Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How To Have Strong Nails

It's extremely annoying when your nails are finally looking good and a little bump sends one ricocheting off into the distance. Why are nail perfect one day and not the next?

This article was in my paper a couple of weeks ago and I thought it contained some helpful advice. I hope you gets some good tips from it.

Did you know that your nails are actually 18% water? They are made up of millions of tiny keratin cells packed firmly together. The cells produce keratin fibres that cross each other like a net and keep the whole arrangement hard. Your nail strength depends on how the cells are arranged, ow well they stick to each other and how well those keratin fibres interconnect.

Lack of moisture makes nails snap off. Brittle nails typically don't flex and feel very hard. Most people notice the problem gets worse when there isn't as much moisture in the air. It's also a very common problem whose hands are in and out of water.
Hand moisturisers that contain Lanolin and Vitamin E are excellent for brittle nails. Rub into nails and cuticles straight after a shower to prevent moisture loss. Keep a tube wherever you spend the most time and apply whenever you remember.
Wear gloves for cleaning. Nail polish can also help to seal in moisture but avoid any quick-dry formulas which can make the nail cells even drier.
Taking 2.5 milligrams of the vitamin Biotin daily can help but don't expect to see improvements overnight. It can take 6 months for the nails to grow through to the tip.

The average fingernail is 0.5mm thick, but some people's are thinner, and bendy nails are a sign you have a looser arrangement of cells. The Keratin fibres are fewer in number than average or the nails are thinner because they don't have as many cells.
Look for nail hardeners that contain Formaldehyde. This stimulates keratin cells to produce more fibres and cross link each other to make the nail stronger.
You will find formaldehyde in many strengthening products but don't use it *all* the time. It can make nails too strong, which can create problems such as nails lifting off the bed. Using it for just a few weeks will help.

Splitting happens from repetitive wetting and drying of hands over a long period of time. Even children's nails will split during Summer when they are in and out of swimming pools or even if they have a bath everyday.
Exposure to household cleaning products can also cause the nails layers to separate. It rarely has anything to do with vitamin deficiencies.
Ridges in the nail are also caused by the same reasons. Wear gloves whenever cleaning, apply nail polish to protect and keep nails short until they recover.

The most common cause of white spots is an injury to the nail matrix, which lies under the skin. When the matrix gets damaged, the injury leaves a scar on the keratin cells, which appears white when the cells grow through to the nail.


So, to me, the advice for most of the problems can be cured with the same fix.....wear gloves when cleaning or doing dishes and wear nail polish!!

I did heed the advice for the Vitamins and am now taking a 'Hair, Skin and Nails' tablet everyday. And for months I have been religiously using a nail hardening base coat....nail lifting advice be damned! I have noticed a difference with my peeling nails doing these 2 things alone. I also 'seal' my nails every time I file them with my glass nail file. I also try not to use nail clippers when shortening the length of my nails as this causes splitting, guaranteed, every time.

Did anyone else get any good tips from this article?


  1. Thankyou for posting this! Very helpful:)

  2. Great tips! I try to follow them as much as I can. The only thing that surprised me is the water in the nails! I didn't think it matters for them. I mean, I try to drink as much as I can, for my skin and diet, but I didn't connect it with the state of my nails. And I do think the gloves and hand creme are basically #1 thing to do for good nails. Also cuticle balm, Badger helped me loads with nail splitting.

  3. I do everything but wear gloves when cleaning. I, for some reason, always catch my thumb nail on my bathroom faucet. I end up chipping my nail.

  4. What about yellowing nails? Do you wear a basecoat every time you put polish on to keep them from getting yellow? Mine are a little yellow these days. Which, of course, looks terrible when I don't have polish on but I know I should probably give them a break. What a catch-22!

  5. YOur welcome Kate!

    Ulmeil. I try to follw them as close as I can also, it's not easy sometimes!

    Lucy. Gloves I absolutely detest. I refuse to wear them...I really should relegate the washing up to husband.

