How To Strengthen Your Nails

No matter how many vitamins I take, my fingernails always seem to break so easily.  It makes it nearly impossible to ever grow them, plus it can be painful when they catch on things and tear.  I’ve been looking into what I can do to make them stronger and have found quite a few remedies that I wanted to share here on the blog today – if you have any of your own tried-and-true remedies, please share in the comments!

how to strengthen nails

For starters, when filing your nails, only file in one direction – NOT back and forth. I never knew this, but filing back and forth can worsen damaged nails and cause splitting.

how to strengthen nails

Certain oils are great for strengthening your nails – particularly olive oil, vitamin E oil and tea tree oil! Olive oil is extremely moisturizing and easily absorbed into the skin and nails.  Soak your nails in  a dish of olive oil for about 20 minutes once a week, or every day for a few minutes, to feel its full affect.  Tea tree oil is a powerful antiseptic that can remedy discolored nails and prevent fungus, in addition to repairing and strengthening damaged nails. Lastly, vitamin E oil is another great moisturizer that is rich in antioxidants and also has the added benefit of a very light scent. Apply it to your nails and cuticles and soak up its restorative properties!

how to strengthen nails

how to strengthen nails

Moisturizing your nails is just as important as moisturizing your skin – but it’s not something I ever think to do. Washing your hands can really dry out your nails, and keeping them moisturized is one of the easiest ways to keep them strong and healthy.  Vaseline is an excellent way to keep them moisturized.  Massage it into the nails to get the blood circulating, and if you have really dry and damaged nails, put on a pair of gloves after applying the Vaseline to lock in the moisture (many recommend doing this before bed and sleeping with gloves on).

how to strengthen nails

how to strengthen nails

Nails contain a lot of sulfur, and another way to strengthen them is to eat foods that are also high in sulfur – like broccoli, onions, and garlic.  The sulfur in these foods will not only help to repair nails but will give them added shine.

how to strengthen nails

Do you have any tips for strengthening nails? Share in the comments!

Jewelry pictured: Assorted Cluster Brass Bracelet, Trapped Crystal Cuff, Filagree Skinny Hard Bangle Set, Stacking Ring Set, Smokey Mountain Stone Ring, Novelty Flip Ring.

Follow FP Julia on twitter.


  1. I too have started using biotin and it has been great for my hair and nails!

    FYI: tea tree oil…if very concentrated….can be corrosive and damaging to the skin, so for this reason I would suggest diluting it. Maybe if you mixed the tea tree oil, olive oil, and vitamin e oil together and used that to soak your nails in :) gonna try it tonight


  2. Thanks for sharing! My nails have been in horrible shape lately. Something I do is use coconut oil on my nails. I just rub it on, like the vaseline, before bed and it seems to help!

  3. Coconut oil after washing your hands (so it seals in the water)! Also NailTek is a lifesaver and totally changed my nails.

  4. Every night before I go to bed and coat my hands and nails in coconut oil. My nails have never been stronger and longer and the splitting is virtually gone. I had to stop using nail polish because the remover made my nails super weak, so if I want a shine, I just buff them.

  5. I use an olive oil & beeswax balm over my fingernails & cuticles, bought from a healthfood store, although you could try Etsy or make your own, the beeswax seals in the olive oil. I apply right after I shower & after a few months of use I have strong long healthy nails. I even bought some for my mom, she loves it because her hands/nails get dry from gardening. Olive oil really does work wonders… I used the balm to give my fellow pedicures (yeah, he’s spoiled rotten!) and the stuff even transformed scary man toes!!! Speaking of which, if you have trouble with your big toe toenails curling & cutting into your toes on the sides, try letting the nail get a bit long then square it off as opposed to cropping it close & rounded. You can train it not to dig in… Random helpful hint….

  6. For a non-petroleum (I.E., not eco conscious) alternative try coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, the list goes on!

  7. As some of the other ladies said, Coconut Oil! I used to have horrible brittle, peeling nails. Coconut Oil strengthened them like nobody’s business! :D

    Thank you for the tips! I shall try these as well.

  8. In Traditional Chinese Medicine nails belong to the element “wood”. Nails that break easily or have an unnatural color may mean that something is wrong with your liver or gallbladder. My personal element is wood too and whenever I drink alcohol (and I hardly ever drink and if, it´s only a glass of red wine or a sip of beer) or eat rich or grilled things you can always tell by my nails.

    This might be helpful to give you a little bit more insight. (I did not write it, but I think the article gives a quick insight on what´s going on.)

  9. Coconut oil is MUCH better than Vaseline for your nails. Vaseline is petroleum based and actually DRIES out your skin or nails in the long-run. I’m surprised Free People would advocate it on their blog. If you’re curious about coconut oil’s benefits, there’s a lot of info on coconut :)

  10. Nice, I have tea tree oil, i will definitely try..
    Have to ask,,where did you got the big ring in your right middle finger ?


