7 Ways To Make Your Nails Stronger So You Don't Chip Or Break Your Perfect Mani — PHOTOS

It seems like strong nails are something most women are always after, but few know the steps necessary to actually achieve them. If you've yet to crack the code for how to make your nails stronger, I've rounded up a bunch of strategies for you to test below. You officially have no excuse for your nails not to be fierce this coming year because at least one of them will work in your favor. 

Whether you're a fake nail master or natural nail lover, anyone can benefit from incorporating some habits to strengthen nails into their routine. I personally struggled from weak, brittle nails for years even though I've never once tried those dreamy looking gel nail manicures. But similar to taxes (ugh, adult life), I realized my nails wouldn't magically take care of themselves and that I was going to have to invest some time and care into them if I actually wanted to grow strong, shiny, and healthy nails. 

Luckily with a little know how, strong nails are totally within reach. Bear in mind, gorgeous, healthy nails won't happen overnight and you have to be a bit patient. And if your nails are really (really) struggling, definitely don't hesitate to reach out to a dermatologist to find the best nail recovery path specifically for you. Good luck!

1. Use Hand Cream

Wild Rose Natural Hand Cream, $20, The Body Shop

Your nails benefit just as much from moisturizing hand cream as your skin. Take a little time to rub hand cream into each nail when you're coating your hands. 

2. Give Gels A Breather 

Zoya Naked Manicure Women's Starter Kit, $25, Amazon

Gels may look fabulous, but are not exactly good for your nails. Try to take a few weeks in-between manicures to let them breathe. If you absolutely can't stand bare nails in the interim, reach for Zoya's Naked Manicure Kit that's safe for recovering nails. 

3. Wear Rubber Gloves When Cleaning 

Latex Free Heavy Duty Rubber Gloves, $13, Amazon

House cleaners often contain harsh chemicals that can cause brittle nails. An easy way to avoid this issue is by always wearing strong cleaning gloves

4. Keep A Nail File In Your Bag

Tweezerman Eco-Friendly File, $4, Walmart

If an unexpected tear happens, filing it down with a nail file is much, much healthier for your nail than simply biting or tearing it off. Biting and tearing can unintentionally peel off layers of your broken nail and make it weaker. 

5. Up Your Biotin Intake 

This B-vitamin is a rockstar for nails, promoting thickness and shine. Add more to your diet by regularly eating salmon, corn, lentils, peanuts, sweet potatoes, and almonds. 

6. Avoid Acetone As Much As Possible 

Cutex Acetone-Free Polish Remover, $3, Jet 

WebMD warned that, "The one product that all dermatologists agree you should avoid if you have brittle nails is acetone nail polish remover. It has been documented time and again that it strips the nails, causing them to become brittle." Luckily, there are tons of polish removers out there that are acetone-free. 

7. Reach For Nail Strengtheners

Nails Inc Nail Strengthening Illuminator, $14, Sephora

Nail expert Kimmie Kyees told Huffington Post, "Nail strengtheners are composed mainly of keratin protein, which is what the nail is mostly made up of. The strengthener bonds the molecules in the nails together creating a stronger nail." I guess a good strengthener is worth investing in after all! 

Want more beauty tips? Check out the video below, and be sure to subscribe to Bustle’s YouTube page for more hacks and tricks!

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Images: Brooke Cagle/Unsplash; Mike Licht/Flickr; Courtesy of Brands 

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