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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:
Applying garlic directly to your nails may help to strengthen them. This is a guide about use garlic for stronger nails.
This is a guide about what causes thin fingernails?. If you have thin nails it can be frustrating to determine why.
This is a guide about remedies for brittle fingernails. Nutrition and health can effect the condition of your fingernails.
This is a guide about white iodine for weak fingernails. Strengthen your fingernails safely with colorless iodine to bind the protein.
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.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
How to make fingernails thicker and stronger?
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.
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.
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
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.
I'm wondering how long Darrel soaked his/her nails in salt water each time?
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Have u checked your thyroid?...hypothyroid causes thin weak nails amongst other things
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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?
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.
Why are the fingernails on my ring fingers weaker than the others?
Mary from Stockton, CA
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.
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.
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.
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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
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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
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)
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)
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)
Jell-o may help with thin nails; also to avoid over filing under your nails as this can remove natural oils that are vital to growing nails. I have been a very bad nail biter for as long as I can remember. I had gel nails here and there; I've noticed a lot of women discourage getting gel nails done. However, my nails were so bad, I barely had a nail bed but I still got the gels done. I had them on for about two months (all the while getting the fill done). The gel nails were removed last week, and my nails were grown past my fingertips! For someone like me who is a bad nail biter, this proved be a great progress. My nails are thin and weak, but I do not overfile them underneath, I keep them as dry as possible, and I refrain from bending them as this makes them more weak than they already are and also cause them to be more prone to breaking as well. I have not yet put a nail strengthener on my nails, but I will be. Also, when I get out of the shower, I push my cuticles back instead of removing them. I know this sums up to what most people whom had commented suggested, but this is what I did and it works for me. All in all, we are all different and different regimens to treat thin nails may work for some but not all.
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
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)
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)
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)
Here's a link that explains soft and brittle nail causes and offers suggestions how to correct.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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?