10 Nail Strengtheners a Top Manicurist Relies On

Updated 10/10/18

Having fun with your nails can also cause a lot of wear and tear. If you like to experiment with gel and acrylic nails from time to time (raises hand), you might notice that your nails are feeling weak and brittle—and this could be a sign that you're not feeding them with the necessary nutrients.

It's a normal side effect, which makes nourishing our nails that much more important. Just like skin, nails can start to show signs of age. Weakened, brittle, and peeling nails are not fun (or cute), which is why you need to keep nail-strengthening products around to keep your digits in tip-top shape.

As Emily Splichal, DPM, told us: “If you notice chipping and frequent breaking of your nails, this is a sign you may be nutrient deficient. You may also notice that your skin is dry, your hair is brittle, and your nails are cracked as the deficiencies typically happen at the same time.” It’s all connected.

Fortunately, nail brands offer strengthening polishes in hardworking formulations packed with essential vitamins to bring your nails back to life. (Remember that you can supplement these polishes by taking vitamins and trying natural remedies like using coconut oil for stronger nails as well.)

We talked to celebrity manicurist Skyy Hadley, who shared her go-to nail strengtheners and also included a bunch of our tried-and-true faves. Click through for the best nail strengtheners that’ll give you those long, strong nails you want.

Nail Envy Nail Strengthener Original Formula
OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener Original Formula $18

“Many clients with soft, thin nails now rave about how strong and long their nails have grown since incorporating this wheat protein and calcium polish treatment into their nail-care regimen,” says Hadley. “Start by applying two coats to dry nails. After one week, remove with nail polish remover, and apply the polish again.”

Treat Love & Color
Essie Treat Love & Color $10

If you want to strengthen your nails with something other than a clear coat, Hadley recommends this polish. “This Essie polish has no formaldehyde, DBP, or toluene, and comes in three super-sweet, soft, and sheer shades: Laven-Dearly, Sheers to You, and Treat Me Bright,” says Hadley. “Apply two coats on bare nails, remove after one week, and repeat.”

Ciaté Marula Cuticle Oil $17

Lathering your cuticles with moisturizing formulas will make all the difference when it comes to getting healthy nails. This cuticle oil incorporates vitamin E, vitamin B2, and D-panthenol to keep your nail’s moisture retention up. Marula oil is game changing when it comes to hydrating sensitive skin and strengthening weak strands—it’ll have the same soothing powers on your stressed cuticles.

Color Treat Nail Polish
Julep Color Treat $14 $14

This little bottle might look small, but it’s powerful. Julep is offering a rainbow of shades infused with strengthening hexanal and antioxidant green coffee extract to restore weak nails in just two weeks(!). A vegan polish line of gorgeous colors with serious nail-strengthening benefits? Sign us up.

'All About That Base' Cc Base Coat Correct & Conceal - No Color
Deborah Lippmann All About That Base CC Base Coat $20

Want to add a pretty filter to your nails? Think of this CC Base coat as Facetune. Made with panthenol along with 10 nail-treatment correctors, you can wear this shade by itself or as a base coat to brighten, prime, and conceal imperfections.

Butter London Nail Posh Strengthening Serum $19

You can literally keep this portable nail-strengthening serum in your back packet. Its mini applicator brush makes this super easy to swipe on top of your cuticles and nail beds to smooth out rough ridges. Let it sit on top of your nails for a few minutes and seep into your skin. Formulated with hydrating ingredients, this stuff will truly lengthen and strengthen your nails.

CND Rescue RXx Daily Keratin Treatment $20

You can kiss flimsy nails goodbye with this foolproof, fast-acting polish. It’s been clinically proven to transform nail condition in just one week. You can depend on its blend of jojoba oil, keratin protein, and sweet almond oil to soften rough textures and strengthen your nail beds. 

NAILKALE - Superfood Base Coat 0.47 oz/ 14 mL
Nails Inc NailKale Superfood Base Coat $15

This “superfood’ base coat is packed with antioxidants, kale extract, and keratin, making it essentially a green smoothie for your nails. Have splitting, weak nails? This high-shine polish is the answer. 

Maxus Base Coat $18

Here at Byrdie, we’re huge fans of this health-conscious line. Dasha Minina founded her line with nail-strengthening formulas instead of polish. Exhibit A: This base coat with silk amino acids and tea tree oil will clear up discoloration and aid in restoring your nail beds.

Horse Power Nail Rescue Basecoat
Butter London Horse Power Nail Rescue Basecoat $18

The ingredient list says it all: This blend of horsetail extract, biotin, vitamin B, and calcium make Horse Power a nail savior in bottle form. Specifically created to greatly improve nail condition by preventing breakage, this glossy base coat is the perfect way to prep your nails for a long-lasting manicure.

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