Stick to a healthy diet
One of the keys to having strong nails is maintaining a healthy diet. Foods like blueberries that are full of antioxidants help protect your body’s cells from free radical damage, while leafy greens provide the iron you need for nail strength. Magnesium-rich almonds are great for smoothing your nails’ vertical ridges, and the calcium in dairy is an important mineral for helping them grow. Incorporate fish oil, vitamin D, and plenty of coconut oil into your diet as well for optimum nail health.
Do at-home nail treatments
If your nails look like they need some major TLC, do an at-home nail treatment. In the same way your face occasionally needs a super hydrating face mask, so do your nails. Consider dermatologist Dana Stern’s Deep Hydrating Formula, a hybrid gel-oil that hydrates and strengthens nails or Dermelect’s Peptide Infused Nail Recovery System for Damaged or Aging Nails. You can also try homemade remedies: For yellow nails, a great DIY nail treatment involves exfoliating with lemon juice and baking soda. If your nails are extremely dry, dip your fingertips in olive oil. (Here are the subtle signs your hands are begging for TLC.)
Always cut your nails
As much as you might love the look of long, beautifully-shaped fingernails, it’s best to avoid growing them out if you want to make them stronger. “Keep your nails shorter, as the longer they are, the easier it is for them to get traumatized,” says Dr. Jaber. Short nails are far less likely to be broken in your everyday life. As an added bonus, it’s also much easier to maintain the appearance of nails when they’re short! But not too short—here’s how bad it is to bite them!