How to grow LONG & STRONG nails (long nail care routine)

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How to Grow Long, Strong Nails

Three Parts:

Growing long and strong nails is a multi-step process. As long as you take good care of your nails, you can grow them to the length you desire. You need to start by making sure you stop bad nail habits. After that, taking appropriate vitamins and manicuring properly will help you grow long, strong nails.


Stopping Bad Habits

  1. Stop biting your nails.Biting your nails is detrimental to your health. Although a regular nervous habit for many, it can cause bacterial skin infections on your hands and in your mouth. If you have dry or loose skin around your nail beds, make sure to clip them away rather than biting them off.
    • Try keeping your nails neatly polished or add nail art, so you’ll be less apt to biting.
    • Chew gum when you’re bored.
    • Don't bite the skin around your nails. You may convince yourself that by only biting the skin around your nails, you're not actually harming the nail. This is false and will only cause your nails to weaken through the added moisture from saliva and make your nails prone to breaking.
    • Choose one nail a week that you won’t bite. Gradually add more “no-bite” nails to wean yourself off of the habit.
    • Consider talking to a therapist about anxiety, or something else that may be causing you to bite your nails, if your nail biting is severe.
  2. Stop wearing acrylics and gels.Rushed removal of acrylic or gel nails leaves your nails dry, brittle, and unlikely to grow. Even proper removal can damage your nails because it occurs with soaked nail-beds. When your nail beds are wet, they are most sensitive.
    • If you wish to get gel or acrylic manicures, try alternating. Get a traditional manicure between your gel or acrylic manicure.
  3. Stop picking at your chipped polish.Picking at your polish often removes the top layer of your nail bed. This forms a weak base for your nails.
  4. Stop skipping base coats and top coats.It is easy to skip base coats or top coats when you’re in a hurry and want your polish to dry fast. However, when you skip these, you’re damaging your nail. They protect your nails from staining; plus, they help the polish adhere to your nails, so that it chips less. If it chips less, you’re less likely to pick at it and further damage your nails.
    • Carry pre-moistened nail polish remover packets in your purse for quick removal when your nails start to chip. This way, you won’t have to worry about picking at your nails.
  5. Stop using your nails as tools.Peeling labels, scrapping glue, or unfastening a key ring are all things that can easily damage or break your nails. You might not even realize you’re doing it, but if you want to grow strong nails, you need to start to notice.
    • The best way to stop this is to slow down. Have scissors available, or another tool, to help you open, scrape, or peel anything you need during the day.Avoid doing activities that will cause your nail to bend. Keep clear nail polish on nails to avoid biting your nails.

Getting Proper Vitamins

  1. Get plenty of Vitamin H (biotin).Biotin promotes the growth and strength of nails, hair, and skin. Aim to consume between 30 and 40 micrograms per day either through food or supplements. Whole grains, mushrooms, bananas, salmon, and avocado are all great sources of biotin.
  2. Eat foods with folic acid.Folic acid, or Vitamin B9, helps prevent damage to your nerve cells and keeps red blood cells healthy. It is the best vitamin for nail growth, and it is impossible to intake to much because your body naturally excretes the excess. Fish, red meat, cheese, and fortified soy products are high in folic acid.
  3. Consume Vitamin A.Vitamin A is going to help the strengthening of your nails. The daily recommended dose is between 700 and 900 micrograms a day. Sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, and leafy greens are rich in Vitamin A.
  4. Get plenty of Vitamin C.Vitamin C is most commonly known for aiding in immune health. This means that it helps recovery inside the body. This recovery helps promote nail growth and gives them strength. Oranges, kale, strawberries, and bell peppers are high in Vitamin C.

