Brittle Nails
Reader Comments
We at believe in an ongoing dialogue with our readers and value their feedback.

To leave a comment, concern, tip, or experience about brittle nails, please leave your comment below.
E-mail (Optional):

Brittle Nails

Follow us

Follow us on Google +

Did You Know?

Nails grow faster on the hand that is used more frequently.

Of all the symptoms of menopause, cosmetic changes can at times be the hardest to deal with, robbing a woman of her sense of femininity and individuality. Unfortunately during this time period, many women suffer from brittle nails, which occur naturally with age and hormonal changes.

Read below to learn more about this common symptom, its characteristics, causes, and possible treatment options in order to restore nails back to their former strength and glory.

About Brittle Nails

How nails grow

Nail Growth Process

To understand how changes such as brittle nails occur, it is helpful to learn more about the nail growth process. Both fingernails and toenails grow from roots underneath the skin, from the thin white semicircle at the base of the nail known as the lunula. This group of cells produces a substance called keratin, which forms the nails that protect women's fragile nail beds.

When the body is healthy, a woman's nails will grow with uniformity and strength. However, if nails are brittle, cracked, or there are   changes in color, this can be an indication of imbalance or illness that is throwing off keratin production.

Characteristics of brittle nails

Characteristics of Brittle Nails

If a woman has always had strong, healthy nails, she may not recognize the signs of brittle nails. The following are the most common symptoms:

Keep reading to learn more about the possible causes of brittle nails in menopausal women in order to learn how to strengthen them and reverse this irritating symptom.

5 Bad Habits to Cut Out to Stop Brittle Nails

Brittle nails are a common problem, but rarely a serious one. Nevertheless, it can negatively affect the self-confidence of many women. Fortunately, there are things that you can do in order to stop brittle nails. This article describes five bad habits you can avoid for restoring your nails.

Fixing Dry, Brittle Nails

Lots of women report experiencing dry, brittle nails, especially during times of hormonal imbalance like menopause. Fortunately, there are ways that you can fix this. This article describes the top five ways of helping dry, brittle nails back to strength and health, such as stopping smoking, protecting your hands with gloves, and staying hydrated.

Causes of Brittle Nails

Hormonal causes

Woman holding a glass of water: dehydration and lack of moisture are causes of weak or brittle nails

While changes in nail appearance such as brittle nails can occur for a variety of reasons, the most likely cause for women of menopausal age is hormone fluctuation, particularly estrogen. One of the fundamental causes of weak or brittle nails is dehydration or lack of moisture in the body. Estrogen plays a key role in body water regulation and water retention. When a woman's body contains higher levels of estrogen, her overall body water levels will be higher as well, and correspondingly, when her estrogen levels are lower, this can lead to dehydration which manifests itself in such signs as dry, cracked, brittle nails.

Other causes

Brittle Nails Causing Diseases


Poor circulation


Liver disease

Thyroid problems

In addition to hormonal causes, dietary issues and certain diseases can have an effect on nail growth. Certain nutrients such as vitamin C, calcium, folic acid, protein, iron, and fat all help to build strong healthy nails. Stress and anxiety can also slow nail growth and lead to weak or brittle nails.

Fortunately, nail health is relatively easy to build. Read below to learn more about treatment options for brittle nails, which will make going to get a manicure a possibility once again.

Yogurt for Healthy Nails during Menopause

Nails can become more brittle during menopause as a result of changing levels of estrogen. Fortunately, consuming more yogurts, which contains calcium, zinc, and iron, can help maintain nail health and strength. It can also help promote a strong immune system and digestive tract. Try incorporating yogurt into traditional meals, like tacos, pasta salads, and smoothies, to increase your daily boost of essential nutrients.

Treatment for Brittle Nails

Did You Know?

Almonds contain fatty acids that are shown to improve nail growth. Eating as few as six almonds a day can produce visible results.

To banish the specter of brittle nails, it is best to use a tiered approach of treatment. Due to the fact that nail health in menopausal women involves both nutritional deficiencies as well as hormonal changes, there are two levels that the issue can be addressed on.

It is generally recommended that women begin with the least invasive option, which would be lifestyle changes. If  brittle nails are being caused due to stress or poor nutrition, eating a balanced diet rich in protein, fat, and vitamin C can be extremely beneficial. Stress reduction techniques such as yoga or meditation can also help.

Hands with rose petals: natural remedies are very effective to treat brittle nails

Lifestyle changes can be difficult to implement all at once for a busy woman, however. The most effective approach, as brittle nails in menopausal women is primarily caused by fluctuating levels of estrogen that leads to dehydration, is to treat the problem directly at the hormonal source. A variety of natural and alternative remedies exist that are able to address this imbalance. A combination of lifestyle changes and alternative medicine is the most effective and safest way to battle brittle nails.

If experiencing other symptoms that may indicate a disease of which brittle nails may be a symptom, it is recommended that women seek the advice of a healthcare professional. Discolorations or split nails can be signs of a more serious condition.

Most experts recommend that women who suffer from brittle nails and wish to treat it begin with lifestyle changes, then move onto alternative medicine (ideally combining the two) and finally, look to medications if nothing else seems to work. Click on the following link to learn specific treatments for brittle nails in these three categories.

How to Fix Weak, Brittle Nails

Many women begin to notice the health of their nails changing as they go through menopause. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to improve the health of weak and brittle nails. This article describes five of the best ways to do this, including getting into good day-to-day habits and staying hydrated.

Foods to Cure Brittle Nails and Hair Loss in Women

Developing brittle nails and experiencing hair loss are common symptoms of times of hormonal imbalance, such as during menopause. Fortunately, there are things that you can do in order to cure this. This article describes six of the best foods to include in your diet for strong and healthy nails and hair.

  • Hutchinson, Susan M.D. "The Stages of a Woman's Life: Menstruation, Pregnancy, Nursing, Perimenopause, Menopause". November 2007.
  • Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
  • BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007.
Updated on February 11th, 2014
Menopause: 5 Natural Cures for Brittle Nails Brittle and weak nails may signify a nutrient deficiency or be triggered by declining levels of estrogen during menopause. Many people enjoy having strong and shiny nails, so when their nails turn brittle, it can be a disappointment. Click here to learn about 5 vitamins and home remedies that can help you strengthen your nails.
Updated on December 13rd, 2012
6 Tips for Restoring Your Brittle Nails during Menopause Dry, brittle nails are not an uncommon symptom of the menopause transition. However, there are a number of different things that you can do to keep your nails strong and healthy. Click on the following link for more information on the causes and treatments of brittle nails during menopause.
Updated on December 12th, 2012
The Best Manicure Tools for Your Brittle Nails Because estrogen holds such a vital role in the maintenance of many of the bodies symptoms when its levels become disrupted during menopause women can experience the consequences across many parts of their body. Dry and brittle nails are just one example. For more information and advice, check out the article.
Updated on August 8th, 2011
Eat Avocados to Fight Brittle Nails during Menopause
Menopause can trigger many changes in a women's body because of disruptions to estrogenic levels. In order to reduce the symptoms you are exposed to it is wise to attempt a balancing of hormone levels. Learn how avocado can help you deal with brittle nails here.
Updated on August 8th, 2011
How to Preserve a Manicure for Brittle Nails
Manicures are a great way to promote healthy nails, especially during menopause. During this time, fluctuating hormones can cause dehydration and dry out the nails. Reducing nail biting, using a top coat of clear polish, choosing natural colors, and using rubber gloves to protect hands are all important parts of preserving your manicure and nails.