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We Asked, The Nail Experts Answered: Here's How To Strengthen Nails

by sarah kester - January 21, 2021

With extra hand-washing and skipped nail salon appointments, our nails are in need of TLC now more than ever. Yet, most of us don't have a routine in place to keep nails at peak health and strength. Thankfully, that’s all about to change, as we tapped the minds of nail experts for their best tips. From learning how to strengthen nails to helping support their growth, keep reading to see what the experts had to say. 

how can I strengthen my nails overnight?

While it's impossible for nails to gain Hulk strength overnight, there are a few secrets up nail experts' sleeves. For starters, strengthen your nails and your self-care game in one step with this quick routine by Maia Alejandro, Founder of FOR TMRW.

"You can strengthen your nails overnight by cutting them short and soaking them in oil (coconut, grapeseed or jojoba are great options) and then placing your hands in cotton gloves overnight," she tells Lively.

Dasha Minina, Founder of MaxusNails.com and BeauticianList.com, believes that moisturizing nails will keep them on their A-game: "Moisturizing nails helps to prevent dryness, which can cause peeling and splitting." 

For a quick hydration boost, she recommends Maxus Nails Jojobalieve It butter: "Applying the butter before bedtime is a fantastic way to help your nails attain the ideal moisture content."

how to strengthen nails

How do you strengthen your nails naturally?

Strengthening your nails naturally doesn't have to be complicated. Simply start with a few tweaks to your routine, such as limiting excess water absorption (i.e. wearing gloves while washing the dishes). 

"Excessive water exposure can soften your nails, causing them to be flimsy and brittle," says Ren Wu, Co-Founder ofManiology. But you don't want to avoid water entirely, as she explains that drinking lots of H20 is a key to healthy nails.

Keeping your nails short is another way you can prevent breakage, according toDr. William Spielfogel, DPM, Chief of Podiatry in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Director of the Podiatric Medicine and Surgery Residency Program at Lenox Hill Hospital-Northwell Health.

While you're at it, he recommends avoiding harsh substances, such as false tips, wraps and gel manicures. While they look pretty, they may also weaken the nails. 

What is the best vitamin for nail strength?

When it comes to the vitamins your nails should be getting daily, it all starts with biotin (vitamin B7). The “B” basically stands for "beauty" at this point, since biotin (and other B vitamins) have been found to promote healthier hair, skin and nails.

"Several B vitamins manifest with nail breakage or abnormal nail growth if one is deficient or lacking in these vitamins," saysDr. Anna H. Chacon, MD, board-certified dermatologist. "This can be accomplished or mitigated by taking a vitamin B complex supplement."

Zinc is another vitamin that does A+ things for your nails. "Zinc may also help with the growth and renewal of cells which is the building block for healthy nails," explains Dr. Spielfogel. 

Next, keep hands soft and supple with vitamin E. Dr. Spielfogel recommends moisturizing your cuticles with it at night. Lastly, Dr. Chacon says thatvitamin C is important for the genesis or creation of collagen, which is found in our skin, hair and nails. 

how to strengthen nails

Does Vaseline® help your nails grow overnight?

As multipurpose as Vaseline is, it won't help your nails grow overnight. But that's not to say that it's not a miracle ingredient. "Vaseline or petroleum jellies serve as a special skin barrier protectant which by protecting the nails against external factors, may actually help it grow healthier," explains Dr. Chacon.

Dr. Spielfogel agrees, adding that it has moisturizing benefits: "Runners apply Vaseline to their toenails to reduce friction and damage to the nail while running." So, just imagine the benefits you can gain by regular application. 

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