stronger, longer nails

topic posted Wed, November 30, 2005 - 1:18 PM by  Ruthy
i need some good old natural methods for making my nails stronger and longer. i'm already taking flax seed oil supplements and a multi vitamin and i eat very healthy, but my nails are very soft/weak and they peel and chip easily. i've been a chronic nail biter since i was a little girl, so i need something really potent.

does anyone have any natural remedies for jump starting nail growth and strengthening them?
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  • Re: stronger, longer nails

    Wed, November 30, 2005 - 3:08 PM
    If you're not adverse to how it's produced or its origin, I suggest a Knox bath (like you'd get at a salon with a manicure, only gelatin instead of soap) a couple times a week, as well as actually eating gelatin, too. I mix knox into smoothies sometimes, or if you're ok with the sugar content use Jello. I also use a cream with keratin and seaweed extract, slather it on then put on gloves before you do the dishes, and I occasionally sleep with socks on my hands after slathering on the cream as well. I've also had success with a hair and nail supplement that Trader Joe's carries, it has horsetail in it among other things I can't remember off the top of my head. If you can afford it, Mary Kay has a hand treatment set that rocks my socks. I also like Body Shop's hemp hand salve in the tube (also a great scalp treatment).
    YMMV but I've found that using nail polish of any kind makes my nails worse, though I suppose there must be some kind of nail treatment out there that doesn't actually have any lacquer in it. I have yet to find any at the beauty supply places near me, though I imagine you'd be able to get something at Sephora or Whole Foods.
  • Unsu...

    Re: stronger, longer nails

    Fri, December 2, 2005 - 12:07 PM
    if you have dirty colon walls no matter what you put in your mouth you are not going to reap the full rewards.

    there are many colon cleansing products and methods out there to try.

    mine were flimsy until i did a colon cleanse no matter what i tried. also if you have worn fake nails in the past it seems to take awhile for real nails to recover...i dont know why.
    • Re: stronger, longer nails

      Tue, December 6, 2005 - 6:05 PM
      Fake nails harm real nail regrowth because of the chemicals used for the glueing and unglueing. Your nails are like your hair, same substance, you dye your hair and hair growth can be stunted, you put glues and polish removers on your nails you stunt the growth. remover has acetate which is a poisonous substance in large enough doses i believe. It soaks into your cuticles the area nails grow from and it stunts your growth. Also if you remove your cuticles you damage the regrowth, the cuticles help develope and thats the area nails grow from. They are important, in horses we never harm that cuticle area on the horses foot because NO FOOT no horse, horse foot is hair btw. like a rhino's horn. I use Sally hansen mircle growth syrums and stuff,(on me not the horse) theres a whole line of them. you could literaly use a permanent marker to mark the spot, use sally hansen for a week and see the growth. its fast. Maybe a half centimeter a week or slightly less.
      • Re: stronger, longer nails

        Tue, December 6, 2005 - 10:53 PM
        I love Sally's nail stuff. It really works! She had a box set for longer nails out a couple of years ago that I loved. It was made out of stuff she had out already. It had her longer nail polish, a cuticle cream, nail buffer, nail clippers, a file to remove the cuticle off the nail (I think it called an orange stick?), I think that was it, but it worked. I use a non-acetone remover for my polish whenever I eventually wear it. Putting a cuticle oil on and massaging the nails with it helped me also. Oh, and putting lots of moisturizing lotion and gloves at night as well. I just babied the hell out of my hands and that helped. Don't get your nails too wet or it draws moisture out of them. I was told that eating gelatin didn't really help (I haven't tried it so I don't know) but that eating more protein did since your nails are made of protein. Everybody is different, so maybe it will work.
  • Re: stronger, longer nails

    Sun, February 19, 2006 - 10:38 PM
    I, too, feel you pain Ruthy!! The only thing that works quite well for me is to rub 100% shea butter cream into my hands as much as possible. I work in a salon and my hands and nails are always dry and cracking and since I've started doing this about 6 months ago, I am now having to clip my nails as they grow too much! I wish you the best of luck.
  • Re: stronger, longer nails

    Mon, February 20, 2006 - 9:14 AM
    There's a great Calcium nail polish at sally's that I used after I took off my fake nails (which left them paper-thin and totally wrecked). I usually don't get any results from strengthening polishes...but this one was great!!! My nails grew out stronger that they were before the fake nails!!!
    It's in a clear bottle with CALCIUM written big on the front.
  • Re: stronger, longer nails

    Wed, February 22, 2006 - 4:59 AM
    I used to have flimsy nails that peeled easily, and now they only peel every once in a while. Most of my tricks to having better nails don't even involve diet, they have to do with learning how to make my nails as strong as they can be structurally--does that make sense? Well, I'll try to expalin what I do and then maybe it will.

    A good friend with *great*, and I mean the most naturally fabulous nails ever, taught me that knowing the proper way of shaping your nail can make them stronger so they can grow longer, as well as using the right kind of nail file and never using nail polish.

    Nail polish is a big killer of nails. Every time you use nail polish remover it strpis a layer of nail off, leaving them flimsy and weaker than before. And if you use nail polish you *always* have to use remover to get it all off. It is depressing sometimes to not be able to color my nails all pretty and cute and matching a cool outfit, but I know I have a choice--really nice looking natural nails that I get a lot of comments on because a lot of people are jealous they are my real nails, or short weak nails that I have perpatual problems with because I want to have color on them every once in a while. Some people have strong enough nails they cam use nail polish and still have nice nails left over, but not me. It was not too hard of a decision. :-)

    The nail file you want is stainless steel with a small, diamond pattern groove for filing, not the rough sandpaper kind--whether they be disposable or metal stay away from that kind! They will leave microscopic snags and snares that will become flakes, peels, and splits. Revlon makes a diamond pattern kind. It is all metal, no plastic. I think they have the rough bumpy kind too but it has a plastic handle, so make sure you have the right one that will be nice to your nails. I didn't think it would make that much of a difference until I tried one and as my nails grew out I was amazed by how fewer problems I had.

    When you have the right nail file you need to then shape your nails so they will be as strong as possible. You want to round them pretty severely, almost tapering them as they get longer. Start by filing the sides down as far as possible, then round the tip or the nail. The middle of the nail should be the longest point, and from the rounding it should taper smoothly in a balanced way on both sides. Refile about once a week to once every 2 weeks. If you notice a snag flake/peel developing, file the nail down past it and reshape it in the same tapered way, just with the shortened length.

    Hope this helps your nails as much as it helped mine. Good luck!

    If you do this and keep up on it I swear your nails will grow longer and nicer than they ever have. I used to barely be able to grow my nails and they had perpetual problems, and since I've been doing this for the last 8 years my nails keep growing to being longer than the nail bed and I have to chop them off because they're *too* long--I never thought I'd see the day. I am not kidding, it really does work.

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