Fingernails Keep Splitting? Here’s What To Do


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Fingernails Keep Splitting: If your nails are always dry, they’re said to brittle, and when this happens, a split is bound to happen.

Dry, brittle nails are the major causes of split nails. How then can you prevent your nails from getting dry? You’ll find out soon in this article.

Fingernails Keep Splitting
Photo Credits: Youtube

What you’ll learn

In this article, I’m going to tell you the exact reason why;

  • Your fingernails keep splitting
  • How to treat and stop your nails from splitting
  • And when to see a doctor.

But before I do that, here’s a short story for you.

My Nail Split Story

A few years back, I once had a friend back then in high school who is always at my beck and call. Whenever there are strange looks on his nails, I’m always the first person he showed it to.

Maybe that’s because I was the only one growing and keeping nails then. I suddenly became a consultant to him — a consultant with no degree at that.

There came this day; I was at the balcony of my hostel receiving cool breeze, he walked to where I was and showed me his latest development.

Behold it was a split on his nails. I could tell he had had them on for quite some time now mere looking at them.

Do you know the annoying thing about split nails? Is that they catch on things quickly and injure people they’re not meant to.

As usual, he was waiting patiently for me to speak. He is probably waiting for me to recommend something for him as to why does his fingernail keep splitting.

I looked at him and asked, do you do dishes always? Do your hands stay in water often? Or if he bites his nails. The answer I got was somewhat between the questions I asked, so that was how we figure a way out and put a stop to my friend’s constant nail splitting.

Recommended: My Fingernails Stopped Growing? Here’s What You Should Do

What are my trying to say here?

The Point Of My Story

Often times, what we do with our hands matters a lot. If you’re that type whose hands are always submerged in water, then your nails are bound to split.

Most times, when I’m asked questions like “why do my fingernails keep splitting,” The first thing I’m forced to ask is, how often do you expose your hands to moisture?

Do you use nail hardener regularly? Or the most obvious one, do you pick at your nails? Those are the first question you should ask if someone walks up to you on why his or her nails are splitting because those mentioned above are the primary cause or reason why fingernail split.

Having said this, let’s look at what nails are.

What Are Nails?

Nails are the visible part, usually at the tip of a finger or toe. They’re made up of a protein called Alpha keratin – the same protein with hair.

What Then Is A Split?

A split is a break or to cause something to break into pieces or parts.

What Is A Split Nail?

Fingernails Keep Splitting
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A nail is said to split when its subjected to stress or lacking some essential nutrients. When nail split, they snag. That is, they catch or injure every damn thing that they come across with. With that being said, let me ask, would you like to know the science behind the splitting of nails?

OK good. Let’s go.

The Untold Science Behind Nail Splitting

It is said that for nails to split, they must have undergone some physical stress but that alone can’t justify why they split. Here is the real deal why they do. I bet no one has ever told you this. Have they?

Keep reading.

Recall we said earlier on that nails are made up of protein-like material known as Keratin right? This keratin, which is made up of amino acid and looking more like a coiled-coil, contains sets of cells.

In each cell, they’re pores which are filled with air and water. The air and water present in each pore within the cells are what gives the nail its turgid look. When these nails are submerged in water for far too long, what happens is this.

The air and water present in those pores, found within cells that make up keratin evaporates. When they do so, they leave the nail plate dry and extremely brittle. When the nails now come in contact with an object, they split.  So that’s about that. Now let’s look at the different types of nail splitting.

Recommended: Is Cuticle Oil Good For Nails? Find Out Now

Types Of Ripped Nails

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They are a lot of crack in nails, but for the sake of this article, we shall be looking at just two.

Vertical Nail Split

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When there is a rip from the free edge of your nails down to the middle, such a tear is referred to as vertical or longitudinal split.

Nail Splitting Horizontally

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A nail is said to rift horizontally when the division cut across the nails horizontally or sideways as seen in the above picture.

Fingernails Keep Splitting: Causes

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Nails usually don’t split anyhow. So what causes them to split then? Nail crack or tear when they’re subjected to external pressure or trauma. Although they are various reasons why healthy-looking nails may suddenly become dry and split, the obvious of them all is constant exposure to water.

Causes Of Split Nails

If your nails are constantly splitting on the same place or down the middle. Then you may be doing either of this. Below are just a few of the numerous causes of split nails.

1. Nutrient deficiency
2. Overexposure of hands in water
3. Trauma
4. Nail Hardener
5. Chemicals
6. Using harsh detergent
7. Health issues
8. Nail Polish Remover

1. Nutrient deficiency

It is no longer a rumour that the best way to grow your nails fast and strong is by eating healthy. So if you do not eat the right diet that contains the proper nutrient in the right proportion, your nails are bound to rift.

