Achieving stronger, longer nails requires a multi-pronged approach that involves both using the right products and implementing certain lifestyle measures, says Dr. Melissa Piliang, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Cleveland Clinic, who spoke with Elite Daily for this article. She says "Healthy nails come from healthy cuticles," so it's "important to moisturize the skin [on] your hands and your nails several times a day" — which is why most of the best nail growth products come in the form of moisturizing oils, ointments, and creams. Unfortunately, there's not really such a thing as a miracle product that's going to make your nails grow longer and faster — it all comes down to proper nail maintenance, in the end.
Nails are more prone to breakage and splitting when you use them as tools to pry things open or scrape at things, and if you don't wear gloves when cleaning or washing the dishes. Finally, Dr. Piliang says that acrylic nails and gel nail polish can be damaging, too, so she suggests reserving those types of manicures for special occasions, rather than getting them regularly.
Darlene Sritapan, OPI’s North America Education and Capability Manager, tells Elite Daily that adding an extra layer of reinforcement to your nails, such as a nail strengthening polish or treatment, can be helpful for preventing damage and breakage. That won’t make nails grow faster (she explains that only internal changes like your diet, or taking supplements like biotin, will do that) but your nails will look and feel stronger and less "bendy."