health updates from around the web

Torn Weak Fingernails? No Longer!

photo of grapeseed oil bottle
Dad happened to mention they were using a few drops of Organic Grapeseed oil rubbed into their nails every night before going to bed
photo of woman's slightly split left thumb nail
My thumbnail split…I worried that the injury might get worse.

Late in 2009, my left thumbnail cracked right at the top edge of the nail. Like a close friend of mine and my mother, I have very fine, dry hair…and soft, dry, weak fingernails. (As you may know, hair and nails are made from similar cells.)

The rough edges of my cracked thumbnail caught on towels, clothing, and other things as I was working with my hands. It started to elongate into the tender pink quick. I had to keep it cut very short since I didn’t want to have a sore thumbnail. But I wasn’t exactly sure how to heal it? In my life, helpful information often comes to me just when I need it. Have you noticed that?

photo of grapeseed oil bottle
Grapeseed oil nourishes our bodies inside and out: Use it on your nails as a health and beauty aid or in the kitchen, it’s lovely for salads & cooking,

We flew east early that DEC 2009 to visit my folks. While there, Dad happened to mention they were using a few drops of Organic Grapeseed oil rubbed into their nails every night before going to bed. A self-care health tip: a simple cure for dry cracked nails, shared by a friend of theirs.

Figured if it worked for my folks, it probably would work for me. And I’m pleased to report, using the grapeseed oil on my nails and rubbed into the base of the cuticle, did the trick!

If you want to give grapeseed oil a try, be patient and consistent.  It took 3 months of twice daily applications (morning and evening) for my thumbnail to grow out healthy and whole.

That time may have been shorter if I had used therapeutic essential oils. Essential oils helpful for dry skin and nails are: Cedarwood, Chamomile, Frankincense, Geranium, Helichrysum, Jasmine, Lavender, Myrrh, Neroli, Palmarosa, Patchouli, Rose, Sandalwood and Ylang Ylang.

Everyone loves healthy, beautiful hair and strong nails.

There are many ways, besides daily organic grapeseed oil applications and using therapeutic essential oils,  to help hair and nails grow faster, stronger and healthier. One way is to improve your nutrition with adequate amount of vitamins that promote hair and nail growth.

B Vitamins are vital for maintaining healthy hair and nails. Take them in supplement form or include legumes, eggs and berries in your diet.

Biotin (a B-complex vitamin, Vitamin B7 or Vitamin H) is a water-soluble nutrient, and an essential coenzyme for breaking down fatty acids and leucine, managing glucose production, maintaining blood sugar levels, preventing it from getting too high ~ important for Diabetics to know, since they may have problems with hair growth due to high sugar levels.

What’s Biotin’s role for hair, skin and nails? It maintains strength between the hair roots and hair strands, preventing hair fall and eventual hair loss (baldness). This B-complex vitamin can help control sugar in the blood and therefore promote good growth of hair strands.

woman's thumb held up with healthy nail
My healthy thumbnail photographed a year later, long after the organic grapeseed oil helped the nail heal.

Biotin may be found in oats, brown rice, and sunflower seeds, egg yolks, peanuts and other protein rich food. Traces of natural biotin is also be found in fruits and vegetable like banana, avocado (great source of Omega 3 & Omega 6 in perfect balance) and soy protein isolate. Biotin is also available in vitamin B complex supplements.

Vitamin A (beta-carotene) is found in dark leafy greens and red, orange or yellow colored fruits and veggies. The richer and deeper the hue, the more beta-carotene rich the fruits /vegetables are. Think of carrots and kale, sweet pepper, yams and sweet potatoes, mangoes, papayas, cantalope, etc.

Why vitamin A for hair? Beta carotene or caroteniod helps in metabolizing protein, supports immune system function, and promotes skin, nail, and hair growth. Deficiency in vitamin A can cause dry, brittle nails, and the common hangnail.

Vitamin C, found in fruits, such as oranges and berries or taken as supplements, encourages blood circulation to the scalp and follicles, which can speed hair growth.

Vitamin E helps increase oxygen levels in the cells of the body–thereby increasing the circulation to the scalp.

Vitamin D is mainly for calcium absorption, good bone and hair follicle integrity. With good and regular intake of vitamin D, hair roots become strong and healthy, able to absorb nutrients needed for hair growth. For the nails, calcium deficiency leads to brittle, flaking and dry nails, which is why vitamin D is essential for our nails, hair and overall skin health.

Reading over this interesting nutritional info, reminds me to redouble my efforts in eating nourishing foods and to begin caring for my nails again with applications of pale green grapeseed oil.

