I used to bite my nails for years, and now that I finally stopped, whenever I try to grow them out, they keep on breaking. Also they chip very easily. The tips of my nails aren't white but see through.
This is very annoying, and I can't leave them unpainted. I read that this may be caused due to lack of calcium, but I drink a lot of milk, and it doesn't seem to help. What do I have to do to improve my nails and make them stronger?
I wasn't able to include a photo right now, but I'll try to if that'll help.
By Ekikate123 from Skopje, Macedonia
First, check with your doctor to see if there is an underlying medical condition. But otherwise . . .
Two inexpensive and highly effective treatments; 1) vitamin B6, (biotin) 2.5 mg once daily and, 2) nail/cuticle oil, this will keep the oils in the nails and the water out, water actually splits the nails.
The nail oil needs to be brushed on (it takes about 15 seconds) and around the cuticle, nail bed, tip, under nail and skin surrounding the nail at least twice a day, let sit for one minute then lightly rub into surrounding fingertips/fingers/hands, 1 hour after hands are not in water, and 1/2 hour after, keep hands/nails out of water. (While first treating your nails wear gloves as much as possible. Try to bathe or do dishes 30 minutes AFTER the oil application.)
"Oil" nails minimally twice a day; many find the most convenient times first thing in morning and then late afternoon an hour before preparing food (to keep nails out of water). I make my own nail oil, in old empty nail oil bottles, adding a little vitamin E & a little antibacterial/antifungal (like teatree oil) shake and you've saved yourself 8 dollars a bottle! While first applying the nail oil, you need to grow out the old damaged nail, the nails grow in fibers that once ripped or split keep moving into the quick (like a run in your hose), so keep them trimmed very, very short, and file with a nail tek crystal file (or better) until the damage is grown out; then you can grow some length and you should be much better than you're at now.
For upkeep use nail oil (or with nail polish on the cuticle and under nail) about twice a week, you'll soon know what your particular nails require. I also do hot manicures once or twice a week, I just zap a little oil in a tiny bowl for 30 seconds and soak fingertips for a minimum of 5 minutes, it is very relaxing. (PS buy the oil less expensively in a food store, you can use almond, olive (I do not like this smell), grapeseed, or soybean oil, whatever vegetable oil you prefer.) I also save my manicure oil (storing it in a small bottle) and give my hair a hot oil treatment once or twice a month, it's a great hair conditioner. So I actually use every drop.
These both will work for most people, but both also will take time. Vitamin B6 treatment can take 6 months to a year (you already know how fast or slow your nails grow) to see an increase in nail thickness. Oil treatment, you may see improvement within weeks, but dramatic within months.
My nails were great when I was a teenager and into my twenties. We then moved from California to the East Coast and my nails slowly begin to get worse. They finallly got so bad that my nails were splitting and peeling off in layers like nail polish and seemed very thin. It finally dawned on me that I used hand lotions constantly when living in Southern California due to the very dry weather. My hands never seemed to need hand lotion after we moved to the East Coast which is very humid where we live. I now slather hand lotion on several times a day and especially after showering or doing dishes and my nails are looking better and getting stronger day by day.
I also have had thin nails for most of my life. I recently found a bottle of garlic pills I'd bought for bolstering my heart health. I thought, "Hmmmm. People say garlic strengthens nails, so why don't I try these!" I've taken them daily now for about two months and my nails are much stronger than they used to be. Most garlic pills are deodorized (check the label) so you won't be tasting garlic all day or smelling of it. Some hints suggest that garlic is also a flying pest deterrent - great for summer and outdoor events. Try it!
Try horse hoof conditioner, it really works! You can probably find it in your country at a horse supply shop. I'm in the UK and get it at the local vet office at a lower price than in the tack shop. The stuff I get is a light creamy yellow colour with a pleasant fragrance, and it absorbs quickly.
I learned about it in the US back in the late 80s and it is a wonderful way to strengthen weak nails; it really does work, you will notice a difference in about a week.
When I lived in the US I used to buy it in the pet section at Wal-Mart, it came in these huge tubs that lasted so long we shared the tub between several women and still had enough to last six months each out of one tub. It looked and smelled just like what I am getting now in the UK-which also comes in a huge tub, LOL!
At night before you go to bed, use a cotton wool swab to apply a thick coating to your nails and cuticles. You can also apply it during the day instead of nail polish, just use a thinner application.
Though I've never bitten my nails, I've always had problems. (I have hypothyroidism and fibromyalgia. Weak, thin, splitting, and even downward-curving nails are typical with both conditions.) It's possible you could be lacking other minerals, one being magnesium. (Dr. Oz recently discussed this in an episode, stating that many people don't get sufficient magnesium, and that it is somewhat a miracle mineral, necessary for good sleep, proper elimination, and decrease bloating.) I also increased my calcium and magnesium, but it didn't help my nails. Just when I was about to give up, I found a product called DermaNail. You can find it online at www.sumlab.com (Just as the instructions indicate, it can take 8-16 weeks to see full results. But, they have a money-back guarantee.) Though it didn't solve my nail 'curling' [under] issue, it has strengthened them unlike any other product. (I'd tried just about everything, too!) One drawback: You shouldn't wash your hands for 1 hour after you apply the product. (They recommend applying it twice daily: Once in the a.m. and again at bedtime.) I felt it was worth this minor inconvenience to have decent nails (and without nail polish!) for the first time in my life. Two more suggestions: Use a 'natural' nail polish remover. (There are numerous ones on the market these days.) Also, completely nix carbonated beverages from your diet. They are bad for your nails (and bones, teeth, iron levels, etc.). Good luck!
I have tried everything under the sun to make my nails stronger and I don't even try anymore. My mom had poor nails and so do my sister and I. No amount of anything works, they split, get ridges, etc. Mine are clear too. At least now the style is to have shorter nails.
I was always told to eat jello. That it would strengthen your nails and make them grow. Hope this helps!
I had the same problem so I went to the Thrifty Fun archives and found a suggestion there that helped me. It was to buy a small bottle of colorless iodine at your pharmacy. I actually had to order it since they don't usually carry it. You can use a QTip to put it all over the nails or use the applicator that is attached to the bottle.
The iodine is very inexpensive. Mine cost me about $4.95 which is more expensive that it could be purchased in other places it think. Do this about 1-3 times a week and it will also make the nails white instead of translucent. Good Luck!
I used Sally Hansen Nail Growth Miracle for a while. I don't know if it would be available in Macedonia. Here is a link, so you can see what it looks like:
http://www.sallyhansen.com/products ... %84%A2-salon-strengthening-treatment
I also try to remember to use oil on my cuticles. I usually use vitamin E oil, but I bet olive oil would be good, too. I put it on right before I turn off the light at bedtime. I don't know about calcium specifically, but a generally good diet would be helpful. It seems like if you stay hydrated (enough water) and get healthy oils in your diet, it should help with your nails (and skin & hair, too). I've heard that some women will take prenatal vitamins just because they feel it helps improve their hair and nails so much.
I've also heard not to use acetone nail polish remover. It is harsh and will dry out your nails even more. If you can find an oily nail polish remover, that would probably be good for your nails. I just started using an oily nail polish remover from Barielle, but again, I don't know if you'd be able to find that brand in Macedonia.
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