Strong solutions for brittle nails

December 11, 2014

Fingernails are made of a fibrous protein called keratin, which is the same type of protein found in hair. When the keratin filaments become weak, the nails become brittle. The main solutions for keeping brittle nails strong involve regular nail care, proper nutrition and avoiding things that can damage your nails.

Why are my nails brittle?

Brittle nails are often caused by a deficiency of iron, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B, dietary silicon or protein. Stress and fatigue are also contributing factors, as are nail biting, contact with chemical products, scraping surfaces with the finger nails and smoking. Some lines of work, like health and beauty care or housekeeping, require the use of harsh products, which can lead to brittle nails.

Solutions for brittle nails

There is some good news for you if you dream of having long, glamorous nails like the ones you see in celebrity gossip photos. You can fix your brittle nails by making a few changes in the way you eat and take care of them:

  • Eat a healthy and varied diet. Be sure to eat the Canada Food Guide’s daily recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, proteins and dairy products. You can also check with a health-care professional about the possibility of taking multivitamins or other dietary supplements.
  • Protect your nails from exposure to harmful products. Wear rubber gloves when washing dishes and cleaning the house, and use gardening gloves when you’re working outside.
  • Be careful with your nails. Even people with naturally strong nails can’t use them as though they were paint scrapers. Use a coinfor scratch-and-win lottery ticket and a spoon to lift the tab. And instead of drumming your fingernails on the customer service desk to show your impatience and annoyance, breathe deeply and keep smiling.

You can also treat yourself to a manicure once in a while and implement a regular nail care routine at home. Here are some tips to get perfect at-home nails:

  • Soak your nails in a container filled with warm water and a tablespoon of salt
  • Apply a generous layer of moisturizer
  • Rub your nails a few times a week with lemon, and then with olive oil, castor oil or sweet almond oil
  • File your nails in one direction only
  • Avoid using metal files
  • Always use a protective base coat before applying coloured nail polish, and finish with a hardener
  • From time to time, take a break from nail polish and nail polish remover by going natural for a while.

With these tips and solutions to combat brittle nails, you're only a fingernail’s length away from the hands of your dreams.

Strong solutions for brittle nails
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