Cracked, splitting, and dry brittle nails are a common problem affecting both women and men. Not only do nails with a tendency to break easily chip away at your beauty, but they hinder other, more practical areas of life as well. Try writing at your computer or playing the guitar. Your nails should stand up to any task you put them to.
So what causes dry brittle nails? The problem is definitely part of the ‘as we age’ narrative, but other factors can damage a healthy nail. Using harsh soaps or cleaning products, long-term exposure to nail polish and polish remover, dehydration, poor nutrition, and rough work also bring in their negative contribution.
Other, more severe causes are disease-related, and include hyper or hypothyroidism, psoriasis, eczema, lung problems, anemia, endocrine disorders, or fungal infections.
Still, let’s focus on what happens when you age and, as a consequence, your nails begin to dry out. At first, they will begin to fray because of loss of those natural oils that had kept your nails nice and polished for decades without you realizing it. Next, your nails will split and crack. Finally, you’ll take one look at your fingernails and not recognize them as yours.
After extensive research, we’ve nailed down the 10 best natural treatments. Remember, though. These home remedies will work better at strengthening and brightening your nails if you stick to some rudimentary healthy lifestyle choices.
Top 15 Natural Home Remedies to Heal, Strengthen and Brighten Those Dry Brittle Nails
1. Coconut Oil
We fight tooth and nail to keep our health on the floating line. Sometimes, it helps to pass the responsibility to mother nature.
If our body’s natural oil is running in short supply, maybe it’s high time we find an adequate replacement. Coconut oil is a great cuticle moisturizer. The high level of fat saturation does well in providing those frail nails with the nourishment they need to recover. Moreover, antifungal acids also come with the package. Coconut oil is known as treating infections and preventing nail loss.
How to use:
Take some coconut oil, warm it lightly, then apply it on the nail. Take care to cover all areas, from cuticles to ridges. Massage gently for five minutes. Don’t lose sight of this remedy too fast. Repeat two times a day for several weeks.
Alternatively, you can mix the warmed up coconut oil with some lemon juice. Then just dip your nails in the solution and soak them for 10 minutes. You will start seeing signs of improvement in a few weeks.
2. Vitamin E Oil
Your nails need adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals. Otherwise, they cannot sustain growth. One major supplier of the much-needed reserves is vitamin E oil. Using its natural antioxidants, it can help reducing growth disorders and treat yellow nail. On the other hand, the substance acts a moisturizer to hydrate the dryness of your nails.
How to use:
To get vitamin E in liquid form, break open a capsule and apply the ensuing substance on the nails before going to bed. Massage to help increase blood flow into the nail bed. Keep that vitamin E oil onto the cuticles overnight, using gloves if need be. Repeat daily or until you notice a change for the good.
Ingesting vitamin E orally adds to the benefits, and helps treat dry brittle nails, but damaged hair and skin as well.
3. Sea Salt
The same concentration of nutrients registered in sea water seems to be found in our bodies as well. S you couldn’t get yourself a more natural ally than sea salt.
Sea salt is chock full with minerals, including sodium, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Anemia is caused by a lack of the latter, for example. The first signs to hint of a calcium-deficiency are the dry brittle nails that also show white spots appearing on the surface.
To restore, fortify and brighten your nails, try using the next method. Add two tablespoons of sea salt to a small bowl of warm water. Feel free to add some other ingredients to the concoction, like two drops each of frankincense or wheat germ oil for instance, or lemon and baking soda. Dip your nails in the curative waters and soak for up to 15 minutes. Rinse it off, then apply a hand cream. After a week of two or three uses you should see the first signs of improvement.
4. Tea Tree Oil
There’s a reason we recommend so many oils. Compared to your typical hand creams and gels, oils really perform better at soaking into the nail bed
Tea tree oil is at present the staple home remedy for acne. An Australian native, the substance is now found in drugstores worldwide. Its first fame might have been due to clearing the skin’s dark spots, but its antiseptic properties also make it a great antiseptic. Thus, it can help treat discolored and brittle nails.
How to use:
Mix together half a teaspoon of vitamin E oil and some drops of tea tree oil. Apply the solution on the cuticles and nails and massage gently. Leave on for half an hour, then rinse it off.
