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9 kitchen ingredients that strengthen brittle nails

Lemon and olive oil as nail strengtheners - If your nails are turning brittle and yellow by the day, soak them in a soothing mixture of olive oil and lemon. Lemon has strong bleaching properties and could reduce the appearance of yellow stains. Similarly, olive oil moisturises and leaves your nails looking healthier. Take a mid-sized bowl filled with olive oil and squeeze out 4-5 drops of lemon juice to it. Soak in for 7-10 minutes and wash off with lukewarm water.

Brittle nails are quite common now-a-days. But with these natural remedies you can get healthy nails.

Written by Bhavyajyoti Chilukoti |Updated : March 19, 2015 10:19 AM IST

Brittle nails are a sign of aging. However, if your nails are breaking often or are deformed in shape, it might indicate various medical conditions. Apart from this excessive exposure to water, dryness or thick coats of nail polish or remover can cause them to chip off. You have many nail strengthening creams, gels available in the market. But before you try out those expensive products to strengthen your nails, here are few home remedies that might help you in dealing with brittle nails.

  1. Almond oil: Take 1 teaspoon of almond oil and add some lemon juice to it, mix this well. Now, directly massage your hands with this mixture or simply soak your hands into this mixture for not more than 2 minutes. As almond oil contains antioxidants and nutrients, it nourishes your nails and prevents them from breaking. Read more about skin and hair benefits of sweet almond oil.
  2. Sea salt: One of the simple and most effective ways to heal brittle nails naturally is to soak you nails in a solution containing sea salt and water. You can also add lemon juice or wheat germ oil to a bowl of warm water and soak your hands for around 15 minutes. Repeat this process two times in a day for a week for good results.
  3. Coconut oil: As brittle nails are commonly caused due to lack of proper moisturiser to your nails, massaging your nails with slightly warm coconut oil might do the trick for you. Ensure that you apply few drops on each nail and massage it gently for a minute. This also softens the cuticle, improves blood circulation to the nails and makes them stronger. How many beauty benefits of coconut oil do you know?
  4. Tomato juice: Being rich in antioxidants and protein, tomato juice can heal brittle nails and strengthen texture. All you need to do is add 2 drops of rosemary oil to 2 tablespoons of tomato juice. Dip your nails in this solution for 10 minutes and wash your nails with water.
  5. Apple cider vinegar: Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 2-3 cups of warm water. Dab some cotton in this mixture and apply it on the nails. The presence of alpha-hydroxy acids and acetic acid in the vinegar moisturises the nails and prevents breaking of the nails. Here's how you can use apple cider vinegar for various skin and hair problems.
  6. Olive oil: Take 2 teaspoons of olive oil and dip your fingers in the oil for around 10 minutes or massage your nails with this oil.Olive oil helps in the absorption of calcium and also improves bone mineralisation and the process of calcification. This is an inexpensive home remedy to fortify brittle nails.
  7. Lemon juice: All you need to do is squeeze the juice of half a lemon, dip a cotton ball and swipe your nails. Do this for every nail and wash your nails with warm water. This is because, lemon juice contains vitamin C, a powerful antioxidants that fights free radicals and prevents further worsening of the condition.
  8. Tea tree oil and vitamin E oil: To a teaspoon of tea tree oil, add 2 3 drops of vitamin E oil and gently massage your nails with this mixture. For effective results, do this at least two times a day for a month. As tea tree oil is powerful antiseptic oil and vitamin E is acts as an antioxidant, this combination aids in healing brittle nails.
  9. Argan oil: This oil works well for strengthening brittle nails due to its softening properties. You could incorporate argan oil as part of your manicure and pedicure routine or simply massage your nails with this oil to combat brittle nails naturally.

Apart from using these natural remedies to deal with brittle nails, here are few things you need to keep in mind to enhance the healing process.

  • Avoid exposure of your nails to water: Washing hands more often can actually make your nails weak, so avoid doing this frequently.
  • Stop using nail polish remover: The chemicals present in nail polish remover can dry out nails leading to increased risk of brittle nails. Read about 11 expert tips for healthy nails.
  • Eat a healthy diet: One of the key reasons for brittle nails is lack of proper nutrient supply to the body. Consume foods rich in biotin (vitamin B7) and omega 3 fatty acids and also include flaxseeds, nuts, beans, eggs, pumpkin seeds, broccoli and milk in your diet.
  • Wear gloves: The chances of breaking nails are high in case of winters (although it might be year round for some). In such cases, wearing gloves work wonders for both your skin as well as nails.

Image Source: Getty Images

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