Nail Health: Home Remedies for Strong Nails!

Last Modified on Nov 05, 2014

How to Make Nails Stronger

Do you have weak fingernails that are constantly breaking and chipping? Are your nails never as long as you would like them? Follow these natural tips to lengthen and strengthen your fingernails, without an expensive trip to the salon or any unnatural solutions. Make your hands look their best, naturally!

Your nails (both fingernails and toenails) are made of a protein called keratin, which is the same tough substance that makes up many other animal horns, claws, and hooves; for example a rhinoceros's horn is made up of keratin! While animals and nature make good use of strong nails for survival, many factors can cause brittle nails or affect nail growth in human beings. On average, human nails grow about 3 mm a month, and can require 3 to 6 months to completely regrow a new nail depending on age, diet, what time of year, and even how much exercise you get; nail health can be a good indicator to general health.

Vitamin A, D, B12, and calcium are key vitamins for nails, but also play very important roles in immune function, eye health, cellular reproduction, blood clotting, and even the transmission of nerve pulses. Deficiency in these vitamins can cause brittle and dry nails, and those symptoms can be indicators of poor internal health.

On this page you can find a number of user-submitted home remedies to strengthen weak nails. Some of our popular cures are apple cider vinegar, blackstrap molasses, biotin, fish oil, and lemon juice. Let us know what you try from Earth Clinic to help treat your nails. Know of a remedy not yet listed here? Please don't hesitate to share it with us!

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User Reviews





ACV and Coconut Oil   1  0   

Posted by Oweno1 (El Paso, Texas, Usa) on 05/11/2014

[YEA]  Apple Cider Vinegar and Coconut Oil : This combination works speedily. I have suffered from fungus on my fingernails for several years. I stumbled across this site and began treating myself with ACV, later as I began to learn more decided to cook with Coconut Oil, then even ingest it as a supplement. This remedy sped my healing. I had been taking meds for this disease for a couple years and it would be a temporary partial fix. (I gave up on the meds) The ACV and Coconut Oil work fast and beautifully! The itching stops within days, the cracking stops thereafter and within weeks your nails will grow smoothly. It took a while, if you skip a day or two don't fret, just keep at it. The ACV taste terrible, so on occasion I skipped. LOL My nails are becoming stronger by the week and the cuticles are now connecting with the nails beautifully. I am no longer embarrassed of my hands. Please try this! ACV works, faster with Coconut Oil and as bonus my adult acne has cleared! My case was so bad it took about six months plus. Never really kept records but noticeable by the week.

Posted by Adrian
S. Florida
06/14/2014
How do you take the apple cider vinegar and coconut oil? Together - ingest or put ON nails. Please tell me~ thank you.

Apple Cider Vinegar   2  0   

Posted by Judi (Phoenix, AZ) on 03/21/2006

[YEA]  I take apple cider vinegar and honey daily. 1 tbs. of each helps weak, cracked, short fingernails to grow.

Posted by Emgee
Broken Hill, Australia
05/26/2012
I started taking Apple Cider Vinegar for a number of different health issues. After only a couple of days I noticed my flaky weak nails were getting stronger. Two months later now and I have the longest strongest nails I have ever had. Even hard to type on my keyboard lol. I read somewhere that Apple Cider Vinegar helps with the uptake of magnesium and calcium but can't remember where I read that. It certainly is the answer for me.
Posted by Kayci
North Berwick, Maine
09/30/2012
you eat it?
Posted by Jacqueline
Perth, Australia
11/21/2012
[YEA]   Worked for me too - was a fantastic side effect when I started using apple cider vinegar for other health issues. I have have lovely long and strong finger nails for the first time in my life :-)

Biotin   2  0   

Posted by Aginto (Toronto, Ontario) on 02/07/2010

[YEA]  I've been taking a 250mg supplement of Biotin once a day for about 3 weeks before I noticed the changes in my nails! They are harder, they don't break or chip as easily. I went on vacation for 2 weeks and forgot my Biotin. Lo and behold, near the end of the 2 week vacation I had broken one nail and chipped another!

