Our nails go through so much every day. We wash them with various unhealthy temperatures of water, or we don’t wash them; we paint them too much and then we use lots of nail polish remover that is harmful for our delicate nails. Whatever you do, there are a lot of things that can go wrong with your nails. They can be brittle, pitted, discolored, flaky, or they could peel off. If your nails are brittle and tend to chip or peel off, then keep reading for some causes and remedies.
Why do nails get brittle?
Most nail abnormalities like peeling, chipping, and discoloration, may be caused by a condition called ‘brittle nail syndrome’. Pretty self-explanatory. However, there are many other reasons that could contribute to your weakened nails.
First and foremost, the root cause of weak nail is lack of moisture. Drinking less water, repeatedly washing and drying nails (due to household chores or maybe cleanliness OCD) can cause them to dry out. Dried nails are more likely to chip and break.
Outside damage can also make your nails brittle. If you bite your nails, (then you’re just ill mannered) you’re damaging them and making them prone to breakage. Injuries can also wreck havoc on your nails. So it’s always better to keep your nails trimmed short and well-filed. It’s better to file your nails in a round shape as it prevents them from peeling or chipping.
Also read: Pamper those beautiful nails
Nutrient deficiency may also be one of the reasons behind your brittle nails. Anemia (that is iron deficiency) can cause serious damage to your nails as iron is needed to help the body produce hemoglobin. Vitamin B complex deficiency will sure have an impact on your nail health, so it’s absolutely necessary to consume vitamin B complex and also vitamins A and C and Calcium.
Using products that contain harmful chemicals also makes your nails chip off. Domestic cleaners, most coloured nail polishes, acetone and nail polish remover all contain harmful chemicals. It’s best to steer clear of the chemical-laden stuff and using more natural and organic products. If you can’t use natural cleansers, then try to wear gloves while you do your household chores. A coat or two of clear nail polish can help avoid the chemicals from getting in direct contact with your nails.
Health concerns like hepatitis, jaundice, hypothyroidism, lupus or any heart ailments can lead to poor nail health. It’s best to visit your doctor if you think you may have any of those.
Remedies for brittle, chipping and peeling nails
You can always do your bit to repair the damage the environment, your habits or your poor diet have done to your nails. Wear gloves while doing the dishes to avoid the outer damage that water and detergent can do. Avoid contact with harsh chemicals as they can cause dry, brittle nails which peel and split.
Your nails need nourishment to remain strong. Moisturize them with a good nail lotion that contains vitamins A, E, C, and lanolin that will make your nails stronger. You can even use natural almond oil or coconut oil, or olive oil as these are the best sources of natural hydration for the hair, skin and nails. Make sure to rub the moisturizer or oil nicely into your nail cuticle and all over the skin around your nails, go over your nails as well of course. Another good option is petroleum jelly.
Our nails need some inner strength too and you can give them that nourishment from the food you eat. So eat clean and increase your intake of calcium and vitamin rich foods. Try including foods like bananas, beans, cauliflower, eggs, lentils, peanuts, salmon, apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, Cheddar cheese, Cashews, green beans, lean meat and green leafy vegetables in your daily diet.
Grooming is also important. Clip your nails short and file them well. Never cut your cuticle but you can push them back with a cuticle pusher, but remember to moisturize them well. Get regular manicures as it can really save your nails from becoming brittle. The nourishing lotions coupled with a relaxing massage makes your delicate nails stronger and less prone to damage.
Avoid nail products that could cause an allergic reaction. You may well lay off the nail polish occasionally as your nails could do with a much-needed break. It will let your nails breathe and allow you to carefully observe your nails for any discoloration that might have been hiding under your nail paint.