SOURCES on Vitamin Info Healthy Nails & Hair:

17 thoughts on “Torn Weak Fingernails? No Longer!”

  1. I inherited my mother’s fingernails as she had weak, split, torn nails and now mine are the same. I will try the grapeseed oil and the nutrition suggestions. I already take most of the vitamins and have for years.

    • Hi Rita ~ Thin nails can be quite an annoyance! And painful when they split. Had a friend who did monthly nail parlor appointments as the acrylic nails offered her some protection. But those adhesive and nail polish chemicals aren’t good for our health in the long run.

      Suspect there may be a hormonal imbalance OR nutrient absorption issue for those of us with weak nails… No medical confirmation. Just my intuitive sense. It’s nice to know nature provides a solution to strengthen our nails with healing oils, even if it takes awhile for our fingernails to repair themselves.

  2. The fingernail on my middle finger / left hand has a split just like yours. I just got some grapeseed oil from Swanson’s medicine website. I will try rubbing on my finger and nail.

    i was just about ready to go to a dr because even filing down my fingernail as far as possible has not helped. my finger nail catches on stuff. Rips my nail resulting in HURT and bleeding. I hope your healthy idea helps.

    • Pat ~ Oooh, torn nails are painful. After the grapeseed oil has absorbed, I’d a bandage on aligned with your finger with the pad over the nail over the top of your finger to protect it from catching. Apply the oil morning and evening, be patient. The nail will heal. Thanks for stopping by to make your comment. Let us know if it works.

  3. Hi
    I’m new to Pinterest and just noticed your thumbnail picture. Mine is exactly the same but on my right hand! I have had it for about two years I do use cuticle oil and hand cream and had more or less given up but I’ll try the grape seed oil and at least I know that it is not a quick fix. Thanks Jenny

  4. I have split fingernails & vertical ridges for last 4 years . . Rubbing olive oil helped, a lot . .
    Also, I seal the split edges with transparent gel polish . . Prevents further splits . . The gel bump is hardly visible after a colored top polish

    After I saw a youtube video, I have been using grapeseed oil for two months now . . Great results

  5. My nails constantly break at the very base, on the sides, as soon as they start to grow. It HURTS. Will the grapeseed method work for me? I do everything I can to not use nails as tools, etc.

    • Beth ~ Think it should work if you’re consistent and patient. Just came across info about caring for utensils made out of horn (which is also made from keratin like our nails / hair) and the care suggested was to oil them with a vegetable or seed oil. I thought to myself, Oh! that’s why grapeseed oil works on our nails.

  6. I used to have beautiful nails and had gel nails applied professionally. Then my finger started to split down. I keep my nails short to try to stop the splitting for twelve years now. It is annoying and hurts. I will try the grape seed oil.

    • Hi Cheryl ~ I have one problematic thumbnail that has a chronic nail bed injury weakening the nail above it, which tends to split. I suspect our nails weaken as we age along with hormonal changes. Also, getting our nails ‘done’ damages them with harsh chemicals in nail polish, remover, and glues for those fancy ones. Hope the grapeseed oil applications help you!

  7. May I interject that while all of the tips are very helpful, it’s worthwhile knowing that while it heals some micropore and a couple of layers of clear nail varnish is a great idea.

  8. I have a split on my thumb nail and pinky on my right hand. Been battling this for years. A ridge is visible that runs from the cuticle to the end and that’s where it splits.

  9. I have a split on my thumb nail and pinky on my right hand. Been battling this for years. A ridge is visible that runs from the cuticle to the end and that’s where it splits.

  10. I have a split on my thumb nail and pinky on my right hand. Been battling this for years. A ridge is visible that runs from the cuticle to the end and that’s where it splits.

  11. I take vitamin B-12, biotin, collagen peptides, and gelatin tablets. My nails grow fast and hard. Very seldom put on polish except for clear polish. This works for all my nails except for one. My middle finger on my right hand splits down the middle. Was told I damage my nail bed at sometime. Will this oil help my middle finger?


Leave a Comment

Cynthe Brush

Certified Clinical (Medical) Aromatherapist Creating Custom Blends Since 1999

Therapeutic Essential Oils Practitioner & Self-Care Health Educator has used essential oils for personal, family, & client health issues since 1999.

Personal Consultations:
Pre-paid on an hourly basis

Gaia’s Pharmacopeia – Buy Healing Essential Oils Blends / 100% Natural Botanical Perfumes: Effective essential oil blends for Athletic Injuries; Sprains – Broken Bones; Wounds & Surgeries; Backaches; Headaches; Dizziness; Herpes Simplex; Stress and more.