There are two types of women in the world: Those who have the healthy nails of a hand model and those who... well, don't. While nail fragility is usually genetic, there are plenty of external factors that can also contribute to dry, brittle nails. I mean, let's face it: We put our hands through a lot.
If your nails are giving you serious 'tude, don't fret. Here are 7 easy tweaks you can make to your beauty routine to help you score strong, healthy nails:
1. Keep your nails shorter
As you work on strengthening your nails, keep them on the shorter side. Not only will they be less prone to breakage, but there will be less of a surface area for water and chemicals to soak into.
2. File them properly
Don't saw your nails back and forth when you're filing them: File your nails in one direction to avoid splitting and peeling.
3. Keep them moisturized
Dry, brittle nails are usually a sign of dehydration, and may also lead to icky, painful hangnails. Put the kibosh on parched digits by keeping a small jar of coconut oil with you at all times. Moisturize each time you wash your hands.
If your nails are in serious need of TLC, mix a teaspoon of olive oil with a few drops of lemon juice, and thoroughly massage onto your nails twice a week. Wear a pair of manicure gloves and let the mixture do its thang overnight.
4. Limit water exposure
If your hands are constantly taking a dip in scorching hot water as you clean your home or enjoy a night in the tub, try your best to keep your nails outside the water as much as possible—whether by wearing gloves as you clean or focusing on that wine of yours as you soak.
5. Don't pick at old nail polish
When it's time for a new manicure, many of us have this pesky habit of picking off what's left of the old one. Over time, this will damage your nail beds. After soaking your nails in lukewarm water for roughly ten minutes, dip a cotton ball in equal parts vinegar and lemon juice and gently rub onto each of your nails to remove the old polish, making sure to moisturize afterward (obvi).
6. Get your omegas
Healthy nails stem from a healthy diet. If your nails are getting their brittle on, try adding more essential fatty acids to your diet, such as fatty fish and flaxseed or flaxseed oil.
7. Avoid using your nails as tools
Even something as small as scraping off a price tag puts oodles of pressure on the weakest part of your nail, and can contribute to breakage. Stop treating your nails like a swiss army knife and allow them to heal and strengthen.
What's your secret to healthy nails?
Related on Organic Authority
Image: Stylish manicure photo via Shutterstock