A low nutritive diet, abrasive chemicals, constant contact with water and manicures with inadequate products are just some of the causes that leave the nails weak and soft. This not only puts your health at risk and increases the risk of them cracking and becoming infected, as well as making it look pretty. But do not worry. It is more normal than you think and there are ways to harden the nails to make them strong.
How to harden the nails
Biotin and a varied diet
Nails are one of the first places where signs of vitamin deficiency and minerals appear. As they are so susceptible, the first thing you have to do to harden them is to ensure you have a varied and nutrient-rich diet.
One of the main ones in which you must fix is biotin, also known as vitamin H or vitamin B7. Biotin plays a fundamental role in the growth and strengthening of nails and hair, but since it is soluble in water, the body can not store it. You must, therefore, consume it daily to ensure that your nails receive it.
For that, you can increase the consumption of foods such as eggs, sardines, and legumes or consult your doctor to indicate the most appropriate supplement to your case.
Drink a lot of water
Drinking plenty of water ensures that the body always has adequate hydration levels. When you do not drink enough, the lack of hydration from the inside causes the nails to dry and become softer, brittle and more likely to flake.
Cuticles are the main protection and barrier against nail bacteria. Keeping them hydrated and nourished is thus important to reinforce this protection and allow the nails to recover and harden naturally.
Applying oil for cuticles and nails daily will help prevent them from drying out and starting to open small cracks.
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What you should avoid
To harden your nails all you have to do is have a balanced diet, drink plenty of water and nourish them. Simple. So, why is it so hard to do it?
The problem is in many customs that we have and that often cancel the efforts we make to take care of the nails.
Reduces your contact with water
It is impossible to avoid wetting your nails completely, but if you manage to reduce your exposure it is already a big step.
Water softens nails and increases the risk of breakage. When you wash the dishes, for example, or whenever you have to dip your hands in water, try using gloves to protect them.
After the shower and whenever you wash your hands, remember to apply a moisturizer, preferably with a formula for skin and nails, to reduce the damage.
Always use gloves when you have to use chemicals, detergents or doing more aggressive activities that can harm the hands and consequently the nails.
In addition to drying, these chemicals or aggressive rubbing can break the top layer of the nails and leave them softer and vulnerable to infection.
Take a look at your hygiene products
If you already have a healthy diet and take care with your hands, perhaps your goal should not be to harden your nails but to find what is weakening them in the first place. And one of the most forgotten causes is hygiene products.
Often handle products containing alcohol among its ingredients such as soaps, deodorants, creams or even use the hands to blur the perfume in the body, for example, can leave the nails dry and weaker.
In the event that you use shampoo for oily hair, try using it with gloves or change it for a few weeks to see how your nails react. It depends a lot on the formula of the shampoo, but some besides removing the hair oils also do it on the nails leaving them unprotected.
Keep your nails short
As much as you like to wear them long, while you are looking to harden your nails you should cut them very short. Think of it as a temporary treatment.
Short nails are less likely to break and have a smaller surface so less chemicals and water are absorbed, which helps them grow stronger.
If you use a file to control its length, remember to always move it in the same direction and never with a saw movement.
Do not use nails as a tool
Things as simple as using nails to peel off a sticker, prying open a container or scraping a bit of dirt from the table involve forcing them and, in some cases, pulling them. This not only weakens them as it can spoil your efforts to harden the nails.
We are so accustomed to using them as tools unconsciously that it will be difficult to avoid it, but try to keep this idea in your mind.
Postpone your manicure
Even if you use non-toxic products, the enamels prevent the nails from "breathing". In addition, permanent or semi-permanent manicures mean a union between the product and the top layer of the nails and their removal, however safe it is, always causes small damages.
While you wait to harden your nails and make them strong again, it will be better to postpone any manicure and wear them as natural as possible.
Choose nail polish remover without acetone
The acetone is low in toxicity but no longer a solvent. Not only can it damage the top layer of the nail, but it also removes its natural protective oils and hydration, leaving it weaker and more vulnerable.
To harden your nails your focus should be on their protection. This is some common sense. If you want to harden them you can not constantly subject them to aggressions that weaken them or they will never have a moment to recover. But if you take care with the products that you handle and have a healthy and varied diet, you will see how you have everything you need to make your nails grow strong naturally.