Assuming that there’s no severe medical drawback at play, although, your weaker nails could 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 best swap to make and an crucial step in caring for smooth nails, in line with the consultants SELF spoke with. Coarse recordsdata, like conventional emery boards, trigger tiny tears that go away 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 folks, particularly those that have weak nails which might be susceptible to peeling and splitting on the suggestions.” Attempt 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 whenever 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 these kind of manis make their nails really feel stronger, however that’s only a superficial and non permanent 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 cruel elimination course of as the primary drawback. It usually consists of a protracted soak in dehydrating acetone, coupled with aggressive scraping that weakens the nail, she says.
This doesn’t imply it’s important to forgo your loved one gel manicures perpetually, however it’s price being conscious and taking a break when you possibly can. 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 wish to keep away from harm, take every week or two off each one to 3 months,” she suggests. “But when your nails are softer otherwise you’re making an attempt to guard brittle nails, take into account leaving them naked for nearer to 4 to 6 weeks.”
4. Go for acetone-free polish remover.
“All nail polish removers need to be formulated with some sort 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 prone to raise and peel off, which is why the nail finally ends up not solely thinner and weaker, but in addition extra susceptible to floor irregularities like bumps and ridges, she explains.
Like making the swap to a glass nail file, selecting a non-acetone remover is a simple and fast repair. Needless to say it might 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 can assist make the elimination course of simpler, Lin says, because it retains the polish from staining or absorbing into the nail, which might make it tougher to take away. A pair to strive: Ella & Mila Jojoba Nail Polish Remover ($11, Amazon) or Cutex Non-Acetone Extremely-Care Nail Polish Remover ($3, Goal).
5. Defend your nails from an excessive amount of water.
Yep, you learn that proper. Good outdated H2O isn’t as innocuous as you could assume—in the case of nail well being, anyway. “Nails can soak 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 growth and contraction finally weakens them and makes them rather more susceptible to breakage, particularly in the event that they’re already brittle to start with.”