How to Actually Get Strong, Natural Long Nails

Beauty & Style | 10/19/2015 | 03:10 PM EDT

Nail Overlays Aren't the Only Way to Strong Nails

Let’s get things straight: it’s actually not impossible to have long, healthy and strong nails. For some reason, many of us have been trained to think that obtaining nails that won’t break would mean that we’d have to get overlays such as gels or acrylics. And while those nail additions do prevent breakage, they can also cause temporary and sometimes permanent damage.

So, how can we have long, naturally strong nails without the harsh chemicals from overlays? Here are seven simple ways. 

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Apply oils to your nails and cuticles, daily

It may sound crazy, but oils such as coconut, rosemary and lavender will help your nails stay moisturized, thus preventing breakage. The number one reason our nails tend to break is due to lack of moisture, and we don’t even know it. Nexus Cook, owner and creator of nail polish line 25th and June, notes that “coconut oil is a great way to enhance the moisture and keep your nails strong. Rubbing it on your nail beds and cuticles every day will help you obtain natural, long and strong nails.”

Take Biotin pills

Biotin helps to also prevent splitting and breaking. Biotin is a member of the vitamin B family and helps to increase nail thickness.  Most doctors suggest 2.5 milligrams a day to see the actual effects of Biotin. However, be sure to consult with your doctor about taking Biotin supplements before you start.

Ask for dry manicures at the nail salon

Dry manicures are just manicures without nail soaking. Soaking your nails in water is what actually increases your chances of polish chipping sooner and easier. With dry manicures, your nails are instead moisturized with oil and the cuticles are only pushed back, not trimmed or removed.

Skip the salon all together

Sometimes, it’s best to do your own nails so that you know what you’re putting on them. If your salon doesn’t have an array of 5-free nail polishes, but you know you want to only use them, do your nails at home. You can also control the tools used on your nails and save a nice little penny.
Stay away from acetone nail polish

While acetone nail polish is way more effective at removing polish, it’s also very harsh and drying on the nails. Your best bet is to go with non-acetone nail polish remover. Always be sure to follow up with hydration for your nails and cuticles.

Use gloves

You should consider using gloves while washing dishes, gardening and even basic house cleaning. This will not only protect your nails from breaking regularly, it will also keep them away from harsh chemicals found in cleaners and such. You won’t be able to protect your nails from every harsh chemical they come in contact with, but at least you’ll lessen the exposure.

Don’t use rough emery boards

This one is usually heavily overlooked. But, rough emery boards can stimulate breakage and splitting nails. One of the best emery boards is the Sephora Crystal Nail File. It’s smooth, durable and also washable.

Also, remember to only file your nails in one direction. This will also help prevent splitting and breakage. 

(Photo: Image Source/Corbis)

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