5 Kitchen Ingredients For A Diy Nail Strengthener That Really Works

Brittle nails affect 34% of women, leading to nails that peel, split, or break easily. Nail strengtheners provide a protective layer over nails to help prevent cracking and increase overall nail health. They often contain moisturizing ingredients like oils as well as fortifying components like protein or calcium. Using an effective DIY nail strengthening treatment can restore strength and flexibility to weak nails.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant, which is native to Australia. It has become popular in recent years for its many beneficial properties for skin and nails.

Tea tree oil contains powerful antifungal properties that help fight nail infections like toenail fungus. Research has shown that tea tree oil can be more effective than prescription medications in treating these stubborn fungal infections that cause nails to thicken, yellow, and become brittle (1).

In addition to fighting fungal infections, tea tree oil is also great for naturally hydrating and softening nails. The nourishing oils help condition nails and cuticles, leading to smooth nails that are less prone to cracking and peeling. Applying just a drop or two of tea tree oil mixed with a carrier oil to the nails and cuticles every day can make a big difference.


(1) https://www.amazon.com/Tea-Tree-Oil-Nails/dp/B008Y629I0

Jojoba Oil

jojoba oil contains vitamins that strengthen nails and stimulate growth

Jojoba oil is rich in vitamins E and B, which can improve overall nail health (Rank and Style, 2023). The vitamins help strengthen nails and stimulate growth. Jojoba oil is also known for its ability to deeply moisturize and soften cuticles. Massaging jojoba oil into the nail beds and cuticles helps nourish the nails and surrounding skin (She Began, 2023). The vitamins and nutrients in jojoba oil penetrate deep into the nail matrix, leaving nails looking healthier.

One study found that a jojoba oil nail treatment applied over 6 weeks significantly improved nail hardness and thickness compared to the control group (Know Your Pantry, 2023). Jojoba oil is non-greasy and gets absorbed quickly. Using just a few drops 2-3 times per week can lead to noticeable improvements in nail strength and appearance over time.

Lemongrass Oil

Lemongrass essential oil is extracted from the lemongrass plant through steam distillation. It has many beneficial properties for nails and cuticles:

Lemongrass oil contains antifungal and antibacterial properties that help fight infections that may cause nail brittleness and discoloration. The antifungal effects come from compounds like geraniol, nerol, and citronellal which disrupt fungal cell membrane activity.

In addition, lemongrass oil helps soothe inflammation around the nail bed and cuticles that can occur from nail biting, fungus, or damage. The anti-inflammatory ability comes from compounds like limonene and beta-myrcene which reduce swelling. Massaging nails with lemongrass oil will relax the skin and improve circulation.

To use lemongrass for nail health, dilute 2-3 drops of the essential oil in 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba oil. Apply the mixture to nails and cuticles daily. The antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties will help strengthen weak or brittle nails.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is known to provide many benefits for nail health. It is rich in fatty acids and antioxidants that can deeply moisturize and condition nails.1 The antioxidants in olive oil such as vitamins A and E help protect nails from damage caused by free radicals.2 This helps keep nails strong and prevent splitting and peeling.

To use olive oil for nails, combine 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil with the juice of 1 lemon. Apply the mixture to clean nails and cuticles. Let it soak in for at least 10 minutes before rinsing. The olive oil will penetrate and moisturize the nails while the lemon juice helps restore pH balance. This can be done as often as needed to combat dryness and keep nails healthy.

Coconut Oil

As a staple in many natural DIY beauty treatments, coconut oil is known for its ability to deeply moisturize skin and hair. The same hydrating properties also make it an effective ingredient for strengthening weak, brittle nails. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which has antifungal and antibacterial properties that can help treat nail fungus and other nail infections when applied topically.

Studies have found that lauric acid is effective at killing harmful candida fungal growth, making coconut oil a natural treatment for fungal nail infections. The moisturizing vitamins and fatty acids in coconut oil, such as vitamin E and linoleic acid, also help soften hard, dry nails and cuticles. The antioxidants in coconut oil support nail health and growth.

To use, apply a thin layer of melted coconut oil directly onto nails and cuticles. Let it soak in for at least 10 minutes before rinsing. For continued hydration, nails can be soaked in warm coconut oil for 20-30 minutes. Regular coconut oil nail treatments will deepen moisture levels and prevent cracking and peeling.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is known as a natural nail whitener that can help brighten yellow nails. The acidity in lemon juice kills fungus and bacteria that can discolor nails over time (1). Soaking nails in a diluted lemon juice solution can whiten nails gently without harsh chemicals.

Some sources recommend mixing equal parts lemon juice and warm water, then soaking nails for 5-10 minutes daily to see results (2). The vitamin C and other nutrients in lemon juice also promote healthy nail growth. Just be sure to rinse hands after soaking to avoid drying out skin.

Lemon juice is an affordable and easy way to naturally clean nails and discourage fungal or bacterial growth. For best results, use fresh lemons and don’t over-soak nails to avoid drying them out. With consistent use, lemon juice can gently brighten dull or stained nails.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a versatile ingredient that can help strengthen nails. When used on nails, baking soda works as a gentle exfoliant to remove dead skin cells and smooth the nail surface. It also has a slightly alkaline pH which can help balance the pH of nails and cuticles for healthier growth.

To use baking soda on nails:
– Make a paste by mixing 1 teaspoon of baking soda with a few drops of water. Apply this homemade scrub onto nails and gently massage for 2-3 minutes. Rinse thoroughly. The grains in the baking soda will buff away rough patches and dead cuticle skin.

Doing this 1-2 times a week will clean nails and create the ideal pH balance for healthy growth (Source). Baking soda has mild antiseptic and antimicrobial properties as well, which helps fight fungus and bacteria under and around nails.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a popular home remedy for nail fungus and weak nails thanks to its acidic properties. The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar helps restore the proper pH balance of the nail plate, which creates an inhospitable environment for fungus and other pathogens 1. The acidic nature of ACV also has antifungal properties that can help kill existing nail fungus infections.

To use ACV for nails, dilute it in water at a 1:1 ratio before applying it directly to the nails with a cotton ball. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes before rinsing. Repeat daily. The acidic ACV will help restore the nail’s protective acid mantle to fight infection and rebuild strength. Just be sure to moisturize after, as the vinegar can dry out the nails and skin. With consistent use, ACV is an easy and natural way to banish brittle nails and combat fungus.


There are several key ingredients that can help strengthen nails when used in a homemade DIY nail treatment. Tea tree oil, jojoba oil, lemongrass oil, olive oil, coconut oil, lemon juice, baking soda, and apple cider vinegar all contain properties that help nourish nails.

To make your own nail strengthening treatment, combine 1 tablespoon each of coconut oil, olive oil, and jojoba oil with 5 drops of tea tree oil and 2 drops of lemongrass oil. Mix the ingredients together thoroughly and apply the mixture directly to clean nails using a brush or cotton swab. Allow it to soak in for at least 10 minutes before rinsing. Apply daily for best results.

Caring for your nails properly can keep them looking healthy and strong. Be sure to moisturize cuticles, avoid excessive water exposure, trim nails regularly, and apply treatments like this homemade blend to nourish nails. With a bit of TLC and natural ingredients, you can achieve strong, beautiful nails.

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