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Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

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Weak and Thin Fingernails

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


Solutions: Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: White Iodine for Weak Fingernails

I have received so many great tips and information from this site that I thought I was over-due for a pay-back.

Ladies, for those of us who have weak, soft, splitting fingernails, listen up! Buy a bottle of White Iodine (at Wal-Mart or any pharmacy-it can be ordered). It is also very inexpensive - $1.49.

Coat nails every day for a week and then a couple of times a week afterwards. It binds the protein of the nail (or something) but it will make them harder. You will not believe it. It truly works! Try it--you will love it!

By Nolasandy from New Orleans, LA

Tip: Tips For The Perfect Nails

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 (:

    By poohkitty [1]

    Tip: Remedy for Thin and Weak Nails

    Pushing back cuticles

    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

      By Caren E. [1]

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      Here are questions related to Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails.

      Question: Remedy for Weak Finger Nails

      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.


      Best Answers

      By Spacecase [11]02/04/2012

      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.

      Best Answers

      By Frugal Sunnie [11]02/04/2012

      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.

      Question: Solutions for Soft Fingernails

      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


      Most Recent Answer

      By Melissa Byars F.07/13/2013

      I found something at Walmart that does wonders for my nails - 5 to 7 day growth formula. It actually works, but I haven't found anything that works for Harding my nails. Please help.

      Question: Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

      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

      Most Recent Answer

      By maxlet06/22/2012

      *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.

      Question: What Causes Thin Fingernails?

      What causes thin fingernails?

      By ahandy45

      Most Recent Answer

      By Onesummer [210]10/06/2009

      Try Nail Envy Nail Strengthener Original by OPI. Worked great for my thin nails

      Question: Making Nails Stronger

      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

      Most Recent Answer

      By EliVal07/14/2011

      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.

      Good luck!

      Question: Remedy for Thin Brittle Nails

      What can I do to make my nails stronger and grow faster? I got my nails done for my sister's wedding. I didn't want to go because I knew it would damage my nails, but I went. And now I'm facing the consequences. My nails are really thin, they break off easily, and they don't grow hardly at all.

      By horselover4

      Most Recent Answer

      By Frugal Sunnie [11]07/14/2011

      The biotin suggestion is one I use (for my hair actually but it helps with nails, too), but since you sign yourself 'horselover' I'm surprised you don't know about using hoof conditioner on your nails to strengthen them. It REALLY works, and quick too!

      Apply it liberally with a cotton swab to your nails and cuticles at night before bed; apply a thin coat with the swab several times during the day-you'll have lovely, strong nails in about a week.

      You can buy it at tack stores and pet centres like PetsMart. I used to buy it at Wal-Mart in the pet section but I live in the UK now, and don't know if Wal-Mart still sells horse gear in their pet aisles. It's not terribly expensive, doesn't stain, and has a nice fragrance no matter where you buy it-the stuff I get at the horse centre here in the UK looks, acts, and smells just like the stuff I used to get at Wal-Mart.

      Question: Growing Stronger Fingernails

      How to make fingernails thicker and stronger?

      By Mary

      Most Recent Answer

      By Alia02/20/2015

      You better eat dried fish and small fresh fish to add more calsium and protein to your food. Take supplements usually contain vitamins A, C, D, E, as well as many B vitamins, and folic acid, zinc, iron, calcium and biotin. Making sure you have a good intake of omega 3 oils can also reduce your risk of weak, brittle nails.

      Question: Thin Short Nails

      closeup of nails

      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.

        By tatum s [1]

        Most Recent Answer

        By tatum s [1]08/26/2015

        Louise B, no I have no serious health problems other than frequent migraines which I don't think would have anything to do with my nails. Thank you!!!:)

        Question: Weak Finger Nails From Wearing Rings

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

        Mary from Stockton, CA

        Most Recent Answer

        By SheilaMay (Guest Post)02/20/2007

        It may be that you are allergic to nickel, which is a component of the metal in some rings, or that you have left traces of jewelry cleaner on your jewelry. You can strenghthen your nails over time by lightly (and I stress lightly) tapping them on a hard surface for a short period of time daily. This helps improve circulation to your nail beds. When using a nailfile, look for one made with diamond dust called Diamond Deb, which is much finer, less harmful to your nails and much faster than ordinary files.

        Question: Remedy for Thin Weak Finger Nails

        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

        Most Recent Answer

        By Betty [104]06/04/2012

        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.

        Question: Nails Keep Breaking

        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


        Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

        Archive: Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

        Does anyone know of any fingernail strengthening product that really works? All my life I've had pathetic weak, short nails and it seems like I've tried everything but nothing really works so I can grow nice nails of my own. If there's anything out there that works, I'd love to know about it. Thanks to all.

