Beauty comes from within, and while there are many ways to beautify yourself from the outside with serums, expensive hair conditioners, and salon appointments, you can also boost your beauty from the inside out. If you’ve ever dreamed of having a lush mane of strong, glistening hair or gorgeous long fingernails, it is possible.
Try these five ways to get stronger hair and nails by nourishing your body with natural beauty boosters proven by science.
Keratin is an amino acid – one of the building blocks of protein found in healthy hair strands. At the structural level, it is part of the hair matrix, cuticle, and cortex, and thus, research suggests that it may be helpful for boosting hair strength when applied to hair follicles and existing strands.1
When taken internally as a supplement, keratin protein has been tested and shown in clinical trials to improve the texture and strength of hair strands and fingernails.2
In one study, participants who took keratin supplements showed an 87.5% improvement in nail breakage. There were five additional improvements reported by the keratin supplement group. They included hardness improvements (50%), resistance to bending and breakage (54.2%), overall nail integrity (33.2%), nail smoothness (37.5%), and overall improvements in nail color (20.8%).3
This B complex vitamin is known to improve the health, strength, and hardness of nails. In one clinical trial, women participants with frail and brittle fingernails were given a daily oral application of biotin, at 2.5 mg. At the end of the trial, the women reported a 91% improvement in firmness and hardness of their nails.4
In another study from Switzerland, participants with brittle nails who took biotin supplements reported a 25% increase in nail thickness.5
This essential nutrient is one of the most important components of strong, healthy hair and nails. Also known as silica, this compound is a naturally occurring mineral found in the earth. It is also known to play a vital role in bone mineralization, as well as the production of collagen in the hair and nails.6
In one study, participants between the ages of 40 and 65 took supplements of dietary silicon containing 10 mg for 20 weeks, with 2 capsules daily. Participants who took the supplementation observed a significant improvement in the fragility of their hair, and nails.7
In another study, participants took 10 mg of a dietary form of silicon for a period of 9 months. After the trial, volunteers reported hair with more elasticity and strength, and less breakage. Not only that, but they also noticed thicker hair strands after taking oral silicon supplements.8
Dermal Repair Complex is a dietary supplement made with natural ingredients including keratin, biotin, and silica plus more! Formulated to address the root causes of hair, and nail breakdown, Dermal Repair Complex also includes natural sources of collagen to address elastin loss for healthy, youthful looking skin in addition to radiant hair, and strong nails.
4. Coconut Oil
This cooking oil has been used for centuries, not only in the kitchen, but in beauty regimens, too. That’s because coconut oil contains some of the highest amounts of a unique type of fat called medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs.9
There is some evidence that coconut oil may be able to help reduce hair damage – specifically, hair breakage caused by combing. In a clinical trial, the hair strands of participants who applied a coconut oil hair mask as a prewash were coated. This lubricating effect was enough to help protect the hair cuticle, reducing the hair breakage caused by the force of combing.10
5. Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
Within every hair and nail cell, there are essential fatty acids that help to keep the cells fluid and supple. However, the body does not make these essential fats naturally, so they must be taken in through diet.
Without essential fatty acids, you would probably notice brittle nails and frizzy hair with more breakage, as studies have shown that omega fatty acids, including EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), are found in all cellular membranes – even in other animals in nature.11
While there are very few human clinical trials to document this, applying any form of these essential fatty acids to your hair and nails may help to improve not only its strength, but also its overall texture and appearance.
If you’re looking for a natural way to get stronger hair and nails using essential fatty acids, give this avocado hair mask a try.
Avocado Hair Mask Recipe:
- 1 large organic, ripe avocado
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp honey
- Slice the avocado skin all the way down the length of the fruit in order to remove the pit, and then scoop it out. Then peel the fruit until you have the meat removed, and it is ready to whip.
- Place the avocado in a small-to-medium sized mixing bowl with the other ingredients. Use a mixer to whip the ingredients all together, or simply blend them by hand.
- Once everything has been fully combined, you can apply the mixture to your hair. Ideally, you want to spread the mask onto clean, dry hair, as it is best absorbed this way.
- Work the avocado mask into trouble areas of your hair, like the ends and the crown area, to help repair any brittleness and damage. Then, create a loose bun on the top of your head, and secure it with a metal-free rubber band.
- Allow the mixture to set on your hair for up to 45 minutes to really get the essential fatty acids and other nutrients into the hair shaft. You may also choose to cover your hair with a shower cap, to reduce the risk of getting the mask on your furniture or clothing.
- After the mask has had time to set, rinse it away in the shower and then shampoo and condition as usual.
For use as a nourishing nail therapy, simply apply the mask to clean, dry nails for up to 30 minutes. Then rinse, and proceed with your regular manicure routine.
There are many reasons why your hair and nails can become weak, brittle, and break more often. Most of the time, it has something to do with dietary factors, as many people today are deficient in one or more vital nutrients. So, check with your doctor to find out if you need to add a multivitamin to your daily health regimen.
In the meantime, just try these five DIY ways to get stronger hair and nails. All of them are clinically shown to improve the health of your most important beauty assets!
1. Cribier B, Peltre B. On the regulation of hair keratin expression: lessons from studies in pilomatricomas. J Invest Dermatol. 2004 May;122(5):1078-83.
2. Beer C, Wood S, Veghte RH. A clinical trial to investigate the effect of Cynatine HNS on hair and nail parameters. Scientific World Journal. 2014;2014:641723.
3. Beer C, Wood S, Veghte RH. A clinical trial to investigate the effect of Cynatine HNS on hair and nail parameters. Scientific World Journal. 2014;2014:641723.
4. Floersheim GL. Treatment of brittle fingernails with biotin. Z Hautkr. 1989;64(1):41-8.
5. Hochman LG, Scher RK, Meyerson MS. Brittle nails: response to daily biotin supplementation. Cutis. 1993;51(4):303-5.
6. Lidiane Advincula de Araújo, Flavia Addor. Use of silicon for skin and hair care: an approach of chemical forms available and efficacy. An Bras Dermatol. 2016 May-Jun; 91(3): 331–335.
7. Lidiane Advincula de Araújo, Flavia Addor. Use of silicon for skin and hair care: an approach of chemical forms available and efficacy. An Bras Dermatol. 2016 May-Jun; 91(3): 331–335.
8. Wickett RR, Kossmann E. Effect of oral intake of choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid on hair tensile strength and morphology in women with fine hair. Arch Dermatol Res. 2007 Dec;299(10):499-505. Epub 2007 Oct 25.
9. Organic Coconut Oil Nutrition Facts & Calories. https://www.google.com/#q=coconut+oil+nutritional+profile
10. Effect of coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. Part I. Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists 50(6):327-339. November 1999.
11. Valentine RC, Valentine DL. Omega-3 fatty acids in cellular membranes: a unified concept. Prog Lipid Res. 2004 Sep;43(5):383-402.