No matter what I did, my manicure almost always got ruined by a broken nail. Something I can fully blame on being a longtime nail-biter. (Thanks, former self.) That’s not the only reason it used to happen so frequently, but I didn’t know how to strengthen nails to prevent breakage in the first place. Until now.
According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, brittle nails are also commonly caused by a cycle of repeated wetting and drying of the fingernails—something experts say only gets worse in low humidity and in the winter due to the dry heat. Breakage can also be caused by exposure to chemicals found in nail polish removers (especially acetone). Even with all the things working against your nails, there is a way to help keep them from breaking 24/7.
If your nails break easily, first shape and file them daily to prevent further damage. The AOCD recommends finishing it off by applying a clear nail polish that contains a lesser-known nail-strengthening ingredient: tiny nylon fibers. While there are plenty of options you can use, those that contain nylon are a top choice because they add a powerful shield of sorts to the nail, making them thicker and more protected against cracks and breaks.
To strengthen your nails at home, try Sally Hansen Advanced Hard as Nails with Nylon ($10), which also contains retinol and omega-3 to hydrate and improve the look of your nails, or Nutra Nail Bullet-Proof Strengthening Formula ($14), which is made with the same fibers as those used in bullet-proof vests. Nothing can get in the way of you and healthier, stronger nails.