Good nails are important to me and I’m a regular at the nail shop. Although I haven’t personally had brittle nails, I have spoken to quite a few women that have.
What causes brittle nails?
Changes in estrogen levels during perimenopause and a big drop in estrogen during the menopause can lead to higher levels of dehydration in the body. That doesn’t just mean you’ll feel thirstier, but that your body itself will literally become drier. Brittle nails are dry, thirsty nails, as a result of a dehydrated body.
My Top Tips
Naturally, the solution to a dehydrated body is hydration. It’s obvious, but so important! Drink plenty of water to keep your body (and nails) fresh and hydrated! For more on the benefits of drinking water, read this article.
Pamper your nails, but carefully.
Treating your nails with protective coatings can help brittle nails as even the weather can make brittle nails even worse. But be careful about nail polish remover, as acetone will dry your nails out. Only treat your nails with protective nail polish about once a week, no more!
Smoking has been shown to make brittle nails worse, so consider quitting or at least reducing the number of cigarettes that you smoke. And of course, there are far more health benefits!
Enhance your diet.
Foods with vitamin C, protein, folic acid, and calcium are brittle nail fighting foods. Adding more oily fish to your diet, or plenty of fruits and vegetables if you’re vegan will make this an easy task to accomplish as these nutrients help keep your nails strong and prevent breakage.
Protect your hands.
Wearing gloves (not just in the winter, but when you’re washing up too) also helps keep your nails healthy. Soaps and detergents can strip the moisture from your hands and nails, making your nails more brittle than ever.
Use a thick hand mosituriser or cuticle cream every day to keep your nails nice and hydrated. When applying moistuiser, focus on your nails and cuticles especially.