Beautiful strong nails enhance the beauty of one’s hands. Not only are such nails easy to style, they also a great self-esteem booster. Brittle nails on the other hand, are nails that chip with ease, causing distress for many people. This condition affects both men and women. There are several factors that contribute to weak brittle nails. These include excessive exposure to water for long periods of time, using the wrong nail products as well as aging.

In some cases however, brittle nails could be a symptom of an underlying disease such as disorders of the thyroid gland, eczema, conditions that affect the body’s hormonal systems as well as fungal infections.

Dehydration is also one of the causes of brittle nails. The good news is that there are several home remedies that can be used to strengthen brittle nails. Each of the remedies listed below is easy to use and helps strengthen your nails so that they do not break with ease.


1. Apple Cider Vinegar:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Cup each of raw apple cider vinegar and water, cotton wool and nail cutter.
Difficulty: Easy


Apple cider vinegar (abbreviated ACV) is one of the most versatile home remedies available. This is simply because it is laden with healthy nutrients that help enhance strong nails. This type of vinegar has, among others, potassium, vitamins, calcium and iron, Additionally, ACV is rich in acetic acid which is extremely helpful in fighting off fungal infections that are sometimes the cause of brittle nails.


  1. Dilute the ACV using the water to avoid irritation of the surrounding skin. Ideally, the best ratio is 1:1, that is equal amounts of both the apple cider vinegar and water.
  2. Soak your nails in the solution for about 10 minutes. This allows ample time for the remedy’s effects to set in while softening the nails and cuticle.
  3. Dry your hands gently and proceed to push down the cuticles as gently as you can.
  4. Finish off this remedy using an appropriate skin moisturizer.
  5. Use this remedy daily until your nails are in a better condition.

NOTE: You may preserve the ACV solution for later use.


2. Tea Tree Oil:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Teaspoon of Tea tree oil, 1 teaspoon of Vitamin E oil (carrier), cotton wool, warm water and moisturizing lotion.
Difficulty: Easy


Tea tree oil is especially effective in the natural treatment of brittle nails in cases where the condition is the result of a fungal infection. This is because tea tree oil is a potent antiseptic that helps fight off fungal infections and restore the natural state of the nails. The addition of Vitamin E oil works to improve the skin of the surrounding skin, as well as its use as a carrier oil. The latter is important because undiluted, tea tree oil can easily cause skin irritation.Follow the simple steps below to make the best use of tea tree oil.


  1. Dilute the tea tree oil by mixing it with Vitamin E oil.
  2. Using cotton wool, apply the oil mixture on the nails and massage in for a few minutes.
  3. Leave the oil mixture on for about 20 minutes.
  4. Rinse the oil off using warm water and dab dry.
  5. Apply your preferred skin moisturizer to lock in the effects.
  6. Repeat this process twice daily until you are content with the progress.


3. Coconut Oil:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Cup of coconut oil, a water bath, cotton wool and some lemon juice (optional).
Difficulty: Easy


Coconut oil, just like Apple cider vinegar has immense health benefits that make it well suited for the natural treatment of brittle nails. The oil not only has rich moisturizing properties, it also has potent anti-fungal properties that help get rid of the fungal infections in cases where this is the cause of the brittleness. Add some lemon juice for a more potent combination that leaves your nails stronger and healthier. Note that in the absence of coconut oil, you may use olive oil.


  1. Place the coconut oil in a shallow bowl and warm it in a water bath. Avoid heating the oil directly as this denatures it and destroys its healing properties.
  2. Once the oil is warm enough, add the lemon juice and mix the two well.
  3. Use the cotton wool to apply the oil mixture on your finger tips.
  4. Massage the nails in order to improve blood circulation in thenails as well as allow absorption of the oil mixture.
  5. Use this remedy twice daily for several weeks until your nails are stronger and healthier.


4. Vitamin E Oil:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Vitamin E oil and cotton wool. Vitamin E capsules (optional).
Difficulty: Easy


One of the reasons why nails become so brittle is when there is inadequate moisturization. To treat this effectively, vitamin E oil is one of the simplest remedies available for you. This oil keeps the nails moisturized and helps nourish the skin. You may use store-bought oil, or extract the oil from the capsules as indicated in the directions below. The best time to use this remedy is just before bedtime as this provides ample time for the healing effects of the oil to set in.


  1. Place a few drops of the Vitamin E oil on the cotton wool and apply on the nails and surrounding skin. If you opt to use the capsules, crack them open by snipping a small part of the capsules and collect the oil.
  2. Massage the oil in to improve blood circulation as well as enhance absorption of the same.
  3. Use this remedy daily for a few weeks in order to get the best of Vitamin E in the natural treatment of Vitamin E oil.


5. Orange/Lemon Juice:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Cup of either fresh orange or lemon juice, cotton wool, warm water to rinse and moisturizing oil/lotion.
Difficulty: Easy


Oranges and lemons are some of the most common fruits available across the world. They are part of the citric family, and for this reason, are best known for their high acidic content. The citric acid present in the fruits is what is needed for the healing powers of the two in treating brittle nails. Additionally, the two are also rich in antioxidants that go a long way in strengthening the nails. You will need a moisturizing lotion/oil to use after applying the juice in order to soothe and hydrate the nail and the surrounding skin.