I am back on the Biotin. I've also added the de-colorized Iodine to my repertoire and will report back after a week or two. Thanks for all the great advice Earth Clinic!!!

Posted by Pjb747
Fenton, Mi
06/18/2010
I feed my horses biotin for their hooves. It takes almost a year to see real results. The hoof that forms with biotin is stronger. It can't improve existing hoof. Hooves grow out like nails do from a nail bed. I would assume that it is the same with nails but it doesn't take so long to grow a whole new nail. I think after 3-4 months on biotin, the old nail would be gone and biotin fortified nail would have grown in. I don't think being off biotin for a week or two would make a difference.

Posted by Karen (Chicago, IL) on 02/15/2009

[YEA]  My fingernails were soft and frequently broke. I starting taking 1000 mcg biotin twice a day, and within 2 months, they became rock solid. I stopped taking biotin for a while, and my nails returned to being soft. When I started taking the pills again, my nails toughened up. Karen

Blackstrap Molasses   1  0   

Posted by Michelle (London, UK)

[YEA]  Blackstrap Molasses works for me! After the first fortnight of drinking a cup each morning with the juice of half a lemon, my skin felt really soft and had lost its dryness and my nails are growing stronger and more uniform. This is in addition to having a lot more energy, I have also managed to stop smoking and not experience the side effect of constipation. This remedy is the cheapest but most effective way of taking varied supplementary vitamins.

Posted by Ann
Calmar, Ia
02/14/2010
how much blackstrap molassess do you use? Is it mixed with water as well as the juice of half a lemon?
Posted by Donna Cecconi
Crete, Il
02/17/2010
How much water and molasses do I mix with the lemon?
Posted by Brittany
Grove City, Oh, Usa
09/18/2011
4 Posts
Just be careful with molasses, especially if you are diabetic.. Not a good remedy for diabetics or those who don't know they are diabetic. A whole cup seems excessive.
Posted by Kristi
Covington, La
07/23/2014
I have been doing a lot of research recently on Blackstrap Molasses. All recommendations (I have found) for health issues for both humans and dogs say to use 1 tablespoon daily.

Fish Oil   2  0   

Posted by DeAnna (Clarksville, TN) on 07/13/2009

[YEA]  Fish oil was recommended to me as a supplement from a personal trainer....happened to notice after a couple of weeks that my nails were actually growing and not breaking nearly as much!!! Didn't realize it had a benefit to nails also! Will definitely keep taking for my nails!

Posted by Anna (Brooklyn, NY) on 04/03/2009

[YEA]  Fish oil made my nails stronger in a matter of days. Take the prescribed daily dose.

Folic Acid   1  0   

Posted by Joanna (California) on 03/31/2006

[YEA]  I see a Thyroid Specialist for hypothyroidism. I was complaining about my weak, brittle nails when he suggested that although my thyroid was functioning properly (too much or too little thyroid function can cause weak nails), that I may be deficient in folic acid. I'm not as faithful about taking my vitamins and supplements as I should be, but I do notice that when I take a folic acid supplement that my nails become stronger and break less often. You can buy folic acid as an individual supplement, but you can buy multivitamins with folic acid in them.

Posted by Mandy
Houston, Texas
09/14/2011
I am thinking to try this, because I too have hypothyroidism and really, REALLY want my fingernails to grow out nice and long. I do take vitamins every day!

Green Coffee Beans   0  0   

Posted by Saba (Mentor, Oh) on 11/04/2012

What does everyone think about the green coffee bean claim as a weight loss aid? Will it be the same if I gring up some raw coffee bean and out some in juice or smoothie? Thank you.

