We’ve all been there – our nails are just about to reach their desired length when, lo and behold, they begin to chip and crack and peel and, ultimately, need to be chopped right back down to the length they were a month or two ago.
Keeping nails long and strong certainly isn’t an easy task, but it can be done! It’s first important to consider two things when it comes to nail strength and length:
- The ability to have long nails is actually hereditary! If your mom or grandmother had brittle nails, you can blame them for that “brittle nail” gene
- Weak or strong nails are also very telling of what a person’s diet is. If you happen to have a rather poor diet that does not include all of the essential vitamins and nutrients, it’s time to invest in a quality multivitamin. You’d be surprised how quickly you will see results just by changing your diet!
There are some tools that you can utilize to help encourage your nail’s health and growth, no matter what your genetics or diet may be. The most favorite amongst women are:
It’s important to first get one thing straight about nail strengthening products: these products help protect your nail from damage, but it does not actually “strengthen” your nail on any level. Choose a nail strengthening product based the quality of your nails, such as:
Dry and brittle nails: Choose a protein-infused strengthening product. Some of these protein products include digested collagen, hydrolyzed or even just proteins themselves. These will both protect your nail from damage and also from moisture loss, which should help curtail their dry and brittle state.
Soft nails: Soft nails may be hereditary, or they may be a result of one having just had fake nails removed from her natural nails. If you do have soft nails, definitely be on the look out for a formaldehyde strengthener. On a molecular level these strengtheners will actually increase both strength and damage resistance.
NOTE: Formaldehyde has been known to cause severe allergic reactions. If you are allergy prone, or even if you’re not, test out this product in the store before purchase and see if you do have any sort of reaction to it.
Normal Nails: Normal nails are those that are not dry, not brittle, but just can’t seem to extend past a certain length. If this is you, choose a nail strengthener that has a nylon fiber strengthener in it.
There are other preventative measures you can undertake too to protect your nails and help them grow long and strong, such as:
- Keep your hands and nails moisturized! Moisturized hands and nails are far less prone to becoming dry, brittle, and easy to break
- If you are using any sort of cleaning product or solvent, WEAR GLOVES! Even if you are merely washing a dish or two, throw on a pair of gloves to protect your fingers from these damaging and drying products