I am trying to strengthen my weak and flimsy fingernails. I take vitamins daily (multivitamin, folic acid, biotin, and some prescription medications) and I can grow my nails, but they bend so easily.
I take a shower and they rip on the towel, or snag. I am tired of wearing bandages on my fingers due to the tearing. They bend so easily, that when I was in beauty school, I hated working on hair, since I knew that my nails would be torn to bits.
I have tried every strengthener known to man, I eat healthy, have recently lost 50+ pounds, and am not hard on my nails. I have polycystic ovary syndrome (a hormone and fertility problem) and weak nails don't run in the family, my sister has egg shell nails, they curl, and what not. I don't have a picture to go with this, I have overlays on my nails now, so they don't tear.
My nails don't need to breath, they are not alive, just like our hair, they both grow, but are not living things. So please refrain from telling me my nails need to breath, because they do not. I went to cosmetology school, and we learned all there is to know about nails.
Any tips thought would be great. I'm sick of spending $$ on no good products. I have OPI Nail Envy, and that does little good. Any ideas would be helpful, home remedies, or anything. I can't even soak my nails for a mani since they are so thin, they just tear off.
By Torrie from Vaughnsville, OH
Vitamin's or Calcium drink more milk cottage cheese is a good thing to eat. lol
Increase your Biotin dosage. Biotin is really good for nails and hair. I take a multivitamin with Biotin in it but I also take two Biotin tablets at the same time. I take it for my hair but my mother takes the same dosage for her nails (she has weak nails like you described).
I am 59 and have had very weak nails all my life. I also have fine textured reddish hair and a thin and senstive skin. i believe these things all go together in some way and it probably does run in families, although not everyone in the family will be affected just as with other traits. My sister has much stronger nails. I don't believe that there is any supplement or diet that will help. I just keep my nails trimmed short. If you are determined to have long nails, I think your best bet would be a paint-on nail strengthener.
Go to your Dr. and have a complete workup on your thyroid. Thyroid problems are often overlooked and it does cause dry hair, skin and brittle nails.
I am 65 years old and have had the same problem all my life.I bought every product possible to no avail. Most of the products mentioned by other posters didn't work for me. I take plenty of vitamins use different oils, all to no avail. Then, I went online and found FlexiNail which is made in Canada. I've used it at least once a day for the past 12 months and I finally have the nails I wanted all the time. It is an oil in a small bottle with a brush. You wipe it on each nail and under the quick 2X /day at first. It takes awhile for the nail to grow out but it is worth the wait. In the first 2 weeks I noticed a big improvement. A year later, I have nails so long and healthy that I have to cut them weekly. I now save money since I no longer need other expensive products and my nails are nice enough that I can go without polish. This will be my solution for as long as I live.because iodine is deficient in most people, I put a few drops of it into my Flexinail bottle to make sure I'm getting enough but it is the flexinail that has made the difference.
A very old remedy. Soak your nails in olive oil. Works on strengthening the nail and softens the cuticles as well. Do it a couple times a week. When you see that your nails are getting stronger, then once a week. Good luck. Jenny
If you aren't taking 1200 mg of calcium and also magnesium with Vitamin D, you should. Your doctor will tell you that also. There are brands that have all three in one capsule. Also rub warm olive oil into your nails at least once a day.
I am also a cosmetologist, hope this helps.
I have a similar problem, Torrie. I didn't see what you do for a living. I am a seamstress and sew at least 8 hours a day. The fabric is very harsh on hands and nails. My nails constantly snag, break and are thin also to the point that if they grow at all they bend and it's painful. I've tried changing diet, adding vitamins, soaking in oils, doing parafin dips, different hand lotions, etc. Still my nails are brittle/thin and unsightly and the skin under the nails often cracks. My solution is to have either artificial nails that I put on myself or deal with the problem by ignoring it. I choose to add the nails - have had the stick on nails that I do myself on for probably 5 years now. (You can get these at the dollar stores). Of course, I take the nails off about every 10 days and condition my nails with a parafin dip and thorough oil rub of my nails overnight, but the next day, new nails go on. I hope that some of the suggestions people give are helpful and that you find your solution.
If you are not already taking fish oil capsules, you might give them a try. They certainly helped my weak nails.
I had great nails when I was very young. Over the years, they got much worse to where they were peeling off in layers. I read in one of Heloise's columns in the newspaper about white (also called clear or colorless) iodine, painted on your fingernails every day for a week and then only once or twice a month as being a cure for week peeling nails. It has made my nails -- after several months of using the iodine on them, just like they were when I was young. I also try to use hand lotion on my hands several times a day as I used Jergen's on my hands all the time when I was young and living in the dry climate of Southern California. Siince moving to the east coast, I seldom used hand lotion and thought that might also might also have been part of the problem of my nails deteriorating so much. My nails are now normal again.
I have just discovered that eating sugar causes the body to excrete calcium which apparently is supposed to harden nails although I was always under the impression that nails were made of keratin, so you could try giving up sugar. I'm going to give it a go. At the moment I have got a home made concoction of fluoride, iodine and formaldehyde which seems to be working. I think its probably the formaldehyde which is the main component in Nail Envy.
There is a lot of research to show that dairy products do not necessarily increase your body's uptake of calcium. In fact, it has been shown that dairy product consumption leads to osteoporosis. The messages that we hear about milk being good for you are not true! Drinking milk and eating dairy products has been strongly linked to cancer as well as heart disease. Everyone would be much healthier if they gave up dairy products. Read "The China Study" if you want to find out more about the huge amount of research that supports this. Eating foods like cauliflower, lentils, peanuts and other legumes should help to strengthen nails because they contain biotin.
Of course, you must first refer your individual situation with your personal physicians.
Suntydt is correct; biotin, vitamin B6, in much higher doses than needed for daily nutrition can be beneficial to nail growth. It is water soluble (no need to take with food) and there is no known issues at higher dosages.
There were several double blind clinical studies done in Europe that showed a measured increase in nail thickness in over 60% of the patients. They measured nail thickness diagnostically and the patients acknowledged it, but as you know the nail growth takes months. These studies recommended a total daily oral dose of 2500mcg or 2.5mg, taken once or twice a day; this dose also reversed the symptoms of patients with Brittle Nail Syndrome.
Please note: In this study they also noted that supplementation with fat soluble Vitamins A, C & E, water soluble B-12, or zinc, iron, copper, or selenium minerals did NOT show any evidence for improving nail health in (otherwise well-nourished) patients.
I hope you find some assistance out there somewhere.
New nail growth will take a while, but healthy nails come from healthy cuticles.
for more info, check out:
Theres a ton of info on nail care there if you look around the site.
*WARNING!* EliVal mentions that "vitamin B6, in much higher doses than needed for daily nutrition can be beneficial to nail growth. It is water soluble ...and there is no known issues at higher dosages." Sorry, but this is dangerously wrong. Too much B6 can cause permanent nerve damage.
The New England Journal of Medicine (1983, V309 pp 445-448) reported that supplemental doses as low as 500 mg/day can cause numbness & pain in extremities & even difficulty walking. Many women who have tried B6 for PMS symptoms have ended up with far worse problems than bloating or irritability (or thin nails). Yes, B6 is water soluble but it is NOT SAFE at high doses! Supplementation of no more than 200 mg/day is considered safe.
You are very correct about everything you said but keep in mind you are talking in mg not mcg which is what biotin comes in. Even 5000 mcg is only equal to something like 5 mg. So a person would have to be taking a bottle or more a day to overdose.
Have u checked your thyroid?...hypothyroid causes thin weak nails amongst other things
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