Remedies for Brittle Fingernails

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


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For stronger and healthier nails, soak for 3 minutes a day in a solution of 1/2 cider vinegar and 1/2 alcohol.

Also, add ONE drop of formaldehyde in a regular sized nail polish bottle (you can buy small bottle of formaldehyde from local pharmacy) will turn regular polish into "Hard as Nails" polish. It helps strengthen nails and makes them harder to split or crack.

I must stress in this ONE DROP per bottle. Less IS more. I put 5 drops in the first time I tried it and my nails felt like they were shrinking, no kidding. Luckily I had polish remover on hand. It was fine when I got it off though. Not trying to scare anyone, just don't overdo it.

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August 15, 2010

Any home remedies for brittle and splitting fingernails?

By Anonymous from Los Angeles, CA


August 19, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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August 19, 20100 found this helpful
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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.

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August 19, 20100 found this helpful
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Eat pine nuts and sunflower seeds. They will give you stronger nails within a week. Just a mixed handful every day and you'll be amazed at the results.

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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


July 12, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Increase your Biotin dosage. Biotin is really good for nails and hair. I take a multivitamin with Biotin in it but I also take two Biotin tablets at the same time. I take it for my hair but my mother takes the same dosage for her nails (she has weak nails like you described).

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July 14, 20110 found this helpful
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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.

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August 1, 2018

Olive oil is wonderful to use as a moisturizer for your cuticles and fingernails. This is a page about using olive oil on brittle nails.

Closeup of fingers and hands.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

August 15, 2010

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?




Brittle Finger Nails

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)

By Rebecca

Brittle Finger Nails

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)

By Syd

Brittle Finger Nails

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)

Brittle Finger Nails

Eat lots of jello, this will harden your nails. (05/27/2005)

By Annette

Brittle Finger Nails

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)

By Pat Giles

Brittle Finger Nails

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

Brittle Finger Nails

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)

By Linda

Brittle Finger Nails

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)

By Julie

Brittle Finger Nails

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)

By badwater

Brittle Finger Nails

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)

By beanygurl

Brittle Finger Nails

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)

Brittle Finger Nails

Try an Andrew Lessman supplement from
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)

By Holly

Brittle Finger Nails

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 Finger Nails

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)

Brittle Finger Nails

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.

Derek (03/15/2010)

By grapsy

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