How to Grow Long, Strong Nails
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
QuestionCan I put Vaseline on my cuticles?Tansy_200Community AnswerYes. Vaseline is very effective and moisturizing and should help nourish your cuticles.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I make a homemade serum for thicker nails?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerHeat 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.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I get my nails about an inch long in a week?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMassage 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.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I get stronger, longer nails in one week?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerStart applying extra virgin olive oil in your nails once a day. The olive oil with make your nails stronger and less likely to chip.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if I don't have any of the oils or cuticle creams?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou 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.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I make my nails stronger at home, without buying those expensive creams?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry rubbing natural oils, such as coconut oil, into your cuticles.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I avoid tearing my nails?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDon'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.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I make my nails grow in 10-20 minutes? Is this possible?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, it is not possible; the fastest they can grow noticeably is in 2-4 days.Thanks!
QuestionWhat kind of oil should I use?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerCoconut oil is a great healthy choice that will smooth out your skin and give you non-oily skin.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I make my nails look longer when they aren't?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry pushing back your cuticles. This makes your nail beds look longer.Thanks!
How much time will it take to grow nails?
- 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.
Sources and Citations
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