Assuming that there’s no severe medical downside at play, although, your weaker nails may be the results of some dangerous habits that require a bit of tweaking. To that time:
2. Use a glass nail file.
That is arguably the only swap to make and an crucial step in caring for mushy nails, in keeping with the specialists SELF spoke with. Coarse recordsdata, like conventional emery boards, trigger tiny tears that depart the free fringe of the nail (the very tip) tough and extra apt to snag on issues and break, nail technician Amy Ling Lin, founder and CEO of Sundays, tells SELF.
Glass recordsdata, alternatively, create a a lot smoother edge, she says. Dr. Stern agrees: “That is such a simple repair for individuals, particularly those that have weak nails which might be vulnerable to peeling and splitting on the ideas.” Strive OPI’s Crystal Nail File ($15, Ulta) or Tweezerman’s Glass Nail File ($9, Amazon.com).
3. Take a break in between long-lasting manicures.
Sturdy manicures—gels, acrylics, dips—are a serious win once you need that flawlessly polished search for weeks on finish, however they’re sadly not doing all your nails any favors. Dr. Kobets says that a lot of her sufferers inform her a majority of these manis make their nails really feel stronger, however that’s only a superficial and momentary impact. “The constant strain of thicker forms of polish or synthetic nails on the nail matrix, the world on the base of the nail beneath the cuticle the place progress is initiated, can finally trigger the nail to develop out thinner,” she explains.
Dr. Stern agrees that long-lasting manicures aren’t nice, though she cites the tough elimination course of as the primary downside. It usually consists of an extended soak in dehydrating acetone, coupled with aggressive scraping that weakens the nail, she says.
This doesn’t imply it’s important to forgo the one you love gel manicures without end, however it’s value being aware and taking a break when you may. Lin advises tailoring the timetable based mostly on the situation of your nails. “In the event that they’re in fairly good condition and also you simply need to keep away from harm, take per week or two off each one to 3 months,” she suggests. “But when your nails are softer otherwise you’re attempting to guard brittle nails, contemplate leaving them naked for nearer to 4 to 6 weeks.”
4. Go for acetone-free polish remover.
“All nail polish removers should be formulated with some kind of solvent,” Dr. Stern says. “Substances on this class are innately dehydrating, however acetone is the worst of the bunch.” Nail cells are flat and overlap like shingles on roof: Once they dry out, they’re extra more likely to elevate and peel off, which is why the nail finally ends up not solely thinner and weaker, but additionally extra vulnerable to floor irregularities like bumps and ridges, she explains.
Like making the change to a glass nail file, selecting a non-acetone remover is a simple and fast repair. Remember the fact that it could require a bit of bit extra elbow grease to take away all the colour, although—and that removers with out acetone will solely work on common polish, not long-lasting formulation like skilled gel. Utilizing a transparent base coat earlier than your shade might help make the elimination course of simpler, Lin says, because it retains the polish from staining or absorbing into the nail, which might make it more durable to take away. A pair to attempt: Ella & Mila Jojoba Nail Polish Remover ($11, Amazon) or Cutex Non-Acetone Extremely-Care Nail Polish Remover ($3, Goal).
5. Shield your nails from an excessive amount of water.
Yep, you learn that proper. Good outdated H2O isn’t as innocuous as you might suppose—in the case of nail well being, anyway. “Nails can take up roughly 1,000 occasions extra water than pores and skin. They act like sponges, absorbing liquid, which causes the nail cells to increase after which contract,” Dr. Stern explains. “This cycle of enlargement and contraction finally weakens them and makes them far more vulnerable to breakage, particularly in the event that they’re already brittle to start with.”