Fingernails Keep Splitting
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So if your diet is lacking any of the essential vitamins such as vitamin C found in oranges, iron, and minerals, your nails might tear every now and again.

2. Overexposure of hands in water

It is no longer new that when hands are submerged in water for way too long, nails loses its strength.

Fingernails Keep Splitting
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And when this happens, they’re bound to tear. This best explains why cleaners are the dominant group of people with onychoschizia.

3. Trauma

During a snag, the pressure from that physical contact can hurt a lot. When this happens, your nails are likely to split.

4. Nail hardener

As you may already know, nail hardener adds some layers of the coat to the nails to make them stronger.

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Why this might not make necessary calls for alarm, continuous usage might render your nails dry. What happens to dry nails? They split of cause.

5. Chemicals

Certain nail care products like nail polish are known to contain a lot of these harmful chemicals. So when you apply or wear polish too often, it dries out the oil on your nails and renders them brittle. And when they do, they may drift apart.

6. Using harsh detergent

This is another cause of split nails. During washing, we tend to make use of these chemicals as cleansing agents.

Fingernail Keep Splitting
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Unknowing to us, they don’t only cleanse our dishes or clothes; they also strip our nails off it’s moisture, thereby making them extremely dry and liable to split.

7. Heath challenge

Underlying health problems or challenges like Psoriasis, onychomycosis, or diabetes can also lead to brittle or split fingernails.

8. Polish remover

Acetone, being a major player in the nail world, contains elements which may cause your nails to become brittle. If you must use nail polish remover, be sure to go after those that are free from those chemicals.

Recommended: How To Moisturize Dry Toenails: The Complete Guide

Your Fingernails Keep Splitting? Here Are Ways To Prevent It

Fingernail Keep Splitting

Split nails aren’t something to be happy about but there’s always something you can do to remedy it. So if you’ve been looking for ways all over the internet to actually nail it for good then search no further because I’ve done the hard work for you already. Below are distinct ways you can deliberately adopt to prevent and stop your fingernails from splitting now and again…

One of the obvious ways I’ve found pretty effective is by keeping your nails moisturized always with moisturizers like ( such as DERMAdoctor KP Duty Dry Skin Duo) coconut oil, argan oil or castor oil.

Other Methods To Prevent A Split

Other ways you can adopt to prevent your nails from rifting aparts include;

1. Eating healthy
2. Avoid nail biting
3. Moisturize more
4. Wear gloves
5. Keep nails medium-long
6. Using polish free from chemicals

1. Eat healthily

If you nail tear at a regular interval, be sure to include food rich in vitamins or protein to your diet.

Fingernail Keep Splitting
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You can eat more vegetables like broccoli, spinach which is rich in vitamins. You can also take more of whole grains, egg York, nuts, etc. to strengthen and keep your nails in shape.

2. Avoid biting your nails

If you want to see improvement in your nail health? Then you should stop biting your nails now.

My Fingernails Keep Splitting
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Biting your nails will not only render and makes your nails prone to splitting, but you may also ingest a lot of harmful bacteria into your system which might be harmful to your overall health.

There are lots of actionable ways to nail this habit for good though but you need to find out what triggers you to go after your nails first. If you can identify that which makes you go after those nails then you’re halfway to putting an end to this habit for good.

Another great way to stop picking at your nails is by coating them with bad tasting polishes. This polish are best known as anti-nail-biting polish. They help deter the urge and some of them has a dual-action. What this means is, they don’t only stop you from going after your nails, they also help to promotes nail growth.

Still, confused on what to do to stop? Here’s an in-depth article I wrote a few months back on Nail-biting. You really should check it out

3. Keep nails moisturized

It’s been said a thousand times on this blog that keeping your nails coated with moisturizer can indeed retain and keep the health of your nails intact.

My Fingernails Keep Splitting
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You can use moisturizers such as coconut oil, lavender oil, Shea butter, olive oil, or jojoba oil to keep them in good shape and to prevent subsequent tear.

Note: The choice of moisturizers you go after matters a lot here. For these reasons, I recommend that you should only patronize moisturizers with more fats. i.e those with a higher percentage of lipid as they tend to work the best( You can as well try this amazing DERMAdoctor KP Duty Dry Skin Duo from Amazon). Also, it’s not enough to apply them alone, ensure that you follow it up with a little massage. Massaging the oil helps it to sink even deeper.

4. Wear gloves

Putting gloves on while doing the dishes or laundries is another sure way of preventing your nails from getting dried up unnecessary.

So the next time you think of submerging your hands in water for too long, make sure your hands are well coated with rubber gloves.

5. Keep your nails medium-long

Extremely long nails can lead to a constant tear or split. So be sure to keep yours trimmed to your desired length. I like to think of the length thingy to be subjective though but in all, try to keep them short.

my nails Keep Splitting

They should not be too long, and most importantly, be mindful of the kind of nail shape to adopt as some leads to frequent splitting.

