Why Your Fingernails Are Soft And Bending

Are you frustrated because your nails are bending and incredibly flimsy? Do they break or peel so easily that any type of length or growth is nearly impossible? Your body has a way of letting you know things are going awry and for some people, it's all in the fingernails. The texture, color, and other imperfections of our nails can inform us about our general health (via WebMD).

Dr. Sara Norris, a naturopathic doctor, told Healthline, "For the general population, nail health is most often an indicator of poor nutritional intake or poor digestion." It's always important to stay attentive to any bodily changes that could indicate other issues. Here are a few reasons your fingernails may be soft and bending, and some simple solutions to stop this pesky issue.

Moisture and chemicals can cause soft and bending fingernails

If your nails bend before snapping and breaking, rarely grow past your fingertips, or split easily, it could be because your fingernails are overexposed to moisture or chemicals. According to Healthline, products like detergent, cleaning fluids, nail treatments, and nail polish can impact the strength of your fingernails. Water is also the most common reason for why fingernails are bending and breaking. FutureDerm explains that every time you wash your hands, the fingernails absorb water and swell. They return to their original size once they are dry. That growth and shrinking process — if done repeatedly — can wear down your fingernails and make them fragile. 

However, FutureDerm continues, if you're experiencing other symptoms like constipation, hair loss, depression, or twitching muscles along with unhealthy nails, you may be anemic.

Here's how you can prevent your fingernails from going soft

Wearing gloves when cleaning or washing dishes can give your nails a chance to recover (via AOCD). Vinyl gloves, not rubber or latex, helps keep your nails safe from abrasive chemicals and moisture, according to HowStuffWorks. They suggest "sprinkling a little baby powder in your gloves" or wearing "a pair of cotton inserts under the gloves," for wet work. Moreover, rubbing essential oils and applying a moisturizer after you clean or wash your hands can benefit the health of your nails (via HealthyLife).

In general, weak nails are a sign of a deficiency in B vitamins, calcium, iron, or fatty acids. Taking a supplement after consulting a medical professional may be a way to regain strength in your fingernails (via Woman's Day), or consider a dietary change. Other changes like yellowing of the nails or white spots can be larger issues. Consider consulting a doctor if you spot those (via American Academy of Dermatology). 

Just like your hair and skin, your fingernails need some tender loving care. Look into these solutions and see results for healthier, stronger, unbendable, unbreakable nails.