A lot of people, especially females, love having fast growing or long nails. Long nails tend to enhance the beauty of the hands.
However, a number of factors could contribute to poor nail growth. These factors include; nutritional deficiencies, hormonal changes, medications, old age, chemotherapy, and some illnesses. These contributory factors could also lead to splitting of nails, nail breakage, and brittle nails.
On the other hand, the nails of kids and pregnant women tend to grow faster than other demographics.
Here are some tips and good practices, to consider, if you want strong and fast growing nails;
- You could apply petroleum jelly on your hands and nails to help lock-in moisture.
- Keep your nails clean and dry to help prevent fungal infections. However, if you do have fungal infections, ensure you get them treated immediately.
- Try not to expose your nails to harsh chemicals, especially when washing clothes or utensils. You could wear hand gloves while carrying out these activities.
- Strive not to use nail polishes that contain toluene or formaldehyde as they tend to make the nails brittle.
- Eat fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals as these micronutrients help hasten nail growth and keep the nails strong and healthy.
- Try as much as possible not to bite your nails. Also, avoid picking your hang nails.
- Ensure you maintain a balanced diet in order to maintain healthy, strong, and, fast-growing nails.
Below are home remedies and natural treatments for strong and fast growing nails;
Horsetail is not just an ordinary herb. It contains calcium, silica, and essential vitamins that improve the overall strength of your nails. It’s also rich in folic acid which is vital for cell growth. To make horsetail tea, boil this herb for 30 minutes, strain and then soak your nails into the solution. Use the concoction up to 4 times a week.
2. Protein-Rich Food
Since nails are made of keratin, you should eat a protein-rich diet to support healthy nail growth. Examples of foods rich in proteins include fish, eggs, meat, dry fruits, beans, cheese, and more. While your protein requirement would depend on your activity level, you should consume, on average, 0.4 gram of protein per pound of your body weight. Try to concentrate more on lean meats like fatty fish and skinless chicken.
3. Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle is popular for its high mineral content which supports skin, hair and nail growth. Plus, stinging nettle is rich in silica which is essential in nail formation. A general guideline for making stinging nettle infusion is to boil two tablespoons of stinging nettle in water for 20 minutes. Drink the herbal tea 2-3 times a day. For additional flavor, you can add some honey.
4. Vitamin E Oil
Vitamin E is a effective remedy for most nail problems. The oil works as a powerful antioxidant by protecting the nails from aging. Additionally, vitamin E heals and strengthens brittle nails. Unlike other oils, vitamin E is quickly absorbed into the nails. Simply mix one spoonful of vitamin E oil with tree tea oil and then soak your nails for 1 hour. You should also consume foods rich in vitamin E like green leafy vegetables, liver, whole grains, egg yolk, and spinach. Use the oil as a night treatment since your hands are not exposed to external factors such as soap and water during that period of the day.
5. Olive Oil
Sometimes brittle nails can be bothersome. Thankfully, olive oil contains natural constituents that can make your nails healthy. To ensure it penetrates through the nail, preheat some olive oil and soak your nails for 20-30 minutes. For best results, wear some cotton gloves and leave them overnight.
6. Lemon Juice
Lemons contain vitamin C which promotes collagen production for strong, healthy nails. Also, regular use of lemon will whiten dull nails. To promote nail growth, you should prepare a nail soak. Mix a half tablespoon of lemon juice with some olive oil, heat the solution and then soak your nails for 20-30 minutes. Alternatively, you can cut a lemon and rub the juice on your nails for 5 minutes. After that, wash off, pat dry and apply your favorite moisturizer.
7. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil comes with an array of benefits. It promotes nail growth, fights fungus and keeps your cuticles healthy. Due to its high-fat content, it helps the nail to retain its natural moisture. If you have brittle nails, massage some oil on the cuticles to make them grow longer. Furthermore, coconut oil treats hangnails thanks to the antimicrobial properties. To keep your nails healthy, soak your nails in coconut oil for 20 minutes before going to bed. You can also prepare an oil soak by mixing a quarter cup of honey with a half cup of extra-virgin coconut oil.
8. Orange Juice
Orange juice boosts nail growth by encouraging collagen production. Just squeeze an orange juice in a bowl and soak your nails for 10-15 minutes. For best results, you can add some garlic. Use the nail soak 2-3 times a day until you get your desired look.
9. Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil is packed with antioxidants, thiamine, magnesium, B vitamins, and essential fatty acids which promote stronger nails and faster nail growth. These nutrients allow the nail plate to develop properly and most importantly eliminate the vertical ridges on your nails. Apart from promoting healthy nail growth, the oil can treat nail cracking and brittleness. Just rub some oil on the nails, and the wear some gloves to retain the moisture. Use flaxseed oil every night for at least one month.
10. Biotin-Rich Foods (Vitamin H)
Slow-nail growth is associated with biotin deficiency. Biotin increases nail hardness which makes them less prone to splitting. If you want to get this essential vitamin the natural way, you should consume foods like wheat germ, salmon, whole grains, eggs, cucumber, walnuts, strawberries, mushrooms, sardines, and salmon. You can also take biotin supplement as advised by your doctor.
Bananas are loaded with silica and zinc which help to strengthen your nails. They also contain vitamin B6 which is known to promote healthy, shiny nails. For these reasons, you should include a banana in your morning cereal or afternoon snacks. You can as well make it an ingredient in your salads and smoothies.
Apart from its unmatched culinary use, garlic helps to strengthen brittle fingernails. Moreover, it protects your nails from infections due to its amazing antifungal and antibacterial properties. Simply crush a few garlic cloves and apply the paste on the nails. To remove the odor, clean the nails after 10-15 minutes. For best results, apply the paste once a week. You can also use nail hardeners that contain garlic as an ingredient.
Eggshells are packed with micro-elements like calcium, protein, iron, potassium, and magnesium. Since their structure is similar to that of the teeth, they are essential for nail growth. To get a fine powder, clean and crush the egg shells and put them in a blender. Then, add pecans, almonds, as well as flaxseeds and blend them all together. In the morning, mix one teaspoon of the resultant powder to a glass of milk and drink once a day. You’ll see some noticeable results after 3-4 weeks.
14. Essential Oils
If your nails are weak, essential oils can bring them back to a healthy state. Some of the commonly used oils include frankincense, myrrh, lavender, lemon, and geranium. They help to strengthen the nails and protect the cuticles from dryness. Furthermore, they have antibacterial properties that prevent germs from affecting the cuticles. If you have to wash clothes or dishes, strive to massage the nails with any of the above essential oils 1-2 times a week.
15. Hand Massage
While massaging your nails may sound a little weird, a gentle cuticle massage will promote nail growth and increase blood circulation. Simply pour 3-5 drops of either jojoba or olive oil and soak your nails for 30 minutes. Then, massage each nail while paying special attention to the cuticles.
16. Check The Ingredients In Your Nail Polish
Before you purchase your nail polish, you want to be sure that it does not contain harmful ingredients. Avoid buying any product that contains sulfonamide, formaldehyde, and toluene. Since the nails are made of proteins, these ingredients will only damage your nails. Similarly, pay special attention to nail polish removers. Avoid those with acetone because acetone triggers nail splitting and breakage.
17. Nail Trimming
The easiest way to avoid nail problem is by trimming them. While this may sound unrealistic, trimming nails allows for quick nail growth. Besides that, nail trimming protects the nails from breaking. With this in mind, you should trim your nails once a week and then file the uneven areas to create a smooth, natural arc.
Apart from adding a delicious flavor in meals, tomatoes are a good source of vitamin A, and C. They are also rich in biotin which promotes thick, shiny nails. While you can still get the same benefit by eating a raw tomato, it’s more effective when combined with essential oils. For healthy nails, add 3 drops of rosemary essential oil in a cup of tomato juice and soak your hands for 20 minutes. When you use the regimen for several weeks, you’ll promote healthy nail growth.
19. Petroleum Jelly
To keep your nails soft and shining, it’s crucial that you moisturize them with petroleum jelly after trimming. Simply apply some petroleum jelly on your nails, especially on the cuticles and allow it to sit for 1 hour. Then, remove the cuticles and wash your hands with warm water.
20. Shea Butter
Shea butter is rich in vitamin A and vitamin E. It is also rich in fatty acid and high moisturizing properties. These properties help keep your nails from being brittle and also hasten the growth of one’s nails. For this remedy, apply shea butter on the nails for about 10-15 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water thereafter.
21. Stop Nail Biting
When most people are nervous or stressed, they tend to bite their nails. To break this vice, you need a plan. If you are anxious try to combat those feelings by taking a deep breath or meditating for a moment. Furthermore, if you find yourself biting your nails when you’re absent-minded, you can try chewing some gums. Fingernails usually grow 3.5mm every month, so you have to take care of them.
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