Everyone wants their nails to grow fast and strong. They add beauty to your hands. Plus, healthy nail growth reflects the state of your overall health.
Nails are made of the same protein, called keratin, as that of hair. Fingernails grow faster than toenails, although growth is still very slow. On average, fingernails grow about one-tenth of an inch each month. But sometimes they grow even slower.
Several factors contribute to slow nail growth. These include the aging process, hormonal changes in the body, health problems, chemotherapy, medications and nutritional deficiencies. On the other hand, faster nail growth can be seen among children prior to puberty and pregnant women.
Slow or poor nail growth can also be accompanied by brittle nails, breakage, splitting and other nail problems.
Eating a healthy diet and following proper nail care are easy ways to keep your nails strong and growing at a healthy pace. You can also promote nail growth with some easy natural remedies using simple ingredients.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for nail growth.
1. Olive Oil
To promote growth, it is essential to keep your nails well moisturized. Olive oil is the best when it comes to nail care. It penetrates deep into the skin and nails and thus helps nourish your nails. Plus, it contains vitamin E which improves circulation blood circulation, helps repair damaged nails and promotes nail strength and growth.
- Before going to bed, apply warm olive oil to your nails and cuticles and massage gently for 5 minutes. Wear cotton gloves overnight. Do this once daily.
- You can also soak your nails in warm olive oil for 15 to 30 minutes once daily to promote nail growth.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil works well for healthy nail growth. It contains important nutrients to keep your nails moisturized and strong. It also strengthens your cuticles, which play a key role in nail growth. Plus, it helps cure hangnails, cuticle infections and fungal nails.
- Massage your nails and hands with warm extra-virgin coconut oil daily at night, before going to bed. Massage in circular motions to improve blood circulation.
- You can also prepare a nail soak. Mix 1/4 cup of organic coconut oil, 1/4 cup of honey and 4 drops of rosemary essential oil. Warm the solution in the microwave for 20 seconds. Soak your nails in it for 15 minutes. Follow this remedy one or two times a week.
3. Orange Juice
Another remedy that can boost nail growth is orange juice. Its vitamin C content encourages the production of collagen and keeps your nails healthy. Also, it has folic acid, which is essential for nail growth.
- Soak your nails in fresh orange juice for at least 10 minutes.
- Rinse them off with warm water, pat dry and apply some moisturizer.
- Follow this remedy once daily until you are satisfied with the results.
Lemons contain vitamin C that is essential for nail growth. Also, it helps treat yellow nails and gives your nails a nice shine.
- Prepare a nail soak with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Slightly heat the solution in the microwave and then soak your nails in it for 10 minutes. Follow this remedy daily.
- You can also rub a slice of lemon on your nails for 5 minutes, then rinse them with warm water. Pat dry and apply a moisturizer. Do this once daily. Avoid rubbing lemon on your nails if you have any cuts or hangnails, as it may sting.
According to ancient Greek and Roman herbalists, horsetail is an effective herb for nail growth. Being a source of calcium, silica and other useful minerals, horsetail contributes to the overall health of your nails.
- Add 3/4 teaspoon of dried horsetail stems to 2 cups of boiling water.
- Cover and allow it to steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Strain and let it cool.
- Soak your nails in this solution for 20 minutes.
- Follow this treatment at least four times per week.
You can also drink horsetail tea once daily for healthy nails.
A range of vitamins are necessary for healthy nail growth. One such vitamin is biotin, also known as vitamin H. Biotin encourages the growth of nails and hair as it improves the keratin infrastructure.
Slow nail growth as well as nail abnormalities like weak, thin and brittle nails are often linked to biotin deficiency.
- You can get biotin from foods like eggs, whole grains, carrots, tomatoes, salmon, almonds, cauliflower, cucumber, milk, soybeans, strawberries, lentils, oats and walnuts.
- You can also take a biotin supplement, but consult your doctor first.
7. Stinging Nettle
Another age-old remedy to promote nail growth is stinging nettle. This herb helps nails grow as it contains a high amount of silica and other useful minerals required for nail formation. Also, it strengthens nails, thus preventing weak and brittle nails.
- Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of dried stinging nettle leaves to a cup of hot water.
- Cover and steep for 10 minutes.
- Strain and add some honey.
- Drink a cup of this herbal tea daily.
8. Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil is also very effective in boosting nail growth due to its high content of omega-3 fatty acids. It also contains micronutrients like B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, lecithin, zinc and protein, which are essential for overall nail health.
Along with promoting nail growth, flaxseed oil can help treat nail cracking, splitting, drying or brittleness.
- Rub some flaxseed oil on your nails and massage gently for a few minutes.
- Later on, wear gloves for a few hours to retain the moisture.
- Do this once or twice daily.
Tomatoes contain a high amount of biotin that aids nail growth as well as makes them thick and shiny. Plus, tomatoes have vitamins A and C that are essential for healthy nails and skin.
- Mix 1/2 cup of tomato juice and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a bowl.
- Soak your nails in this solution for 10 minutes.
- Do this once daily until you get the desired results.
Nails are made up of keratin, a protein. By adding more protein to your diet, you can promote nail growth. Lack of protein can cause white spots on your nails and make them weak.
- Eat lean poultry, fish, beef and pork, as well as eggs to increase your protein intake.
- Legumes, nuts, seeds, spinach and green vegetables also have protein. These are a good option for vegetarians.
- You can also drink protein shakes or add protein powder to a glass of milk. Consult your doctor before taking any protein supplements.
- Avoid exposing your nails to harsh chemicals, including cleaning products. When working or cleaning, wear gloves to protect your nails from damage.
- To help prevent fungal infections from invading your nails, keep your nails and cuticles clean and dry. If you have a nail infection, get it treated immediately.
- Avoid biting your nails or picking at hangnails. Avoid scratching your nails as it can make them weak.
- Eat a healthy diet for healthy and strong nails. Increase your intake of green tea as it will improve the quality of your nails.
- Regularly trim and cut your nails to make them grow faster. Opt for frequent manicures to stimulate faster nail growth.
- Apply petroleum jelly on your nails and hands before going to bed to keep them moisturized.
- Avoid using nail polish that contains formaldehyde, toluene or sulfonamide.
- Expose your nails to early morning sunlight to help your body create the vitamin D that your nails need to grow faster.
- Do some exercises daily to have good blood circulation, which will help your nails grow faster.
- You can also take multi-vitamins to speed up nail growth.