DIY Nail Strengthener – Natural Tips to Strengthen Nails

DIY Nail Strengthener
DIY Nail Strengthener

A Nail Strengthener is applied to your cuticles to promote stronger and healthier nails.

Nail Strengtheners are usually polishes, creams, or oils and they work by providing key nutrients and vitamins to nourish your nail matrix. The nail matrix is the area responsible for nail growth and is found deeper into your cuticles.

Now in this article, I will share with you an easy, affordable, and natural DIY Nail Strengthening Recipe. Plus I will share with you some easy hacks and tips to keep your nails strong and healthy.

DIY Nail Strengthener Recipe

What You are Gonna Need:

  • 3 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • A Pair of Cotton Glove (Optional)

How to Make a Nail Strengthener:

  • The first thing that you need to do is chop up a clove of garlic as fine as possible
  • Next, mix your minced up garlic with 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
  • Then let your garlic and oil mixture rest for 30 minutes (the longer the better), this is to allow the nutrients in the garlic to diffuse into the oil
  • Now you can put the oil into a pot and warm it up for a few seconds.
  • Once the oil is moderately warm you can use a spoon to scoop up the warm oil and pour it onto your cuticle area
  • Finally, massage the oil into your cuticles and over your nails.

For best results, I recommend applying the garlic and oil mixture before bed and then wearing a cotton glove to allow more of the oil to be absorbed into the cuticle area.

Benefits of Olive Oil For Nails

Olive oil is packed with nutrients such as fatty acids, proteins, and Vitamin E which have been shown to promote the growth of healthy skin tissue.

And your cuticles and nail matrix are basically a type of skin tissue. And by keeping these tissues in great condition allows them to produce stronger nails. Citation.

Olive oil is also a great moisturizer that will help to keep your cuticles and nails hydrated since it prevents excessive loss of water. Citation.

Now there are other oils that are richer in nutrients and better at moisturizing such as Jojoba Oil and Coconut Oil.

But Olive Oil works fairly well, is found in most kitchens, and is super cheap thus making it perfect for a DIY Method.

Plus by combining it with garlic you would significantly increase the nutrient levels.

Benefits of Garlic For Nails

Garlic has very strong antimicrobial properties which will help to protect your cuticles and nails from being infected.

Additionally, garlic is extremely rich in nutrients such as manganese, selenium, vitamin C, and minerals, including phosphorous, calcium, potassium, iron, and copper. Citation.

These nutrients will help to nourish your nail matrix thus keeping them in great shape so that they can make stronger nails.

DIY Nail Strengthener Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil just like olive oil is extremely rich in nutrients. But you see Coconut Oil is a carrier oil meaning that it is absorbed more easily into your skin whilst at the same time carrying with it all of its nutrients and vitamins.

So if you have access to coconut oil I recommend that you use it to moisturize your cuticles instead of the olive oil, the recipe will remain the same. Citation.

Tips on How to Make Your Nails Stronger

1- Give Your Nails a Break

Constantly applying polishes, acrylics and other products tend to damage and dehydrate your nails and cuticles, which can over time make them weak and brittle. Citation.

This is because a lot of these products use harsh chemicals either when applying them or during the removal process.

So one of the easiest things you can do to strengthen your nails is to go natural and allow them to heal once in a while.

2- Use Milder Products

Most conventional nail products as stated before tend to damage your nails over time. And if you are like me and you can’t go natural for too long I would recommend you look for milder and safer products to use.

Even simple nail polishes can affect your nails. Certain nail polishes over time can make your nails develop a yellowish tinge and some brands use harsh chemicals like formaldehyde which can damage your nails plates.

So try to use safer alternatives look for polishes that don’t contain formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, DPB, and toluene,

And always use a decent base coat. A good base coat would protect your nails and make your polishes last longer.

Seche is a really good base coat that would provide a fair amount of protection for your nail plate from being damaged and stained. You can click here to see the price on Amazon.

Acrylic Application is another terror to your nails. This is because it requires strong chemicals such as acid primers which literally bore holes into your nails. Now to avoid this you should use a non-acid primer.

You can click here to learn more about Nail Primers and my recommendations.

3- Avoid Acetone

Acetone is one of the worst offenders since they can seriously dehydrate both your cuticles and your nail plates. Citation.

