How to grow stronger and longer Nails?

You can grow stronger and longer nails by taking care of your nails and healthy diet. One of the first steps to achieving longer, healthier nails is to maintain a proper diet. Your nails are made up of a protein called keratin, so it’s important to ensure you’re getting enough protein in your diet. Include foods such as lean meats, fish, eggs, and legumes to promote nail growth and strength.

In addition to protein, vitamins and minerals also play a crucial role in nail health. Make sure you’re getting enough biotin, which is known to improve nail strength and thickness. Foods rich in biotin include almonds, sweet potatoes, and eggs. Vitamin E is another essential nutrient for nail health, as it helps repair and protect the nails from damage. Incorporate foods like avocados, nuts, and seeds into your diet to boost your intake of vitamin E.

Hydration is key when it comes to nail health. Drinking plenty of water helps to keep your nails hydrated and prevents them from becoming dry and brittle. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to promote nail growth and strength.

how to grow your nails

Here’s How You Can Grow Stronger, Longer Nails

Don’t worry, we won’t tell you to give up on your gel manis.BY KATIE WITHINGTON AND MEDINA AZALDINUPDATED: 

Opening parcels, improper removal of gels, certain medications and an unbalanced diet can all contribute to nails that refuse to grow and feel more than a little fragile.

But don’t fret, there are plenty of easy steps you can take to restore your nails to its healthiest state. Just like how make-up artists agree that make-up looks better on a well-hydrated complexion, a great manicure starts with moisturised, strong nails that remains in good shape even with consistent gel manis.

Not to mention, natural nails are having a real moment this year. Sofia Richie recently made a convincing case for going au natural when it comes to nails, taking to TikTok to breakdown how she cares for her tips when she’s on a much-needed gel hiatus. Rosamund Pike has also been named the poster girl for completely bare nails, showcasing a tidy but pared back manicure throughout award season


The most important thing to note? Treat your nails kindly. It takes seconds to apply a cuticle oil or put on gloves before you do any cleaning but the payoff is worth it. Ahead, nail experts shed light on more ways to show your nails some love.

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How To Grow Longer And Stronger Nails

1. Use A Cuticle Oil Daily

According to Ama Quashie, session manicurist and founder of Ama salon, the secret to growing your best nails is: hydration, hydration, hydration.

‘To have strong nails, they need to be healthy – and to be healthy, they need to be hydrated,’ she says. ‘Cuticle oil works by hydrating the cuticle and nail bed, which is why it’s such an important step in nail care, whether you’re growing your nails or simply want them to look their best.’

Her favourites? Organic Dadi oil or a simple jojoba: they’ll do the job just as well (if not better) and don’t cost the earth.

And Diogo is in agreement. ‘Balms, oils and creams should be used after every hand wash,’ she says. ‘Developing a habit for hand and cuticle care allows the hands to stay nourished and free of dry cuticles. This means the nailsspilt less and look great even without polish. I recommend applying 3x a day.’ Her go-to? Dior’s Creme Abricot cuticle balm.

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2. Consider Biotin

Studies show that brittle nails prone to peeling and breakage could be a sign of biotin deficiency, so it might be a good idea to supplement your diet with an extra dose of this essential B vitamin.

‘Biotin-rich foods may help to strengthen brittle nails,’ says nutritionist Amanda Griggs. There are several small studies to support this, although Griggs highlights that ‘they did not include a placebo group and also did not include the baseline biotin status of the participants.’ However, they did show significant increases in nail thickness and hardness after taking 2.5mg biotin supplement each day.

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3. Invest In A ‘Soft’ Nail File

You might have heard that glass nail files are better for filing with, but while they’re longer-wearing and easy to clean, it pays to invest in a ‘soft’ file, according to session manicurist, Ami Streets.


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‘To get the best finish from your filing, always opt for a soft file to prevent tearing or splitting your nails,’ she says. Her top picks? ‘Orly’s nail file is probably one of best I’ve used because of the durability and the way it gives the smoothest finish really fast.’

‘Pro products are always best and usually more hard wearing. I really like the Natural Nail Company because you can choose a file depending on whether your nails are soft or hard, and there are even options for acrylics.’


What’s more, you really need to nail (sorry) your filing technique. Back and forth see-saw motions will only cause the nail to splinter, so always file in one direction, using long, swift but gentle strokes.

Pro Tip: ‘Start from the outside edge and move into the centre,’ advises Streets. ‘This technique will give you a smooth finish and more control over the shape you’re trying to achieve.’

