How do I stop my nails from breaking so easily? They’ve never been particularly strong, but lately seem to be constantly flaking, snapping, and chipping. I’d appreciate any tips, advice, or product recommendations you have!
Broken nails are like papercuts – tiny but annoying, and as trivial as they may seem, they can ruin your day, fast. We’ve all been there… In fact, studies show that one in five people have brittle nails, so it actually is pretty common. Many people can blame their genes, but (as much as they do have some impact) there are a number of not-so-obvious factors that can affect your nail health.
Eat a biotin-rich diet
First up, diet. Like hair, skin, and general health, diet plays an important role in giving our body the nutrients it needs to function healthily. Biotin – a B vitamin found in foods like eggs, chicken, salmon, spinach, and sweet potatoes contains high amounts of biotin, which can help to strengthen your nails. Brittle fingernails can actually be a sign of biotin deficiency (other symptoms include dry skin and hair loss), so taking a biotin supplement can be beneficial.
It might seem obvious, but the way you look after your nails is probably one of the most important factors to consider. I spoke to BEAUTY BAY’s resident nail tech, Ashleigh Bamber, to fill us in on her professional recommendations…
Hydrate & moisturise
“Using cuticle oil daily is a step that is often overlooked, but it could be the miracle your nails are waiting for,” says Ashleigh. “Cuticle oil helps to hydrate and moisturise the nail bed, which in turn promotes nail and cuticle growth – which means hello happy healthy nails.” Treat it like brushing your teeth and apply your cuticle oil every night before bed – it’s your new essential daily step.
Choose short styles
“If you find that your nails tend to break, it’s probably best to stick to a shorter style,” explains Ashleigh. “Shorter (and rounder) nails are key as this can reduce your chance of damage, as there is less surface area that can be broken or snagged,” she adds. As it happens, short nails are bang on trend right now, so you’re in luck.
Try a nail hardener
According to Ashleigh, “If you’re into your at-home solutions, then a nail hardener or supplement can be a great addition to your weekly routine”. Designed to bond weakened nail surfaces, reduce splitting and breakage, products like these can help to give you the nails you’ve always wished for.
Choose hard gel
“If you’re a die-hard salon mani lover, stay away from the acrylics or normal gel polish and opt for a hard gel at your next appointment,” says Ashleigh. “Choosing hard gel will allow your nails to grow damage-free, as the harder formula will minimise the amount of snags, chips and breaks your nails could experience without it.” And of course, it goes without saying – never pick off your polish. Doing so can actually lift away layers of your nail plate, so always get it professionally removed, especially hard gel.
From chafing to ‘chicken skin’ arms, summer brings a whole new medley of beauty concerns into play. If you have a question for our resident beauty editor Grace, tweet us at @beautybay using the hashtag #AskGrace for a chance to be featured.