Nail know-how: Battle the brittle with our top tips

Tired of weak, cracked nails ruining your otherwise perfect manicure? If they break easily and show no sign of improvement, don't stress. Most of us have had this problem at some point. HELLO! Online offers top tips to help you battle the brittle.

Breaking point

Although there are many reasons why nails can become fragile and weak, nail files might be the main cause. When overused, they can turn your nails paper thin, splitting the surface and forming ridges.



Dehydration is another common culprit, especially if your hands come into frequent contact with water or corrosive substances.

Problem solving

Since we can't rule out a lack of vitamins or minerals as a possible factor, nutrition is key. There's no better remedy than a balanced diet, rich in fruit and vegetables.

There are also vitamin supplements specifically designed to deal with this problem. Try to select those that contain vitamin B or the amino acids cysteine, lysine and tryptophan.

Remember that you shouldn't expect instant results. Your balanced diet and supplements will have an effect on new nail growth, but not on the existing nail. That means it will take at least eight weeks to see an improvement.

For stubborn situations, nail hardeners will also give you a helping hand. You should also steer clear of nail polish removers that contain acetone, as they are dehydrating. Apply a moisturiser to your cuticles at least twice a day.

Wear your nails short for a while so they don't become too brittle. And if in doubt, consult a dermatologist for expert advice.

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