Nail Care 101: Split Nail Causes and Solutions
Nails have multiple tough layers that can peel. This can make them appear thin and leave them weakened, causing them to split. There are number of causes for split nails, though interestingly they occur a lot more in women than men.
Onychoschizia, aka splitting nails, is caused by overexposure to water. Fluid makes the nail cells expand beyond their limits, and since the cells are unable to shrink back to normal after the nails dry, the nail layers separate. If your nails are brittle (breaking regularly), this could be a sign of an underlying medical condition, such as a thyroid problem or hormone imbalance.
Wondering what causes split nails? Look around you. Environmental factors (excessive exposure to water) and chemicals in household cleaning products can cause your nails to become dehydrated and lead to peeling at the tip of the nail. It’s also worth looking at the ingredients in your hand sanitizer and nail polish remover—alcohol and pure acetone can be extremely dehydrating to nails. In addition, using the incorrect gel polish removal could also be the source of the problem.
Finally, age has to come into consideration. The body’s ability to retain moisture begins to change around age 35, leading to brittle nails.
Before you start any form of split nail treatment, try to identify the cause.
Do you work in a kitchen? Do you have repeated exposure to cleaning chemicals? We recommend investing in a pair of moisture blocking gloves to protect your hands and nails from exposure. Wear these gloves when you’re doing chores around the house and always hydrate your hands with lotion and nails with cuticle oil. You’ll thank us later.
Next, examine your beauty products. Switch your regular hand sanitizer for a travel-size moisturizing body cleanser or wash to stop any dehydrating effects.
When you’re removing polish, switch to OPI’s Nail Lacquer Expert Touch Remover, a non-drying formula that leaves cuticles soft and supple.
When you’re getting ready to paint your nails, trim away the splitting or peeling area and cover the nail with Nail Envy Sensitive, which contains concentrated calcium to thicken your nails, along with Vitamin E to protect the nail from future exposure. Plus, if you have regular gel polishes, try OPI’s Gel Break, our formula enriched with reparative vitamins and minerals to help restore nail health.
Taking the supplement Biotin is another effective way of strengthening brittle nails, though please note this isn’t a quick fix. It takes up to six months for a complete regrowth and to notice major improvements.
If you want to know what causes split nails and how to deal with them, we hope this advice helps you nail it. Plus, don’t panic! We have the right treatments in place to ensure your nails are strong and healthy. Shop our nail clinic and treatments today.