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Brittle nails: what are the causes and what home remedies can strengthen them?

Brittle nails are not uncommon. In fact, according to a medical study, 27% of women have brittle nails. This can be the result of a hidden health condition or external factors. Read the article to learn what causes brittle nails and what you can do to keep them healthy and strong.

What are the causes of brittle nails?

What helps with brittle nails

Brittle nails are divided into two categories – dry and soft. Dry and brittle nails are the result of a lack of moisture. Most often they are due to repeated hand washing. Soft and brittle nails, on the other hand, are due to too much moisture, often as a result of excessive contact with household cleaners and polish removers.

Other causes of brittle nails are:

  • Age: Nails usually change with age. While nails on the feet usually become thicker and harder, fingernails often become thinner and weaker.
  • Iron deficiency: this condition occurs when the body does not receive enough iron, resulting in low red blood cell levels.
  • Hypothyroidism: symptoms of hypothyroidism include hair loss, fatigue, weight gain, constipation and depression in addition to brittle nails.
  • Raynaud’s syndrome: this condition is characterized by circulatory problems in the extremities and can affect the health of the nails.

Trivia: If fingernails break but toenails are healthy, the cause is an external factor.

What can you do against splintering nails?

You can strengthen splintering nails with home remedies

There is nothing you can do about age-related nail changes, but you can reduce the risk of cracking and breaking. To keep nails healthy and strong, use the following practices:

  • Use a moisturizer: look for moisturizing hand lotions that contain lanolin or alpha hydroxy acids.
  • Moisturize your hands after washing them: When you apply the lotion or cream, rub it in and directly onto your nails. Also moisturize your hands, feet and nails before bed to keep them hydrated while you sleep.
  • Protect your hands: wear gloves when doing housework to keep your hands dry. Gloves can also protect your hands and nails from harsh chemicals like detergents and cleaners. Avoid prolonged exposure to cold, dry weather. If you do venture outside on a cold day, be sure to wear gloves.
  • Keep your nails short, um die Oberflächen, in die Wasser und Chemikalien eindringen können, zu minimieren.

Gloves protect your hands from harsh chemicals

  • Use a fine nail file: It is advisable to file your nails daily to remove bumps and prevent chipping. Remember to file in one direction only.
  • Do not bite your nails or cuticles: Push back the cuticles with a metal tool.
  • Harden your nails by using nail hardener.

Rub the hand cream directly on the nails


  • Avoid acetone: Choose a nail polish remover that does not contain acetone and try not to use it too often.
  • Eat healthy: It is important to improve your diet to maintain the health of your nails. Brittle nails are often the result of nutrient deficiencies, so to prevent and improve brittle nails, include rich sources of vitamins A, B, C, D and E, zinc, folic acid, iron, calcium and biotin in your diet. It is also good for your overall health.

Strengthen brittle nails with these home remedies

Keep your nails short

Did you know that you don’t have to look outside your home for solutions to your brittle nails? Here are some helpful suggestions on how to strengthen your nails yourself.

Coconut oil for strong nails

Coconut oil prevents drying of the nails


Coconut oil is one of the simplest and easiest ingredients to find in any household. Known for its nourishing properties, this oil not only prevents nails and cuticles from drying out, but also helps to strengthen them.

How: Heat some coconut oil in a container and massage your nails with it for 5 minutes. Repeat twice a day for best results.

Argan oil against thin nails

Hidden health condition may be the cause of brittle nails

Rightly called "liquid gold", argan oil is as good for the nails as it is for the skin. Its softening properties immediately nourish dry nails and cuticles and strengthen them in the long term.

How: Just apply a few drops and massage your nails with it.

Soak with sea salt

Soaking with sea salt makes the cuticle supple.

The relaxing and soothing bath softens dry and brittle nail beds and cuticles and gives them shine. The healing and rejuvenating effect of sea salt is the reason why it is also used in foot baths and foot washes.

How: put some warm water in a container and add 2 tablespoons of sea salt, put a few drops of lemon essential oil in it and dip your nails in it.

Soaking with egg yolk and milk

Lack of protein can be the cause of weak nails

Brittle and weak nails can also be the result of a lack of protein and calcium. Egg yolks and milk are rich in these substances and help strengthen nails.

How: Mix an egg yolk with 2 tablespoons of milk and massage your nails well. After 20 minutes, clean with water.

Soaking with lemon juice and olive oil

Olive oil and lemon juice to strengthen nails.

Olive oil and lemon juice are common natural remedies used for various dermatological treatments, including brittle nails.

Apply vitamin E

Eat healthy for strong nails

Vitamin E can improve the condition of nails. Applying vitamin E oil can rejuvenate and strengthen them.

How: Open a vitamin capsule and apply the thick oil to each nail.