Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

Weak, thin nails can be very frustrating. This is a guide about remedies for weak and thin fingernails.
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June 25, 2015 Flag

As a recent avid nail biter, I have found a solution to help grow nails that is not only inexpensive but natural and healthy. My nails were really thin (I was able to bend them without pain) and would chip and peel.

Here is my solution: I use NutriNail 5 to 7 day nail growth treatment twice a day (morning and evening). Once dry, I apply a Vitamin E nail and cuticle oil and massage into cuticles and nail surfaces. To help with strength, I use a nail hardener once a day.

These products can be found at your local Wal-Mart: NutriNail is around $4.50, Sally Hansen Nail and Cuticle Oil is around $5.00, and Sally Hansen Nail Hardener is also around $5.00.

Also, having a healthy diet does help nails grow faster and stronger. This includes drinking plenty of water! A vitamin regimen can also be beneficial as taking Biotin (Vitamin B6). Other supplements that have been shown to be successful are Keratin and prenatal vitamins for hair and nail growth since both hair and nails are made of Keratin.

It is also beneficial to gently file your nails (in the same direction) once a week. It does the same thing that a trim to your hair does; it stimulates the nail causing it to grow a little faster.

If you frequently place your hands in water, such as doing the dishes, it is advised to wear gloves because the water can strip nails of natural oils that are essential for growth and strength. The same can be said regarding nail polish removers and dark color polishes. I would recommend a 180 or 200 grit nail file (fine), which can be found at Wal-Mart, dollar stores, and beauty supply stores.

One last tip, if you have short nails or short nail beds, DO NOT TRIM CUTICLES! This can be detrimental to the nail and cause weakness. It is best to gently push cuticles back. This not only keeps the nails healthy and free of bacteria but also helps in the growth process. Do not worry if nails are translucent as they grow as Keratin is naturally translucent. If your nails are white, it could signify that are dry. In this instance, use a hand lotion to soften hands and hydrate nails.

To wrap this up:

  • Apply growth treatment (which contains green tea extract) 2x daily (not necessary)
  • Apply nail and cuticle oil once daily (preferably before bed)
  • Apply lotion
  • Avoid water, polish remover, and dark polishes
  • Gently file once a week (same direction)
  • Drink lots of water and maintain a healthy diet
  • Take vitamins (B6, Keratin, or prenatals, again this is not necessary)
  • DO NOT TRIM CUTICLES if you have short nails

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Anonymous Flag
January 16, 20170 found this helpful

I have struggled with my hair for a long time now. I am quickly approaching my 30s and I have bad hair quality. Recently, I have also noticed that my hair has stopped growing as it used to. A few years ago I went to the salon on a monthly basis. Now, it takes me almost two months before I even need to cut my hair! I am desperate and I really need help right now. Hair is one of the most important parts of a woman and I don't want to give up on this one. I went to the doctors but they didn't found anything wrong with me. The exams I took showed that I am healthy and there's no reason for this to even happen to me. Please, I really need hair advice urgently!!!!!!!!!!!!

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January 10, 2017 Flag

Don't you know that garlic can also makes our nails stronger? Yes, it is.

Get a clove of garlic, smash it and wipe over your finger nails or toe nails. Let it stay for 5 minutes before you wash hands and feet. I can guarantee that this is so effective especially to all women who want their nails to grow long.

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January 11, 20170 found this helpful

Does the smell go away when you wash your hands?

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December 13, 2016 Flag

A woman painting white iodine on her nails to strengthen them.

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This is a guide about white iodine for weak fingernails. Strengthen your fingernails safely with colorless iodine to bind the protein.

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December 12, 2016 Flag

A broken and thin thumbnail.

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This is a guide about what causes thin fingernails?. If you have thin nails it can be frustrating to determine why.

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1 found this helpful
September 22, 2016 Flag

Remedies for Brittle Fingernails

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This is a guide about remedies for brittle fingernails. Nutrition and health can effect the condition of your fingernails.

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July 17, 2013 Flag

Tips For The Perfect Nails

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I had really badly bitten nails, they were horrible! If you want really strong long gorgeous nails, here's my secret. First, stop all nail bitting, nail polish removers and dark colored nail polish.

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Questions

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January 23, 2015 Flag

How to make fingernails thicker and stronger?

By Mary

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January 26, 20150 found this helpful

My dermatologist recommended 1000 - 5000mcg of Biotin daily for my nails and hair. I have been taking Biotin for over a year and my nails are strong and healthy and my hair loss is minimal.

Improvement will not happen overnight so plan to stick with it for several months. Biotin is not expensive.

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January 26, 20150 found this helpful

After having strong nails for 60 years I now find that they tend to break and chip. I have been using a nail strengthening polish from the drug store. It is inexpensive and seems to help. Why don't you give that a try first, before you start ingesting vitamins, etc.

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May 5, 2005 Flag

I was wondering if anyone has any ideas for something that is good to use for soft, weak fingernails. Mine are so soft that I can bend them forward. Any ideas will be appreciated.