Another method is to combine the essential, softening oils of the tea tree with those of avocado, jojoba, and lavender. One tablespoon of each make for a powerful blend of natural remedies that will prevent your nails from splitting any further as you advance in age.
Your body’s concentration of minerals tends to go off-kilter at times. You’ll recognize this when the first symptoms start popping up: dryness, irritation, blotchiness, and a moody attitude.
Horsetail is a proven fighter on behalf of men’s health, and history champions the herb as a great natural healer. Horsetail derives its name from its easily recognizable hair-like stems. Obviously, they remind one of a horse’s tail. More importantly, this is the place of residence for silica. A vital mineral for healthy nails, skin, and hair, the silica amounts to about 65% of the herb’s content value.
How to use:
One source of silica is in the extract of horsetail, which you can find at drugstores everywhere. Still, however you consume the herb, the effects should be seen immediately. Add two teaspoons of the horsetail herb to a cup of hot water. Let it steep for 10 minutes, then soak your nails in for a 20 minute long bath. The best is to leave it overnight and repeat the process three or four times a week.
Other sources of silica can be found in lesser amounts in foods such as asparagus, cucumbers, cabbage, corn, radishes, olives, soybeans, rice, millet, oats, white onions, etc.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Our list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the staple remedy in the fight against the aging and ever weaker body. The apple cider vinegar’s benefits run pages long. It’s loaded with nutrients and vitamins, such as calcium, iron, and magnesium. Anti-inflammatory and anti-septic, it also brings malic acid and acetic acid to the fight against infected nails.
How to use:
Combine raw apple cider vinegar and water in equal amounts. Pour into a small bowl and soak your nails right in. Wait for a couple of minutes, or until the cuticles lend themselves to being cleared easily. Then, gently push them down. Repeat daily.
7. Lemon Juice
Many times we’ve praise lemon juice for its natural bleaching properties. While it removes the dark spots off your skin, it can also brighten and polish the dry brittle nails with a natural white look. Plus, no home treatment is simpler in design than a few drops of lemon.
How to use:
Squeeze a lemon enough to fill one tablespoon. Mix it with another three spoons of olive oil in a small bowl. Heat for a few seconds, then apply the warm and soft substance on the nails. Better leave it overnight.
Alternatively, use argan oil instead of the olive type. This time, you can soak your nails longer in the mixture, up to 20 minutes.
If beer is not your favorite drink, your nails might become addicted to it. The beverage contains selenium, phosphorus, potassium, and biotin – all highly effective in putting a final nail on the coffin of this beauty problem.
How to use:
Simply mix one part warm olive oil, one part apple cider vinegar and two parts beer. Soak your nails in the mixture and wait for up to 15 minutes.
9. Blackstrap molasses
A natural sweetener until commercial sugar stole the throne in early 20th century, blackstrap molasses is actually good for your body. It contains a high dose of iron, and most of the other vitamins and nutrients found in pure format in the cane sugar plant.
How to use:
Mix one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses and warm water, milk, tea, or any other beverage of your choice. The goal is to liquify the sweetener easier. Drink the mixture once or twice daily, and continue to do so for a few weeks.
Diabetics be warned: This remedy is not recommended for you.
Tomatoes come equipped with a laundry list of vitamins, long enough to cover the alphabet. Vitamins A and C work to strengthen the dry brittle nails, while B7 (or biotin) is a vital nutrient in the body’s production of keratin – an indispensable component in the hair, skin, and nails’ health.
There’s not really a method to use tomatoes for treating your nails. Just enjoy a glass of the organic red juice in the morning, or complete your salad with some fresh slices, or cap the day with a spicy Bloody Mary. Either way, just try to make tomatoes a regular on your daily menu.
‘Why are my nails so brittle?‘ This question will nag you even more as you advance into old age while forgetting even those most diminutive parts of your body – your nails – need your attention as well.
To heal dry brittle nails, you should first address any possible underlying health problems. The next step is to focus on a more proper nutrition and vitamin use. Finally, enlist nature’s help and don’t shy away from using the best natural treatments available to you.