Dry Brittle Nails

Have you ever wondered why you get dry brittle nails occasionally? There are actually a variety of causes, many of which can be controlled.

For example, when winter comes and you turn up the heat, also crank up a humidifier. The dryness of the house directly impacts your nails.


Causes Brittle Nails ~ Age & Water

Another factor in dry brittle nails is your age. It’s very natural for nails to become more frail after you hit age 35 – 40. One good way to help offset this is simply drinking enough water. Most adults do not drink enough water daily, which in turn contributes to dry skin and nails.

A third contributing factor to nail weakness is your personal lifestyle. Individuals whose hands are frequently exposed to water will tend to have weaker nails. Fingernails can absorb a lot of moisture. As they to they expand a bit, the contract when dry. This causes the nails to be brittle and prone to chipping.

Additional conditions that can cause fragile nails include:

-     poor circulation
-     health problems
-     nail fungus
-     chemical exposure
-     UV over-exposure


Treatment Brittle Nails

There are some simple ways that you can give your fingernails support. One is by being nutritionally smart. Cauliflower is a vegetable that has biotin. This component makes thicker fingernails and also encourages nail growth.

Other foods rich in biotin include lentils and peanuts. Note, however, that to see significant results from biotin you need a lot (2.5 milligrams daily). You won’t get that much from food, but can take it in supplement form. If ingested daily, it takes about 6 months to show results in your nails.

A second way to help your nails is to soak them in vegetable oil, particularly after your hands have been in water (like when you do dishes). Plain old vegetable oil is fine for this purpose.  If you don’t like sitting and soaking, just rub the oil into your fingernail instead. If your fingernail extends past the finger tip, remember to treat the underside too.

The third approach for dry brittle nails is to buy a nail strengthener. These aren’t expensive and you apply them similarly to nail polish. It’s important to use a nail strengthener daily so apply it in very thin coats so it doesn’t build up too quickly.

Note that you can apply a colored polish over this foundation. Note that like any product, too much of a good thing can actually harm your nails. Use nail strengtheners according to the manufacturer’s directions.

In terms of choosing a nail strengthener, ones with protein and/or Vitamin B are good choices for nourishing your fingernails. This type of product is usually safe for people with allergies unlike those with formaldehyde.


Dry brittle nails have a variety of potential causes and may be a sign of an undetected illness. More often, however, they’re a result of your environment. You can change your diet and activities to help protect your nails, as well as taking supplements that will nourish the nails from inside out.



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