Nail brittleness is splitting, flaking and breaking of nails. This can be caused due to internal as well as external factors. Due to deficiencies nail plate production is affected and that may cause breaking of nails. Also external factors such as chemical, detergents, abrasives can cause damage to nail plates. Even regular application and removal of nail polish using acetone can rob moisture of nails and thus causing brittleness.
Since there are many reasons for this common problem, hence a person suffering from this condition must identify the real reason for it. If a person suffers from deficiency and malabsorption of minerals than he/she should cure the same. The deficiency of vitamins (A,D, biotin) and minerals (calcium, magnesium, zinc, silicon, iron) can be the reason for nail brittleness. Good diet, and supplementation helps in good nail production and strengthening.
For strengthening and curing brittleness of nails, following tips can be helpful
- Have nutritious diet and daily take milk, yoghurt, cheese, and other dairy products to make bones and nails stronger. Intake protein rich foods (fish, legumes, pulses, nuts) and food containing Vitamin B (whole grains, soybean, nuts).
- Eat handful of white sesame seeds (Safed Til) daily. This contains both calcium and magnesium.
- You may take Shatavari or Ashwagandha churna in dosage of 1/2 teaspoon.
- Even anemia can be reason for nail brittleness. Cure this condition with diet or supplementation.
- For strengthening nails and improving nail quality, biotin can be taken. Biotin is water soluble component of B complex. It works as co-enzyme and helps in maintaining hair, skin and muscles healthy.
- If you suspect deficiency of minerals in the body take supplements of calcium, magnesium and zinc. You can take 500 mg (for person below 50) or 1000 mg (for person above 50) calcium supplement.
- Sometimes even the supplementation is not helpful. This indicate malabsorption and accumulation of toxins inside the body. This needs to be removed from the body. For this purpose take Triphala powder which is churna/powder prepared by mixing equal amount of Amla, Haritaki and BAheda. You can take 1 gram of this powder daily. Please remember, dose should not exceed this as that can cause loose motion. For long duration triphala is taken in smaller amounts daily.
- Avoid junk foods, alcohol, caffeine, soda, cold drinks, fatty foods, and sugar. Such food items decreases absorption of minerals and thus depletes the mineral content of the body.
- Avoid gel polish manicure as the application and removal process leads to exfoliation of the superficial nail plate and causes reduced nail strength. This has adverse effect on nails and can be reason for brittleness.
- Avoid regular application and removal of nail polish. Over use of these products robs the moisture from nails and can make them brittle.