Weak & Brittle Nails

Hi Guys, please help. I have stopped using gel nails recently and have found my nails have become quite weak and brittle. How can I get them to come back stronger and healthier as soon as possible? Susan.

Brittle, flaking and chipping nails is quite a common issue for our subscribers and one we are quite happy to guide you on. We have broken down our advise to you into 6 super easy to follow steps.

Step One: Use cuticle oil daily. Ragged cuticles are one thing, but dry brittle nails will only lead to splitting and chipping - not cool when you've spent an hour or so primping, perfecting and painting - so a daily slathering of cuticle oil to repair, nourish and moisturise is essential. We advise using CND solar oil nail and cuticle conditioner.

Step Two: Consider taking a biotin supplement. Studies show that brittle nails prone to peeling and breakage could be a sign of Biotin deficiency, so it might be a good idea to supplement your diet with an extra dose of the essential B vitamin. You can also get what you need from your diet by topping up on such food as salmon, avocados, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, and nuts and seeds.

The B vitamin is one of the top picks for strengthening nails. Along with supplements, you can also get these internal benefits by focusing on incorporating biotin-rich and collagen-synthesizing foods in your diet, such as salmon, avocados, sweet potatoes,

leafy greens, and nuts and seeds.

Another good option? Collagen. An essential protein for hair, skin, and nails. We have recommended NeoCell super collagen powder previously. Please read the directions before use.

Step Three: Invest in a soft nail file. You might have heard that glass nail files are better for filing with, but while they're pretty, longer wearing and easy to clean, it pays to invest in a 'soft' file.

Step Four: Say farewell to your acetone-packed nail polish remover. When your manicure shows signs of chipping, it's all too easy to pick up any old bottle of nail polish remover - guilty as charged. But those containing high concentrations of acetone (the potent solvent that is responsible for dissolving nail polish quickly) is super-harsh on fragile nails and can dry them out almost instantly - cue peeling, splitting and those unsightly white, mottled marks. Your best bet? To go acetone-free, there are heaps of gentle yet effective formulas out there with the muscle to whip off remnants of polish in moments. Try this amazing little product.

Step Five: Use a nail strengthener packed with keratin. Nail strengtheners can be hit and miss, often making nails so hard that they end up completely breaking off - but that's where keratin comes in. Found naturally in nails, it's responsible for making them flexible - but don't let that word put you off. It doesn't mean they'll be thin, fragile or bendy, but fortified and much less likely to chip.

We have two recommendations for you. Firstly, it's OPI envy. It’s “transformative” for thin nails. You can use it on its own to strengthen nails (it remains clear and won’t turn yellow) or it works equally well as a base coat with benefits.

Secondly is the nailtiques range. There are 4 main Nailtiques Formulas and each offers it’s own special combinations of ingredients which caters to those looking for answers to their individual and varied nail care needs. We have reviewed each in depth elsewhere on this site but as a summary;

Formula 1 is recommended for nails that are naturally healthy or for nails that have benefited from using formula 2. We have found that when used as a progression from formula 2 and 3 that it really helps former brittle nails to maintain their strength.

Before progressing to formula 1 soft, peeling, bitten, weak or thin nails need to be addressed by using formula 2 or formula 2 plus (excessively weak nails) and once the desired results are achieved, users can then graduate to formula 1.

Formula 3 is for naturally hard and dry hails. It is similar in every other way to formulas 1 and 2.

Step Six: Wear gloves when handling any chemicals, doing the dishes or hand-washing clothes to avoid water exposure. Steer clear of alcohol-based hand sanitisers. They’re very drying. Instead, wash hands with moisturising soap. Keep your nails short to minimise surface area where water and chemicals can be absorbed.

Thank you for your query Susan and the team hopes our recommendations help your nails to get back on the right track.