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4. Nourish Your Nail Beds

If a bumpy, ridged nail bed is completely ruining your mani, you might need to increase your vitamin B9 intake.

Otherwise known as folic acid, this vitamin repairs and multiplies the cells that make up nails, which speeds up growth and promotes overall nail health. It has also been shown to boost strength and prevent peeling.


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‘Folic acid is responsible for healthy cell growth in skin tissue as well as hair and nails,’ explains Griggs. ‘A true deficiency in folic acid may cause discolouration and contribute to brittle and weak nails.’

If you think you’re lacking, foods like beans and whole grains are rich in folic acid – but you can buy folic acid supplements over the counter, too.

5. Upgrade Your Nail Polish Remover

When your manicure shows signs of chipping, it’s all too easy to pick up any old bottle of nail polish remover. But those containing high concentrations of acetone (the potent solvent that is responsible for dissolving nail polish quickly) is extremely harsh on fragile nails and can dry them out almost instantly – cue peeling, flaking and splitting.

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Your best bet? Go acetone-free if you’re not removing gel formulas. Modern nail polishes are now fortified with vitamins and fatty acids to keep your nailbeds nourished and happy.

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6. Give BIAB A Go

A builder gel (also known as BIAB) has a thicker consistency than regular gel polish. According to The Gel Bottle’s educator, Beth Davis, this will help your natural nails to grow stronger and longer as it adds a protective layer to prevent your nails from chipping or breaking, and creates a resilient surface to reduce wear and tear.

You can use BIAB on its own, with overlay or with extensions. It’s great for brittle and weak nails too, as it creates structural support. ‘Maintaining regular appointments will also help your nail’s ability to continue to grow,’ says Davis. It does this by creating a structure called the ‘apex’.


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‘An apex is when the product mimics the natural curve of the nail and is thickest at the nail’s stress point.

The stress point can be identified when you gently press on the free edge of the nail and it is the white band that appears across the natural nail. Creating an apex is a must when using BIAB to provide support so that the nail can grow out longer without breaking,’ she explains.

7. Eat A Nail-Friendly Diet

Forget all the crash-diet propaganda that’s been drip-fed into your brain for decades, because the best diet for all-round health – including your nails – is rich in variety.

For growing nails longer and stronger, Griggs recommends ‘a nutritious rainbow diet including colourful fruit and vegetables, leafy greens, oily fish, nuts, seeds, avocado, eggs, lean meat, a little whole grains and sweet potato.’


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To take things to the next level, add in foods that encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria, such as kefir, miso, live yogurt, and kimchi. ‘Finally, don’t forget to keep hydrated and minimise alcohol consumption and refined sugars,’ she says.

8. Never Pick Your Nails

Yes, it can be really tempting to peel off month-old gels, but doing so will only remove the top layer of your nails and cause it to feel weak and thin. Remove gel nails properly by filing down the polish, wrapping your nails in acetone and gently take off the gels or book in for a professional removal at the salon. Don’t hesitate to ask for a manual (instead of machine) removal, too, if your nails are feel extra brittle.

Diogo’s number one tip if your nails are additionally thin post-mani? ‘Keep nails bare and trim them short. Hydration plays a big part, not only with the use of oils and balms but also drinking lots of water. Regularly feeding the nail with oils really helps to treat any dehydration from wearing gels.’

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If you tend to pick your nails out of habit, one ELLE writer has found that a fidget ring helps to give you something to do with your hands, without picking on your skin or nails.

Pro Tip: It might sound obvious, but Quashie’s top piece of advice is actually the easiest way to keep your nails looking as good as possible. ‘Don’t use your nails as tools – remember, be gentle!’

9. Try A Keratin Treatment

Similar to hair, our nails are made up of a protein called keratin. Brittle and weak nails can benefit from a keratin treatment which will help to restore strength and prevent breakage.

Nails & Brows Mayfair offer IBX Nail Strengthening Manicure to create a layer of protection against chipping while Young LDN’s Japanese Manicure coats the nail with keratin paste, leaving them feeling stronger and looking glossier than ever.

There are plenty of at-home options, too. Keratin-infused base coats and nail treatments work hard to repair damaged nails while imparting a lustrous shine so you rock that minimalist manicure all while ensuring your nails are properly taken care of.

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In addition to a healthy diet, proper nail care is essential for achieving longer, healthier nails. Avoid using harsh chemicals and nail products that can damage the nails. Instead, opt for gentle nail polishes and removers that are free from toxic ingredients. Be sure to moisturize your nails and cuticles regularly to keep them hydrated and prevent them from becoming dry and brittle.

