If you’re in the office firing off emails all day, the vigorous typing could be doing some serious damage to your nails. Find out the reasons behind weak nails and what you can do about it.
All gifs: Giphy
It’s super annoying (and sometimes painful) to break a nail when you’ve spent weeks growing them out and grooming them. And it definitely doesn’t help if you’ve just splurged on a manicure. If you often find yourself breaking a nail or two, there are the reasons that may be causing them to be weak and brittle.
1. You text and type all day
Repetitive contact between your nails and keyboard or smartphone screen may cause the edges of your nails to split and fray. If you are required to do a lot of typing, it’s best to trim your nails short such that only the pads of your fingers are doing the typing. Alternatively, adjust your hand position to minimise the impact on your nails.
2. You lack vitamin B
The food you’re eating determines how strong your nails are. Biotin, a B vitamin, plays a part in producing protein to strengthen weak nails. According to a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, nails became stronger when participants were given a 2.5mg dose of biotin daily. Ensure that your diet consists of biotin-rich foods like salmon and eggs to strengthen brittle nails.
3. You don’t moisturise your hands
Washing your hands strips moisture from your nails. That’s why it’s important to moisturise your hands after showers or after washing your hands. While you’re at it, don’t forget to get some of the product on your nails as well. A regular hand moisturiser will do the job.
4. You leave nail polish on for too long
Painting your nails can be therapeutic and absolutely pampering. While we all love ourselves some pretty nails, the chemicals in nail polish may dry out your nail plate, resulting in flaky and brittle nails. That doesn’t mean you have to ditch your manicures. Just remember not to leave the polish on for more than five days and give your nails more time to breathe in between those manicure sessions.
5. You trim your cuticles
Time to ditch those cuticle nippers. Cuticles are skin tissues that act as a form of barrier between your nail plate and skin. Cutting your cuticles essentially means removing the defence barrier, exposing your nails and body to more harmful bacteria and infections. Researchers from the University Colorado found that at any given time, your hand has roughly 150 species of bacteria living on it. Yikes! You definitely don’t want the bacteria getting into your system.
6. You do household chores
Unfortunately, doing housework may be what’s always causing your nails to break easily. It’s no surprise finding your nails chipping off while you’re cleaning. Hand-washing clothes and doing the dishes also subject your nails to water, which weaken your nails. Wear hand gloves while you’re doing chores to protect your nails. And keep them short to prevent breakage.
7. You use your nails as a tool
We get it, long nails are pretty useful when it comes to removing stubborn sticky labels. But all that scratching and peeling is definitely hurting your nails. Even if they don’t break, your nails are subjected to wear and tear, and as a result, break more easily or grow out unevenly over time.
8. You like to peel or chew on them
You should already know this: Biting or peeling your nails makes them short, stubby and jagged. In doing so, you may also damage the skin around your nails, increasing the risk of infection.
9. You don’t clean your nails
Practising basic hygiene is the cornerstone of good health, and nails! Even if your nails are short, dirt can still build up to cause bacterial infection. One of the most common nail infections is caused by the bacteria Pseudomonas. They form green pigments in your nails and your nail bed to soften over time. The next time you wash your hands, remember to scrub under your nails where the grime and dirt is hiding. If you have brittle nails, use a gentle hand cleanser that’s free of alcohol.