What's the most common reason your nails break or split?

United States
July 22, 2008 6:25am CST
This past few weeks my nails have been growing like crazy. Then Saturday they started chipping and cracking. I don't know why. Maybe I forgot to wear my gloves while doing the dishes. Whatever the reason, they are going, going, gone! In another week, I won't have any long nails. Just broken off stub nails. Seems I have no problem growing nails, but they don't stick around for long. What's the most common reason your nails break or split? Do you have any tips for keeping nails healthy and strong?
11 people like this
29 responses
@mandykaren (2040)
22 Jul 08
well mine break through stress or boreddom. nail biting i dont like my anils too long anyway, heh remember when i decided to see what would be like if i did have long nails, so i tried fake nails but i got so frustrated as i couldnt open a handle of door, or easily pick up a cup of drink worse thing was, i couldnt type, got so annoyed as several were messaging me at the time in msn, and nudging but i coudlnt type quick enough because of the stupid long nails lool i bit them right off as i got so angry haha anyway thing is.. its calcium you need, to help strengthen any bone and nails are bone material.. also you know you can buy nail strengthener while growing them, well might help.. thats problem with having long nails, if one breaks due to chores, then just looks too odd if rest are long..
2 people like this
• United States
22 Jul 08
I think I remember you telling me about that before. Nails can be a real pain. I don't like biting mine either, cause I get sore fingers. It was my compulsion for awhile, not so much anymore since I started posting on Mylot. And, yeah it does look really weird when just one or two nails break! I noticed that. I was already having some trouble with the nails being longer and trying to type. I've noticed that typing has become easier since the key nails broke. My nails don't slide off the keys so much. Maybe I'll just keep them trimmed back. That would probably work better for me anyway. Thanks for your suggestions! Have a lovely day.
1 person likes this
22 Jul 08
sore fingers hmmm yes i had that with 1 of my fingers.. i was not thinking, concentrating on something, biting aaway and bit too low and i certainly regretted it lool don't do that so much now.. with long nails id be tapping keyboard with the nails.. i hated it, maybe was worse because going from nice short nails instantly to great big long fake nails, oh they looked nice if you didn't do ANYTHING in them, just for show lool I really do not know how some girls can wear them all the time.. i happy with short nilw you take care and happy mylotting (i carry on eating my pizza hehe)
2 people like this
• United States
23 Jul 08
I had left over pizza for dinner!
1 person likes this
@Elixiress (3893)
22 Jul 08
Mine break due to work. I work in the party department of a store and spend a lot of time tidying up, picking stuff up off the floor, tying balloons and all of this chips your nails. Once my nail is chipped it drives me insane, so I have to file it down. So my nails never actually break right off, but they get driven down chip by chip.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Jul 08
Sounds like my nails! They chip once and I know the end is near.
1 person likes this
@joliefille (3696)
• Philippines
22 Jul 08
I saw this nail hardening thingy in beauty stores but I hadn't tried something like it. My nails usually break from having done the laundry, which I usually do on a weekend. I don't have a washing machine yet and I still do hand wash my clothes. Washing clothes is the number one reason my nails break. Another reason is when I try using my nails to untie something.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Jul 08
I just remembered that I had to hand wash something this past week. I'll bet that's what made them break. They were fine before then. I think there is something in the laundry detergent that makes nails weak. I'll have to keep that in mind for next time.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Jul 08
Getting a manicure! - I love getting a manicure...they pamper me and give the most wonderful hand massages! My hands are so soft and my nails are done so well--quite a few people who have met me are shocked that my nails are fake--they are THAT well done! And I love getting a pedi....I'm so relaxed in the massaging chair, soaking my feet and getting my feet worked on...I just need to not be so ticklish and it would be pure heaven! I love to pamper myself every couple of months with a manicure and pedicure...afterwards I feel like a woman!
I have artificial nails--mine don't break so much as they bend downwards, making it very difficult to go natural (I type a LOT). My natural nails don't break, but I've got to keep them very short or they'd start to curl and bend strangely. I wish I knew about fake nails sooner! (and for a special treat, I'll go all out and get a pedicure too!) As for tips for keeping your nails healthy and strong, I'd suggest a well-balanced diet, perhaps even some gelatin? And use Sally Hansen's nail products--the strengthener is great!
• United States
23 Jul 08
Will try the Sally Hansen products. Sounds great. Thanks!
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Jul 08
I can't really grow mine out that long because they break too easily. I have problems with my potassium level and the level of other nutrients, so they are usually very thing and brittle. But, lately, they've been a little thicker and I've been able to grow them out a bit. I work a lot with my hands all day long, so they're bound to break no matter what. I also like to cut them down if I'm doing a lot of work on the car or other messy jobs.
• United States
23 Jul 08
I hear you! For some reason my nails are the same way. When I was pregnant, I took prenatal vitamins and had the longest most beautiful strong nails. Not so much anymore. So maybe my issue is vitamins and minerals too!
1 person likes this
@gemini_rose (16193)
22 Jul 08
I have lots of problems growing my nails, they go through stages where they seem to go really healthy and then they just split and break. I have learnt that I can only grow my nails to a certain length though before this starts to happen so what I do now is trim them once a week, file them and then put clear nail varnish on them. This keeps them strong and healthy.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Jul 08
Nail varnish? I'll try that. I have a favorite brand from ELF,but rarely buy any. Now I have nails, I have a reason!
