How to Keep Nails from Breaking

by Rose Walker

Here’s the thing.

There are so many things that can cause your nails to break and if you aren’t aware of them, it’ll be practically hard for you to stop your nails from splitting and breaking. So, before we share with you the most effective tips on how to keep nails from breaking, let’s discuss the most common causes first.

How to Keep Nails from Breaking
How to Keep Nails from Breaking

Common Reasons for Brittle Nails

  • Frequent exposure to water

    Frequent exposure to water
    Frequent exposure to water

    When you expose your fingernails to water, they swell. As they become dry, they lose the moisture and shrink. As those things happen repeatedly, your nails will get a lot harder to hydrate and that’s when they’ll start peeling and breaking.

  • Trauma

    Any kind of trauma to your fingernails can make them brittle. Strumming your guitar, typing, biting, and chewing on your cuticles can all damage your nails and leave them dehydrated.

  • Health Issues

    Your health can also affect the strength of your nails. For example, if you have diabetes or thyroid disease, you can experience brittle nails as a symptom of the condition. A fungal infection in your nails can make them weak, too.

  • Diet

    How to Keep Nails from Breaking
    How to Keep Nails from Breaking

    A diet that’s really low in protein and biotin is another culprit for brittle nails. Those substances are important not just for the strength of your nails but also to how healthy they are.

  • Exposure to Chemicals

    There are certain nail polishes and nail polish removers that are formulated with harsh ingredients and chemicals. Those substances can ruin your nails and leave them weak over time.

See Also: Nail Care Routine: 8 Simple Steps To Healthy Nails

Top Ways to Keep Your Nails from Breaking

Now that you know what causes nails to break, it’s time for you to get a better understanding of what you can do to prevent that from happening. Below is a list of the most effective tips on how to keep nails from breaking.

  • Choose the right shape

    Choose the right shape
    Choose the right shape

    There are certain nail shapes that leave the nails vulnerable to breakage. Stilettos and square shapes are good examples. Their edges can snap and snag easily. If you want a nail shape that can absorb the impact from hitting your fingertips, try oval or round shapes.

  • Let your nails breathe

    Give your nails a few days to breathe. As much as possible, don’t apply nail polish right after removing the old one. Constantly applying nail polish can weaken your nails.

  • Keep your nails hydrated

    Moisturize your nails with a deeply penetrating oil to prevent them from becoming brittle and dry. Oils that are rich in vitamin E are excellent in nourishing the cuticles and preventing hangnails. Avocado oil is a good example.

  • Wear gloves

    Wear gloves
    Wear gloves

    Frequent exposure to water can dry out the nails. So, when washing the dishes or doing your laundry, try to wear a pair of gloves. It’ll protect your nails while you’re doing your chores.

  • Drink lots of water

    Keeping yourself hydrated isn’t just great for your nails but it’ll help with your overall health, too. Just drink plain water and avoid sodas. They are high in sugar which can increase your risk of developing diabetes.

  • Apply a strengthening base coat

    Apply a strengthening base coat
    Apply a strengthening base coat

    This type of product reinforces the nails to keep them from breaking or splitting easily. You can apply a nail hardener even if you won’t be wearing colored nail polishes.

  • Take nail supplements

    Take nail supplements
    Take nail supplements

    There are so many nail supplements available on the market today. With that, you have to be extra careful when purchasing one. Make sure to look for a supplement with safe ingredients. Biotin, collagen, and vitamin E are great ingredients to have in your supplements.

  • Eat right

    If you don’t want to take supplements, you can simply increase your intake of beans, leafy greens, lean meats, fruits, salmon, nuts, whole grains, and eggs. They can dramatically improve your nails over time.

  • Keep your nails clean

    Keep your nails clean
    Keep your nails clean

    To have really beautiful nails, you need to keep them clean every time. Wash your hands with a gentle soap and use a nail brush to completely remove the dirt on top and under your nails.

  • Use a gentle nail polish remover

    Most nail polish removers are made with alcohol, butyl acetate, acetone, and ethyl acetate which can cause damage to your nails.

    Instead of using those products, try to find a non-acetone based nail polish remover. If that’s not possible, limit your use of nail polish remover to no more than once a week.

  • Clip your nails only when they are damp

    Clipping or filing your nails when they are dry can cause the nails to separate and split. This is due to the lack of natural oils that glue their layers together.

    If you need to clip your nails, do it after taking a shower or washing your hands.

  • Don’t bite your nails

    Biting your nails can leave you with choppy nails or worse, bleeding, pain, and infection. Those are enough reasons for you to stop biting your nails.

    If you really can’t quit, try to get your nails professionally manicured. Seeing how beautiful your nails look may discourage you from biting them. You can also try chewing gum to keep your attention away from your nails.

  • Avoid using cuticle removers

    Those products are designed to destroy the keratin in your cuticles and that can lead to inflammation and infection. It can also cause the nail plates to soften, making them weak to damage. Additionally, prolonged exposure to cuticle removers can cause contact dermatitis.


There are so many things that can damage your nails and make them prone to breakage. The good news, however, is that there are also tons of things you can do to strengthen your nails.

While the remedies listed above are proven to be effective, they aren’t overnight miracles. You have to constantly do them if you want to have really strong nails. Watch your diet, drink enough water, and make sure you are treating your fingernails and hands properly.

If those tips don’t work, consider getting yourself checked. There are medical conditions that can weaken the nails. Ask your doctor about what you can do to treat those conditions and manage your brittle nails.

About Rose Walker

Rose Walker has worked as a nail artist for over 10 years. She's gained a lot of experience and developed her own unique style during that time. When she was working at a famous nail salon, she met Shirlyn. The two of them quickly became friends, and eventually decided to start their own website together. Naildesignideaz is the result of their collaboration - it's a website where they share their experience and offer tips on how to create beautiful nails.

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