Brittle Nails: Causes and Prevention
By Suzanne Roberta Meyer, MBA
Brittle nails are the most common type of nail damage. In fact, one in three women worldwide suffer from brittle nails.
Nails are made from about 120 layers of Keratin Protein, much like the shingles on a roof. When brittleness occurs, the layers start to peel, lift up and eventually break.
When this happens, nails become weak, get caught on clothing and peel further.
Also, when the nail plate is compromised due to brittle layers, moisture, dirt, bacteria, and environmental grime can get under the layers, creating the optimal condition for infection.
But now, there are solutions that can help repair and restore brittle nails back to a healthy, balanced, and strong condition.
So, what exactly causes nails to become brittle. There are several factors including:
- Lack of moisture: Dry nails are more prone to breaking.
- Age: As we get older, our nails tend to become drier and more brittle.
- Use of nail polish remover: Nail polish remover can strip the nails of their natural oils, leading to dryness and brittleness.
- Medical conditions: Some medical conditions, such as anemia and hypothyroidism, can cause brittle nails.
- Exposure to harsh chemicals: Frequent exposure to household cleaners and other harsh chemicals can also contribute to dry, brittle nails.
The good news? Brittle nails can be prevented with a little TLC. Here are some recommendations:
- Keep your nails moisturized: Use a nail oil or cream to keep your nails and cuticles moisturized. For everyday use, we recommend Strengthening Bamboo Cream, a light weight, but highly concentrated complex of Bamboo Extract, Sunflower Oil and Sweet Almond Oil that can be applied to nails and cuticles.
- Avoid biting your nails: Biting your nails can weaken them and make them more prone to breaking.
- Wear gloves when doing household chores: Protect your nails from harsh chemicals by wearing gloves when cleaning or doing other household chores.
- Use a nail hardener: Nail hardeners can help to strengthen and protect your nails. For brittle nails, we recommend W3 Peptide Serum, a powerful serum that repairs and heals the Keratin Layers and protects from further damage.
- Avoid using nail polish remover: If possible, try to avoid using nail polish remover, or choose a non-acetone formula.
- Trim nails short and keep them filed and buffed using the Glass Nail File Duo Set. Unlike commonly used emery boards which collect bacteria, glass nail files can be cleaned and disinfected, so using them regularly to shape and buff nails not only keeps nails in better condition, but reduces the risks of bacterial infection.
- Eat a healthy diet: A diet rich in protein, iron, and other nutrients can help to promote healthy nail growth.
It's also a good idea to consult a dermatologist or healthcare provider if you have brittle nails that are not improving. They can help to determine the cause of your brittle nails and recommend appropriate treatment.