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What causes thin fingernails?
A nutritionist I worked with for a couple of years advised me that ridges in the nails were related to inadequate protein intake. Most average sized women (I'm an 8) need around 20-25g with every meal. In general women eat lots of carbs, especially for breakfast, and almost no protein. I made a lot of changes based on his advice, and I haven't been able to keep them all up in this economy (good fish oil is expensive), but I get a decent amount of protein with every meal, and I have no more ridges. My nails grow like hard, hearty weeds. I like them short, so, hey, no help for me, but they look better. :)
Your lacking in vitamin D.
I read the other day that the vitamin biotin will help your nails get harder, but it is a slow process lasting up to 1 year. The nail harders often contain formeldahyde. I would not reccommend using them.
I have done all the things that everyone suggested (except get my thyroid checked), but still have thin brittle nails with vertical ridges. My sister, however, has had her thyroid checked and is on meds for it. She has nails exactly like mine and our mother had nails exactly like ours. My sister and I both wear rubber gloves. Funny thing is, my two thumbnails are not like that. They are thicker and tougher. So, I think it is an inherited disorder. I would think anyway, if it were a thyroid disorder, I would have ultra thin hair on my head and I do not.
Being that your mom and sister have the same type of nails it is very likely to simply be genetic especially if you have all had thin nails since childhood. The ridges could be caused from a deficiency but they can also happen from simply aging or damage that has been done to the cuticle bed of the nails over the years. I have a nail that started getting ridges years ago after the fingertip had been slammed shut inside a heavy metal door jam. I fill the ridges with a Sally Hanson product like a previous poster mentioned.
I am 56 & had lousy nails all my life. I got a book recently, because my stomach has been the worst for th It seems that when you don't have enough stomach acid, you don't absorb your minerals very well, or not at all & there are other parts of yor body that absolutely can't live without them, so yor body, in it's infinite wisdom sends the minerals there first & there is nothing left for your nails. It's an indicator that something is wrong. Get the book, cause if you don't get enough minerals for everything, you could end up with something much more deadly that lousy nails. By the way, I have improved my stomach acid & I now grow thick, strong nails & they are long, like I've always tried to grow. He makes a statement in the book, something about when he examines women & comes across thin, flakey nails & or hair loss, he looks at the stomach. I had hair loss for over 15 years, it has stopped falling out, too. Check it out.
I'm not exactly sure, I had acrylic nails for about 20 years and took them off a few months trying to cut back due to the economy, but I was told to apply vitamin E oil daily and it would help them and I have been doing this for about 60 days and wow, what a difference. Hope this helps.
I made the post about stomach acid and forgot to mention the book, sorry! It's called "Why stomach acid is good for you", by Jonathan V. Wright, MD
I had this problem for 2 to 3 years. I read on another forum about Nailtiques Formula 2..it is a protein formula. I started seeing results in 3 weeks. Put it on everyday. My nails are great. It is $17 for a large bottle or $10 for a small one. It is worth every penny. Especially since I spent a ton of money on so many other products. The only place I have seen it is Walgreen's and CVS Pharmacy.
Try Nail Envy Nail Strengthener Original by OPI. Worked great for my thin nails