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How to Fix Brittle Nails in the Winter

The winter season is always hard on the skin. The dry winter air holds less moisture than the hot, humid summer months. Cold, dry air can increase dehydration and dryness in your skin and, surprisingly, even your nails. And just like you probably find yourself reaching for your facial moisturizer and hair serums a lot more during the winter months, don’t forget about the care and keeping of your nails.

A hand showing all of their finger nails

Winter is the perfect time to get started if you don’t already have a weekly nail care routine. You can minimize damage by building a habit around cleaning, filing, and moisturizing your nails. Invest in a nail file or a set of Emory boards to get started. You’ll also want to search for high-quality nail clippers or replace your dull, old pair. If your current kit is in good condition, then make sure you’re disinfecting and giving them a thorough cleaning regularly.

Bring on the Moisturizer

There’s a reason that moisturizer is in all good self-care routines. You should have a good-quality moisturizer that suits your skin, face and body, but what about your nails? That’s right, nails need moisturizer like the rest of our bodies.

Invest in a nail moisturizer or two if you can (one for home and one to keep in your bag). Moisturizer is one of the simplest ways to hydrate the skin, returning crucial moisture to the nail and the nail bed. If your nails feel cracked, dry, or brittle, then moisturizing morning and night will go a long way to repairing them. Maintaining this habit throughout the year will also ensure you’ll see less damage next winter.

Limit Manicures

As much as we all love a good manicure with a colorful set of long nails, your nails might need a break. Most nail polish, including gel polish, requires UV light to cure the chemicals and set the polish. This process can irritate your nails and cause thinning, chipping, and brittle nails.

While a qualified manicurist should always be able to tell when your nails could use a break, inspecting your hands and nails is always a good idea. If you notice that you’ve got chipped and peeling nails, then give your nails a more natural look for a few weeks and paint on a simple nail strengthener instead. Don’t worry; you can still have classy winter nails, even without your usual colorful polish.

Use Gentle Hand Sanitizers and Hand Soaps

Sadly, many of the products we use to keep our homes clean use harsh chemicals that can dry out and even damage our skin. These chemicals are also used in hand soaps and alcohol-based hand sanitizers. While these products are essential for a clean body and a healthy home, they can also cause brittleness in the nail and the cuticle.

While it might seem like a lot of effort, try wearing gloves when washing dishes or doing your weekly cleaning tasks. Wearing gloves can help protect your hands and nails from these harsh chemical and ingredients. Similarly, there are excellent options for hand sanitizers these days, many of which include nourishing Vitamin E, making it gentler on your hands. Do some research and keep a bottle in your car or bag.

Utilize Supplements

Just like you should be taking vitamins and supplements for your body, skin, and hair, these nutritional supplements can also help your nail health. Some of the best supplements for brittle winter nails are Omega 3 6 9. In case you need a refresher, Omega fatty acids, which include Omega 3, Omega 6, and Omega 9, are essential fats your body needs but can’t produce on its own. To obtain these nutrients, you can either get them from your diet or via supplements.

Why are these supplements so crucial for nail health? Omega fatty acids are anti-inflammatories, meaning they reduce inflammation in the nail bed. These fatty acids also provide the nail with moisture, decreasing brittleness. They’re also necessary for nail growth and can help give you longer, stronger, and healthier nails.

Taking care of your nails is a relaxing part of self-care and personal wellness. A nail technician can also be a great career option, especially if you’re passionate about fabulous-looking nails. Contact us at the Hollywood Institute of Beauty Careers today to learn more about our nail technology program.


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