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Top 10 tips to prevent and repair dry, damaged nails

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Get healthy & beautiful nails

Many women battle dry, damaged nails that split, peel or break. Though sometimes weak nails are hereditary, you can take some measures to help your fingernails grow longer, stronger and healthier. Follow these tips to help prevent and repair damaged, brittle nails.
Woman with great nails
Photo credit: DmitriyTitov/iStock/360/Getty Images

1

Soak nails in olive oil

For weak, thin nails, soak them in extra virgin olive oil 10-15 minutes a day for a month, then twice a week thereafter. This inexpensive home beauty treatment will help fortify damaged, weak or peeling nails.

2

Use a cuticle cream

A soothing cuticle cream like Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme helps nourish dry cuticles and brittle, damaged nails with vitamin E. Massage the cream into and around your nails nightly before going to bed.

3

Wear gloves for chores

When doing the dishes, cleaning and gardening, wear gloves. Detergents and cleansers are harsh on your fingernails, causing drying, spitting and peeling. Soil and gardening can also cause damage to your nails.

4

Find a miracle treatment

Sally Hansen Miracle Cure for Severe Problem Nails works wonders. It stops nails from peeling almost overnight. Using a mineral rich formula with protein and antioxidants, this treatment helps restore dry, splitting, damaged nails. A clear coat of nail polish may also help protect nails.

5

Eat biotin-rich foods

Make sure your diet features foods rich in biotin, such as liver, cooked eggs, whole grains, cauliflower and avocado, among others. In addition to other health benefits, biotin can help strengthen and thicken nails. You can also take a biotin supplement, if necessary.

6

Don't overuse your nails

Your fingernails aren't intended to be tools to open soda cans, dial the phone and other tasks. Instead, use a pen or other object rather than your fingernails to do these everyday tasks.

7

Take a multivitamin daily

Vitamins are essential for your overall well being and can do wonders for your nails too. Lack of vitamin A, vitamin C and calcium can cause dry, brittle nails. Be sure to take a multivitamin and calcium supplements daily. Also be sure to eat a protein and calcium rich diet.

8

Avoid nail polish remover

Don't use nail polish remover more than once or twice a month, if possible. And never use a nail polish remover that contains acetone, which can dry and damage nails. Try Josie Maran's Bear Naked Nail Wipes.

9

Massage your nails

Massaging your fingernails stimulates blood flow to the area, helping them grow longer and stronger. Use a moisturizing lotion and massage hands, cuticles and the nails themselves. Also, get into the habit of applying lotion immediately after washing your hands.

10

Drink lots of water

We all know how good water is for your overall health and that goes for your nails too. Drinking water can help hydrate dry, damaged nails, just like it does for hair and skin.

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