Nail Strengthening Habits | Featuring Body Network

Dr. Alexandra Bowles expands upon her insights on nail-strengthening habits from her recent Body Network feature: Nail Strengthening Habits for Thicker, Longer Nails

When it comes to strengthening your nails, incorporating certain habits into your routine can promote stronger, thicker nails and encourage healthy nail growth over time. Dr. Bowles shares 9 nail strengthening habits to incorporate into your routine. 

Maintain a Balanced Diet

For one, it’s important to maintain a balanced diet that includes essential nutrients such as protein, biotin, vitamins (particularly C and E), and minerals like iron and zinc, which are important for nail health.


Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water to keep your nails hydrated and prevent them from becoming brittle.

Wear Gloves

Protect your nails by wearing gloves when doing household chores or working with harsh chemicals to prevent damage and breakage to your nails.

Avoid Acetone

Avoid harsh chemicals by limiting exposure to nail polish removers containing acetone, as it can dry out and weaken your nails. Opt for acetone-free formulas instead.

Moisturize with Hand Cream

Moisturize regularly by applying a moisturizing hand cream or nail oil to your nails and cuticles daily to keep them hydrated and prevent them from becoming dry and brittle. 

File Nails Carefully

Use a gentle nail file to shape your nails, avoiding harsh filing motions that can cause damage and weaken the nails. 

Take a Break From Nail Polish

Limit Nail Polish use by occasionally giving your nails a break from nail polish to allow them to breathe and recover. When using nail polish, opt for formulas free of harsh chemicals like formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP). 

Be Gentle with Your Nails

Be gentle with your nails by avoiding using them as tools for tasks like opening packages or scratching surfaces, as this can cause them to break or become damaged. 

Protect Them From Trauma

Protect your nails from trauma by being mindful of activities that can cause trauma to your nails, such as biting or picking at them or wearing acrylic tips, which can weaken and damage the nail structure.

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