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How to Strengthen & Fortify Nails?

4 min to read
Brittle, weak, ridged nails… the quality of your nails may not always be top-notch, and this can actually have an impact on the longevity and hold of our manicures. This is why Team Manucurist wants to tell you all the common mistakes to avoid and the tips you need to know to strengthen your nails every day!

Beyond their aesthetic appearance, our nails play a fundamental role for our hand health and their quality can be influenced by all kinds of different external and internal factors. This is why it is so important to take care of them, and look for ways to nourish and strengthen them on a daily basis. Doing so will also ensure polishes and nail art will last longer which is another reason to get started!

Avoid Nail Damaging Risks!

Like the hair, the nails are composed of about 90% keratin, a strong protein produced by the Nail Matrix located at the base of the cuticles.
Put through daily stress, our nails are exposed to numerous factors that can make them fragile and more susceptible to damage. Breakage, splitting, yellowing, softening… These are just a few of the signs that can alert you to the degree of fragility of your nails.
Prevention and proactivity is always better than reactivity, so here are some situations to avoid if possible when considering nail health.

Exposing your nails to chemical products or aggressive solutions (usually found in household cleaners for example) can damage your nails. Protect them with gloves or opt for gentle, natural, non-toxic formulas.

Over-exposing your nails to humidity can also make them soft and or dry. That is right! It is a common misconception that our nails are waterproof, in fact our nails are porous and water can pass through the fibers, and over exposure to moisture can make our nails extremely fragile and soft which will cause polish to not adhere as strongly as needed for a long-lasting mani.

© anna-shvets - © sora-shimazaki
Over exposure humidity and moisture, as well as harsh chemical products can cause our nails to become weak and fragile… ultimately shortening polish wear time.

Biting your nails is never a good idea! Other than being a bad habit due to hygienic concerns and risk of injury or infection, it also makes nails deformed and can increase damage by splitting, eventually making nails more flimsy and fragile. Better to find other ways to manage stress!
In additional to nail biting, using your nails as tools to scratch or open objects is never a good idea!

Incorrect methods for nail filing. Beware of back and forth motions and ill adapted tools. Giving your nails a beautiful shape while respecting their integrity is about all done with a file made specifically for natural nails with adapted grains and above all in one direction to avoid splitting and weakening them. Discover all our additional tips for preparing your nails in our Nail Prep Blog post.

Continuous application of gel and acrylics with acetone removals is notorious for creating weak, brittle and damaged nails. Risks associated with gel and acrylic have been a looming concern, especially recently as the rate of gel and acrylic manicures have risen. Acetone removal is horrible for the nails as it dissolves the natural fat layer of the nails that protects them. Nail fibers and keratin continue to be dissolved and nail health continues to deplete with each gel application and removal process. Additional scraping and drilling done after acetone soaking then furthers the damage to the nails.

© leeloo-thefirst
Frequent applications of gel and acrylics, along with the harmful removal process which uses acetone and aggressive sanding and drilling, weakens nail keratin fibers and destroys the nails fatty protective layer.

Good Nail Habits

So your nails are damaged? Now what? Don't panic! We have a few tips to help repair, strengthen and protect your nails!

Fortify the nails from the inside! We don't always think about it but an unbalanced diet lacking in the essential nutrients for good nail growth can weaken them. Make sure you eat foods rich in essential vitamins, minerals and trace elements like calcium, zinc, iron and most importantly B vitamins like Biotin which is essential for keratin production.
These B vitamins are found in things like brewer’s yeast, leafy greens, bananas, salmon, liver, eggs, fortified breakfast cereals, nuts and cheeses. In addition you can supplement these vitamins in your diet with a daily biotin supplement to increase keratin production which will help not only your nails but also your hair!

Dietary supplements rich in essential vitamins and minerals help to strengthen nails from the inside out.

Implement a moisturizing and nourishing nail Routine between manicures and colour applications. After removing make-up we all usually have a skincare routine that consists of moisturizing… so do the same for your nails! It only takes a few minutes and your nails will thank you. After removing polish (with an acetone-free remover), apply a few drops of complete serum and gently massage into nail and cuticle fibers. This water-based formula is enriched with panthenol, chestnut seed extract and glycerine, all of which deeply moisturize and restore dry, thin and brittle nails. Complete this routine with Green Oil which has a mix of 6 multi-active oils with regenerate cuticles and nails to promote regrowth. 💪

One last tip : don't ever skip the Base Coat, even if you are not wearing coloured polish. This is a protective layer which is essential to protect your nails from humidity, dehydration and yellowing. Some treatment bases are enriched with essential active ingredients (vitamins, AHAs, ect) to deeply strengthen and regenerate nails. they also guarantee better colour hold!

With all these tips in mind, you all set to strengthen your nails and give them keratin like steel! To go even further, find out more about the nature of your nails and how to care for them specifically by using our Nail Diagnostic tool! Let us guide you by giving you a personalized routine!