But there are safer and more natural alternatives that you can protect your nails. One of my favorite products is to use a water-based Peel Off Base Coat.

A Peel Off Base Coat allows you to safely remove any nail polish even gel polishes without having to use any acetone.

You can click here to see the price of a UNT Peel Off Base Coat on Amazon.

Or you can click here to learn more about Peel Off Polishes and why your nails will love them.

Now if you want to stick with your regular nail polish I would advocate that you use a more natural and milder nail polish remover to take off your nail polish.

You can click here to see a great natural and acetone-free nail polish remover on Amazon.

4- Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Detergents like bleach and certain dishwashing soaps are very strong and can potentially damage your nail plates.

This is why it is super important to wear rubber gloves when doing the dishes.

Added to that Hand Sanitizers that contain high levels of alcohol will also quickly dehydrate your cuticles and nails.

5- Reduce Exposure to Water

If your nails are constantly being submerged in water can actually lead them to get weaker causing them to split and crack easily.

This is because water washes away your body’s natural oils used to moisturize your nails and cuticles. Citation.

Now to avoid this from happening always keep your nails and cuticles moisturized especially after taking a bath, washing your hands, or using a hand sanitizer.

I recommend using a cuticle oil pen they are portable and very easy to use. You can click here to read my recommendations.

6- Hydrate and Eat a Balanced Diet

One of the most common causes for weak nails other than overusing nail products is the lack of proper nutrition and hydration. So much so that one of the signs of being malnourished is having cracked and weak nails.

Now to avoid this being an issue most experts recommend that you try to include a lot of foods that are rich in protein, iron, and biotin in your diets such as fish, nuts, eggs, and avocado. Citation.

It is super important that you also keep your body well hydrated so try to always get your 8 glasses of water every day.

By keeping hydrated allows your body to function properly which would stimulate proper nail growth.

7- Consider Supplements

Deficiencies of certain key nutrients and vitamins have been shown to actually cause weak and brittle nails. Citation.

Now in most cases, I recommend fixing this by eating a more balanced diet. But some experts recommend that for a more quick fix you can take supplements.


Biotin, also known as Vitamin B-7, has been shown repeatedly by many studies to be essential for the production of keratin which is then used to make strong and healthy nails and hair. Citation.

Now our body tends to naturally get biotin from the foods we eat such as egg and beef. But Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin which means that our body can’t naturally store it instead it passes straight through us.

And because of this, we can potentially develop a deficiency causing us to have weak nail and hair growth.

Now if you feel like your diet is lacking in Biotin you can consider using a Biotin Supplement. But I highly recommend that you talk to a doctor before taking one. Citation.


I am sure you know that calcium is essential for healthy bones and teeth. But did you know that it has also been shown to be important for nail growth?.

One study has actually shown that menopausal women who suffer Osteoporosis which usually happens because of low levels of calcium and Vitamin D also tend to have weaker nails. Citation.

Other Supplements that have shown to help nail growth are; iron, magnesium, vitamin C, E, and B.

8- Do Not Use Your Nails Like Tools

Avoid putting your nails under too much stress. Don’t use them to open containers or for any other task that might place force on it.

9- File Your Nails Properly.

Improperly filing your nails or filing them too much can in the short run greatly weaken your nails causing them to crack and break easily.

WikiHow has a great article on how to properly file your nails, you can click here to read it.

Bonus Tip

If your nails are so brittle that when you try to grow them out they end up breaking and chipping easily, you might need to use a nail hardener polish in conjunction with a nail strengthener.

A nail hardener polish makes your nails harder and more rigid temporarily to allow them to grow without breaking.

You can click here to read my article on How to Make a DIY Nail Hardener.

This recipe will temporarily make your nails hard and rigid allowing them to grow without breaking. But you should also apply a nail strengthener along with it for better long term nail health.

Citation and References

How to Strengthen Nails

Fingernails: Do’s and Don’ts for healthy nails – Mayo Clinic

Biotin NIH

Treatment of brittle fingernails and Onychoschizia with biotin

The Truth About Biotin Supplements, According to Nutritionists

Olive Oil

Vitamins and minerals: their role in nail health and disease

Can You Make Your Nails Grow Faster

Skin protective properties of Virgin coconut oil

A look at the effects of nail polish on nail health and safety