Nails are often referred to as windows to our overall well-being. If you have noticed, sometimes doctors too examine our nails just to get an idea about what’s going on in our body. Nails actually tell many things regarding malnutrition, infection and even any serious disease in the body. Nails are layers of keratin. Keratin is the same protein that makes up hair and outer layer of our skin. If your nails look dull, you need to check up with any deficiency of vitamins or minerals in your body. While you can always take help of the home remedies to get shiny nails as you will know in this article, your nails can remain healthy only if you take care of them internally as well as externally. Internally by having vital nutrients and externally by keeping them clean and beautiful.
Natural Ways to Get Shiny Nails
1. Olive Oil for Shiny Nails
Olive oil is great for health and for nails too. It is a good moisturizer due to the presence of linoleic acid. It prevents water from evaporating. Sometimes your nails look dull due to dryness. There are only some oil glands in hands and thus nails and fingers tend to get dry very easily. Dry things never shine and the same is true for nails too. Olive oil can make them shine by eliminating dryness.
Ways to Apply Olive Oil to Nails
- Add few drops of olive oil to warm water and soak your nails in them for sometime.
- Massage your nails with warm (not hot) olive oil.
- Before you buff nails or apply nail polish, apply olive oil directly to your nails.
- Add a few drops of lemon juice in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and soak your nails in this.
2. Lemon Manicure for Shiny Nails
Sometimes due to regular contact with chemicals as well as dust and dirt, there develop yellow stains on our nails. If you go to some nail salon, they’ll advise to get done lemon manicure. Lemon juice is a very good bleaching agent and thus can remove stains and make your nails shine. Do your lemon manicure at home, its simple and very easy to do.
How to Get Lemon Manicure at Home?
- Lemon juice- 1-2 tbsp (or enough to soak your nails into)
- Vinegar- ½ tsp
- Warm water
- Nail brush or tooth brush
- Take the lemon juice in a bowl.
- Soak your nails in this lemon juice for 10 minutes.
- Then mix the vinegar in some warm water.
- Dip your brush in this solution and brush your nails with it for a couple of minutes.
- Now rinse off your nails with warm water.
3. Avocados for Shiny Nails
If your nails are brittle along with being dry, avocados are what you need for them. Avocados are high on good fat, nutrients, and proteins that help restore brittle nails and make them shiny. Include avocados in your daily meal to get all the phytonutrients and other vitamins and minerals present in them. Additionally, you can apply avocado oil on your nails to make them shining with health. Avocado oil has anti-oxidant properties, vitamin A, B vitamins including B1 & B2, vitamin D and E, beta-carotene, potassium that go to make your nails healthier and shiny than ever.
4. Vitamin E for Shiny Nails
Vitamin E is essential for maintaining healthy nails. It improves circulation of blood that carries oxygen to the nail beds. When you consume vitamin E with vitamin C, it becomes all the more effective for your nails. So while you have avocados that are rich in vitamin E, you can also have oranges and tomatoes etc. that are rich sources of vitamin C. For example, you can make salad using avocado and tomatoes and may also have fruit salad that includes avocados and oranges, grapefruit etc.
Apply vitamin E oil to your nails every night before you go to sleep.
5. Butter for Shiny Nails
Having butter daily may not be a good idea if you are on a weight loss plan but feeding your nails with butter everyday may give you really shiny nails. Butter, which is the smooth, fatty substance derived from cream has fat content of at least 35% which can give your nails the much wanted moisturization. Not only do your nails get moisturized with butter but they also get a whole lot of nutrients that are present in it. Some of these include sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, Vitamin A, Some B vitamins, vitamins C and E. All these are enough to make your nails shine with glow.
- Apply some butter to your nails.
- Rub gently to let the fats go deep inside your nails and surrounding skin.
- Massage for few minutes and then wash off with warm water.
- Repeat this daily.
6. Baby Oil for Shiny Nails
Everyday our hands and nails too get exposed to water many a times. This exposure to water breaks down keratin which which makes the nails stronger and holds together the top layer of nails. This also sometimes cracks your nails and most of the times makes it dull and glow less. To keep this extreme dryness away from your nails you need an equally extreme (read excellent) moisturizer. Baby oil is just the same- an excellent moisturizer. Baby oil is simply mineral oil with some fragrance. So, its also safe to use and will moisturize your nails and cuticles excellently.
- Whenever you do some work using water, moisturize your hands with baby oil (or any other moisturizer). When doing so, rub the area around your nails for some time.
- Apply some baby oil to your nails and cuticles at night before going to bed.
