Quick Tips for Healthy Hair and Strong Nails


Wash your hair in Listerine. Why? Because your hair stinks. No, not really. Turns out that Listerine is an effective cure for dandruff, says Dr. Schlachter. Mix your own dandruff rinse by combining one part mouthwash with nine parts water. After shampooing with your regular shampoo, apply the mixture to your scalp and leave it on. Your dandruff will improve, your hair won’t be sticky, and you can be assured people won’t accuse your hair of having bad breath. You don’t actually have to use Listerine. Most drug chains carry a much cheaper house-brand antiseptic mouthwash that has the same active ingredients as Listerine. Just compare labels.

Give your hair a mint rinse. Okay, the Listerine remedy works, but if you’d rather not have your hair smelling like mouthwash, try this other remedy from Dr. Schlachter: Mash a handful of fresh or dry peppermint leaves and cover them with vodka (sounds good already, doesn’t it?) Let it steep for a full day (no tasting), then strain. Add 1/4 teaspoon water at a time to the mix until it becomes cloudy. After shampooing, apply the mix to your scalp and leave it on. You should see results by the second shampoo, and if not, you can always drink the stuff (the vodka mix, not the shampoo).


Take B vitamins for strong nails. Nails as strong as horses’ hoofs, to be exact. It’s a secret veterinarians have long known—that the B vitamin biotin strengthens horses’ hoofs. The hoofs are made from keratin, the same substance that makes up fingernails (the natural ones, at least). Several studies find it works just as well in humans. One from Swiss researchers found that patients with brittle nails who supplement with 2,500 micrograms of biotin for six months increased their nail thickness 25 percent. Take 300 micrograms of the vitamin four to six times a day.

Skip the quick-drying nail polish. Most quick-drying polishes contain more formaldehyde and alcohol than regular polishes, and those fluids can dry and split your nails. The best way to fast-dry your nails is by freezing them. Dump a tray of ice cubes into your bathroom sink, add enough cold water to cover them, then dip your wet nails into the cold water for a minute or two after each coat.

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