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (50943)
• United States
22 Jul 08
Well before I got sick, many years ago, my nails were great. They would grow really long and not break. People thought they were manicured, but they just looked good. When I got sick they started to break, so I keep them short now. I know a lack of vitamins, especially iron can cause breakage. Women's One A Day vitamin is a vitamin the has checked out in major studies on which vitamins are the most efficient. I currently take that one. Also, I used to go to Walgreens, and they had a vitamin especially for hair and nails. I don't remember the name, but I know it states clearly on the label it was to strengthen hair and nails.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Jul 08
I didn't know that about nails and iron deficiency. I got anemia and iron deficiency after my baby was born. Actually I think I always had it, but just undiagnosed. I thought it had gone away. Maybe not. Thanks for the tip on the vitamin, I'll check that out.
1 person likes this
@chrislotz (8203)
• Canada
4 Oct 08
It could be that your nails are too dry and brittle so they break. Or it could be that you have your hands in water too much. I know that is why my nails always break or split. I clean houses for a living and have my hands in water all of the time. I use a lot of hand lotion but it still dries out my nails and skin. If I put nail polish on them it protects them a little bit more, but then I have to redo them again after work because more than half of it is gone by then and it looks dumb having only half my nails polished.
1 person likes this
@hezoid (2147)
1 Aug 08
Wearing nail varnish too often, because it stops your nails breathing and also the nail varnish remover really drys the nails out too. Also just generally not treating you hand and nails with care! I use Sally Hansen Hard As Nails on mine to keep them looking nice and stop them splitting and breaking.
1 person likes this
@1grnthmb (2063)
• United States
28 Jul 08
I studied nutrition when I was in college and there is a nutrient that causes this but I could not find an answer to this so I searched this out for you. I know they used to recommend taking gelatin capsules for it. Some people naturally have soft brittle nails (My wife for one). Then there is a condition called onychoschizia which includes splitting, brittle, soft or thin nails. It is often a result of them frequently getting wet. And yes even wearing gloves while doing dishes can cause dampness because of sweat in the gloves. The best treatment is to apply lotions containing alpha-hydroxy acids or lanolin containing lotions such as "Elon" (by the "Dartmouth" company) to the nails after soaking nails in water for 5 minutes and after getting the hands wet.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Jul 08
dishes frag mine too,especially if you use the steel scrubbies.that and hands on yardwork. sometimes it's a vitamin deficiency,i take biotin suppliments,and my nails haven't split since.
@cyberfluf (5004)
• Netherlands
24 Jul 08
Because I chew and rip them... it's a nasty habit I have when I'm stressed out. It's good to have short nails though as I work with kids and it would be dangerous to have long fingernails as I could injure them with it (scratch them, poke them with it, or whatever else may happen). Drink milk, it will help create keratine (?) and that keeps nails strong! .
@iyah10 (4116)
• Kuwait
24 Jul 08
Some people they were keep on telling us that our Nails are easily been broken if we are lucking of Calcium and the second is that our Nails is always soaked in water.......
1 person likes this
@vanities (11401)
• Davao, Philippines
23 Jul 08
well yeah it really breaks specially if you putting some nail polish on it straight with in the period of time.. and it was not rinsed properly after putting a cuticle remover or soap to that effect..and that was always my problem..our nails need to breathe i guess..and have it clean with no polish on it once in a while..and thats what i exactly do if i noticed it...to make it more strong try sticking your nail on garlic it makes the nail stronger..minus the odor
@Barbietre (1440)
• United States
23 Jul 08
Well another thing is add Boitin to your diet, plus years ago they advised gelatin added into foods . I eat sugar free jello. I have my nails done and they always broke before, so now I have UV gel nails and they are very strong. But now it is getting expensive to fill them in, so I may try and let them grow out and see what happens. I already eat plenty of calcium
1 person likes this
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
23 Jul 08
Most nails get weak from lack of iron in the diet. Heres an article that explains some of the causes etc for brittle and or chipping nails. http://www.aocd.org/skin/dermatologic_diseases/brittle_splitting.html HAPPY POSTINGS FROM GRANDPA BOB !!~
1 person likes this
@nupats (3564)
• India
23 Jul 08
when i am working or maybe pushing something heavy they break ..like today i was shifting the bed and my two nails broke ...sometimes my leg hits against the door and i have a throbbing pain and realise my toe nail broke at the wrong place..then i put a band aid..so my nails break but i grow them again..
1 person likes this
@checapricorn (16066)
• United States
23 Jul 08
Hi beauty, Maybe you need more vitamins! Anyway, I have that problem too since I work anything using my bare hand. So, I am not growing my nails, I always cut it short every weekend!
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Jul 08
I always used to have long nails in high school but now that I do dishes and cleaning all the time my nails break easily. I forgot the name of it but I know Sally Hansen makes a protective clear nail polish to make your nails harder so they don't break as easily. Also wearing regular nail polish can help to protect them a little.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Jul 08
My nails seem to get weak when I forget to wear gloves while washing the dishes. Make sure you take in enough calcium and in the meantime, go to any store in the beauty section and find nail-hardner by Sally Hansen. It really works.
1 person likes this