6. Use polish free from the chemical

Avoid using nail polished with harmful ingredients. If you must polish your nails, go after those that contain vitamins.

PS: Wearing polish for too long can absorb the moisture out of your nails, leaving them dry and liable to tear.

More also, nail polish shouldn’t be worn for too long. Your nails deserve to breathe, give them a chance. With that being said, lets quickly look at some Frequently Asked Questions and provide answers to them.

Recommended: How To Moisturize Nails In 4 Easy Steps

What Causes Fingernails To Split Down The Middle?

There are a thousand and one reasons why fingernails split but what I’ve found out over the course of growing and keeping nails as a lifestyle is that nails split when they’re subjected to external stress, health challenges, poor diet, or trauma.

Onychorrhexis, otherwise known as the vertical split, is the condition that occurs when fingernails tear down the middle.

How To Fix A Vertical Split Nail/Vertical Split Nail Repair/Split Nail Down The Middle

There are various actionable ways to fix a split. For example, You can fix a vertical or horizontal split nail by using a teabag, tissue paper, or just applying a base coat to the nails.

To fix a split nail, first cut out a teabag to the size of the nails, then followed by applying a base coat and then placing the tea bag on it.

What Can I Eat To Keep My Fingernails From Splitting?

If your nails are continually splitting every now and again, then you should consider incorporating vitamins or proteins into your already existing meal. Eating chunks of veggies like broccoli or spinach can help repair your split nails because they are highly loaded with vitamins.

Another great way to keep your nails from drifting, apart from eating healthy is by moisturizing those nails. During moisturizing, special attention should be given to your cuticle as well.

Split Nail Down The Middle Treatment

The first approach to take to treat a split down the middle is to wipe the surface with methylated spirit, followed by soaking the nails in warm salty water ( Soaking helps kills germs that are already present or about to intrudes. It also helps soothe the skin by stopping blood from flowing in the affected area)

Do this home treatment for like 3-4 days, if it doesn’t heal, its time to see a doctor for a proper check-up.

How To Fix A Split Nail Bed

It’s not all nail bed split that can be fixed. Nail bed can only be fixed when it’s a minor tear. To fix, wash the surface first with a solution containing warm water and salt.

After that, towel dry then apply antibiotic ointment to it. Cover with a bandage thereafter to avoid bacteria from getting in. Do this for a couple of days until the nail bed heals completely. If the problem persists, consult a doctor.

Nails Splitting Vertically Vitamin Deficiency/Splitting Nails Vitamin Deficiency

If your nails are continually rifting, it could be that you are lacking specific vitamins. What you need do at this junction is, incorporate more of vitamins in your diet and your nails will never slit again.

How To Fix A Split Toenail Beds

The best way to fix split toenails beds is to soak them in a solution of warm water containing salt. After that, apply a few drops of Neosporin to it. Do this for 3-4 days until the bed heals.

PS: Always remember to wrap your toenail with wool and bandage to prevent infection from coming anywhere close to the injury.

Conclusion On Fingernails Keep Splitting

If you’ve read up to this point, you ought to have known by now that overexposure to water, trauma, health challenges, or poor diet are the major causes of split nails.

Split nails are not something to be happy about, and so we must do all it takes to protect our hands daily.

One way we can achieve this is by putting on gloves when doing household works such as laundries, avoid using harsh detergents and by keeping our nails moisturized always

If you can do this today, you’ll not only keep your nails in good shape; you’ll also prevent them from future tear and wear. Please if you find this article interesting, do well to SHARE it with your friends.

3 Replies to “Fingernails Keep Splitting? Here’s What To Do”

  1. I eat healthy, my hands are not exposed to constant water, I take many vitamins per day, I don’t bite my nails. I put natural cuticle oil on my nailbed at least once a day. I take biotin. I have stopped polishing the split nail and I keep it short so that it does not snag on anything. I have been fighting with this split for over 2 years. I have put glue on it. I did the tea bag thing. I put a fake nail on it. I wrapped my nail in a bandaid for several weeks. Then I cut the end of a bandaid off and just put the tiny sticky part on the split to keep it from catching on things. I have been vegan for more than a decade, but in the last few years I have also tried Keto Vegan, No Fat Vegan and Raw Vegan just for the sake of this nail. Nothing has worked to heal it. 🙁
    All of your ideas seem plausible, but I already have been doing them for many years now….there must be something else out there to stop the madness of split nails. 🙁

    1. HI Sarah,

      I am so sorry to hear that you’ve been battling with split nails. If you’ve actually done all that I’ve stated here then I think something is wrong somewhere.

      Here’s what I want you to do. Keep moisturizing your nails. Do this 3 times a day for a week and let’s see how it goes.

      If you need any more help, don’t forget to mail me with

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