Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

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

June 25, 2015 Flag
1 found this helpful

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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July 3, 20150 found this helpful

Personally I think hand washing dishes without gloves has always strengthened my nails. (yes, I have a dishwasher and never use it) I am 78 years old have very strong nails that grow very quickly, and long....many people comment on my beautiful fingernails. I do wear polish a good part of the time and use a nail sealer undercoat so the the colors don't stain my nails, so that when I want them "natural" they still look great. Gloves seem to "steam" the nails and soften them unnecessarily.

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September 22, 2016 Flag
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This is a guide about remedies for brittle fingernails. Nutrition and health can effect the condition of your fingernails.

Remedies for Brittle Fingernails

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February 1, 2012 Flag
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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.

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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Anonymous Flag
February 26, 20160 found this helpful

April 2, 2011 Flag
1 found this helpful

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

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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October 24, 20160 found this helpful

January 23, 2015 Flag
1 found this helpful

How to make fingernails thicker and stronger?

By Mary

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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February 20, 20150 found this helpful

July 17, 2013 Flag
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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. Try more nude colors, they won't stain nails or have harsh ingredients.

Now that's done, you are ready. This is what I do for my nails; Biotin and a nail treatment top coat with a garlic base. I take 5000 mcg of biotin daily. My brand is cheap Rexall, $5.00 at Dollar General and my garlic base top coat (G1Nail treatment) is only $1.25 at a beauty supply store. I also soak my nails in water with salt and any vegetable oil I have on hand. I soak them at least twice a day, soaking for 15 minutes day and night. That's only 30 minutes out of your day. It's worth it, your nails need to refresh daily. However, I recommend olive oil for a more better result.

I massage my nails with a vibrating tool, anything that vibrates. I do this at any time of the day. I bought one from Walgreens. It's use is for stress but I just hold it when my hands are free. I find that it also makes my hair grow. True Story LBVS! The vibrations helps circulate the blood in your nails and hands. Although you must continue to massage a oil base into the cuticles and use a moisturizer to keep nails nourished.

Drink plenty of water as well. The biotin intake will need more water intake daily, around 64 oz. Water is also a good source for growing anything! I hope this helps. My nails have been growing for two weeks now with my own system and it really works. Try and enjoy the beautiful nails God wants you to have. God Bless everyone (:

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July 18, 20130 found this helpful

I am glad that you have found something that works well for you, but it seems to be an awful lot of work. What I do is nothing. And my nails grow very well, are healthy, and my cuticles are great. If a person is in good health and is well nourished and does not bite her nails, they will be fine. There is nothing you can do to make your nails or your hair grow faster than their normal rate of growth.

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August 21, 2015 Flag
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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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August 26, 20150 found this helpful

May 5, 2005 Flag
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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

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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July 13, 20130 found this helpful

July 4, 2011 Flag
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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, and also they chip very easily. The tips of my nails aren't white, but see through.

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June 2, 2012 Flag
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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?

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