  11. Duri Rejouvacoat saved my nails big time, never had such nice nails until the combination of duri and lush’s lemony flutter cuticle cream. Totally worth trying in my opinion. Couldn’t survive with out them now

  12. In the past I have found that a blend of beeswax and almond oil applied every night to the nails and cuticles worked wonders for my nails. It took about 3 months to see a difference, but it was worth it.

  13. I like to use Palmers cocoa butter hand cream on my nails every morning and night. It makes them shiny and after I do this for about two weeks my nails look like I just polished them with clear polish, and they are super long and pretty, and nail polish lasts way longer than it used to. :) I will definitely try some of the methods listed above! :)

  14. I like firmfemme Nail Cream. this one requires multiple drops per day and you need to massage them in and wait for it to dry. It does work .. but it does take longer

  15. Hi ..

    I’ve heard that COCONUT OIL Capsules / Vitamin…. really aid in growth

    I have incorporated also MOISTURIZING practically every day… .. and also taking the COCONUT OIL Capsules..

    Where can I post a PIC…… my Nails are heavenly… LONG and STRONG! :)

  16. Thanks for these helpful tips! These tips did a wonderful job on my nails! They are really helpful! I suggest other people to try it as well! ❤️

  17. I have to disagree on a few things. Vaseline is a petroleum based product and not good for use on the body at all. It is a known carcenogen. (spelling) I find that Coconut Oil is the best and is one of the few oils that can enter the skin and hair and repair. The MCT fatty acids are awesome. That on my skin and nails help, but when I began drinking infused water with Tumeric, Cayenne, Ginger and Cinnamin my nails grew faster than ever before and stopped breaking and splitting.

    They grew so fast it was insane. I would add a little coconut oil to my drink infusion and it aided my body in assimilating the benefits of the infused water. When I researched the vitamin and trace minerals provided by each of these spices I was surprised. They addressed a potential deficiency which brittle nails is.

    When you address possible/potential vitamin and mineral deficiencies it will resolve so many issues outside of what you are even initially using them for.

  18. Fantastic tips! Especially about using oils: they really keep your nails hydrated and nourished. Also try using a glass nail file – this really helps prevent breakage to your nails, sealing the free edge and stopping snags. It’s a nail miracle!

  19. Hi ladies,
    Please pop over to my Facebook page Tip Top Nails South Africa (not the group). As the founder of Tip Top Natural Nail Products and as an ex teacher/lecturer in beauty schools throughout South Africa, I cover many topics on how to deal with the natural nail and I’d love to share the information with all of you.
    You will learn about the parts of the nail, what makes healthy beautiful nails, how to file your nails, the importance of cuticle oil etc.
    Please feel free to ask questions and I will gladly give you truthful answers. Having dealt with the natural nail for 35 years and having studied the nail as a science I’d love to spread the knowledge of the natural nail. I have helped many of our fans to grow their own beautiful natural nails. Every woman can have her own beautiful nails will simple steps to follow.
    Looking forward to chatting to all of you in the future.
    Yours in beauty
    Joan Kahn

  20. I love the nails and I love this tips, are very useful. We have care our nails because they are part of our presentation, and of course if we have a strong nails we can make a variety of design in them.

    uñas decoradas

  21. Believe it or not but one thing i never leave the house without is my chapstick which is just as good as vasaline and easy to carry. Plus if you get the one that has sunscreen its an added bonus.

  22. Alexis…..

    Sure fast way :….
    is only OIL OIL OIL…
    So start trying for a week or 2…
    Tepid to Warm water add BAKING SODA and perhaps 1 TABLEspoon of Lemon or LIME…. Penetrate the fingers in the warm bath water for about 20 mins. or 1/2 hr… ( do nightly) – *A MUST REGIME*
    then MICROWAVE: -HEAT — 11 – 15 seconds depending on Microwave strength /HEAT
    any hand lotion with some oil : ( 1 teaspoon)
    Handlotion approx : 1 TABLESPOON or 2… (Cover over nail beds)..
    *with heated Oil and the cream (warmed) heat over which will circulate blood flow for Stronger / Longer Nails…….
    Beauty is Caring and Loving you. *make the time!!!!

  23. B.T.W..

    Stay away from GLYCERIN CREAMS – & VASELINE… they only Weaken Nails.

    (* Sorry didn’t mean to Spam..

    PS*..Wearing appropriate GEMSTONE that also help strength NAILS..—>
    ahhhh ONYX!!!!!
    Eat well – and you’ll find Nails grow faster.
    Rome was not built in a day — Good Luck!

