At this time of year nails can start to look and feel not quite their best. The good news is there are simple and easy things you can do to turn things around. We spoke to the nail experts who know exactly what you need to do

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Hands up who's guilty of picking off their gel manicure? You won't find any judgment here, as we do it too. Or maybe you have another nail habit that's causing them to not look their very best. Are you an anxious scratcher of the skin around your nails? Or could it be that you haven’t had a break from your acrylics or nail extensions for a while? Whichever your nail situation may be, if your nails are currently feeling weak, looking flaky and chipping at every given opportunity, then read on for we have the ultimate nail-strengthening regime you need to undertake to get them back on tip-top form.

1. Strengthen from above

Specific nail-strengthening products act like a shield for your nails, providing them with nail-strengthening ingredients from above but also acting as a slight buffer from general nail wear and tear. They’re also a great product to use when you’re having a break from gels or acrylics as nail technician Michelle Humphrey explains. “Gel and acrylic add a layer of strength to your natural nails so when you take them off and have a break, which is always a good thing to do, your natural nails might feel a bit vulnerable. That’s where a nail strengthener comes in as it will coat and protect your nails.” And while you may think one nail strengthener is the same as the next Humphrey advises to read and follow the instructions as they can have different application requirements. “My favourite is Essie Hard to Resist Advanced Formula, £10.99 

2. Consistent cuticle oil

It’s time to rethink how you use cuticle oil. And by that, we really mean how frequently you use it. “I think lots of people still think that you only use cuticle oil at the end of a professional manicure,” says celebrity nail technician Michelle Class, “but everyone should be using it a few times a day. It is one of the best ways to keep your nails and the skin around it hydrated, supple and looking healthy and ensures your nail bed stays flexible. I keep cuticle oils in my handbag, in my car, by my bed, so I always have one on me. Think of using it with the same frequency as hand cream or lip balm.” And in terms of applying it, it really couldn’t be simpler. Apply a drop per finger and spend some time massaging it on and around the cuticle bed and round the sides of the nails. We love the Beauty Pie Cuticle Therapy*.

3. Round things off

If you find your nails are feeling flimsy, continually chipping or breaking at the free edge then Humphrey recommends changing your nail shape. “If you usually wear your nails square, round off your corners, as this is more beneficial for nail growth.” Plus you’ll be pleased to know that a squoval nail shape was the key shape for most of the summer 2023 nail trends, and it’s set to be for autumn too.

4. Strengthen from the inside

Our nails are also fairly indicative of our overall health; the healthier we’re eating, the stronger we feel our nails - and hair - will become. But as we all know it can be really hard to get all the nutrients we need from our daily food intake and that’s where supplements come in. As we always report, there are currently no large-scale trials that prove that taking supplements, whether it’s for hair and nails or the best collagen supplements for skin and joints, really work. However, all the experts we speak to on a daily basis recommend them and as a team, we all take various supplements and see tangible results. When it comes to boosting your nail health the key ingredient to look out for is biotin as this is what supports keratin production and keratin is the key component in nails. A firm GTG favourite is Perfectil Nails, £18 for 60 tablets.

5. Go pro

When it comes to maintaining your nails and boosting their strength, a professional manicure is the way to go. Especially if you want to remove gels or acrylics. We know it’s tempting to pick away at them but you are doing more harm than good and a nail technician can take them off for you without stripping and breaking the nail away. As we’ve already mentioned, having a break from gels or acrylics is also a good idea but at your next appointment, you might want to consider booking in for a builder gel BIAB manicure which can be worn alone or with your regular gel manicure.