18 Easy Ways To Get Healthy & Strong Nails At Lightning Speed

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woman growing out her nails

Who doesn't want enviable, long, natural nails?

While some people didn't get lucky when it comes to the nail gene pool, there are several methods for how to make your nails grow faster. Additionally, there are things you might be doing that are unintentionally causing your nails to remain weak, keeping them from reaching their full growth potential!

From adding a daily vitamin to your diet, to changing the way you file your nails, a few small adjustments to your routine might just do the trick. And chances are, even if you only do a few of the things on this list, you'll have long, strong, stunning nails in no time.

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How To Make Your Nails Grow Faster

1. Use a nail-strengthening base coat.

One of the easiest ways to make your nails grow faster is by applying a strengthening base coat. This clear polish comes chock full of essential nutrients that will encourage nail growth. Apply once per week for the best results. (Try Nail Envy by OPI.)

2. Take vitamins.

Believe it or not, taking a daily vitamin can help strengthen the keratin protein in your nails, which results in stronger nails that are less likely to break. VitaFusion makes a multivitamin that promotes healthy hair, skin, and nails, but you can also try supplements like keratin and collagen.

3. Don't bite your nails.

Although this may be a challenge if you're a lifelong nail-biter, not biting your nails is one way to ensure they grow out.

"Biting nails is bad for you because, aside from the obvious, you're putting your hands in your mouth and spreading germs and bacteria. You could get infected cuticles or redness around your hands and nails due to inflammation. When you bite, peel or pick your nails, you can cause damage to the nail bed that may take a while to heal," says Lauren Berkovitz, founder and CEO of Lauren B. Beauty.

Berkovitz's top tip for keeping nail-biting in check? Wear dark nail polish so you consciously think about biting every time you look at your nails.

4. Get regular manicures.

Yes, you should get regular manicures. Getting a manicure bi-monthly will keep your nail beds clean and healthy, which promotes growth. A licensed nail technician can be your secret weapon for long, beautiful nails.

5. Shape your nails round instead of square.

Believe it or not, the way in which you shape your nails can actually have an effect on their length. By keeping your nails round, you are less likely to have them break because the edges will follow the natural shape of your fingers.

6. Don't peel off your polish.

This can actually damage your nails, thus stunting their growth.

"When you physically chip nail polish off, you are removing a thin top layer of your nails in the process. This practice can severely weaken your nails over time, resulting in significantly thinner and more brittle nails that tend to peel more often," says Diane Elizabeth, founder of Skincare Ox.

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7. Don't cut your cuticles.

Did you know your cuticles are meant to keep bacteria from getting into your body? You should never cut your cuticles for this reason. Instead, push your cuticles back, which is what nail technicians do when you get regular manicures.

8. Keep your cuticles moist.

Since cuticles are so vital, keep them moist by using hand lotion or manicure oil. CND's Solaroil is infused with jojoba oil and vitamin E, which are both excellent for keeping your cuticles conditioned. Massage a small amount on the base of your nails a couple of times a day.

9. Be gentle when you file.

Gone are the days of violently filing your nails back and forth; doing that actually weakens your nails. If you're trying to grow your nails fast, you'll want to file them from the outside inward, moving the file from the left and/or right to the center of each nail.

Berkovitz suggests using a glass nail file, such as the Malva Belle crystal glass nail file, for the best results.

10. Take a biotin supplement.

Sometimes you need a little extra boost to get your nails moving in the right direction, in which case, adding a supplement to your diet might help.

"Daily supplementation with biotin has been proven to increase nail growth and nail strength. However, you can also eat foods that are rich in biotin like eggs, salmon, avocado, and cauliflower. Biotin is especially good if you have brittle or splitting nails," Elizabeth explains.

Make sure to talk with your doctor first before adding any sort of supplement to your diet.

11. Read the ingredients on the bottle.

You shouldn't use any old brand of polish if your goal is to grow out your nails fast. Choose a brand that's free of formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, and toluene. Try Jamberry's line of lacquers for a whole new nail experience.

12. Use less hand sanitizer.

When it's cold and flu season, it's almost impossible to forgo the hand sanitizer, but the alcohol that's in it can dry out your nails and cuticles, making growing your nails quite difficult.

If you must use hand sanitizer, try to avoid getting it on your nails. The better option is to wash your hands using warm soap and water.

13. Try not to use your nails to open things.

Got a package to open? Why not use your fingernail to break the seal? We've all done it. But using your nails as tools can weaken them and/or cause them to break. Reach for a pair of scissors or a car key to open that box instead.

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14. Eat your fruits and veggies.

Keeping a well-balanced diet can also contribute to healthy, long nails. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables so you're getting the necessary daily dose of good nutrients and vitamins, such as calcium. Also, since nails are made of protein, you can increase your protein intake as well.

15. Give up acrylics and gel polish.

Acrylic overlays and gel nail polish may look good for a couple of weeks, but your nails are suffering underneath. While it may seem like the best option to grow nails fast and have a perfect-looking manicure for an upcoming event, acrylic nails and gel polish prohibit your real nails from breathing, which makes them weak.

The most important thing when it comes to growing your nails fast is to be patient. Especially if you have extremely weak nails, it might take a couple of weeks for your nails to grow out and strengthen.

16. Avoid glue-ons.

Glue-ons can damage your nails when you use them. Studies have proven that regular use of glue on nails can weaken your real nails and make them very prone to breaking.

If you want a good-looking budget-friendly manicure, look for nail polishes that are water-based and labeled non-toxic.

17. Practice good nail hygiene and grooming.

One way to encourage growth in your nails is to take care of them. That is, you should be cutting them regularly, straight across, and then rounding them off. Other habits to take into consideration include keeping your nails dry and clean to avoid bacteria, and moisturizing your hands and nailbeds.

18. Stay away from acetone.

Acetone eats away at your nails, so avoid using this popular nail polish remover ingredient when trying to strengthen your nails. Instead, opt for an acetone-free nail polish remover to take care of your pretty nails.

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Effie Orfanides has been reporting on celebrity and entertainment news since 2009. She is the former Director of Operations of The Inquisitr, and currently has bylines at People, NickiSwift, The List, and Heavy. In 2022, she released her first mobile app called beacheo.