        Bonnie from Tuckerton, NJ

        RE: Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

        I buy the suave extreme strength for your hair. It's a leave in treatment (that's around 2.50 a bottle), and I rub it onto my fingernails every day. It's for strengthening weak hair, but hair and nails are made up of the same thing, and I find that it works tremendously. I can even use my fingernails to open soda cans now. It is definitely a product I will always keep on hand. (07/17/2007)

        By Verybella

        RE: Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

        You can dip your fingernails in Glycerin for 10 min everyday before going to bed. You can also dip your nails in extra virgin Olive Oil for 15 min everyday before going to bed. It'll really strengthen your nails. (07/18/2007)

        By lifeisbeautiful

        RE: Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

        I have found that cuticle massage cream does a great job at both strengthening nails AND getting them to grow with a consistent application of 2 times per day. Apply not only to your cuticles, but also your nails.

        And it doesn't take much. This 4 oz. container has lasted me several months, at a cost of only $2. Look for the sales. (07/28/2007)

        By Kiki

        RE: Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

        For my weak, peeling nails, I soak them in Extra Virgin Olive Oil for just a couple of minutes once or twice a week, and it really works to help strengthen them. No expensive cuticle creams required. And you'll probably find it in your kitchen cupboard! (09/01/2007)

        By Anonymous101

        RE: Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

        Try taking coral calcium (has to be coral). Takes about 3 mos., but taking 1-2 a day will give you long, strong fingers. (03/14/2008)

        By Boo

        RE: Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

        WARNING: Please never use Nail Tek!

        I have very thin and weak nails, too. And after years of silk wraps and nail treatments, the lady that does my nails put Nail Tek on them. Everyone agreed that it was the best thing they had ever tried. I should have looked at their nails first (they all had pretty normal nails to begin with). After about 3-4 minutes, my nails felt really hot. Then came the throbbing pain. It truly felt like someone was continuously taking a hammer to my fingers. This pain lasted a little more than an hour (even though they took off the product when I complained it felt hot). The only relief I got was when I literally passed out from the pain!

        Please, if you truly have thin nails that can flex easily, never use Nail Tek! (07/28/2008)

        By Lindsay

        RE: Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

        I have weak damaged nails from long time acrylic and a nail biting habit. Recently I came across a book called, "Uncommon Cures for Everyday Ailments" from the Editors of Bottom Line/Health. It says, "For stronger, longer nails spread Castor oil into nails and cuticles every night before bed to reduce cracking and breaking. For flexible nails use Vaseline or Crisco before bed rubbing into nails and cuticles.

        Also, it says to rub Retin A or Renova a little bit on nails for cell regeneration. Or if nails grow slowly, try rubbing them with Comfrey oil (a cell re-generator, it can help speed up the growth process giving you longer, stronger nails).

        I like someone's quote above to try Suave extreme strength leave in treatment because that's right. Hair and nails are made from the same stuff. This article in the book also recommends to use latex gloves while washing dishes and working with chemicals, because water and chemicals damage the fingernails. I've tried the Castor oil as moisturizer, it has been healing the nail bed damage from years of acrylic use. Thank you for all your suggestions. I will try them too. Lots of luck to all of you. (09/29/2008)

        By Michelle

        RE: Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

        I bought the White Iodine yesterday. It has a strong smell, but I decided to put it on before I go to bed so I won't have to concentrate on the smell. I was wondering if I can use this on top of nail polish? This is the first time in 31 years that I see my natural nails long. I'm so excited to keep the length, but I want them to be strong at the same time. (12/28/2008)

        By alex.

        RE: Remedies for Thin Fingernails

        I have been biting my nails for the longest time and finally I stopped, but my nails always seemed flimsy and broke very easy. My grandma always had strong nails and I asked her how to get my nails that strong, and her answer was simple and really inexpensive; garlic! She told me to stab my nails in the garlic and rub them on the top of my nails, and to be honest, it really works! No lie. Only one set back, the smell! (02/04/2009)

        By Former Nail Bitter

        RE: Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

        My wife and I started drinking green tea and dramatically reducing the carbohydrates in our diets (no potatoes, rice, less bread, less sugar) a couple of months ago. We both experienced a totally unexpected result; that our fingernails became substantially thicker and stronger. Was it the tea or the diet change? We don't know. Also, rubbing oil (olive, Vaseline, etc.) into the nails (at bedtime is best) will moisturize your nails, resulting in making them look terrific and also making them more flexible. (02/16/2009)

        By Robert

        RE: Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

        I had the same problem. I apply finger nail polish to them. The "Hard as Nails" kind by Sally Hansen, clear or colored. It helps protect the nails so they want break. It's worth the money. (06/08/2009)

        By kffrmw88

        RE: Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

        Regarding the post that says "Please never use Nail Tek!":

        This is one of the best nail products even better than OPI. I think the problem was years of silk wraps. I highly recommend the Nail Tek line, as it's well worth it. You should use the oil they sell and the ridge filler next, followed by whatever clear coat meets your nail's needs. You can get them at the Christmas Tree stores now. The product has helped my nails, and I have turned the product on to many girls at work. None of them reported any problems. (11/20/2009)

        By wine44

        Archive: Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

        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?


        Archive: Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

        My nails are so soft that they bend. I've never been able to grow them long because they just wear away.