What causes brittle splitting nails?

Cracked, brittle nails can make you look unkempt and ruin your over-all experience even if you are perfectly groomed otherwise. Apart from this, they can also cause discomfort especially if have broken at a sharp angle. Nails become brittle and start cracking or breaking when they become excessively dry or if they are exposed to harsh chemicals. Women who work at home and have their hands soaked in detergents and other household chemicals for long periods often end up with brittle nails, since these products also tend to leave the hands and nails drier than normal. To protect your hands from this type of damage, wear gloves to protect your hands and nails while working with detergents and other cleaning products.

In order to prevent your nails from cracking and breaking, you should keep them clipped short, and file them neatly at the edges to avoid sharp corners. In addition to this, do not use nail polish removers or acetone too frequently as this too can damage your nails and make them brittle. Deficiency of certain essential nutrients and fatty acids as well as dehydration can also lead to brittle nails. Thus, you should also monitor your diet, ensuring it is rich in Vitamins, Calcium and Iron which are important to keep your nails healthy and strong, and drink plenty of liquids and water throughout the day. You should keep your nails well moisturized to prevent them from becoming dry and brittle. The best and easiest way to moisturize your nails is to massage your finger tips and nails with hydrogenated vegetable oil. Other kitchen ingredients that can be used to moisturize the nails include clarified butter and olive oil. You can also warm some olive oil in a small bowl and soak your finger nails in them for 15 to 20 minutes. This helps to strengthen the nails, keeping them healthy and moisturized. Another good way to treat dry, brittle nails is to apply a good hand and nail cream or petroleum jelly on your nails and pull on a pair of socks over your hands before going to sleep. The cream works on the nails overnight and the next morning the nails are visibly better. While painted nails look pretty, it is important to remember that the chemicals in the nail polish are harsh and dry the nails, making them brittle and prone to breaking. You should thus avoid painting your nails too much and once you take of f the old coat of polish allow a few days to pass before you apply a new coat. You can pamper your nails during these days with daily oil massages. Make sure that you always moisturize your nails after your bath and before you go to bed at night.

answered by G M

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