The Mistakes That Are Causing Your Nail Breakage

For those who don't want the hassle of making frequent visits to the nail salon and also can't justify the ongoing cost of having acrylic nails put on and refilled, having natural, strong, and healthy nails is an ideal scenario. But when your nails keep breaking, the dream seems impossible.


Nails can break due to a variety of factors, with brittle nails that are prone to splitting serving as one of the primary causes. According to Healthline, brittle nails can be either dry or soft. Dry brittle nails occur when the nails are deprived of moisture, while soft brittle nails are the result of over-exposure to moisture. There are also other health reasons why a person's nails might become brittle, including hypothyroidism and Raynaud's syndrome. Age can play a part in brittle nails, with fingernails commonly becoming thinner, more fragile, and more prone to breakage as the years go on.

However, nail breakage can often come down to lifestyle factors that are easy to address. You can't stop your body from aging, but you can improve your nail health by identifying and stopping the common mistakes that are making your nails so breakable.


Using too much nail polish remover

If you like to paint your nails, then nail polish remover is hard to avoid. But according to Insider, harsh removers can damage your nails by peeling away the natural oils, making them more prone to breakage. The more you use nail polish remover, the more brittle you're making your nails.


The answer might seem to be an acetone-free nail polish remover, which is less harsh, but gentler nail polish removers can actually cause more damage because they require you to scrub your nails to remove the nail polish (via Sinclair Dermatology). Your best bet? Going without nail polish for a while and allowing your nails to grow and strengthen.

Not using topical strengthening products

There are topical products available to nurture your nails, and forgoing these can lead to nails that are inclined to break. Swiss beauty brand Mavala recommends a nail hardener and a strong base coat to add a dose of strength to the nails. In some cases, when the nails are breaking because they're actually too hard, you can use nail oil to make them more flexible. Healthline adds that using cuticle oil around your nails can also boost blood circulation, which promotes nail growth and can help to protect your nail and cuticle from damage.


Lack of nutrition

Topical remedies can help strengthen your nails, but it's also important to care for them from the inside out. The Health Site explains that splitting nails, brittle nails, white spots, and nail ridges can all be signs of vitamin deficiency.


Sufficient intake of iron, vitamins B12 and C, zinc, and calcium are all important for healthy, strong nails (via Dr. Batra's). A full and rounded diet can help you to consume most of these nutrients. However, you can also get the nutrients you need through supplements. If your nails are breaking due to vitamin deficiency, talk to your healthcare provider about the best course of action.

Forgetting to moisturize

We all know how important hand washing and sanitizing are. But unfortunately, soaps and sanitizers can be dehydrating for your nails (via Bellatory). Water itself also has a dehydrating effect on nails, even though it hydrates the skin. When you're washing and sanitizing frequently throughout the day, the dehydrating effect can lead to dry and brittle nails that are easy to break.


To deal with this, incorporate a hand and nail moisturizer into your routine. You don't have to moisturize after every hand wash, as over-moisturizing can also lead to breakage. Simply using a hand cream or balm on a daily basis can prevent your nails from drying out (via WebMD).

Doing household chores without gloves

Do you wash the dishes without gloves? The more contact your nails have with harsh products, like dishwashing detergent or bathroom cleaner, the weaker they'll become (via SLMD Skincare). Remembering to wear gloves when doing household chores creates a barrier that will stop harmful products from touching your nails.


Doing certain actions with your nails, like scrubbing, peeling, or picking things, can also weaken or break your nails. In general, opt for tools that are designed to achieve these tasks rather than using your nails. The good news is that most nail mistakes are easily fixed. By incorporating these simple lifestyle changes, you can strengthen your nails and fend off breakage.