Splitting, thin, brittle and/or breaking nails aka Onychoschizia occurs frequently in women. There is a common misconception that it’s caused by vitamin deficiencies.
In some cases, iron deficiency anaemia & gluten intolerance does lead to brittle nails. However, there are a few other things that cause brittle, breaking nails in women.
What Causes Brittle Nails/Split Nails?
- Dipping bare hands in materials full of harsh chemicals like detergents, cleaning fluids.
- Nail removal solutions, which contain acetone, can be harsh on the nails.
- Overuse of commercial nail polishes. A fresh coat of paint looks gorgeous but try to give your nails a few days/weeks break in-between manicures and pedicures. Leaving nail polishes on for too long also leads to brittle nails. Always remove polish within 5 – 7 days of application.
- When you’re involved in activities that keep your hands and fingers wet or moist constantly such as frequent swimming.
- A diet deficient in adequate protein. The nails are made up of a protein known as keratin. If you’re not getting enough protein in your diet, you will experience brittle, breaking nails in addition to hair loss.
- If you’re dehydrated constantly, you will eventually start experiencing brittle, breaking nails. While the recommended daily water intake is at least 8 glasses of water, you should aim to drink much more than that. If you wait until you’re thirsty to drink water, you’re already dehydrated.
How to Strengthen Brittle & Splitting Nails with Vitamin E Oil
Nail Strengthening Oil Recipe
- Mix ¼ cup of sweet almond oil and/or argan oil with 2 teaspoons of vitamin E oil in a clear 4 oz bottle. You can extract vitamin E oil directly from the capsules as well.
- Shake thoroughly.
Every time your hands get wet, use the moisturizer afterwards. You can also use the oil mix every morning and evening, taking a few minutes to massage it into each nail thoroughly.
6 Tips for Eliminating Weak and Brittle Nails
- Wear gloves whenever you are involved in household tasks like dishwashing, general cleaning and laundry by hand.
- When your nail snags, file it ASAP. If you leave it for too long, it will contribute to the problem.
- Whenever you wash your hands after using the washroom, always apply the vitamin E oil mix.
- Feel free to include a daily supplement rich in nail strengthening ingredients like biotin, saw palmetto, horsetail extract and silica. However, always consult your physician before you start taking any supplements internally.
- Consider including bamboo leaf tea in your diet. Bamboo leaf tea is rich in bone building silica and 2 – 3 cups a day will go a long way in strengthening your hair and nails.
- Use nail polish removers that are soy based and acetone free.
- Before applying nail polish, massage the vitamin E oil mix into your nails thoroughly. It will form a protective base from the chemicals in the nail polish.
It will take around 6 months for the problem to rectify itself but with consistent use, you should start to notice the difference by the 3-month mark.
- Sundown Naturals Vitamin E Oil
- Kirkman Labs Vitamin E Capsules
- Now Foods Organic Argan Oil
- Now Solutions Sweet Almond Oil
Get 10% off your first order. If your order is above $40, you also get cheap shipping to Dubai for only $8 no matter the weight of your shipment.
Do you have any other DIY tips for dealing with brittle and breaking nails? Share them in the comments section.