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What woman doesn’t love having beautiful, long, and strong nails? Trying out all those wonderful nail art tutorials you find on the internet is super fun, or for those of you who don’t enjoy a DIY paint job, there is the blissful feeling of having someone do the hard work for you at a beauty salon. However, many girls are faced with a really annoying problem: the inability to grow their nails. Well, they do grow, obviously, but they break and chip almost immediately, forcing you to trim them and start all over again!
You have probably tried various treatments, but most likely nothing has worked which is why you’re reading this article right now. But before we get to how to strengthen your nails, let’s first see why they need strengthening in the first place.
Why are your nails brittle?
- You bite your nails
Biting your nails is a very big no-no. Not only because it makes them look, well, not nice, but also because it can lead to bacterial infections that can slow down the growth of your skin and nails. One thing that may help you stop this habit is keeping them polished: then you will probably make an effort not to ruin them.
- You skip the base coat
Don’t skip the base coat! It protects the top layer of the nail from the nail polish.
- You chip off your nail polish
This is another bad habit. Don’t chip off your nail polish because you’re also probably removing the topmost layer of your nail as well, which makes for weak and brittle nails.
- You use gel and acrylics too often
Going to the salon to get gel or acrylic nails is all well and good if you’re not doing it too often. Your nails need some time off to grow in strength and if you don’t give it to them, their natural growth process will be negatively affected.
Which vitamins help your nails?
Just like it’s very important for your general health, your diet has a big impact on the health of your nails as well. These vitamins help them grow stronger.
- Vitamin H (Biotin)
Biotin is very beneficial for your nails, hair, and skin. The recommended daily dose of this vitamin is 30-40 micrograms and you can consume it either through supplements or food. Some foodstuffs that contain biotin are bananas, avocado, and salmon.
- Folic acid (Vitamin B9)
Folic acid is necessary for cell growth, which makes it helpful in the growth of your nails too. You can consume your daily dose of 400-500 mcg folic acid by eating leafy greens, eggs, beets, and citrus fruits.
- Vitamin A
Vitamin A has a dual function: it strengthens your tissues, bones, teeth, and nails; and it’s an antioxidant, which means it helps in the elimination of damaging toxins from the body. Some products rich in this vitamin are grapefruit, spinach, yams, apples, eggs, liver, and milk.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C is excellent for fighting off bacteria and it’s a strong antioxidant as well. The human body doesn’t produce this vitamin which is why it’s very important to consume it through supplements or foods such as blueberries, citrus fruits (oranges, limes, and lemons), tomatoes, leafy greens, and strawberries.
How to make your nails grow faster and stronger?
Now then, here we are at last. Here are some things you can do to improve the health of your nails.
1. Lemon juice
Lemons are rich in vitamin C which, as we mentioned earlier, is very good for your nails. However, lemons have another purpose as well: they act as a bleaching agent and they can remove the yellow stains from your nails. Be careful not to use lemon if you have cuts or hangnails, though – it will sting.
- Method 1
Pour 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a bowl and mix. Place in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Soak your nails in the solution for about 10 minutes. Repeat daily.
- Method 2
Rub a slice of lemon on your nails for about 5 minutes. Wash off with warm water. Repeat daily.
2. Coconut oil
Coconut oil improves your nails’ growth thanks to the nutrients it contains. These serve to moisturize and nourish both the nails and the skin around them. The oil is also used in treating fungal infections.
Pour some extra virgin coconut oil into a bowl and warm it up a little. Massage it into your nails and fingers using circular motions. This treatment will improve your blood circulation and promote nail growth. Repeat every night before going to bed.
3. Orange juice
Oranges and the vitamin C they contain boost the production of collagen, a protein that helps keep the nails strong and healthy.
Squeeze one orange and pour the juice into a bowl. Soak your nails for 10 minutes. Wash your hands and moisturize them. Repeat daily.
4. Olive oil
Olive oil can help keep your nails moisturized and nourished. Besides, it contains vitamin E which improves your blood circulation and nail growth.
Warm up the olive oil. Massage it into your nails and cuticles for about 5 minutes. Put on a pair of gloves and leave them overnight. Or, if you prefer, soak your nails in warm olive oil for 15-20 minutes. Repeat daily.
Which foods are good for your nails?
Your diet is crucial for your health. Topical treatments are definitely helpful, but eating healthy is another very important factor that leads to healthy and shiny nails.
Eggs are rich in proteins which are essential for growth and have a big role in strengthening your body, nails, and hair. They also contain vitamin D, B12, and biotin.
Beans are also rich in biotin. One study discovered that with a biotin-rich diet the nail thickness was increased by 25%!
Oats are an excellent source of copper and zinc, two minerals vital for your bones and nails. Instead of cereal, have a bowl of oatmeal with fresh fruit for breakfast.
- Sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds contain a lot of essential nutrients, including copper and manganese. These minerals ensure the health of your connective tissues, bones, and cartilage. Just sprinkle some seeds onto your bread or on a salad and you’re good to go!
Seafood lovers will be happy to know that salmon is a great source of nutrients that strengthen your bones and nails. This fish is also rich in vitamin D which boosts your bone growth.
That’s it! That’s the basic guide to strong and healthy nails. Stick to these recommendations and you won’t be disappointed in the results!