Having short or broken nails can be a huge pain—both literally and figuratively. Whether you're devastated about breaking a nail you've worked so hard to grow or have suffered some sort of nail trauma that is causing pain or discomfort, we know you want regrowth to happen, stat.
If tips and overlays aren't your thing and you're instead opting for a more au naturale approach in the manicure department, don't give up on your long-nail-dreams just yet. With proper care, maintenance, and education you can be on your way to achieving long and healthy nails naturally—and it doesn't have to take too long, either. Ahead, the best tips to help you achieve your nail length goals quickly.
Drinking enough water is essential to so many aspects of your health, including your nails. Healthy growth won't occur if your body is dehydrated—so drink up for your health, hair, skin, and nails.
And if plain old H20 isn't really your thing, consider trying hydrating beverages such as coconut water, or infusing some fresh fruit juice to your water to kick it up a notch.
Take Folic Acid
Also known as Vitamin B9, this important mineral is available in supplements or naturally in foods such as legumes and whole grains. One of Folic acid's key functions lies in repairing the cells that actually make up your nails. It can help your nails grow more quickly as well as making them stronger and less prone to breakage and peeling.
Up Your Protein
It’s important to eat the right amount of protein for your overall health and nutrition, but it can also affect your nails and the speed at which they grow. Ensure you're getting the daily recommended amount of protein each day to help your nails grow long and strong.
Take a Keratin Supplement
Keratin is not just a hair treatment—it's actually what makes up your nails. So taking a keratin supplement can help build strength and resiliency, much in the same way it works on your hair. It can be taken orally or applied topically in oil form.
Use Cuticle Oil or Serum
Hydrating your skin is an important part of any self-care routine, and this includes your cuticles. By using cuticle oil regularly, you'll avoid breakage and picking while simultaneously keeping your nails healthy and flexible too. Dry nails will break and chip while well-moisturized ones will grow nice and long.
Byrdie editors love Olive & June's cuticle serum to keep cuticles healthy and intact. The super portable wand features a plush applicator formulated with cactus flower for easy, dare I say enjoyable application.
This may sound like a no brainer, but for many it’s much easier said than done. One of the most common nervous habits, nail-biting is a habit that's hard to quit, but there are options. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying a bitter-tasting polish and identifying the physical or mental triggers that prompt you to bite in the first place. You may also try to replace nail-biting with a more positive habit, such as playing with a stress ball or silly putty.
Keep Them Short and Sweet
Round-shaped edges are less likely to break or suffer a trauma that results in cracking or peeling. So are shorter nails. It may seem counterintuitive to keep them short-ish if you’re looking to have them grow quickly, but it works. If your nails are brittle, we recommend switching to a crystal nail file (rather than a traditional emery board) to maintain shape.
A popular ingredient in nail polish removers, acetone is a powerful chemical that can quickly strip away polish, but with it will go the natural nail oils that keep nails healthy and moisturized. The result? Dry, brittle nails. So, avoid acetone-based polish removers and opt for a more natural remover instead.
Wear Rubber Gloves When You Do Dishes
When your fingertips are exposed to water for a long period of time they become a bit waterlogged, and the same goes for your nails. When nails absorb too much water they can weaken and become dry, which leads to breakage and cracks that stunt growth. So, any time you're doing dishes be sure to protect your hands and nails with rubber gloves.
This also goes for household chores. If you're using harsh chemical cleaners or are scrubbing away stubborn dirt and grime, be sure to use gloves as a barrier between your nails and skin and the task at hand. Household chemicals can be damaging and drying, too.