How to get strong and healthy nails

How To Get Strong Nails

Are you on a mission to grow long, strong and healthy nails? Maybe you’re keen to learn some new tips for repairing flaky and brittle nails after removing acrylics? Or do your nails take a battering from daily life, through activities such as typing?

We’re here to help you achieve the talons of your dreams. So if you want to know how to grow strong nails and keep them in tip-top shape, then read on. We chat about the right vitamins for strong nails, and all the different at home practices you can do to look after your nails.

Vitamins for strong nails

The foundation of healthy nails relies on an intake of the correct vitamins and nutrients to enable the growth and repair process. Here are the key vitamins you should be including in your diet, or taking as a supplement, to strengthen your fingernails:

  • Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 aids iron absorption, which is a key mineral in maintaining nail health overall – try adding more poultry, dairy and fish to your diet for a Vitamin B12 boost. Alternatively, many women find that taking a daily B-complex helps in many areas of their life, including energy, as well as nail health.
  • Folate (Vitamin B9): Folate contributes to the growth of new nail cells and can be found in beans, pulses and leafy green veggies. There are many reasons why your meals should be laden with these wonderful foods, so consider your nails as one of them.
  • Biotin (Vitamin B7): This important nutrient encourages the growth of healthy nails and hair. Consuming Biotin-rich cooked eggs and oily fish such as sardines will help to revitalise flaky nails. Biotin is particularly hard for vegans to get in their diet, and is another reason why a B-complex supplement may help.
  • Vitamin C: An essential component in the production of collagen (needed for skin, hair and nail health), Vitamin C is vital. A lack of Vitamin C can result in brittle nails and reduced growth. Good sources of Vitamin C include citrus fruits, peppers and tomatoes.

To give your nails an additional boost, use a daily Keratin treatment to help strengthen and restore your nails. We recommend CND’s Rescue RXX care pen, which has a blend of jojoba oil to condition the nails and Keratin to help damaged nails feel stronger while restoring moisture. It comes in a handy pen brush, so you can pop in your handbag for on-the-go applications. 

Hydration, hydration, hydration

The secret of growing strong nails is to keep your cuticles hydrated. Invest in a cuticle oil and use it daily. We love the OPI Prospa Nail & Cuticle Oil. Or for a home remedy alternative, rub a small amount of Vaseline or coconut oil into each nail bed every evening before you go to bed and leave it to work its magic overnight. Healthy and soft cuticles also help your nails to look neat and tidy.

Dehydration is the most common cause of weak fingernails, so try to include at least eight glasses of water in your daily routine. You can also choose hydrating snacks, such as watermelon or cucumber. Not only will your nails grow stronger, but you’ll get a wellbeing boost too. Keep a water bottle on the go and you’ll find it easier to consume all that water!

In the wake of the pandemic, we are all using hand sanitiser more regularly than ever before. If used too often, sanitisers can dry out nails causing them to peel and flake. We’re not saying don’t use hand sanitisers – we all need to stay safe – but try to replace the lost moisture as much as possible. Use a hydrating hand cream every time you use hand sanitiser and remember to apply over your nails too. We also recommend using the NEOM Perfect Night’s Sleep Hand Balm just before bed.

Keep your nails short and neat

Long nails are more likely to catch and tear, so try cutting your nails a little shorter while you build up strength in them. Keep your nails neat with a soft file to gently round the edges and prevent tears. A coarse nail file can leave weak nails jagged and snagged, so choose your filing tools carefully! Indeed, if your lifestyle subjects your nails to regular beating, you may find that keeping them shorter helps overall – you can always apply falsies for special occasions!

Minimise exposure to water

We know we’ve just told you to keep your nails hydrated, but when your hands are soaked in water for extended periods, it can cause nails to weaken and bend. Long soaks in the bath or trips to the swimming pool can dehydrate your skin and nails. So remember to slather on the moisturiser afterwards to protect your fingernails.

However, the good news is that this is a great reason to get someone else to do the washing up! Otherwise you should invest in a pair of rubber gloves to keep your nails from being exposed to the water.

Cut back on acrylic nails

It’s tempting to hide weak and brittle nails with an acrylic manicure – and the results always look fabulous. But below the acrylics, your natural nails cannot breathe and can start to soften and peel. Removing acrylics also involves soaking your fingertips in acetone, which further dries out the nail. 

We suggest keeping acrylic nails for special occasions or alternating with a classic manicure which is kinder to weak and brittle nails. Between manicures, give your nails a chance to breathe and nourish them with cuticle oil to encourage stronger growth.

Add a base coat and topcoat

If your nails are on the weak side, using a nail strengthening base coat can add a protective barrier against snags and breaks. Adding a glossy top coat will help to protect your manicure from chipping and peeling so that it lasts longer – and a longer-lasting polish will mean fewer removals and less exposure of the nails to dehydrating acetone.

Call in the experts to get strong nails at home 

Regular nail care is the best way to achieve healthy, strong nails that you can be proud of. If you need a little help, our skilled mobile nail technicians are on hand to provide classic manicures, gel manicures and gel polish removal all in your own home.

Book a home manicure with the Secret Spa nail professionals and enjoy a home-based premium manicure to help keep your natural nails feeling strong and looking healthy.