day, until your nails are strong.
Ginger is one of nature’s natural cure-alls. While drinking ginger tea is tasty and might do some good to heal your nails, applying ginger tea directly to your nails can be of even more help. Simply soak your nails in cooled ginger tea for thirty minutes a day, twice a day. Do this every day until you see results.
Another treatment that works well to make brittle nails strong again is chamomile tea. Like ginger tea, you can drink chamomile tea to get some relief, but it will work better if you apply the tea directly to your nails. To use this home remedy, soak your nails in cooled chamomile tea for twenty minutes. Do this twice a day, every day, until your nails are strong.
Onion juice is great at killing any germs that might be affecting your nails. Simply rub a little bit of onion juice to each of your nails (using a cotton ball or q-tip will work best). After having the juice on your nails for half an hour wash your hands. Do this once a day until you see results.
Olive oil both works to kill germs and moisturize your nails all at the same time! To use this home remedy, rub olive oil on and around your fingernails. After about ten minutes, wash your hands. Do this up to three times each day until you see results.
Certain cleaning chemicals can damage your skin and nails. To be safe, it is best to either avoid using chemical cleaners altogether (and instead, opting for natural plant-based cleaners) or wearing rubber gloves when you have to clean with chemicals. Not following this advice will put your nails in danger of becoming even more brittle. However, switching your cleaning habits alone won’t fully cure your brittle nails. Instead, you will need to combine this remedy with another one from the list.
Smoking can lead to a number of health problems. Some of the less serious problems involve smoking’s effect on your nails. Smoking can make your nails brittle, yellowish, and ugly. If you want any of the home remedies on this list to have any effect, you will first need to quit smoking. Do this as soon as you can to get the best results.
One cause of brittle nails is dry skin. One of the best ways to avoid dry skin is to hydrate your body from the inside out. To do this, simply try to drink eight glasses of water a day to stay optimally hydrated. If you exercise often or live in a hot climate, you may need to drink more water than that to stay hydrated.
Broccoli Seed Oil
One lesser-known ingredient that can help to make fingernails look healthier and feel stronger is broccoli seed oil. This oil can be applied much in the same way as nail polish can. Simply put a drop of broccoli seed oil on each finger nail. Do this once a day to cure your brittle nails.
One of the causes of brittle nails is a lack of iron in the body. There are two basic ways to improve your iron levels. One way is to take iron supplements (as directed on the bottle). The second way is to simply eat foods that are naturally high in iron. Some of these foods include seafood, dark leafy greens, beans, meat, seeds, soy products, dark chocolate, and broccoli.
Another cause of brittle nails is low protein levels. Protein cannot be easily replaced by supplements, so it is best to improve your diet to take in more proteins. Some of the most obvious sources of protein include meat products. However, there are vegetarian protein sources out there, including eggs, tofu, beans, and nuts. Eat any or all of these foods to improve your protein levels, and, in turn, cure your brittle nails.
Vitamin E Supplements
Vitamin E supplements are often liquid capsules. To use this home remedy, poke a small hole in the capsule and pour the liquid onto a cotton ball. Rub your nails with this liquid once a day to get the best results.
Biotin can be taken as both a supplement or in a dietary means. If you are going to take biotin supplements, make sure to take them as directed. Other sources of biotin can be found in foods like dairy products, nuts, dark leafy greens, and eggs. Simply add more of these foods to your diet to gain their health benefits.
Magnesium is another healthy mineral, like iron, that supports healthy skin and nails. To use this home remedy, you can either take magnesium supplements (as directed) or eat foods that are high in magnesium. SOme of these foods include seeds, eggs, nuts, and meats.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3s are an essential part of most home remedies. To use this to fix your brittle nails you can either take omega-3 supplements, as directed, or you can eat foods which are naturally rich in omega-3s. Seafood has the most omega-3 content, but if you are a vegetarian, you can instead eat seeds. Both pumpkin and sunflower seeds should get the job done.
There are so many minerals that promote healthy skin, hair, and nails, and zinc is one of them! Like many of the other mineral suggestions, one way to take in zinc is to take zinc supplements, as directed. You can also instead eat foods that are rich in zinc, including dark chocolate, garlic, seeds, and chickpeas.
Calcium is another mineral that helps to support healthy skin and nails. To get the most out of this home remedy, you will need to add more calcium to your diet. Like all of the other minerals on this list, you can either take calcium supplements (as directed) or you can eat foods which are naturally rich in calcium. Milk and other dairy products are best for this.
The horsetail plant is high in silica, which is another mineral that supports healthy and strong nails. To use this home remedy, mix two tablespoons of dried horsetail in a cup of hot water. Let this steep for ten minutes. Once the liquid has cooled slightly, soak your hands in it for at least twenty minutes. Do this every other day to get the best results.
While it may seem unlikely, beer can be a cure for brittle nails. However, drinking it won’t do much good. Instead, you will need to mix half a cup of beer, a quarter cup of olive oil, and a quarter cup of ACV. Soak your nails in this unlikely mixture for ten minutes. Do this once a week to get the best results.
Blackstrap molasses, though sugary and sweet, is actually full of healthy minerals that support nail health. To use this home remedy, mix a tablespoon of molasses in a cup of hot milk. Drink this once a day, every day, until you see results.
Egg yolks can be used as a moisturizer to treat dry skin and brittle nails. To use this home remedy, scramble an egg with milk in the same way you would if you were to cook it. Soak your nails in this mixture for five minutes. When the time is up, wash your hands. Use this home remedy whenever the skin around your nails feels especially dry.
Castor oil is another lubricant that can help to strengthen brittle nails. For this home remedy, all you need to do is soak your fingers in a bowl of castor oil for ten minutes a day. Do this once a day to get the best results.
Green tea can be drunk as a tasty treat, but it can be more effective to treat brittle nails when it is applied directly to the nails. To use this home remedy, make a cup of green tea as you usually would. Soak your nails in the tea for ten minutes. Do this twice a week to get the best results.
Nettle tea contains silica, like horsetail. To use this home remedy, make a cup of nettle tea. Add a teaspoon of honey to the tea. Drink this tea every day until you see results.
Don’t Bite Your Nails
Biting your nails causes many more nail problems than it solves. For best results, quit biting your nails entirely as soon as you can.
Don’t Use Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizer often contains alcohol, which can dry out your hands. It is best to wash your hands with a mild soap and water instead. Keep this in mind whenever you need to clean your hands.
Petroleum jelly helps to keep moisture locked inside so that you fingernails don’t become dried out. However, do not use this home remedy if your brittle nails are due to a fungal infection, as this will likely do more harm than good. To use this home remedy, put petroleum jelly over your nails before you go to bed. Do this every night until you see results.
Which of these home remedies are you most likely to use? Comment with your answer below!