Manicuring Properly

  1. Shape and care for your base.In order to grow you nails long and strong, you need to start with a proper base. This means you need clean and healthy nails to begin with. File them into shape and keep your cuticles trimmed.
    • File them properly. Start from the outside edge and file toward the center. Going back and forth in a repetitive motion will weaken your nails.
    • Choose the right nail shape to promote growth. A basic round shape is easier to grow out. If you shape a square nail, you’re more likely to use it as a tool.
  2. Care properly for your cuticles.Soak your nails in warm water for 5 minutes to loosen your cuticles. Put a cuticle remover on your nails and use a cuticle stick to push the dead skin back. Rinse off the remover and debris. Do this up to 4 times a week.
    • For added cuticle health, put hyaluronic acid on and around your cuticles after pushing them back.
    • Keep them moisturized. Applying moisturizer around your cuticles will prevent hangnails and broken nails.
  3. Apply strengthening treatments.Several strengthening treatments exist. Once you’ve shaped a proper base and correctly cared for your cuticles, apply the one that fits your budget and schedule.
    • Serums are expensive but often produce the fastest and best results in strengthening nails.
    • Creams are perfect for everyday use. You can buy intensive protein treatments in the form of a cream that you put on your nails in the morning and before falling asleep at night.
    • Strengthening polish will help keep your nails from chipping. It is very affordable and easy to use.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Can I put Vaseline on my cuticles?
    Community Answer
    Yes. Vaseline is very effective and moisturizing and should help nourish your cuticles.
  • Question
    How can I make a homemade serum for thicker nails?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Heat 1 tablespoon of almond oil (for shiny nails), 1 tablespoon of olive oil (for stronger nails), and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (for thicker nails and strong and healthy cuticles) in a glass bowl until warm. Apply overnight or soak nails for 30 minutes at least 3 times a day. You can also store this in an empty and clean nail polish bottle if applying on the go or overnight.
  • Question
    How can I get my nails about an inch long in a week?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Massage your cuticle beds for 5 minutes with olive oil. The olive oil will allow moisture while massaging allows blood circulation closer to the nails. This will let them grow stronger and healthy.
  • Question
    How can I get stronger, longer nails in one week?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Start applying extra virgin olive oil in your nails once a day. The olive oil with make your nails stronger and less likely to chip.
  • Question
    What if I don't have any of the oils or cuticle creams?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You can use any oil you would use for cooking. Olive oil is just as good as coconut oil. Canola oil works too. You can also use hand cream or lotion to keep your hands, cuticles, and nails moisturized.
  • Question
    How can I make my nails stronger at home, without buying those expensive creams?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Try rubbing natural oils, such as coconut oil, into your cuticles.
  • Question
    How can I avoid tearing my nails?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Don't use them as tools. They are much more likely to chip and tear this way. Overall, just be careful using your nails to pick up things, especially heavy things. As your nails grow stronger they will be less likely to chip or tear.
  • Question
    How do I make my nails grow in 10-20 minutes? Is this possible?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    No, it is not possible; the fastest they can grow noticeably is in 2-4 days.
  • Question
    What kind of oil should I use?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Coconut oil is a great healthy choice that will smooth out your skin and give you non-oily skin.
  • Question
    How can I make my nails look longer when they aren't?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Try pushing back your cuticles. This makes your nail beds look longer.
Unanswered Questions
  • How much time will it take to grow nails?
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  • Always carry a nail file. If one of your nails snags or breaks, file it rather than ripping it off.
  • Stay away from taking prenatal vitamins. Although these are rumored to help you grow longer nails, it puts you at risk of digestive issues.
  • Just leave you nails alone and they will grow by themselves.
  • Mix hot water and coconut oil, dip your hands in it for 5–10 minutes, and dry. Then rinse your hands with cold water.
  • Massage your cuticles 15 to 20 seconds every night before going to bed in order to improve blood circulation around the nails.
  • Nourish your nails and cuticles by massaging tea tree oil into your nail beds.
  • Put some olive oil and coconut oil in an old nail polish bottle, along with some lemon juice and vitamin e or d oil. You can apply this to your nails as a natural cuticle oil.
  • Keep your nails painted. This stops them from breaking during the day. If you notice your nail bending along with the polish, file it.
  • Use nail polish without acetone if possible because it is better for your skin.
  • Leave cuticles alone! They are there to protect from fungus and infection. It has been scientifically proven that they make no difference to nail growth.
  • Never use salt on nails! It's very bad for them.
  • Petroleum jelly can lock in moisture and protect your nails from some environmental hazards. If you put petroleum jelly on your nails every night for a month, this may help them grow to be longer and stronger.
  • Never use olive oil. This just sits on the skin and nail. Only use 100% jojoba oil as this is the closest oil to what we naturally produce and it will be absorbed quickly and produce growth.
  • When filing your nails don’t trim/file them too low. Doing so may cause irritation around the tips of your nails and potentially prevent growth.
  • Do not use coconut oil and water together. And do not melt the oil.

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Sep 29

"I've been needing to grow out my nails for a Halloween look, but my nails were pretty short. I tried most of therecommendations in this article, and my nails are already a centimeter or two longer!"
Rated this article:

Arielle Nelson

Jul 5, 2019

"I recently got acrylics for a huge event I was hosting. I decided to keep them for a month, then a few days ago, Idecided that they were really bad for my nails. I picked one off the other day. Today, I broke another. I need to get these nails grown back in ten days and so far, the recommendations are working. Thank you!"
Rated this article:

Brynn Erickson

Oct 16, 2019

"I liked how you added that the extra virgin olive oil really helped. I appreciate that, because it is easy forpeople who cant afford pricey gels and serums. I also liked that you added pros and cons of different products throughout the information. Thanks."

