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Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails

June 25, 2015

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.

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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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19 Questions

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May 5, 2005

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

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May 5, 20050 found this helpful

I use "Hard As Nails" on my fingernails. Its a clear fingernail polish but it makes your nails strong. You can find it just about anywhere.

My mother always said that eating Jell-O is good for your fingernails too. I don't know if its true or not but its worth a try.

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By Darrel (Guest Post)
May 6, 20050 found this helpful

try soaking your nails in salt water two to three times a week, take a bowl of water fill it just enough to cover your fingers use about two tablespoons of salt preferably sea salt not iodized salt plain salt is fine, do this weekly until you find your nails getting stronger and they will also grow long, do this just before going to bed. then after you get the desired results maintain this about once or twice weekly, I do this on my nails and have achieved rave results also use lotions on your hands so your cuticles don't dry out as salt can dry them.

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By Barbara (Guest Post)
May 23, 20050 found this helpful

I also have weak fingernails yjat have ridges and peal. I would love to know why this happens and how can I fix it?

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May 24, 20050 found this helpful

Take calcium supplements. Or add more calcium to your diet. There are several other vitamins that help in nail growth, but I cannot think of them offhand, but calcium is definately the main one.

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By lee by the sea (Guest Post)
June 24, 20060 found this helpful

I am 37 years old and have always had weak finger nails. When I was about 14 , I asked my mom why my nails wouldn't grow very long, she went out and bought me Gelatin vitamins (tablets), I swear I noticed a differance the VERY NEXT DAY !!! It was just ever so slight , but from there, they kept getting stronger. You really do have to take them religiously or if you skip 1 or 2 days, they go back to how they used to be. It didn't make them grow to the sky, but it kept them hard and at a length that I could actually choose. I quit taking them, mostly because I would keep forgetting to buy the vitamins and then I did acrillics, and then I just said "forget it, I'm done !! I asked my mom how she knew that and she said her mother told her the exact same thing !!

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By Susan (Guest Post)
February 11, 20071 found this helpful

According to Heloise, white iodine applied daily for a week, then once a week thereafter will do wonders for "abused" nails--acrylic, gel, etc.
I am trying it right now. Hopefully, I will see results soon.
You can easily order white iodine online. Good luck.

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January 23, 2015

How to make fingernails thicker and stronger?

By Mary

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July 17, 2013

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.

Tips For The Perfect Nails

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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

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February 1, 2012

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.

Answers

February 4, 20122 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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July 4, 2011

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 Elena Kesh from Skopje, Macedonia

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August 21, 2015

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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June 2, 2012

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

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February 18, 2007

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

Mary from Stockton, CA

Answers

February 18, 20070 found this helpful

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.
Tina

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By Cole (Guest Post)
February 19, 20070 found this helpful

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.

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November 7, 2013

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

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May 23, 2017

Applying garlic directly to your nails may help to strengthen them. This is a page about use garlic for stronger nails.

Three heads of garlic on a wooden surface.

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December 12, 2016

This is a page about what causes thin fingernails?. If you have thin nails it can be frustrating to determine why.

A broken and thin thumbnail.

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September 22, 2016

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

Remedies for Brittle Fingernails

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