Webmaster Wants To Know: I’ve stopped biting my nails and now I’m trying to grow them out. However, after they reach a certain length they would start to break. I’ve been using Sally Hansen Hard as Nails, but to no avail! Therefore, my question are: Are the ingredients in Sally Hansen more harmful than helpful to growing my nails and possible health? Are there any nail products that you could recommend that could promote stronger nails?
The Right Brain responds:
The idea that nail hardeners can help your nails grow longer is a myth; but here are four things you CAN do to help your nails:
1. Avoid nail polishes containing formaldehyde.
This chemical can cross link the keratin protein in your nails. While it does make the nails harder, it also makes them so stiff that they become brittle so they actually break MORE easily.
2. Dont bother with gelatin.
Many products claim that gelatin strengthens nails because it is made from protein, but there is no scientific evidence that gelatin has any benefit to nails.
3. Limit your use of polish removers.
These products contain alcohol and other solvents that dry nails out, making them more prone to breakage.
4. Use a good hand cream or cuticle cream.
Daily exposure to detergents and harsh chemicals dries out your nails and makes them break more easily. By moisturizing them often you can prevent loss of moisture and reduce the chance of breakage. Lotions with petrolatum or mineral oil are the best. You might try the Terra Naturals Nail Strengthener.