    Kate. My nails are pretty good considering they are never without polish. I wear a thick base coat, Nail Tek Foundation II, which I credit to my non stained nails. If yellowing is an issue, there is a product on ebay you can purchase called Bubble White and that apparently works wonders. Also scrub them with whitening toothpaste or lemon juice. I also give them a light buffing with a file if I notice them starting to turn a yellowish color.

  6. thanks for such an informative post. I do have splitting nails... they looks kind of gross after splitting. I am using Seche Vete nail hardener from last 2 months but seeing no difference...what do I do now?? Can you suggest a good nail hardener?

  7. Preciouspearl. I use NailTek Foundation II and find that this helps my splitting nails enormously. Use do not use nail clippers to shorten nails, this if I do so every single nail peels all over again for months.

  8. I only ever file my nails- I never use those blasted nail clippers for the exact reason you said- they *always* split!
    And for some reason, I've noticed that rounding off my nails helps in the splitting/catching/ripping department. I love to have squared off but nicely rounded edge nails- but they'd constantly break on me. It didn't matter if they were polished or not, I'd look at one of 'em wrong and *split*. It was maddening! Now that I have them oval shaped- they've all grown the same length, and I've only had one split in the past weeks. And that I was able to save by filing and using a quick-dry craft cement I have! I couldn't find my nail glue, and was desperate! The beauty of it is it cleans right off and up with acetone :)

    You have brought up some great tips here too though- I really need to pay more attention to my neglected cuticles. No matter what I do, they're *always* dry!

  9. This post is so informative. Since i was a little girl iv loved long, polished nails and as soon as i got permission i started growing mine and painting them. I however have a few issues im dealing with as regards my nails:

    1. My polish doesnt last up to a week Most times it chips after a day or 2 and this is very annoying esp cos my toe polish still looks good sometimes up to a month.

    2. I know its not good to peel off polish from your nails but sometimes they peel right off my nails entirely and it looks rather irritating having them like that and so since im at work or at an outing, i just peel the rest off so they at least match.

    3. My nails peel after applying polish to them for about a month or less. After this, im usually nail polish free for about a month so the nails can grow back. I dont use clippers on my nails cos they break a lot, i just use a file to make them all the same length so i dont know why they peel so often.

    4. Iv heard of some Seche Vite and NailTek Foundation II but i cant get them here in Nigeria and sometimes it justs makes me want to give up the whole nail journey and i absolutely abhor false nails on myself even though iv seen some really beautiful ones on other people.

    SO im pretty desperate and i dont know what to do anymore but i love painting my nails and growing them too.

    Did i mention that i absolutely love your blog? i became a follower when you were still doing mainly Konad nail designs and i love it even more now that you are doing a lot of Vintage posts.

  10. Snarky. I went oval a few months ago and have also had less breakages. It also suits my vintage look better. I use Burts almond hand creme and find that my cuticles drink that up, I love it.

    Hey Barby123. Thanks so much for regularly commenting on my blog, I love your comments and think you are gorgeous!
    AS for your nails, nail polish I have found only lasts a couple of days no matter what the brand, so you arent different from anyone else there. As for peeling whenever you use polish, maybe its the way you are filing? I find that if I use a steel file I will always get peeling nails. But not so much with a glass or crystal file. I also 'seal' the tip of each nail with the file once I've finished with the shaping. Im not sure how to explain this but Google "sealing nail' or something like that for a video explanation.
    SEche and Nail Tek also are not available in Australia so I purchase mine on ebay. I try to find a seller who sells both items then purchase a few of each at a time.
    Stick with natiral nails for as long as you can. Ive had acrylics and they absolutley wrecked my nails for about a year after I had them removed. Ugh!
    I'm glad you like my vintage posts, vintage is my passion so Im glad I can show it a little bit sometimes on this blog.

  11. Hi!
    The post is very helpfull. I have bendy nails and I've never known why this occurs. Finally I know and I can give a solution because I don't like my right hand nails.
    Thanks for the information and for the blog, I've recently discovered it and I love your posts.

  12. istarh. So glad this post helped you!

  13. I checked out a video on how to seal nails. il definitely try it out and let you know how it goes. thanks


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