How to Get Stronger, Longer Nails ASAP

Hilary Sheinbaum
How to get stronger, longer nails

Photo: Getty Images

Brittle and broken nails, be gone! Nails look best when they’re clean, cut and polished. But, before dressing them up, it’s essential to build a strong foundation. We’ve compiled a few quick fix ways to accomplish healthier nails in a snap.

Stay hydrated
A well-balanced diet is important and drinking a lot of water is best. “The most important thing is to keep nails and cuticles hydrated,” says Deborah Lippmann, Founder and Creative Director of the eponymous luxury beauty line.

Biotin and other boosters
Biotin supplements battle brittle nails from the inside out. Doris Nunez, an esthetician at Salon AKS in New York City, suggests Phytophanere ($59,, a hair and nail growth vitamin, but advises to consult a doctor prior to taking. There are also products, treatments and lacquers that can be applied directly to the nail. Try OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener ($16.95,, which fortifies weak nails with hydrolyzed wheat protein and calcium.

Massage for more
Because the nail forms just below the cuticle, massaging the area brings blood to the area – promoting healthier nail growth, says Lippmann.

Care for cuticles
“Do not cut your cuticles,” advises Nunez. “Make sure to only push them back.” Moisturizing more than once a day is also ideal. Lippmann suggests carrying hand and cuticle cream in your purse. She adds, “You would never wash your face without using a moisturizer, and you should treat your hands the same way.”

Prevent breaks
“Never use your nails as tools,” warns Lippmann. “You risk bending the nail back. The white area, referred to as the stress area, will eventually weaken and break.” It’s important to pay close attention to how you use your nails day-to-day.

Choose the right tools
The type of file you use matters. “Always use a crystal nail file,” says Dr. Debra Jaliman, author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist. “It’s easier on the nails.”

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