Why Are My Nails So Brittle?

Are you dealing with brittle nails that just won’t seem to get better no matter what you do? You’re not alone. Brittle nails can be a frustrating problem, and they can also point to bigger issues with your overall health. Made up of layers of keratin, your nails serve as the protectors of your fingers and toes. However, it’s not too uncommon for these protectors to split, peel, or break if they’re brittle. In this blog, we’ll discuss some of the possible causes of brittle nails so that you can determine if there’s an underlying issue causing them and start working on solutions. So if you’ve been wondering why your nails are so weak and fragile, read on! We have all the answers here.

What Causes Brittle Nails

If you’ve been dealing with weak, brittle nails that just won’t seem to get better no matter what you do, it may be time to look at some of the potential causes behind this issue. From lifestyle choices and diet to medical conditions and more, there are a variety of factors that could be causing your brittle nails. We’ll take a look at some of these possible culprits so that you can start working on solutions for healthier-looking nails.

Brittle nails fall under two categories: dry and brittle or soft and brittle. Nails that are dry and brittle are the result of a lack of moisture in the nails. This is most commonly caused by repeatedly washing and drying of the hands. Nails lose water faster than your skin does, so the constant washing and sanitizing of your hands can sometimes result in your nails drying out much more quickly than your skin.

Soft and brittle nails, on the other hand, are the result of too much moisture. This excessive amount of moisture can come from a variety of different factors, such as overexposure to detergents, household cleaners, and nail polish remover.

There are, of course, many other causes of brittle nails besides the ones that I’ve listed above. These include, but are not limited to:


Age is another factor that can contribute to brittle nails. As we age, our bodies produce less oil and moisture, which can lead to dryness in the nails. This lack of moisture causes the keratin cells in your nails to become weak and brittle. Additionally, as we get older, our nail beds weaken and become more likely to break or split.

Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency is another possible cause of brittle nails. Iron helps transport oxygen throughout the body, and when iron levels are low, this can lead to a variety of different symptoms, including fragile and brittle nails. Inadequate intake of dietary iron can be a major factor in developing anemia, which can also contribute to brittle nails. Furthermore, certain medical conditions such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease may make it difficult for the body to absorb enough iron from food sources. People with these conditions should consult their doctor about taking an iron supplement if they’re experiencing brittle nails due to a lack of sufficient dietary iron intake.


Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones to regulate metabolism. This can lead to a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, dry skin, and brittle nails. If you are experiencing brittle nails and suspect that hypothyroidism may be the cause, it’s important to consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment options.

Raynaud’s Syndrome

Raynaud’s syndrome is a condition that affects blood vessels, causing them to become narrow and restrict the flow of blood. It can affect any area of the body, but it most commonly occurs in the fingers and toes. People with Raynaud’s syndrome are more susceptible to brittle nails as a result of this lack of circulation.

No matter what the cause of your brittle nails may be, it’s important to take action. From incorporating more iron into your diet and avoiding harsh detergents and household cleaners to seeing a doctor if you suspect an underlying medical condition might be causing them, there are steps that can be taken in order to restore healthier-looking nails. Another one of these steps that you can take is Summers Laboratories‘ nail conditioner. This is an effective and safe way to help strengthen brittle nails. Shop our nail conditioner below.