How To Get Rid Of Fingernail Ridges

by Lindsey Rose Black
Young millennial woman texting on mobile device. Hands of a woman wearing bright red nail polish in ...
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With the popularity of gel nails and glitter polishes, it might seem impossible to ever achieve totally healthy nails. Fortunately, with these tips for how to get rid of fingernail ridges, you can revitalize your natural nails and help them grow long and strong! Heck, the strategies below might end up working so well that you never break a nail again.

To get rid of vertical fingernail ridges, you've got to get to the root of the problem first. American Academy of Dermatology fellow and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Jessica Krant, M.D., told Huffington Post, "Lengthwise ridges, if they are evenly spaced over the whole nail, are common and harmless, and generally associated with normal aging and the nail’s increasing inability to retain moisture." However, she added these ridges can “sometimes [be] a sign of lack of certain vitamins or poor nutrition, but this is rare.” Beyond aging or needing more vitamins, InStyle pointed out how frequent gel manicures can leave your nails brittle with vertical ridges.

As for horizontal nail ridges, things could be a little more serious. Mayo Clinic advised, "If your fingernails change color or you develop horizontal nail ridges, consult your doctor. These changes could indicate an underlying health condition [like diabetes]."

After talking with your doc to determine what's causing your ridges, try out the strategies below for healing nail ridges so you can achieve gorgeous, healthy natural nails!

1. Apply Base Coat & Strengthener

Ridge Filler Base, $20, Cos Bar

According to Refinery29, you can fill in gaps and strengthen nails by using a good base coat "and a nail strengthener to help the nail grow in strong over time."

2. Make A Gentle Exfoliator

Bob's Red Mill Pure Baking Soda, $7, Amazon

Julie Kandalec, the creative director at Paintbox in New York City, spoke to Allure about how to remove uneven ridges, saying, "Combine three parts baking soda and one part water to create a gentle yet effective scrub to buff and exfoliate nails. [Then,] Rub gently in circular motions over hands and fingers to seriously smooth the nail surface.”

3. Take A Daily Multivitamin

Women's Multivitamin, $11, Amazon

If you suspect a vitamin deficiency is causing your ridges, consider taking a daily multivitamin! And no, I won't judge you if you take the gummy versions.

4. Apply Hand Moisturizer

Manuka Honey Moisturizing Hand Cream, $13, Manuka Health

New Health Guide shared that dry hands and nails can lead to ridges. Luckily, applying a nourishing hand moisturizer after you wash your hands will help keep your nails hydrated.

5. Snack On Almonds

R.Tsubin/Moment/Getty Images

According to Bustle's Miki Hayes, the magnesium found in almonds can help prevent "nails from becoming too brittle." And, yes, even the delicious cocoa covered almonds count.

6. Use Vitamin E Oil

Cococare Vitamin E Oil, $5, Amazon

Nail expert Carolyn Siegal, DPM, told Oprah that rubbing vitamin E oil over nails before bed a few times a week will help nails stop cracking and ridging.

7. Drink Water

staticnak1983/E+/Getty Images

Huffington Post suggested that in order to keep nails hydrated and strong from the inside out, drinking lots of water is absolutely necessary.

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Images: Getty Images; Courtesy of Brands