B. Mack

Aug 19, 2019

"I bite my nails all the time, and when I read this I stopped. It's really hard to let go of a bad habit, but it wasfor my nails. I found all of these nail treatments around my house, so it's a win/win for both me and my nails."
Rated this article:

Lougin Badwy

Jun 25, 2019

"Since I have strong and healthy nails and I try to do everything I possibly can to help them grow, a lot of thesesteps weren't so new to me. But the ones that were new to me actually helped me an awful lot. Thank you!"

Destinee Maholmes

Jun 5, 2019

"Now I know that I can't bite the skin around my nail. I'm definitely going to try all of the tips for growing mynails. I really want long nails, but I just can't stop biting them. Thank you so much for the tips!"
Rated this article:

Alison Smith

Jan 3, 2019

"The information you provided about the best vitamins and diet for weak, flaky nails was great! Also, which oils andcreams etc. were the most effective to massage them, for maximum moisturization. Many thanks!"

Penny Tirado

Nov 24, 2019

"Most of the tips are good. However, what I have found really works is a good diet and vitamins on a regular basis.My nails have been so strong and grow so fast, I cannot keep up with them."
Rated this article:

Delores Buchanon

May 26, 2019

"My nails look so bad and I did not know what to do! They keep breaking, they are soft, just ugly. They used to looknice. I read all of your ways to help fix them, I really hope it works."
Rated this article:

Gia Marie

Jun 25, 2019

"This was very helpful in telling me the way I should properly care for my nails. This worked to grow mine. No joke,my nails are long, strong, and more resilient. This was truly helpful."
Rated this article:

Vickey Elliott

Apr 22, 2019

"The most helpful part was alternative household products substituted for expensive oils and lotions. Great advicefrom people who have first hand experience of using these items."
"Well, this article gave me the right amount of information, and it's awfully helpful!!! Any question I thought ofalready had an excellent answer. Brilliant article!!!!"
Rated this article:


Jun 14, 2019

"I've been doing research for stuff like this and a lot of it I didn't know. I have this stuff at home. I haventtried anything yet, but it seems trustable. Thank you."

Cherrie Ghali

Aug 27, 2019

"Thanks to wikiHow and the contributors who made this article useful with tips, remedies and specific instructions,as well as what products to use. Much appreciated."
Rated this article:

Carolyn Thompson-Mew

May 22, 2019

"I think if I follow this guide, within months my nails will be longer. Thanks to whoever created this nail growthguide, I'll be needing it in the long run."
Rated this article:

Faith Pellett

Jun 21, 2019

"I really needed advice because my nails are very short. I wanted to grow them and you guys gave me great ideas thatare going to help me, thank you!"
Rated this article:

A. C.

Jun 16, 2019

"This helped me to grow my nails, and it has given me a lot of advice. Thank you very much, I will try to followthese rules, as I want long nails."
Rated this article:

Ally Henderson

Jun 14, 2019

"I like that you said to use extra virgin oil, because I would never think of it! The creams can be pricey and Isaved a lot of money."

P. D.

Apr 26, 2019

"This helped me because my nails are really unhealthy and it told me how to get the back to being healthy and whatto use to do that."
Rated this article:


Jun 1, 2019

"This taught me a lot about caring for nails because I use to always damage my nails by doing the stuff that I'm notsupposed to do."
Rated this article:

Brooklyn Star

Jul 18, 2019

"I bite my nails a lot but after reading this I stopped biting my nails and now they look beautiful. You should trythis too."

Kaylin Shaw

Jul 23, 2019

"I like the Q&A; it's nice to know that even if I don't have a certain type of oil or cream there are otheroptions."

Tove Kinnunen

Aug 2, 2019

"Everything is very detailed and easy to follow. You give very good concrete tips, and I can't wait to follow them."

Babs Gregory

Jan 24, 2019

"Trying to grow my natural nails. Happy to learn that coconut oil is great for cuticles, as I have a ton of it."

Julianna Whitfield

Jun 1, 2019

"OMG, this helped me so much!! I am so happy I saw this, it is so helpful. Thank you so much for sharing this!"
Rated this article:

Rose Smith

Jun 15, 2019

"I have a super-bad habit of biting my nails, and this is giving me ideas of how to keep them nice and strong."

Claire Smith

Jul 15, 2019

"This helped so much! By eating the proper foods, my nails grew strong and beautiful. I highly recommend this!"

Bell Smith

May 3, 2019

"I keep biting my nails and it really started to hurt randomly. This helped me to not bite my nails. Thanks! "

Jannete Gaytan

Jul 7, 2019

"You told me what I needed to stop my bad habits, like biting my nails and to stop using nails as tools. "
Rated this article:

A. J. Miller

Aug 21, 2019

"This was actually helpful, kinda gives me hope for trying to fit in as being a girl and not a tomboy.

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