Posted by Smiley59
Hamilton, Mt
11/05/2012
I took green coffee bean extract and raspberry ketones. Had huge weight gain due to prednisone. I lost 28# in 4 months without changing my diet or exercise. I am unable to exercise but imagine if one did then the loss would be much higher. Another thing to take would be GLUCOCOMAN not sure on spelling. It is a fiber that blocks some carbs.

Iodine   2  0   

Posted by Jane (Houston, Texas) on 04/19/2007

[YEA]  I painted decolorized iodine on my thin and brittle fingernails. One week later they look healthy and are growing, and even the formerly dry and ragged cuticles are smooth, even without manicuring them! I saw the remedy in a newspaper column and found this wonderful website trying to check it out. The remedy is painting the nails every day for a week, then once a week thereafter. I found the iodine in the Latino cosmetics area of HEB supermarket. Next I'll work on the skin tags! Thanks so much!

Posted by Smdoulos
Syracuse, Ny
10/27/2011
Does iodine work for skin tags also? How much and how often? Thanks.
Posted by Andy
Australia
11/04/2014
I've had skin tags in the past and my doctor told me not to worry as they soon outgrow their blood supply and eventually just drop off.

And they did! :)

Posted by Stephanie (Loganholme, Qld. Australia) on 09/24/2006

[YEA]  Iodine cures brittle and easily broken finger nails. It makes the fingernails hard, chip proof and unbreakable. Dip your fingernails in colorless iodine once a day for 1 week; then once a week for 3 to 4 weeks; then once a month. It dries almost instantly. It begins hardening the nails under the cuticle and as the nail grows out it stays hard and unbreakable. Once the new hard nail reaches the length you want, you will never again have chipped and broken nails. No need for all those expensive formulas sold in beauty parlors and chemist shops.

Posted by Mon
Sunshine Coast, Queensland Australia
07/04/2011
Interesting! Where in Australia do I get colourless iodine?

Lemon Juice   2  0   

Posted by Rekha (Bangalore, India) on 06/04/2008

[YEA]  Apply a little juice from a lemon to your finger nails every day. It makes them strong and they grow doubly fast! I was a compulsive nail biter since childhood and had very brittle nails. I kicked the habit and tried this remedy and now my nails are long and strong.

Posted by Leah
New York, Ny
03/13/2011
[YEA]   Hi, I started putting apple cider vinegar on my nails and it has really kept them strong! I was very surprised.

Lugol's Iodine   1  0   

Posted by Beth (Palmyra, Nj) on 06/23/2014

[YEA]  I began taking 2 drops of Lugol's iodine daily for brittle nails. Within two weeks my nails are unbelievably strong and hard. Also, I injured one nail over thirty years ago below the growth line. Every time this nail begins to grow it, it would crack vertically. I was told there was no remedy. I now have a nail growing on that finger!! No explanation other than the iodine. I am a believer!

MSM   2  0   

Posted by Joanna

[YEA]  I've noticed that when I take MSM, my fingernails grow like crazy! The split cuticle issue that I have (especially in the winter) disappears in about 48 hours. I'd say it's the best remedy for the nails

Posted by Carmen
Brandon, Florida
12/25/2008
I am experiencing early menopause due to a hysterectomy and along with the many other changes I am encountering I find my nails are weak. During a search I found MSM, what exactly is this? And is it safe to take with harmone replacement?

EC: http://www.earthclinic.com/supplements/MSM.html

Posted by Kim
Grants Pass, OR
04/03/2009
Hi Carmen, I just read your post. I too am having menopause issues from a hysterectomy at the early age of 26, which in turn turned into a hypothyroid issue, which left untreated, turned out to be pretty severe. Make sure you keep yourself educated, doctors that you pay to know health issues, typically DON'T know. Feel free to email me anytime. And my fingernails, bend easier than paper!!!

Posted by Belle (Los Angeles, CA)

[YEA]  I recently started to take MSM to help with neck pain. While it's too soon to tell if it is helping, I can report that it is making my nails grow like crazy!


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DISCLAIMER: Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.

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