Any home remedies for brittle and splitting fingernails?
By Mari from Los Angeles, CA
I also have that problem. My doctor tested me and I have a calcium deficiency. You might try taking OTC calcium citrate. It is more easily absorbed than other calcium. I take it daily and have noticed a big improvement. It does take some time to see the improvement. If you would rather, you could take Tums which is a cheap source of calcium.
Feed store. Pure MSM by the pound. I take 1 teaspoon a day in liquid. Nails have never been stronger. Good for lots of things. Check internet.
Have you had your thyroid checked? Since I got mine regulated, I have actual fingernails for the first time in 20 years or so!
My aunt used to use Knoxx jello and had great strong nails. I think she would make it into a jello, or drink it. Sorry, not real sure but it worked.
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My fingernails are brittle. I get splits and tears easily. They are tiny splits and tears, but make it painful when I pull on a shirt, brush my hair or touch my pets. Ouchie! I have invested in costly clear polish for this purpose, but it has not helped. What do I do?
Try massaging Chap Stick into them. or even olive oil, or Vaseline. I just dab a bit of Chap Stick on each of my nails and then massage. That has really helped my nails. (05/27/2005)
It is really something you will have to live with!
One doctor said it was dry nails. Another doctor said he has the same problem, you live with it.
I have heard taking over the counter vitamin "Biotin" is good for hair and nails. I personally, cannot see the difference. One doctor gave me samples of ELON which is a lanolin based product for nails. They have a website also. It seemed to help, however, a tube of lanolin does the same and is cheaper.
My nails are like paper-thin I have not found anything that will correct the situation. Things don't get better as you age. I am getting more lines in the nail that split now.
My opinion, there is no magic cure. (05/27/2005)
Maybe you should talk with your doctor. In addition, iron and other mineral deficiencies as well as thyroid problems can cause brittle nails. (05/27/2005)
Eat lots of jello, this will harden your nails. (05/27/2005)
I have gotten really good luck taking Biotin. It has strengthened my nails. As far as brittleness is concerned, I suspect that's caused by dryness. Every time you wet your hands, you should apply hand lotion to your nails once they've been dried. I've started doing that and I do believe it's helped. (05/27/2005)
When I went to the Dr. for something totally unrelated, he looked at my throat and said my tongue showed I had a vitamin deficiency, to start taking Centrum Silver and to continue taking it, never quit. After about 3 months I began to notice my fingernails were growing, no longer splitting, they are very strong now, hardly ever even break one.
Also, there is a product called Nail Envy by O.P.I. that helps. I had used this prior to the Centrum and could tell it helped, but if I quit they would start splitting again. You can find it at beauty salons or beauty supply businesses.
By Beverly in TN
I used to have the same problem, but I've found a clear polish product called "NailTec" and I order it online. You can google it and different places will come up that sell it. I get the #2 formula, they have others. I've used it for 2 yrs now and never have problems with my nails anymore. They are thicker and hard. Instead of breaking, I have to cut or file them now to shorten them. (05/27/2005)
Rub cuticle oil into your nails 2-3 times a day. Sally beauty supply has a big bottle of Supernail cuticle oil I think for a couple of dollars. I used to have my license as a managing manicurist.
Good luck!! (05/27/2005)
My nails were not thick at all, almost just a layer of nails at some times. My thyroid Dr. put me on Calcitrol, because tests showed that my body didn't absorb calcium. The Calcitrol allows my body to absorb the calcium now. I've been on these little pills (I take 1 a day) for almost 2 years now. My nails are still not completely recovered, but are harder than they've been in years, especially if I wear nail polish, but that's not good for long periods of time. (05/28/2005)
Also make sure when filing your nails that you move the file in one direction only, not back and forth. I usually go from the outside toward the center of the nail. That might help a little with the rough edges.
Good luck and do be sure to ask your doctor if there's a medical reason for your thin brittle nails. (05/28/2005)
Chap Stick has worked for me for years. Sometimes I rub it all over my hands when they are extra dry. Now I put it on my little granddaughter's little fingers, she has the same problem. Baby oil works to, anything to moisten them. (05/28/2005)
Try an Andrew Lessman supplement from HSN.com
called "Healthy Hair Skin and Nails". Works wonders. I haven't had the thin, peeling, and splitting problem since I started using it. (05/28/2005)
The massaging action brings blood to the nails and helps to strengthen them. I take Biotin every day and it does help to strengthen the nails from the inside of your body, it is a Vitamin D and does help. File in one direction only. I have found the semi-circle nail file from the product T.I.P.S. works wonders. The product does work wonders if you can find it. I also use warm olive oil to massage my nails every evening before bed. My nails would never grow and now I have to clip them as they get so long. That is my tip. The Biotin will take a few months to work, but it does work. It is also inexpensive. Good luck. (05/28/2005)
Brittle nails are due to a lack of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, (the production of this slows down as we age). Because of the lessen hydrochoric acid in the stomach an individual is unable to break down and absorb calcium into the body along with other minerals. Take enzyme supplements with betaine hydorchloride. Do not take this if you have an active ulcer. Usually you will sometimes have some hair loss also since the lack of stomach acid does not allow the breakdown and absorption of vitamin a and minerals. (05/31/2005)
I just posted this message and saw your question as well. First of all, don't eat jello or buy gelatin, etc. Second, I work for FlexiNail, so take that into consideration when reading my answer below (it was for someone that wanted to repair and avoid split nails).
Your nails are probably splitting because the lipids have been stripped out of them (a lot of hand washing, hot or cold weather, etc). They could also be splitting at the ridges in the nails that develop as we age (I'll talk about that more in a second).
Let me first say that unless you are malnourished, taking a vitamin supplement or gelatin product, etc. will not make your nails stronger. By using a nail hardener, you will temporarily get some results, but in a short time your nails will be worse than ever.
You need to condition your nails with a penetrating nail conditioner (not just one that is an oil and sits on the top of the nail). I naturally recommend FlexiNail.
It takes patience as there is no quick fix. As you condition several times a day, if you have existing splits, try to trim the nail back and in a "V" shape at the split. As you old nail grows out, initially keep the nail trimmed back so you help avoid snagging it or ripping it. As the (conditioned) nail grows, gradually make the "V" shape wider and wider until it a very wide "V". Let it grow more and trim back and eventually the "V" will be a normal fingernail trim across. After about two to three months of conditioning and keeping the split nail in this way, the split should be healed.
Further splits will be much less likely to occur because your nail is in a conditioned state. Read the testimonials on our site if you would like some non-biased opinions. Hope things work for you.