Keep them out of the water
When it comes to how to strengthen nails, dermatologist, Dr Samer Jaber, says to “avoid excessive water exposure, as it can soften your nails.” With overhydration, our nail beds expand as water is absorbed, then contract as the moisture evaporates, leaving them noticeably flimsy and prone to peeling. To keep your nails from getting soft, always wear rubber gloves when you wash dishes, and minimise time spent in hot showers and swimming pools.
How you file your nails can make or break them – literally. “Filing in one direction, lifting the file each time on the return stroke is the best method to prevent damage or breakage,” says Jin Soon Choi, founder of Jin Soon Hand and Foot Spa. “The most important thing is to choose the right grade file,” she explains. “If you use a very high grain file, it’s going to cause breakage, but if you use a fine grade file (like 400 to 600 grit) and do not file aggressively, you can file in a back and forth motion.”
Keep them chemical-free
Warning: you’re not going to like what you’re about to read. Many of your favourite nail polishes, acrylics, and nail polish removers are full of harsh chemicals that cause nail brittleness, dryness and thinning. So, how to strengthen nails? It’s wise to avoid gel polishes, acrylic nail glue, acetone soaks and acetone nail polish remover at all costs. “Avoid chemical irritants, as your nails can be damaged from chemical exposures,” says Dr Jaber. If you can’t resist having your nails painted, stick to non-toxic nail polish and acetone-free removers that won’t strip your nails and skin of their natural oils.