7. Have Fish Oil for Shiny Nails
Fish oil is loaded with essential nutrients along with healthy fats and fat-soluble vitamins. Consuming fish oil can thus help prevent many nail disorders. For example, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil lubricate and moisturize nails preventing dry and brittle nails that are obviously dull and without any shine. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation in the nail bed and nourish the cells that give rise to the nail plate. Vitamin A in this oil nourish the nail cuticles. In fact, when you start having fish oil, the first positive effect is shown in the strengthening of nails.
Have 1 tsp fish oil daily. At least 3000 mg of high-quality fish oil every day may help you tremendously in getting shiny nails.
8. Borage Seed Oil for Shiny Nails
Borage (Borago officinalis) herb is commonly known as starflower. The oil extracted from borage seed is used by herbalists for its excellent anti-inflammatory, weight management and skin friendly benefits. Borage seed oil is so effective due to the high amounts of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) present in it. This oil also has salicylic acid, omega 3, mucilage, tannin, resin, potassium nitrate, calcium and magnesium that all contribute in making it a beneficial remedy for such conditions as eczema, dermatitis, breast pain, premenstrual syndrome symptoms, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, and skin health as well as general inflammation. GLA in borage oil helps combat dry hair, split ends, and brittle, slow-growing nails. Borage seed oil prevents nails from cracking and help keep them generally healthy. Healthy nails acquire shine on their own.
Borage seed oil is available in soft gel, oil and capsule forms. You need to have 600 mg of GLA daily. 1,300 mg of borage oil provides about 300 mg of GLA. Roughly calculated, half a teaspoon is about 1300 mg and therefore 1 tsp of borage oil should be taken daily.
9. Evening Primrose Oil for Shiny Nails
Evening primrose oil is good for nails due to the same reason as borage seed oil. It also contains GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) in high concentrations. We cannot get enough GLA from diet, and therefore we need some supplements in form of oils etc. Evening primrose is one of such supplements due to the presence of gamma-linoleic acid, linoleic acid and other nutrients essential for cell structure and elasticity of the skin. Evening primrose oil makes nails strong, healthy and shiny but you need to have patience with it as the result shoes of at least after six to eight weeks.
Ways to Use Evening Primrose for Nails
These are some of the ways to use this oil for nail. Opt for any one of these methods. Massage however, can be done along with having the supplement too.
- Take 500 mg of evening primrose oil capsule twice a day.
- Have 3000 mg of evening primrose oil daily. This equals to about 1 – ¼ tsp of oil.
- Apply evening primrose oil to your nails and gently massage them daily.
10. Black Currant Seed Oil for Nails
Black currant oil, again is a natural source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), just like borage seed oil and evening primrose oil and thus useful for treating brittle dry nails to gain back health and shine for your nails. As GLA, the omega-6 fat, is difficult to obtain through diet, black current seed oil can be consumed as a supplement. It also contains flavonoids and vitamin C that too contribute in shiny nails.
Have 500 mg of black currant seed oil twice a day. It may take up to two months to show results.
Precaution: Before taking any supplement, consult your physician.
11. Coconut Oil for Nails
Coconut oil is rich in healthy fats, caprylic acid, lauric acid and vitamin E that are all essential for healthy skin and nails. The nutrients in this oil help strengthen cuticles and nails as a whole. Keeping your nails moisturized is one of the per-requisite for having shiny nails. Coconut oil softens cuticles, moisturizes hands and prevents hangnails. In fact, coconut oil not only makes your nails healthy and shiny but also fights off nail and cuticle infections. It is also a good remedy for toenail fungus.
- Take few drops of coconut oil.
- Pour them on your nails and cuticles.
- Now rub your nails gently while massaging your nails and cuticles.
- Repeat twice a day.
- Take care not to damage your cuticles while massaging.
12. Consume Lots of Protein Daily
Diet is important for each and every part of the body. Nails can’t be exception. Having lots of protein daily is essential for strong, healthy and shiny nails. Nails are made of structural proteins called keratin so it is clear why we need protein for nails. It is the building block for healthy shiny nails. Thus, add good sources of protein in your daily diet. Here is a list of such proteins to help you have an idea what types of protein you can consume everyday.
- Chicken (lean poultry)
- Meat (beef and pork)
- Beans (Pinto, garbanzo, white, kidney, lima, soy beans)
- Vegetables high in proteins like spinach, asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, artichoke, watercress and sweet corn
13. Biotin for Brittle Shineless Nails
Biotin is a B-complex vitamin, an essential nutrient for our body. Biotin, sometimes called vitamin H, is essential to build healthy fats in our skin that keep the skin supple and moist. Lack of healthy fats makes skin flaky and irritated. Lack of these healthy fats also make nails dry and brittle. Unhealthy brittle nails can never shine. Some researches have shown that biotin may help reduce brittle nails. It improves the keratin infrastructure. Keratin is the basic protein which makes up hair, skin and nails. Therefore, it makes sense to include biotin in your daily diet if you want healthy shiny nails. However, biotin supplements are not recommended as overdose of biotin have many side effects such as slower release of insulin which leads to high blood sugar levels, skin rashes, lower vitamin C and B6 levels. Therefore, instead of going for biotin supplements, include the following natural sources of biotin in your diet.