  24. Thanks for these tips and great pictures! I thought I am the only one using vaseline for nails… Well as I live in a rather cold country, my nails suffer all the time – even moisturizing can’t help anymore. I tried all kinds of creams and nail-softening products but nothing beats good old home-treatment. Besides your blog, the only place I have encountered decent tips for home treatment is PinkyCloud ( Did you know how awesome Iodine can be for nails? I tried it once and oh my am I happy that I did! I know it is a bit unconventional (just like vaseline), but trust me when I say this – unconventional is what helps here! No drugstore or make-up store products will help as good as some good old-fashioned tips and tricks. :)

  25. Not sure if your aware of it or not, but Vaseline is not something to use on your skin or nails. It is a petrol based product that robs the body of natural moisture and dries out the skin and nails. Coconut oil is a better solution. Coconut oil has MTFA that can repair nails and skin. It is a better means of moisturizing and strengthening the nails. Petroleum based products like mineral oil and vaseline are known carcinogens. They should not be used on the skin because the skin absorbs them. It can get into your body through absorption through the skin. Applying coconut oil on your hands immediately after washing them is even better. It locks the moisture in.

    I also find that a diet with sufficient good fats, avocado, nuts in the raw form help to strengthen nails, and of course drinking plenty of water.

  26. just came from the Dermatologist and she said to soak the nails in mineral oil for fifteen minutes each night and to take Biotin .

  27. Something else that helps my nails grow is Earthly Body’s Miracle Oil ~ it’s sold online, sometimes at Ulta & also in Earthbound.. not sure if it’s sold anywhere else but it’s around $12 & TOTALLY worth it!

  28. Diseño De Uñas De Halloween

    Si bien en Mistrucosdebelleza ya hemos visto fotos de manicura y de lo bien que pueden quedarnos, llega el momento de volver a este tema para mostraros muchos más ejemplos, ya que la decoración de las uñas es uno de nuestros temas favoritos y sigue siendo tendencia en este 2016. Use medios que faciliten su labor: Con la exigencia actual del público femenino por tener un diseño de uñas para manos perfecto, el mercado global se ha preocupado por ofrecerles alternativas factibles con las cuales no tiene que esforzarse mucho para obtener el diseño deseado, un ejemplo perfecto es el uso de calcomanías plantillas que se adhieren a la uñas por unos segundos y pueden ser retiradas cuando el diseño haya sido plasmado correctamente.


  29. Ladies another helpful tip.
    Are you into E.O’s?..

    Well look it up.. – Frankincense, Peppermint , Cassia or Ylang Ylang…. ( any one)…

    Add a few drops into water or coconut oil and rub into nails- This helps Circulate and Strength / Protect..
    Frankincense works wonders…. Cassia is a BOOSTER..


  30. Thats me too…. I flaunt my Nails with TONS of rings….. – BOHIEM STYLE…

    Love RINGS…. – Any how on the NAILS…. Don’t have E.O’s…

    Ladies try OLIVE OIL and GARLIC…. – Water is ENEMY #1….. —
    Always MOISTER those nailsl* GARLIC to STRENGTH ( ya, I know STINKS – but does work)….. if your like me hate wearing GLOVES and work with hands all over PAINTING ..GARDENING…DISHES…LAUNDRY ( I even SCRUB over with my hands before it goes into machine – call me HOWIE MANDEL – lol – GERMAPHOBIA)….. But yes, O,Oil & GARLIC – embrace them into your ROUTINE…. Wish I could upload a PHOTO…My Nails are AMAZING…& STRONG!

  31. So if you don’t believe me on the GARLIC..

    Try this TEST..

    if you have one of those GARLIC PRESSES….. Leave some remnant of GARLIC overnight..

    You will find (see)… – GARLIC JUICE has Harden as a FILM-LIKE SUBSTANCE……(almost like ACYRLIC)… and if very difficult to remove ( you have been Warned)….. remove with a tip of KNIFE GENTLY SCRUBBING OFF*

    *So exact elements happen to your NAIL….* APPLY @ NIGHT…….BAM HARD NAILS in the Morning….

    O your boyfriend my be a VAMPIRE or actually sleep in the next room… (LOL)… ;).. *** PUT GLOVES ON ***

    Good Luck!

  32. Did you know MAVELA puts GARLIC into their NAIL Products….. – sorry didn’t mean tto SPAM ** ..

    (the Garlic will have some YELLOWISH substance when harden on your GARLIC PRESSER)….. but you want to just gently RUB GARLIC on CLean NAILS at NIGHT **especially on cuticles…. (that’s where the root of GROWTH /NOURISHMENT and RIDGES GROW…….- we want to ENHANCE THEM – right)? STRENGTH them as soon and before they grow..

    Cause NAILS are DEAD Particles… once they grow they no more have that life …strength… all we can do is just COAT with HARDENERS..* and that doesn’t aid WEAK NAILS at all…… Trust me… my nails were full of ridges….Now they are SUPER STRONG and LONG…….

  33. Amazing tips. My nails are very weak. I go very often to the swimming pool and my nails are always in bad condition. I will try your tips in order to improve its strength.

  34. I have researched this many times and got nothing that made made amy variance.. This time it was different. This is such welcome information and I thank you

  35. I have something that works amazing for you feet. I’m the bathtub fill it so your feet can fit and add body shampoo and salt and baking soda leave your feet in for 30 mins. And boom your feet are soft form the baking soda the salt cleans out the dirt and all the things together makes is so you don’t have smelly feet. Do this everyday. And you can do this for your hands.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.