Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old. –Franz Kalfa
Beauty has been defined in numerous ways, each one more profound than the other. But the true essence of beauty lies in loving your body and taking proper care of it. Of course, a bit of imperfection adds more attractiveness to the femininity of womanhood. Yet, the best gift you ought to give yourself is self-love. In our extremely busy schedule, we tend to overlook little things. And later we regret it. Especially, our nails.
We look after our skin and hair but give minimal importance towards the proper grooming of our nails. Our nails are made up of alpha-keratin (Protein). It grows at an average of 3mm in a month. But how often do we give them the nourishment?
Just like other parts of our body, nails also get dry and infected. Sometimes, the nails go pale and thin, the texture is also lost and it becomes fragile. This is because of not getting the adequate amount of nutrition. Among all, the most suffered problem is that of brittle nails. Sadly, women suffer from Onychorrhexis (brittle nails) more than men. Since nails are treated as an indicator of overall health, one must be aware of nail disorders.
Why do nails break?
Our nails hint a lot about our lifestyle. Healthy nails are a replica of good health and fitness. On the other hand, thin and brittle nails might cause discomfort and be a result of improper attention towards our well being. Here are few reasons that tend to breakage of our nails.
- Vitamin, Protein And Iron Deficiency:- If your body lacks sufficient amount of nutrients (vitamins, protein, and iron) then both fingernails and toenails will start appearing weak and break. It is necessary to add eggs, fish, chicken, nuts, whole grains, bananas etc in your daily diet, Along with that, lack of iron, Vitamin B, C, D or E might cause nails to break.
- Dehydration:- Our body is 60% water and we must have more than 3 liters of water in a day. Not drinking enough water is also one of the major causes of unhealthy nails.
- Moisturising in the right way:- Moisture is both good and bad. While too much of dryness will lead to irritation, too much of wetness will also weaken the nails. So it is important to maintain proper moisture.
- Excessive use of cosmetics:- Make-up is never bad. Rather, it refines the beauty. But knowing what product you’re using is a must. Many nail polishes contain harmful chemicals. Apart from that, trimming them in the wrong way can lead to damage to nails. So will cutting the cuticles.
What Causes Brittle Nails?
Onychorrhexis or brittle nails are the most common nail disorder. The splits and longitudinal ridging are signs of brittle nails. It is not a disease, but a result of aging, sometimes brittle nails occur in young people and become a symptom of some underlying disease.
- Hypothyroidism:- Low thyroid hormones production causes hypothyroidism. Even if it can be treated after being on medication for a lifetime, the disease weakens the nails. People suffering from hypothyroidism are prone to fungal infections in nails. Their nail bed also splits from the nail plate and causes other problems.
- Excessive Use of Nail Paint Remover:- Repeated use of nail polishes and other chemicals don’t let our nails to breathe. The nail paint contains harmful chemicals but the worse effect is done by the nail polish removers. Most of them are filled with acetone which dried the nails and makes it brittle.
- Harmful UV Rays:- Even nails get damaged by the harmful rays of Sun. The upper part of the nail (nail plate) can become brittle upon constant exposure to UV rays. So it is crucial to protect them from UV rays and properly moisturize them.
- Vitamin And Iron Deficiency:- Vitamin H, commonly known as Biotin is an essential vitamin for skin, hair, and nails. Vitamin and iron are important for healthy growth of nails. Not having sufficient amount of Vitamin can halt the growth of nails. Whereas, iron deficiency can result in less amount of hemoglobin and bad nails. Having a balanced diet containing all the nutrients is very much important.
Importance Of Vitamins for nails– Vitamins are organic compounds required for the healthy functioning of our body. There are 13 vitamins which play a vital role for humans. Out of which, Biotin or Vitamin B7 is extremely important for nails. The lack of inadequate amount of vitamins leads to weakening of nails over time. It is necessary to look after the texture of finger and toenails. Though vitamin deficiency is not very common, it is still one of the causes of nail breakage.
