My Nails Break Easily: What Should I Do?

There are ways to prevent nails from breaking and to heal them.

Broken nails are frustrating, unsightly, and sometimes even painful to deal with. But for many women, dealing with broken nails is a frequent part of daily life. Luckily, there are ways to help prevent nails from breaking and to heal them once they've begun to break. If your nails break easily and you're always clipping away the broken ends of a jagged nail, then these tips are for you.

Take Vitamins

Nails are made out of nutrients that are consumed, either in food or in supplements. Calcium, protein, biotin, vitamin E, and iron are among some of the most important nutrients that the body needs to build healthy nails. Sometimes, when there's a deficiency of any of them, nails suffer and become brittle. Eating more foods that contain these nutrients or taking supplements are two simple ways to boost nail strength.

Hydrate

Hydration is important for your nails, just like it's important for your hair and skin. Dry nails are much more likely to snap off and break because the lack of water in them contributes to a lack of elasticity, making them less flexible. Hydration can be achieved by drinking more water - contributing to your body's overall hydration - and by moisturizing your nails.

Stop Getting Manicures

As fun as nail polish is, it can have a detrimental effect on nail health. Nail polish, fake nails, and nail polish remover all tend to dry out nail, sapping their flexibility and strength. Common manicure practices like cutting cuticles also harm the nail, since cuticles are there to protect the nail bed. A manicure once in a while may not do much harm, but regular salon appointments are likely to contribute to nail damage.

Use Nail Strengtheners

There are specific products on the market meant to help improve nail strength and prevent brittle nail breakages. Most of these function a bit like nail polish in that they are painted onto the nail and left for long periods of time, but rather than drying the nail out, they contain nutrients that improve nail health and ultimately work to make the nail stronger.

Don't Use Nails as Tools

When faced with a stubborn piece of tape to remove or a plastic container to pry open, it can seem much easier to use your fingernails than to search for another tool that might help. However, using your nails roughly like this weakens them and generally makes them more susceptible to breaking and splitting. Protecting your fingernails from trauma is worth taking the few minutes to find the proper tool.

As simple as these five basic steps seem, they can make a significant difference in the breakability of nails. With these small changes, turn your brittle, breakable nails into healthy, strong ones.