TC from Virginia

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January 31, 20090 found this helpful

I'm 40 and I've tried lots of things over the years with no result. I've found that "nail magic" from sally's beauty supply and hard as hoof nail cream (got mine at walmart) has helped. My nails are still soft, but not as soft as they were. My nails have actually grown a bit past my fingertips (first time in my life) I'm also going to try the white iodine mentioned in another post.

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February 26, 20090 found this helpful

I'm wondering how long Darrel soaked his/her nails in salt water each time?

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February 1, 2012 Flag

I just took the false nails off my finger nails and my nails are tender and weak. What can I do to strengthen them?

By Audrey W.

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February 4, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

I take a biotin supplement, the stuff is fantastic for hair and nails! I used to get mine in WalMart, and I also found HoofMaker there.

It's officially a hoof treatment for horses but is perfectly safe for human use on finger nails. You'll find it in the pet section.

Use a Q-Tip to apply it to your nails just before bed and let it soak in overnight-very quick results to repair a damaged nail bed. Huge economical jar, too, and it smells great!

I got that tip, btw, from a nail tech years ago when acrylic nails were the big rage. I was so excited when I was having the things applied-until she warned me that I should save myself some money and get HoofMaker instead the salon's hideously expensive ointment to repair the inevitable nail bed damage when the nails came off. Nail bed damage?! Unfortunately all ten nails had already been applied.

Hoo boy, I did get the HoofMaker, wore the nails until they could safely be removed (about a week I think), and then I never had those UN-fabulous fakes applied again!

My fingertips hurt for several days after those things came off. The HoofMaker did help, easing the bed and healing my nails quickly. Plus I noticed the HoofMaker did really nice things for my nails and the nail bed after the healing was complete. Been using that or a similar product ever since, and I have lovely strong nails. Here in the UK I get Hoof-Treat from the tack shop, looks, smells, and works the same as the HoofMaker.

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February 4, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

I've never really been into painting my nails or growing them long. Probably because I was always building something instead. However, two of my older sisters did and both were beauticians. They would buy Knox Gelatin made just for fingernails. They would mix it with water and drink it. They did have lovely nails. You can buy that in a grocery store in with the regular Jello.

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April 2, 2011 Flag

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

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Anonymous Flag
December 13, 20150 found this helpful

biotin is B7. I noticed the same mistake. B6 is helpful for mood but because of the risk for neuropathy I would never take more than 25-50mg daily, it was biotin they were recommending but got the number wrong

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July 14, 20160 found this helpful

Have u checked your thyroid?...hypothyroid causes thin weak nails amongst other things

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August 21, 2015 Flag

My nails are super short and thin. If I grow them out, they don't stick to my actual finger which makes them super easy the bend. When I do grow them out, which for me is not even enough to reach the tips of my fingers, they are white and brittle.

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August 24, 20150 found this helpful

I have been having trouble with brittle nails lately (and never before in my life!), and I am having good luck with a nail hardner polish that I buy at the local drug store. It is just a clear polish that says it will help strengthen nails. Try something like that to start. Do you have any other health issues? I suspect, although I have no proof, that my nails may be not growing as well as they have in the past because I am slightly anemic. I am now taking Vit B and Iron to alleviate this, and we will see if it helps my nails.

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August 25, 20150 found this helpful

Try using Coconut oil, used for cooking. Coconut Oil is a very useful

for many uses. Rub into your nails and cuticles every day, 2 or 3 times if you can. Keep in a cool place away from heat. Type in Coconut Oil then images.

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July 4, 2011 Flag

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

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July 7, 20110 found this helpful

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!

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July 10, 20110 found this helpful

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.

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June 2, 2012 Flag

My finger nails just all of the sudden are really thin. They have always been hard as a rock and healthy. What happened to them? or what is the cause of them to getting so thin, weak, and transparent?

By Victoria

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June 3, 20120 found this helpful

I have always worn clear nail polish on my finger nails and that helps a lot. If your body is going through a lot of changes that could be the reason. I go through stages when my nails are weak and I have to cut them too. Just hang in there, they will get better.

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June 4, 20120 found this helpful

My nails used to be hard too and I've found now that I've gotten older they have become more brittle. Not certain but I think it may come with age in my case.

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February 18, 2007 Flag

Why are the fingernails on my ring fingers weaker than the others?

Mary from Stockton, CA

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February 18, 20070 found this helpful

It is possible that you may be taking care not to damage your rings, which in turn leaves those fingers less active and the nails are not getting the proper circulation needed to grow the nails stronger and longer.

I never had the problem. I've worn all sorts of rings, but never had the problem you are describing, however, I did read, today somewhere, that the nails on the less dominate hand are normally weaker than those on the dominate hand due to movement and circulation. To tell you how tough I've been on rings, I broke a diamond once. No idea how I managed it, but it had to be while helping my husband move metal, or while reaching into too tight of a place. I always thought diamonds were unbreakable, but that is untrue. I took the broken diamond to the jeweler and he tested it and it was real and broken. He couldn't believe it.

So use those fingers and create better circulation, hopefully that will help you.

