Nail health is important to anyone who does their nails frequently. There’s something about clean, well-groomed nails that make a woman feel put together and complete. Here are 7 ways to get healthy nails naturally.
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Moisturize Your Nails Regularly
Dry, brittle nails are unhealthy nails and are prone to breakage and splitting. You can find a large variety of cuticle oils available at drug stores or beauty supply stores, but I recommend just starting out with the best: jojoba oil. You can make your own nail oil pens using Jojoba oil and buying these empty applicator pens on Amazon. I mix the Jojoba oil with different essential oils, and use the pens to apply the mixture all around my cuticle.
I have seen a huge difference in my nails as I have started diligently moisturizing my nails and cuticles. I recommend giving it a try.
Ditch the Emory Board
You know those orange rough emory boards that every single woman probably owns? Ditch those, friend. That rough grit, combined with the back and forth sawing motion used to file nails, is one of the worst things that you can do to your nails.
Did you know that your nails are technically layers of keratin? That sawing motion, combined with the coarse grit of the emory board, pushes those layers apart, causing damage to the tips of your nails.
Here’s what to do instead:
- Invest in a glass nail file (I like this multi-pack of glass files, that way you can have one in your purse, in the bathroom, etc.)
- Reduce the length of your nails with clippers, reserving the file for shaping only
- Only file in one direction to avoid pushing the layers of your nail apart
Take Collagen Supplements
Collagen is a secret weapon for nail and hair growth. It’s often recommended for joint health and for skin elasticity, but those who take it often report seeing an increase in hair and nail growth. A study by the National Institute of Health found that 88% of patients in a clinical trial for collagen supplements experienced an improvement in nail health within 4 weeks of beginning an oral supplement of collagen in their diet. Overall, 80% of those in the trial were pleased with the results – that sounds like a win to me!
Additional benefit: collagen also is known to impact hair growth, so if you’re wanting to see hair improvements (like I am), you’ll be glad you added this to your daily arsenal. I add 1 tablespoon a day into my morning coffee, and don’t notice a difference in taste at all. I liked this particular 2 pound can of collagen that you can purchase on Amazon.
Don’t like collagen from a can? Add bone broth to your diet.
Use Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover
A major source of damage to nails is acetone nail polish remover. Glitter nail polishes can be more stubborn to remove, so many folks bring out the strong stuff: acetone. Acetone can be super drying to your nails, so it’s a bad choice for those wanting to keep nails strong and healthy.
Switching to a natural nail polish remover is a healthy choice for your nails. This one is cruelty-free and nourishing to your nails. For it to work best, soak a cotton ball in the remover, set it on your nails, allow it to soak for a few minutes to allow the remover to break down the polish, and then wipe off. I love using these silicone caps to hold it on the nails so that the remover has time to work. Many people use tinfoil to hold the cotton balls on, but I like the silicone caps just for times’ sake.
For Healthy Nails, Check Your Diet
Your nails are just another small indicator of what’s going on INSIDE your body. Just like your skin, hair, and appearance can indicate that something isn’t right on the inside of your body, your nails can be telling you that you need to change up your diet.
Some of the best foods for nail health are:
- Dark leafy greens (think kale and spinach)
- Protein (salmon, beef, eggs)
- Oatmeal (has a lot of micronutrients that help make nails and hair stronger)
- Bone broth (contains collagen)
Check out this article from Health magazine about 12 foods to eat for healthy nails and hair.
Take a Hair and Nail Vitamin
Micronutrients impact the overall health of your nails, which is why Biotin hair and nail supplements are becoming more popular. While the Kardashians have made supplements like the “Sugar Bear Hair” popular, adding a hair and nail vitamin can be a great addition to your vitamin regimen.
Biotin, when taken regularly, can help with thinning nails. Remember, supplements are a long term game – it will be at least a month before you begin to see results in your physical appearance.
I like these Biotin gummy vitamins, especially because you can get them either at Walmart OR on Amazon.
Talk to your doctor for the best medical advice, including potential drug interactions with any medications that you are already taking.
Avoid Nail Hardeners
Nail hardeners are readily available, but are they really the best for your nails? Some nail hardeners are good, but you’ll want to be picky with your choices. Many nail hardeners contain formaldehyde or formalin, and other toxic chemicals (read more here). Rather than turning to a temporary fix, it’s better to fix your nail health from the inside.
What are some changes that you are going to make in order to have better nail health? I’d love to hear about your favorite nail health products in the comments.