- Sweet Potato
- Brewer’s yeast
14. Have Foods Rich in Hydrochloric Acid
Sometimes it happens that you body is not able to absorb the nutrients that you give to it. This is mainly due to a lack of hydrochloric acid. Hydrochloric acid breaks down food in stomach and absorb the nutrients. Deficiency of hydrochloric acid is usually due to poor diet which is high on processed carbohydrates, dairy products and sugar. This deficiency doesn’t let your skin, hair and nails stay healthy and beaming with glow. So, you should include certain natural sources in your diet to get your quota of hydrochloric acid daily.
- Apple Cider Vinegar- Add 1-2 tablespoons of ACV to a glass of water and have this daily. Apple cider vinegar breaks down food and helps absorb nutrients. Never take undiluted ACV, dilute it with water. However, if you feel a burning sensation even after diluting it, add a tsp of baking soda in your vinegar water solution. This will help regulate acidity.
- Lemon juice- Vitamin C lemon juice helps increase hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Add lemon juice to your dishes. You may also drink 1-2 tsp of lemon juice mixed with a glass of water after your meals.
- Celery- have celery as it increases hydrochloric acid in the body and also stimulates bile acid secretion. Sodium content of celery assists in producing hydrochloric acid.
- Spinach and other leafy greens- Spinach stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid in your stomach. Kale and barley grasses also do the same job. So you should consider including these leafy greens in your daily diet.
- Black Olives- These olives also stimulate production of hydrochloric acid so that food may be broken down and nutrients be absorbed.
15. Have Yogurt for Shiny Nails
Yogurt contains all the essential nutrients that are needed for healthy shiny nails. It has calcium, iron, zinc, vitamins A, C, D, K, E, folate, B vitamins and most importantly protein. So, when you eat yogurt daily, you provide all these nutrients to your body to give you shiny nails. Apart from these, yogurt is a probiotic food having friendly bacteria in it. These bacteria help you digest food properly and absorb trace minerals into your body. Thus, if you suffer from the deficiency of hydrochloric acid, yogurt too may help you by making your body absorb nutrients in an effective way.
Have plain, unsweetened and unflavored yogurt daily. You may have it any time or with your breakfast and lunch.
16. Do’s and Don’ts for Shiny Nails
Apart from having balanced diet, ensuring that your body absorbs all nutrients from food you eat and using certain oils, herbs and other ingredients as home remedies for shiny nails, there are some other things that you must take care of to get healthy shiny nails.
- Don’t use low quality nail polish and paints. The chemicals in these cosmetics damage the nails and lead to dullness. Its better to use chemical free nail polish.
- Let your nails breathe too. Do not keep nail polish on them always. When you remove nail polish, let your nails be as they are for a couple of days before you again paint them with nail polish. When your nails do not get oxygen for longer periods, they look dull. Regular coatings of chemicals too lead to yellow tint on nails. You can easily get vegan or chemical free nail polish. Use them to protect the health and shine of your nails.
- While giving shape to your nails, never saw the nails back and forth. File from all the outside edges towards the center of each nail. When you saw nails back and forth, it weakens the nails.
- Never use your nails to open boxes etc. Your nails are not tools. This leads to friction and breakage of nails as well as dullness of the nails.
- Do not pick away at chipped nail polish. This leads to nail damage.
- Regular manicure helps keep nails healthy by not only dropping the dead skin cells from around the nails but also by providing moisturization to your nails.
- Always keep your hands and nails moisturized. Dry nails will look dull. You may use good moisturizing cream or lotion or cuticle oil. Some oils like coconut and olive oil, as we discussed in the above remedies also keep your nails moisturized.
- Overuse of hand sanitizer as well as soaps tend to make your nails dry. Use them with caution and not in excessive amounts.
- Do not bite your nails whatever be the reason.
Attractive shiny nails are a sign of good health and not just a thing to make you look attractive. You need to give your body proper nutrition through well balanced diet if you want to have shiny nails. Stay away from junk and processed foods as well as sugary stuff that all lead to nutritional deficiencies. And then pamper your nails with weekly or at least monthly manicure and some amazing natural home remedies so that they shine like never before!