Hard as Nails: five tips for strengthening weak ones

Nurture Oil || Hard as Nails: Five Tips for Strengthening Nails || raeritchie.com

I was asked last week if I could recommend a nail varnish that doesn’t destroy weak nails.  When thinking about my reply, I decided to widen the response and talk about the subject generally as it’s something I’ve encountered with my own hands.

Here are my five top tips for dealing with yours:

1) Take a supplement to ensure that you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals you need to maintain healthy nails.  There are lots of expensive ‘beauty’ versions on the market but I stick to Sainsbury’s own brand women’s capsules, which have the RDA of pretty much everything your body needs.

2) Wear your nails short.  It’s an obvious recommendation but nails get weaker with length.  A lot of advice says to keep them no longer than the end of your finger but I’d be lucky to grow my even to there!

3) Use a strengthening treatment to nurture nails as they grow.  A couple of years ago The Independent featured a great round up of options from £2.50 up to £40.  I buy Nurture Oil from my beautician and I absolutely swear by it.  Since starting to use just a drop a day on each cuticle, my nails have been in the best condition ever.  Get some!  You can buy a bottle here, although there are lots of similar generic oils on the market.  And if you wanted to go to the queen of hand and foot care, try out Margaret Dabbs’ Nail and Cuticle Serum, £12.00 at Space.NK.

4) Invest in a strengthening base coat to wear either on its own or under other polishes.  This adds another layer of protection to the nail underneath.  A classic is Sally Hansen’s Hard As Nails which you can get from Boots for £4.75, while Butter LONDON have their Horse Power Nail Rescue Base Coat at £15.00.

5) Switch to a nourishing nail varnish.  A number of brands now offer colours that they claim will help nails.  Nail specialists Essie have just launched their Treat Love and Colour range (£8.99 each, available at Boots), made of up three pastel shade varnishes which, they claim, give you ‘beautiful sheer colour without sacrificing the health of your nails! In fact, it aims to improve it!’.  If you’re looking for a wide selection of colours then check out Liz Earle’s Strengthening Nail Colour options (£8.50).  There are seven shade that cover a pale to dark spectrum and each contains two kinds of oil – hence the claim to being strengthening.

And I couldn’t do a piece on nails without giving a shout out to the fab team at WAH Nails.  Their Soho salon is a great place to visit if your after a top notch manicure or fancy some crazy nail art – they can do it all in their fun and interactive space.  Perhaps it could be a goal once your nails feel stronger?!

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