Regularly trimming and filing your nails is also important for maintaining their health and preventing breakage. Use a gentle nail file to shape your nails and avoid using metal files, as they can cause damage. Trim your nails regularly to prevent them from becoming too long and prone to breaking.

Finally, be patient. Growing long, healthy nails takes time and dedication. It’s important to avoid biting or picking at your nails, as this can cause damage and hinder their growth. Stick to a consistent nail care routine and be gentle with your nails to allow them to grow and strengthen naturally.

By following these tips and techniques, you can achieve longer, healthier nails that not only look beautiful but also indicate good overall health. Remember to prioritize proper nutrition, hydration, and nail care to promote nail growth and strength. With time and patience, you’ll be able to enjoy strong, beautiful nails that you can be proud of.

1. Maintain a Balanced Diet

One of the most important factors in growing strong nails is maintaining a balanced diet. Your nails, like the rest of your body, require essential nutrients to grow and stay healthy. Include foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins in your diet to promote nail growth.

Some nutrients that are particularly beneficial for nail health include:

  • Protein: Include lean meats, fish, eggs, and legumes in your diet to provide the necessary protein for nail growth. Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of nails. Consuming enough protein ensures that your body has the necessary materials to repair and strengthen your nails.
  • Biotin: Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is essential for nail strength. It helps to improve the thickness and hardness of nails, reducing the likelihood of breakage. Foods rich in biotin include almonds, peanuts, sweet potatoes, and eggs. Adding these foods to your diet can help promote healthy nail growth.
  • Iron: Iron deficiency can lead to brittle nails. Incorporate iron-rich foods such as spinach, lentils, and lean red meat into your meals. Iron is necessary for the production of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to the nails. Without enough iron, the nails may become weak and prone to breakage.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps in the production of collagen, which is important for nail strength. Collagen is a protein that provides structure to the nails, making them less likely to split or break. Citrus fruits, strawberries, and bell peppers are excellent sources of vitamin C. Including these foods in your diet can help improve the overall health and appearance of your nails.
  • Zinc: Zinc deficiency can cause slow nail growth. Consuming foods like oysters, pumpkin seeds, and whole grains can help ensure an adequate intake of zinc. Zinc plays a crucial role in cell division and growth, which is essential for the development of strong and healthy nails.

By maintaining a balanced diet that includes these essential nutrients, you can provide your nails with the necessary building blocks for growth and strength. Remember to also stay hydrated and avoid excessive use of harsh chemicals, as these can weaken the nails. Taking care of your nails from the inside out will help you achieve long, strong, and healthy nails.

Another way to keep your nails hydrated is to drink plenty of water. Hydration starts from within, and staying properly hydrated can have a positive impact on the health of your nails. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to keep your body and nails well-hydrated.

In addition to moisturizing and drinking water, you can also incorporate certain foods into your diet that promote nail hydration. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and walnuts, can help nourish your nails from the inside out. Other foods that are beneficial for nail health include avocados, spinach, and eggs, which provide essential vitamins and minerals.

When it comes to nail care, it’s important to avoid excessive filing and buffing. While it may be tempting to smooth out any rough edges or ridges, over-filing can weaken the nails and make them more prone to breakage. Instead, opt for gentle filing and use a buffer sparingly to maintain the natural strength of your nails.

Regular nail trims are also essential for maintaining nail health. Keeping your nails at a manageable length can prevent them from snagging or breaking. Use a quality nail clipper or file to trim your nails, and make sure to file them in one direction to avoid weakening the nail structure.

In addition to these tips, it’s important to give your nails a break from nail polish and artificial nails from time to time. Constant exposure to nail polish and glue can cause the nails to become dry and brittle. If you enjoy wearing nail polish, make sure to use a base coat and a top coat to provide a protective barrier and prevent staining.

Lastly, regular visits to a professional nail technician can help maintain the health and appearance of your nails. A nail technician can provide expert advice, perform proper nail care techniques, and address any specific concerns you may have about your nails.

