As the winter season is almost here, brittle nails or peeling nails are a problem that is common for most of us. Your hair and nails speak a lot about your overall health. Your nails need the same nourishment and moisture as your skin. Your nails can get brittle, weak, and dry due to various reasons.
Having brittle nails can make your hands look very unattractive and dingy. Keratin is responsible for the formation of your nails, hair, and skin, it is also known to help in protecting your nails from damage.
You can surely repair brittle nails at home. It is very important to strengthen brittle nails as they determine our overall health. It is important to know the causes of brittle nails, it can range from a lack of moisture to some underlying health conditions. Let us first understand what causes brittle nails.
What causes brittle nails?
Too little or too much moisture
A robust amount of moisture works well for your skin and your nails. Sometimes, when you put a little too much moisture on your hands it causes your nails to become brittle because of the chemicals inside the moisturizers.
On the other hand, having too little moisture on your nails can cause it to become brittle. So, make sure you put a normal amount of moisture on your hands and nails.
Low thyroid level
Poor levels of the thyroid hormone which is called “hypothyroidism,” reduces the amount of sweat your body produces. Low levels of this hormone in the body mean less sweat. Sweat is responsible to keep the body moisturized. With a small amount of sweat, your hair, skin, and nails get dry.
Anemia happens when you have less red blood cell count. It means that you don’t have enough iron in your blood. It happens when you lose too much blood from your body. Anemia is responsible for your brittle and peeling nails.
Lack of nutrients
Brittle nails may also mean that you are not getting enough vitamins, minerals, and nutrients which your body requires. Low levels of nutrients like calcium and vitamins can lead to scaly, itchy, dry hair, and brittle nails.
Certain chemicals may be harmful to your nail health. The chemicals in your nail products like nail paints can sometimes cause your nails to become brittle. Even some products built to be used on nails can have harmful effects, making nails more brittle or vulnerable to infections and fungus.
Age is also an important factor in making your nails brittle. Age can influence the vitality of a person’s nails. Nails generally decline in strength over time, which can induce them to break more easily.
How to strengthen brittle nails?
You can use some care tips to externally fix brittle nails. However, adding in a nutritional diet may also help you in achieving the essential moisture and nourishments your nails require. Let’s understand some of these care tips to repair brittle nails at home.
Avoid artificial nails
Artificial nails are meant to enhance your nails’ appearance but it is too harmful to your nails. Artificial or acrylic nails make your nails thin and the chemicals in the nail paints and glues can damage your nail health. So, avoid putting on artificial nails if you already have brittle nails.
Avoid growing your nails too long
Trimming and filing your nails regularly is a good habit to add to your routine. If you have brittle nails, you should keep your nails in good health and avoid making them long. Use sharp clippers or nail scissors to trim your nails. File them into a curve in the ends.
Use nail hardeners
A nail hardener contains calcium for soft or weak nails and nail conditioners for brittle nails. It adds a balance of structure to the nail plate surface. Using a nail hardener is a good option to prevent your nails from getting brittle.
Using a moisturizer designed especially for your hands gives proper moisture not just on your hands but also on your nails. Lotions with alpha-hydroxy acids or lanolin can be beneficial for brittle and fragile nails caused by dryness.
Your nails can get dry after doing household chores. Wearing gloves, such as dishwashing gloves when you are washing dishes will help your hands stay clean and protected. Gloves can also protect your hands and nails from brutal chemicals, such as detergents and cleaning liquids.
Your diet is also very important in maintaining your nail health. You are what you eat! If your diet is healthy, your overall health is going to be super. So, consider adding nutrients to your diet to have great overall health for your nails and body. A good diet may help you fix brittle nails and peeling nails.
Add in protein
Keratin which is responsible for the growth of hair, skin, and nails can be consumed by foods that contain proteins. Keratin is made up of proteins. Consuming a good amount of protein is essential for boosting keratin production, maintaining and protecting your nails. You can consume protein in a lot of foods such as meat, chicken, fish or seafood, milk, yogurt, cheese, etc.
Iron deficiency or anemia is caused by the lack of iron in our blood cells. Having anemia can give rise to brittle nails. To naturally fix brittle nails, it is very important to consume iron in your diet. Without it, you may feel weak and you will have bad nail health. For increasing the iron concentration in your body you can eat dark leafy vegetables like spinach, dry fruits like nuts and raisins, peas, etc.
Taking supplements is not bad. Studies indicate that consuming a daily dose of biotin can condense and strengthen your nails. Biotin offers a wide range of benefits to your nails and hair. It takes up to 6 months to show the desired results. Other supplements to consider include colloidal minerals, gelatin, and calcium.
Brittle nails can be fixed at home by protecting them and conducting proper care of your nails. If it does not get better, ask your doctor as brittle nails can be a sign of any underlying health issue.