  1. Soak the cotton wool in your preferred juice for a few minutes before applying it on the nails.
  2. Massage the nails and surrounding skin as gently as you can.
  3. Let the juice dry on the skin for a few minutes.
  4. Rinse the juice off using warm water to prevent the citric acid from sticking to the skin and nails.
  5. Finish off the use of this remedy using a moisturizing oil to hydrate the skin and prevent further drying.


6. Sea Salt Nail Soak:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 2 Tablespoons of sea salt, 1 teaspoon of wheat germ oil, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, 1 cup of warm water and skin moisturizer.
Difficulty: Easy


Sea salt is one of the richest natural remedies available,and which has been used for ages in the treatment of different skin conditions. With the natural treatment of brittle nails, the salt’s ability to get rid of dead cells as well as soften the cuticles makes it a perfect solution to weak nails. Wheat germ oil is added to help reduce the dehydrating properties of a salt soak, while lemon juice is included for its healing properties.


  1. Add the salt to the bowl of warm water and stir for complete dissolution.
  2. Once the salt has dissolved, stir in the wheat germ oil and lemon juice.
  3. Soak your nails in this mixture for 20 minutes.
  4. Rinse the remedy off using warm water and dry your skin well.
  5. Apply the skin moisturizer to prevent the nails from drying and cracking with repeated use.


7. Shea Butter:

Time Required: N/A
What You Need: Shea butter
Difficulty: Easy


Shea butter is one of nature’s gifts for hair lovers, but did you know this butter is also an excellent remedy for brittle nails? Its moisturizing properties nourish both the skin and the nails. It is especially effective for damaged nails and helps restore healthy cuticles. To get the best of this remedy, it is best to apply the shea butter prior to any nail care routines as this eases the subsequent procedures.


  1. Scoop a generous amount of shea butter and simply slather it on your nails.
  2. Let the butter remain there for 20 minutes and then rinse with warm water.
  3. You may either continue with your nail care routines or finish by applying a moisturizing cream.
  4. Use this remedy thrice daily.


8. Castor Oil:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of castor oil, a few drops of peppermint oil, 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt, warm water and moisturizing cream.
Difficulty: Easy


Castor oil is a befitting remedy for the natural treatment of brittle nails, thanks to its strengthening properties. What’s more, castor oil has excellent anti-fungal properties that help clear fungal infections that are known to weaken the nail and damage the nail bed. Peppermint oil has a great aroma while Epsom salt is added for its ability to eliminate dead skin cells around the nails.


  1. Mix the oils well and then add the Epsom salt.
  2. Add some water so that you can soak your nails with ease instead of preparing a grainy paste.
  3. After 20 minutes, rinse your hands using warm water and finish by applying a moisturizing cream.
  4. Use this remedy at least once daily for a couple of weeks until your nails stop chipping.


9. Flaxseed Oil:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Flaxseed oil and cotton wool. Flaxseeds (optional).
Difficulty: Easy


Flaxseeds are rich in nutrients that are integral to proper nail health. These include potassium, magneisum and Vitamin B among others. When the oil is rubbed on the nails, it enhances the nails’ strength, thus making them less predisposed to chipping. Use the flaxseed for topical nail application. Alternatively, add flaxseeds to your daily diet.


  1. Rub flaxseeds oil on your nails and massage in.
  2. Use this remedy at bedtime for best results.
  3. You may wear gloves overnight to seal and lock in the remedy’s effects.
  4. Remember to add flaxseeds to your bowl of cereal.


10. Green Tea:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 2 Green teabags, 1 cup of water, a few drops of Vitamin E oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, towel and moisturizing cream.
Difficulty: Easy


Green tea is rich in antioxidants that make it a unique home remedy for the natural treatment of brittle nails. The presence of these antioxidants keeps the nails strong and healthy. Vitamin E oil is added for its moisturizing effects. Prepare the green tea as indicated in the steps below.


  1. Boil the water in a pan and add the teabags to let them steep for 5 minutes.
  2. Turn off the heat and let the tea cool for a few minutes.
  3. Take 1/2 cup of the green tea and add the wheat germ oil and salt.
  4. Mix well and soak your nails in the mixture for 10 minutes.
  5. Rinse the mixture off and apply a moisturizing cream.
  6. Repeat this process at least once daily.


11. Additional Tips for Managing Brittle Nails:

  1. Stay hydrated to prevent dehydration which predisposes you to brittle nails.
  2. Avoid cutting your cuticles as this exposes part of the nail bed. Opt to push the cuticles back instead.
  3. Ensure that you file your nails on a regular basis to prevent chipping.
  4. Wear gloves whenever you work with water and/or harsh chemicals to prevent destroying the nail structure.
  5. Avoid biting your nails – they not only look bad, they also make it easy to get fungal infections.
  6. Keep the use of artificial nails to a bare minimum. The fitting of these nails leaves a gap that makes it easy for fungi to thrive.
  7. Always moisturize your hands after working with water.

Brittle nails do not pose any health issues, but are both unsightly and unhealthy. For this reason, follow the tips indicated above alongside the aforementioned remedies to get rid of these nails. Take protective measures to keep your nails strong and healthy.