Rub a small amount of petroleum jelly into your cuticle and the skin surrounding your nails every evening before you go to bed or whenever your nails feel dry. Not a fan of petroleum jelly? Substitute castor oil. It’s thick and contains vitamin E, which is great for your cuticles. It helps to keep your nails hydrated.
Wear rubber gloves whenever you do housework or wash dishes: Most household chores, from gardening to scrubbing the bathroom to washing dishes, are murderous on your nails. To protect your digits from dirt and harsh cleaners, cover them with gloves whenever it’s chore time. And for extra hand softness, apply hand cream before you put on the rubber gloves.
Supplementing your diet with spirulina and kelp will help make your nails strong and healthy.
Dry your hands for at least two minutes after doing the dishes, taking a bath/shower, etc. Also dry your toes thoroughly after swimming or showering. Leaving them damp increases your risk of fungal infection.
If your nails are too brittle and dry, you should increase the consumption of food that items rich in vitamin A (such as apricots, broccoli, carrot and cheese) and calcium (such as milk, yoghurt, cheese and almonds).
Air out your work boots and athletic shoes. Better yet, keep two pairs and switch between them so you’re never putting your feet into damp, sweaty shoes, which could lead to fungal infections.
Wear 100 percent cotton socks. They’re best for absorbing dampness, thus preventing fungal infections.
Stretch out the beauty of a manicure by applying a fresh top coat every day, says Susie Galvez, owner of Face Works Day Spa in Richmond, Virginia, and author of Hello Beautiful: 365 Ways to Be Even More Beautiful.
Make your nails as strong as a horse’s hooves, and take 300 micrograms of the B vitamin biotin four to six times a day. Long ago, veterinarians discovered that biotin strengthened horses’ hooves, which are made from keratin, the same substance in human nails. Swiss researchers found that people who took 2.5 milligrams of biotin a day for 5.5 months had firmer, harder nails. In a U.S. study, 63 percent of people taking biotin for brittle nails experienced an improvement.
Carrot juice is rich in calcium and phosphorus and helps strengthen your nails. So, try to consume as much fresh carrot juice as is possible for you.
Add a glass of milk and a hard-boiled egg to your daily diet. Rich in zinc, they’ll do wonders for your nails, especially if your nails are spotted with white, a sign of low zinc intake.
File your nails correctly. To keep your nails at their strongest, avoid filing in a back-and-forth motion — only go in one direction. And never file just after you’ve gotten out of a shower or bath — wet nails break more easily.
Massage your nails to keep them extra strong and shiny. Nails buffing increases blood supply to the nail, which stimulates the matrix of the nail to grow, says Galvez.
Polish your nails, even if it’s just with a clear coat. It protects your nails, says manicurist Diaconescu. If you prefer color, use a base coat, two thin coats of color, and a top coat. Color should last at least seven days but should be removed after 10 days.
Do not file you nails just after you have had a shower or have washed your hands. This is because wet nails tend to break easily.
Make it a habit to use a quality nail brush to clean under your nails when you shower. This not only keeps your nails looking good, it can help to prevent the spread of germs. Be sure to dry your nails well after washing – water under the nails can lead to problems, especially with artificial nails.
One of the best things that you can do for your nails is to drink a lot of water. Not only will you have healthier, stronger nails, you’ll have shinier hair, better skin, and might even loose a pound or two!
Never ever use an acetone-based or formaldehyde-based nail-polish remover. Rather, stick to a remover that has acetate in it.
Ensure that half of your diet is made up of fresh fruits and raw vegetables. This will supple your nails with the required vitamins, minerals and enzymes.
When pushing back your cuticles (it is not necessary to cut them) come in at a 45-degree angle and be very gentle. Otherwise the cuticle will become damaged, weakening the entire nail, says Mariana Diaconescu, manicurist at the Pierre Michel Salon in New York City.