Brittle nails are just as annoying as weak nails. If you struggle to get your fingernails to a length you aspire to, or you are finding that they are starting to chip and break during pregnancy, luckily there are plenty of natural ways to take the brittle, dry element out of your nails and soften them up, and allow them to become strong and healthy.
How to make brittle nails stronger
Nails are made from keratin, a protein found in the skin and hair. Living cells in the fingers make the protein, which is then pushed towards the ends of the fingers where it hardens.
Several factors, including age, the environment and health can contribute to weak, brittle nails but there are ways to strengthen them using natural methods.
Here are 10 ways to make brittle nails stronger during pregnancy
- Protect them: Protecting the nails from the elements is one of the best ways to get strong, healthy nails. Whether you are outdoors gardening or inside cleaning up, consider wearing gloves.
- Keep them short: Trim nails to a short, squarish shape with slightly rounded tops. Use a nail clipper when nails are softer
- Keep them smooth: Gently file nails with a fine nail file to remove snags or rough spots.
- Moisturize: Apply a good quality moisturizing cream on your fingers and nails before going to bed and after you wash your hands.
- Look after cuticles: Massage cream into the cuticles. Remember to choose an organic moisturiser which contains natural ingredients and do not have any toxic chemicals, pesticides or herbicides in their production.
- Coconut oil: You can always soak your fingernails in luke warm salty water and after you have wiped clean and dry, rub in a little coconut oil or if you prefer to, take a cotton ball and immerse it in coconut or olive oil and gently wipe it on your brittle fingernails.
- Vitamin E Oil: Often the main culprit behind brittle nails is lack of moisture. Vitamin E oil is a great remedy to keep your nails moisturized and hydrated. It will also help strengthen and nourish your nails and cuticles. Just break open a capsule and apply the oil to your nails before going to bed. Gently massage for a few minutes. After a couple of weeks you will notice the changes.
- Lemon juice: Harsh nail polishes and removers will often leave your nails feeling quite dry, even contribute to them chipping and peeling and let’s not forget about that yellow tinge, a nasty nail polish side effects when pregnant. The universal and totally natural solution for this is just way too simple! Lemon juice! Squeeze the juice out, dip a cotton pad in it, then swipe each nail. Let it dry on your nails, then rinse your hands in lukewarm water.
- Avoid water: Keeping hands clean is important however over washing them can cause brittle nails to damage further. When expose your nails to water, they absorb the water, but eventually the water diffuses back out. The constantly changing water content makes your nail’s cells expand and contract, which causes strain overtime and makes them brittle. A simple, preventive action to remedy brittle nails is simply to wash your hands less, and when you wash them, don’t have them under water for too long.
- Don’t buff nails: Buffing is used to even out ridged fingernails. What most women don’t know is that ridges in nails are a healthy part of the finger and the thickest part of the nails are the healthiest parts. The dips are actually deficits in thickness. Therefore, when you buff your nails off, you’re buffing down the stronger, healthier portion of the nail.
Tip: If you are looking for organic products look out for ‘certified organic’, which means that you can be assured that the product has ingredients are truly natural, chemical free & effective.
Products to avoid
Remember to always avoid using acetone regularly (or at all) as it can actually strip the natural oils from your fingernails and it possible, avoid using nail polish. Whilst there are plenty of safe nail polishes to use when pregnant, sometimes natural is better.
Are brittle nails diet related?
Dieticians believe that brittle nails are also caused by lack of vitamins and minerals; especially zinc. There are so many simple way to introduce more zinc into your diet. Take a look at foods that contain zinc.