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Why Are My Nails So Brittle And How To Strengthen Them?


Getting all glammed up and indulging in trendy styles going around is something that all women love. 

Right, ladies? 

None of your party looks is complete without adding glitzy nail polish to your nails and making them all shiny. 

But, what can turn out to be a killjoy is when your brittle and weak nails prone to dryness and chipping tend to dampen the look of your stylish nails. 

Apart from destroying your style, your brittle nails also point towards skin concern that needs attention.

So, for all nail and beauty lovers out there who dread brittle and chipped nails, some simple fixes and tweaks can help you get your nails back to their former shine and beauty. 

Keep reading to find answers to why your nails are so brittle and learn some DIY home remedies to cure that annoying brittleness. 

Table Of Contents:

  • What Causes Brittle Nails?
  • Remedies To Get Rid Of Brittle Nails

What Causes Brittle Nails?

Weak and brittle nails is a problem that many suffer from. Our hands and nails are one of the most important parts of our body, and anything going even a bit awry with their health can dampen anybody’s mood. 

brittle nails, thin nails, damaged nails

Understanding the different causes behind your weak and brittle nails can help you plan your treatment plan a lot better. 

Here are a few of the factors that might be causing brittle nails:

Growing age

As per Rhonda Klein, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Westport, Connecticut, as we grow old, keratin, a natural protein present in our nails and hair as well, starts producing at a much slower rate making our nails weak and brittle. Your fingernails become extremely thin as you age, while the toenails tend to thicken a bit. 

Exposure to harsh elements

Our skin is extremely vulnerable, and harsh chemicals that are present in cosmetic products and excessive washing of your hands can strip your nails of their health and lead to brittle and dull nails. 

Cold weather

Cold weather conditions and sudden drop in temperature tends to make our skin and hair more susceptible to dryness and lack of moisture. 

Iron deficiency

Lack of iron in our body leads to a sudden decrease in the red blood cell levels of our body. Extremely low iron in our body can be a big factor behind dry and brittle nails. 


Low thyroid levels in your body are characterized by symptoms such as mood swings, depression, weight gain, fatigue, and brittle nails. Oral consumption of medication for treating thyroid can help you alleviate these symptoms. 

Excessive biting of nails

You might be biting your nails often out of habit or due to some anxiety, thinking of it as no big deal. But, it might be a cause of your brittle nails. As per Rachel Nazarian, MD, a dermatologist from Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York, your saliva is a digestive enzyme meant to break down food and make it easier to consume. Biting of nails leads to the saliva dissolving nails and cuticle skin, making them dry, brittle, and prone to infections. 

Remedies To Get Rid Of Brittle Nails

Here are some simple remedies and easy fixes that can help you strengthen your nails and get them back in perfect shape:

Massage with coconut oil

This staple item present in all of our kitchens is infused with exceptional moisturizing properties that can work brilliantly well to hydrate your dry and dull skin. Massaging your brittle nails with this concoction can keep them hydrated and enhance the circulation of blood flow as well. 

Soak your nails in ACV

Easily available in your pantry, this rich ingredient works wonders for several skincare issues. Loaded with enriching nutrients and minerals, soaking your nails in ACV can help thicken them and improve the health of your hands as well. 

Castor oil massage

It’s no surprise that castor oil is one magical ingredient with its anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties that can heal several skincare woes. Brittle nails are one such concern that can be taken care of with a thorough massage with castor oil. 

castor oil for hair, oil for nails, castor

A few drops of tea tree oil

The antimicrobial properties of tea tree oil help relieve fungal infections and dry nails. Dilute an all-natural tea tree oil with water or some other oil and apply it to your weak nails to enhance their strength.

Soaking your nails in a mix of sea salt and water can help you soften your cuticles and boost the strength of your nails as well. 

Any nourishing oil

Pamper your nails with any intensely nourishing oil such as jojoba, olive, almond, argan, coconut, etc. Your nails often get thoroughly damaged by the constant use of acrylic nails and nail arts and might be in dire need of restoring the lost moisture. Natural oil can penetrate deep within your nails and actively help in restoring their strength back.

Use shea butter for moisturization

Shea butter is a smooth ingredient with replenishing properties that can help you nourish your nails and promote their growth. 

Tomato juice

Enriched with antioxidants and essential proteins, applying tomato juice on your nails can strengthen their texture and heal the dryness and damage as well. Simply dip your nails in a solution of tomato juice with some essential oil of your choice and let it add strength to your brittle nails. 


Frequently Asked Questions

What medical condition causes brittle nails?

Anemia, Hypothyroidism, and Raynaud's syndrome are some medical conditions that can be causing brittle and weak nails. 

What are the signs of unhealthy nails?

Discoloration, changes in the shape of your nails, bleeding and swelling around nails, and brittle nails are some signs of unhealthy nails. 

What should I eat to strengthen my nails?

Some food items that can boost the strength of your nails include fruits, lean meats, green leafy vegetables, salmon, eggs, nuts, and beans. 


Brittle nails might be one big turn-off for many of us but going for regular manicure sessions at the salon is something that might get difficult at times. 

Understanding the real reasons behind the weak health of your nails and getting in sync with a few tweaks and remedies can help you boost their lost moisture. 

Keep the shine of your nails intact and let them look oh-so-hot all the time with some simple remedies and tips.

Geetika Kapoor

Deeply passionate about writing, I’m a freelancer and have been working on several writing projects for several domains across the globe since last three years. I love reviewing different products ranging from skin care products, perfumes, body lotions, feminine products, hygiene items and several others. An English teacher by profession, I love interacting with kids and discovering different personalities as well. When I’m not writing I spend most of time reading novels, listening to songs, solving tricky puzzles and travelling around the world to my favourite destinations. Collen Hoover and Nicholas Sparks are my all time favourite authors. Their writing leaves a deep impact and stays with me for long.

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