To add Biotin in your everyday diet, you must have green peas, sweet potatoes, green vegetables, nuts, oats, almonds and other such food items on a regular basis. Eggs, Salmon, and avocados are also rich in Biotin. Alternatively, one can consume biotin supplements as per physician’s recommendation. So understanding the root cause can actually cure the major part of a problem.
Also Read: Best foods for healthy hairs
Home Remedies for Brittle Nails
Below are some best Home Remedies for Brittle Nails. You can use any of them or all of them to strengthen your weak nails and make them look good.
Castor oil is a magic oil. The oil is filled with ANTIFUNGAL AND ANTIBACTERIAL PROPERTIES. Along with that, the Ricinoleic acid repairs the nail and surrounding skin. You can take adequate amount of castor oil with 1 part of Epson salt and 3 parts of water. Then soak your nails for 15 minutes. Doing it on a daily basis will definitely rejuvenate your nails. Alternatively, you can add equal parts of castor oil and olive oil in a bowl, add few drops of lemon juice and soak your nails for 15-20 minutes. Castor Oil is definitely the best option for the wellness of nails.
Just like Castor Oil, Coconut oil is rich in antifungal and moisturizing property. Warm a bowl of coconut oil and add few drops of lemon juice. Then soak your fingers for 10-15 minutes inside it. Alternatively, rub the warm coconut oil on your nails and the skin around it. Massage it for some time. Wearing gloves following the procedure will provide better results.
Vitamin-E oil fights off the free radicals, also the signs of aging. It moisturizes the skin and the nails too. Puncture the Vitamin-E Capsule and apply it on your nails. Give a gentle massage for a while for increased circulation. Do this regularly, for effective results.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has antibiotic and antifungal properties. Thus, it cures the fungal infection of nails. Mix few drops of tea tree oil with a half tablespoon of Vitamin E oil. Then apply it on your nails and massage gently. After half an hour, wash it off with lukewarm water. Once the skin is normal, apply a moisturizer. Doing it twice a day for a month will show definite results.
Drink a lot of water
Increasing your daily intake of water will nourish your nails. Our nails need to be hydrated and for that water level in our body should be taken care of.
Natural Ways To Strengthen Nails
No doubt, there are many cosmetic products and expensive spa care packages to keep our nails hygienic and well maintained. But the best and most trustworthy ways are those naturally done at home.
Avoid Damage And Excess Stress
Our nails are delicate. And repeated stress on them can harm the shape and strength. This might result in splitting of nails or brittle nails. So being cautious towards it will do the needful.
Avoid Harsh Nail Paint Removers
How safe is nail polish is still debatable. But nail removers are never a safe option. They have harsh chemicals in them. Especially the Acetone based nail removers will make your nails dry. You might have noticed the white patch that appears just after you wipe off your nail polish with some mediocre quality product. So look after the composition of your nail removers.
Oil The Cuticles
Teasing the cuticles is unnecessary and rather troublesome. But oiling them will definitely enhance its beauty and strength. Take few drops of coconut oil along with any other essential oil (if needed) and gently apply on your cuticles. Massage for 5 minutes and let it get absorbed.
Drink Enough Water
Nails also need to remain hydrated. And water is required for that purpose. Drinking more than 3 liters of water in a day is mandatory. It will not only keep you energetic but also throw out the toxins from your body. While drinking water is helpful, always getting your nails in contact with water is not a good idea or keeping it dry for a long time. Moisturising is important, so never forget to moisturize your fingernails and toenails.
Read More: How to Grow Nails Faster in a Week
Beauty is somehow incomplete without good nails. It not only gives us that pleasant look but also boosts our confidence. Good nails are also a sign of good health. It is extremely important to look after our nails. Some basic routines and lifestyle changes that largely help you prevent or cure brittle nails. Cutting the nails in your way, moisturizing them, oiling the cuticles and having right food will definitely keep you away from any sort of nail disease.