3. Practice Proper Nail Care

Proper nail care is essential for promoting nail growth and preventing damage. Follow these tips to maintain healthy nails:

  • Keep your nails trimmed: Regularly trim your nails to prevent them from becoming too long and prone to breakage. Use a sharp nail clipper to ensure a clean cut.
  • File your nails: Use a gentle nail file to shape your nails and smooth any rough edges. Avoid using a rough file that can cause damage. File your nails in one direction to prevent splitting.
  • Avoid biting or picking your nails: Biting or picking at your nails can lead to damage and slow down the growth process. If you have a habit of biting your nails, consider using a bitter-tasting nail polish to deter yourself.
  • Don’t cut your cuticles: The cuticles act as a protective barrier for your nails. Avoid cutting or pushing them back too aggressively, as it can lead to infections. Instead, gently push them back using a cuticle pusher or an orangewood stick after soaking your nails in warm water.
  • Use a strengthening treatment: Consider using a nail strengthener or treatment to fortify your nails and promote growth. Look for products that contain ingredients like biotin, keratin, and vitamins A and E, which are known to support nail health.
  • Moisturize your nails and cuticles: Keep your nails and cuticles hydrated by applying a moisturizing nail and cuticle oil regularly. This helps prevent dryness and brittleness, which can lead to breakage.
  • Protect your nails: Wear gloves when doing household chores or working with harsh chemicals to protect your nails from damage. Avoid using your nails as tools to open cans or scrape off labels, as this can weaken and break them.
  • Give your nails a break: If you frequently wear nail polish or acrylic nails, it’s important to give your nails a break from time to time. Allow them to breathe and recover by going polish-free for a week or two.

By practicing proper nail care, you can maintain healthy nails that are strong, long, and beautiful.

4. Protect Your Nails

Protecting your nails from external damage is crucial for their growth and overall health. Here are some ways to keep your nails safe:

  • Wear gloves: When performing tasks that may expose your nails to potential harm, such as gardening or cleaning, wear gloves to protect them. Gloves act as a barrier between your nails and harsh chemicals or rough surfaces, preventing them from getting damaged or chipped. Additionally, gloves can help retain moisture in your nails, keeping them hydrated and less prone to breakage.
  • Avoid using nails as tools: Resist the temptation to use your nails as tools for opening cans or scratching off labels. While it may seem convenient at the moment, using your nails for such tasks can cause them to weaken or break. Instead, reach for appropriate tools like a can opener or a pair of scissors to avoid putting unnecessary stress on your nails.
  • Apply a base coat: Before applying nail polish, always use a base coat to provide a protective layer and prevent staining. A base coat acts as a shield between your nails and the pigments in the nail polish, reducing the chances of discoloration and yellowing. It also helps the nail polish adhere better, resulting in a longer-lasting manicure.
  • Limit exposure to water: Prolonged exposure to water, especially hot water, can weaken your nails. When your nails absorb water, they expand and become more susceptible to breakage. To protect your nails, try to minimize contact with water and wear gloves when necessary. If you need to submerge your hands in water for an extended period, consider applying a layer of clear nail polish to create a barrier that helps seal in moisture and prevent excessive water absorption.

5. Be Gentle with Your Nails

Being gentle with your nails is essential to prevent damage and promote growth. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Avoid using harsh nail products: Some nail polishes and removers contain harsh chemicals that can damage your nails. Opt for gentle, acetone-free nail polish removers and non-toxic nail polishes. Look for products that are labeled as “nail-friendly” or “nourishing” to ensure that they are gentle on your nails.
  • Avoid excessive filing: Over-filing your nails can weaken them. File your nails only when necessary and in one direction to prevent splitting. It’s important to use a fine-grit nail file and to file in a gentle, back-and-forth motion to avoid putting too much pressure on the nails. This will help to maintain the integrity of your nails and prevent them from becoming weak or brittle.
  • Don’t peel off nail polish: Peeling off nail polish can cause layers of your nails to peel off as well. Use a gentle nail polish remover instead. When removing nail polish, soak a cotton pad in nail polish remover and press it onto your nail for a few seconds to allow the polish to dissolve. Then, gently swipe the cotton pad across your nail in one direction to remove the polish. Avoid scrubbing or rubbing your nails vigorously, as this can cause damage and weaken the nail plate.
  • Don’t use your nails as tools: Using your nails to open packages or scrape off stickers can cause them to break or chip. Use appropriate tools instead. Keep a small pair of scissors or a letter opener handy for opening packages, and use a plastic card or your fingertips to remove stickers. By avoiding using your nails as tools, you can prevent unnecessary stress and pressure on them, reducing the risk of breakage or damage.

By following these tips and being gentle with your nails, you can maintain their health and promote natural growth. Remember, healthy nails are not only aesthetically pleasing but also a reflection of your overall well-being.