Tina

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February 19, 20070 found this helpful

I asked my beautician this a long time ago and she said that if a nail is weak or breaks easily or splits, etc. that I had damaged it in the past. I find now that I am older, some of them are splitting and I just have to live with it. Did you know that to strengthen your nails and to keep them from splitting you use a crystal file (mine cost 2.98) and file one direction curling it up and over the nail, which protects it. My nails now grow out for the first time in over 30 years.

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November 7, 2013 Flag

I try and grow my nails out and they do, but at a point they just break. What can I do? Also as it grows it pushes towards my nail bud.

By Elaine

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December 8, 2009 Flag

Does anyone know of any fingernail strengthening product that really works?

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April 2, 2011 Flag

My nails are so soft that they bend. I've never been able to grow them long because they just wear away. They don't even have enough strength to break or chip.

I've tried gelatin, dozens of nail hardeners, gloves, supplements for cartilage, nails, hair, teeth, etc., but to no avail. In desperation once, I applied Tarzan Grip (glue) to the tips to give them strength. I also tried acrylic overlays, and apart from having no thickness to the nail when roughing it up, I developed a really bad fungal infection and I lost a nail.

It took me almost 12 months to recover and the resulting damage to the nail bed hasn't helped matters. I guess I just drew the short straw. Any suggestions?

By Rebecca from Gold Coast, Australia

Answers:

Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

I had the same problem. A friend told me about Hard as Nails polish. It works if you keep it on your nails, good luck. (01/21/2010)

By kffrmw88

Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

I don't have much advice as I have problem nails, too. What is your occupation? Maybe that affects your nails. Last resort would be to see your doctor for a check-up. I believe an underactive thyroid contributes to weak nails. (01/21/2010)

By OliveOyl

Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

I'm sorry to tell you that the only thing you can do to make your fingernails stronger is to eat a healthy diet and to take a good multivitamin supplement. A quality calcium supplement like calcium citrate (which is easily absorbed in the body) can also help. Gelatin protein doesn't work, that was just an old wives tale from the 1970s!

The worst thing for nails is to cover them with acrylic nails or nail polish. Nails need to breath and covering them will only make them more brittle, turn yellow, and crack more. Leave your nails bare for a couple of months and see if that helps.

Be thankful if your nails are a bit thin, because if they are too hard, then won't bend and can chip and snap off more easily when you accidentally hit something with them.

If your nails are really, really thin and unhealthy, that usually signifies something is going on with your body and you should be checked out by a doctor. (01/21/2010)

By Cyinda

Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

Here's a link that explains soft and brittle nail causes and offers suggestions how to correct.
http://www.nailpro.com/archives/nailclinic/npo0109clinic.pdf (01/21/2010)

By Lorelei

Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

One thing that works for me (if I stick with it) is to use a light emery board on your nails, on the top of the nail as well as the ends. This will also get rid of ridges. It seems to stimulate the nail somehow and encourage it to grow. There is a type of "rubberized" nail board to use afterwards which will make your nails shine. (01/23/2010)

By grandypost

Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

I use Nutra Nail5 to 7 Day Growth Calcium Formula. I get it on drugstore.com (a fantastic site); not sure where else you can find it.
I see instant results, as in, less than a week. I bought it because I eat healthily and take vitamins and still have always had thin nails. I also use Burt's Bees cuticle conditioner, so that the new found hardness does not become brittle. I think any conditioning agent would work for that though. The combination has resulted in gorgeous new nails in a total of 3 weeks. Not bad. (01/28/2010)

By NWgirl

Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

You can easily get your fingernails health back, massage your nails daily with sunflower oil, also soak in sunflower oil daily for about 15 min. (02/14/2010)

By ameljor

Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

Calcium! After nearly three years of peeling nails. I had almost no nail left after clipping away the peeling ends, nothing even to the ends of my fingers. I realized I was not getting enough calcium of high quality. I don't do dairy. I did some web research and began taking a high dose of better quality calcium, stopped putting anything on my nails (I faithfully tried every brand of strengthener), and now I have strong nails. A good buffing brings a lovely shine. No extras needed, except keeping nails moisturized 3-4 times daily. (08/05/2010)

By digby

Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

Honestly, I have the exact same problem. I am 22 and have not ever been able to grow my nails. Oh I have tried everything! Prenatals, castor oil, citizen oil, and nail strengthener. Everything! I have learned a little trick though. Try using a few drops of super glue underneath your nail. I tried on the top, but it's still just as flimsy. It feels funny at first, but it dries clear and keeps my paper thin nails from bending and breaking. (03/17/2011)

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January 21, 2010 Flag

I have a really bad habit of biting my nails. They are really thin and don't grow at all. Does anyone know some home remedies to get my nails to grow and be the healthy, beautiful nails that I have never had?

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Health & Beauty Beauty Nail TipsFebruary 1, 2013
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Remedies for Brittle Fingernails
Remedies for Brittle Fingernails
Faux Fingernails
Using Faux Fingernails
A woman painting white iodine on her nails to strengthen them.
Using White Iodine for Weak Fingernails
A broken and thin thumbnail.
What Causes Thin Fingernails?
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