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Nail Health: Home Remedies for Strong Nails!

Last Modified on Jan 23, 2016


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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Remedies for Weak Nails




Alphabetical Popularity Recent Post
ACV and Coconut Oil12014-05-11
Apple Cider Vinegar32016-01-11
Biotin22010-02-07
Blackstrap Molasses10000-00-00
Fish Oil22009-07-13
Folic Acid12006-03-31
Garlic22014-12-30
Green Coffee Beans12012-11-04
Iodine22007-04-19
Lemon Juice12008-06-04
Lugol's Iodine12014-06-23
MSM20000-00-00
Silica12008-07-22
Tea Tree Oil12016-01-23
Vicks12014-04-19

ACV and Coconut Oil  
4 User Reviews | 1 YEA

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.

Replied 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.
Replied by Mod
Toronto On
02/22/2015

Hi, do u mix the 2? If so how much of each. Thanks
Replied by Karen
Canada
03/06/2015

I am willing to try this. I'm assuming you take it by mouth. I put a teaspoon of coconut oil and 2 tsp. cider vinegar in a glass and I just drink it. I hope I see good results.

Apple Cider Vinegar  
7 User Reviews | 4 YEA

Posted by Joy (Il) on 01/11/2016

[YEA]  Apple Cider Vinegar is one amazing product to strengthen weak nails!! I've had soft, yet brittle nails that break easily all my life. To make matters worse, I also had copious amounts of painful hang nails. A few months ago, I began taking apple cider vinegar for an unrelated problem. Within three weeks my nails were strong and the hang nails disappeared. To prove to myself that it was the vinegar, I stopped taking it for a month, and sure enough, my nails again became soft and brittle. Another round of apple cider vinegar for a few weeks gave me beautiful nails. I'm convinced!

Daily apple cider vinegar will be a part of my health and beauty regimens forever. I take about one tablespoon of vinegar daily in tomato juice. If you'd like to make the concoction more palatable, you could try mixing in some natural horseradish and worstershire sauce (don't use Heinz because of the unhealthy ingredients) like a bloody Mary (minus the vodka, okay?). It is delicious prepared this way, but I don't always have the time.


Posted by Cindy (Newtown, Pa) on 09/07/2015

[YEA]  I have had weak nails all my life and started taking apple cider vinegar tablets for other health reasons and discovered that my nails are stronger than ever before! I am thrilled! Raw apple vinegar is pure torture and didn't even work when I tried to drink for a couple weeks. The tablets worked immediately and help regulate blood sugar levels, sugar cravings, acne, etc.....a lifesaver!!


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.

Replied 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.
Replied by Kayci
North Berwick, Maine
09/30/2012

Replied 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 :-)
Replied by Danie
France
12/06/2014

How do you prepare the ACV for long and strong fingernails?

Biotin  
3 User Reviews | 2 YEA

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!!!

Replied 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  
5 User Reviews | 1 YEA

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.

Replied 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?
Replied by Donna Cecconi
Crete, Il
02/17/2010

How much water and molasses do I mix with the lemon?
Replied by Brittany
Grove City, Oh, Usa
09/18/2011

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.
Replied 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 User Reviews | 2 YEA

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  
2 User Reviews | 1 YEA

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.

Replied 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!

Garlic  
2 User Reviews | 2 YEA

Posted by Zarah22 (Scranton, PA) on 12/30/2014

[YEA]  Used raw garlic on my little girl's nails and it does make her nails stronger. I rubbed it on her nails after bath in the morning and before bedtime. I saw improvement after 2 weeks of continuous use. Highly recommend it!


Posted by Jackdblack (Madison, Wisconsin, USA) on 12/23/2014

[YEA]  I have checked the posts here but I have not seen garlic. You see, my mom used to rub our nails with peeled, raw garlic everyday. She said that her mother used to do the same to her and it made her nails stronger.

When I was a young kid I had thin, weak toenails that bend on their own when they grew longer. My mom's garlic remedy paid off as my nails became thick and stronger. I want to share this home remedy as it might work for you too!


Green Coffee Beans  

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.

Replied 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  
5 User Reviews | 2 YEA

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!

Replied by Smdoulos
Syracuse, Ny
10/27/2011

Does iodine work for skin tags also? How much and how often? Thanks.
Replied 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.

Replied by Mon
Sunshine Coast, Queensland Australia
07/04/2011

Interesting! Where in Australia do I get colourless iodine?


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