Nail Care 101: Brittle Nails
Got nail problems? We’ve got answers. The OPI nail clinic is your number one resource for tips and tricks to solve any nail related issues.
If you’re nails are feeling weak and broken, you’re most likely dealing with brittle nails. But don’t worry, we’ve got expert advice to get them back in tip top shape, no more breakage allowed.
To put it simply, when your nails are in a weakened state they tend to break easily. Our nails are made up of layers of protein called keratin, so when the protein molecules are deficient or get damaged this can cause issues. Symptoms include split nails, peeling at the tips, nails that break, chip and crack, and nails that struggle to grow longer.
1. Mineral Deficiency
Your nails could be breaking due to a lack of iron, Vitamin B, E, C, or D in your diet. If your nails are concave in shape, this is likely due to lack of iron. Iron helps form hemoglobin, a molecule that shuttles red blood cells loaded with fresh oxygen to your nail matrix, encouraging them to grow.
2. Chemical Issues
You can be eating the perfect diet and wearing gloves, but if you leave your polish on for too long, this can cause serious issues. It’s worth taking a look at your polish remover and cleaning products, chemicals like acetone can strip the natural oils in your nails along with the polish.
3. The Elements
We can’t control the elements, but sunburn, prolonged exposure to wind, cold or dry weather can all result in broken nails. Monitor how often your hands are wet - swimming pools can dry out your nails, as well as frequent hand washing.
In rare cases, brittle nails can also be a sign of hypothyroidism, a disorder that occurs when your thyroid is underproductive and not making enough of the hormones that your body needs. If your nails have become extremely brittle, and you can’t pinpoint any external factors that could have been the culprit, we recommend seeing a healthcare professional.
1. The OPI Quick FIx
To prevent your nails breaking any further, our top manicurists have provided some simple solutions. Start by shaping your nails with a file. If you don’t own one, we suggest the Edge White 240 File. Then use your favorite nail glue and apply a small amount into the seperated nails before buffing it lightly. Finally, apply our hero Nail Envy Dry and Brittle to clean your nails before massaging the cuticles with ProSpa Cuticle Oil. Say hello to healthy nails!
You are what you eat, and that is definitely reflected in your nails. Iron deficiency is a common root cause of brittle nails, so try adding plenty of red meat, spinach and pumpkin seeds to your diet, or consider a supplement. We also recommend plenty of protein and Vitamin B rich foods and oily fish to keep those nails in tip top shape, so stock up on salmon and sweet potatoes.
3. Stay hydrated
There is one common theme in brittle nail causes - lack of moisture. Make sure you are drinking at least two liters of water a day. Keep your hands and nails moisturized with OPI ProSpa Hand, Nail + Cuticle Cream to stop your cuticles drying out. Everytime you wash your hands, simply incorporate the ProSpa cream into your routine. Finally, before you drift off to a blissful sleep in bed, massage cream into and around your nails.
4. Wear gloves
When you’re washing up, doing chores, or exposing your nails to lots of chemicals, be sure to pop on a pair of protective gloves.
5. Cut the chemicals
Harsh nail polish removers often contain highly toxic chemicals including acetone, formaldehyde, toluene, and phthalates. Try switching your regular remover for Expert Touch Lacquer Remover, which has none of the effects of harsh removers.