Dry, Brittle and Breaking Nails

ImageThere are many reasons fingernails break.  The reasons I find at Dew Drop Nails are:  nails are used as tools(that’s number one), wearing the nails too long, age, cold and dry weather, and over-exposure to chemicals.  Therefore, these nails cannot stand the harsh treatment and when the nails can’t take any more, they break!

Almost daily, I’m asked by the guests that come to Dew Drop Nails what can they do about their dry, brittle nails and how to keep them from breaking?  First of all, you would want your nails to break?  If not, the pain could be unbearable because of the nail bed involvement.

THE PROBLEM:

Your nails dry out as you age, losing their natural oils which act as a glue to hold the nail layers together.  If you have thin fingernails and dry skin to begin with you can expect this to happen to you ‘sooner rather than later’.  Exposing your hands to harsh soaps, cleaning products, solvents and rough work makes things worse.  At first your nails begin to ‘fray’ on the edges, becoming brittle. Eventually the layers split.  Nail hardeners make this worse because the alcohols, formaldehyde and other chemicals in the nail hardeners really dry out your natural oils. (Crazy fact: Nail hardeners actually contain more of these chemicals than nail polishes!  It’s these chemicals that make the nails feel harder at first, but- whammo– after a few weeks the splitting is worse than ever.) —Dr. C. Bailey

There may also be underlining health factors which may affect the nails, hair and skin not just the above factors.

THE CURE

Regular manicures, moisturize(water, not oils or vaseline), and use oils to keep the cuticles and nail beds supple and pliable.  Some of my favorite hydrating ingredients for nails are Shea Butter, Jojoba oil, avocado oil, or other rich natural oils that come from plants.  These natural oils have a tendency not to rub off but to penetrate the skin to lock in the moisture.  These oils are applied after the skin has been wet.

If you file these brittle and dry nails, use a high grit file(240 grit) to keep the nails from breaking, fraying and/or cracking any further.

Finally, use a nail-strengthener not a nail hardener, Nailtiques in a great strengthener.  This particular strengthener binds with the proteins in the nail plate.  This will not happen over night, 3-6 months of daily use.  The results will depend upon how fast your nails grow and if you honor the regimen.  One could easily see positive results in 30 days.   It will work!  If used.

Think About It:   Give yourself time to achieve your goal.  Good things take effort and time.

 

 

 

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