The Best Nail Hardener, DIY Style

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Before I was a beauty blogger, I was a bartender. For those 9 years, my hands were either wet, being shoved into ice, or covered in syrup-y pop. To say my nails took a serious beating is an understatement.

Naturally, being the DIY’in diva I like to think I am, I searched high and low for a recipe for the best nail hardener I could possibly make at home.

After countless hours surfing cyberland, I found one that I still use to this day. And now, I pass the awesomeness onto you.

The Best Nail Hardener Recipes


I know, I know, it sounds wacky…and smelly.

But if you can hack the smell of garlic on your fingers for a few minutes, then this DIY treatment is perfect for you.

And not only is it cheap as helllll but it’s easy!

All you need is:

  • Water
  • Mild soap, nothing too drying
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • A clean towel

Begin by washing your hands with the mild soap and clean water. Then simply take 1 clove of your minced garlic (for each hand) and rub it all over your nails.

Massage it into your nails for up to 5 minutes on each hand before washing your hands again (to reduce the smell of garlic), then drying them off, and finishing up by rubbing olive oil into your nails.

Not only does the garlic help to strengthen your nails but the olive oil also helps to nourish nails, keeping them strong and less prone to chipping and peeling.

Speaking of olive oil…

Lemon And Olive Oil

If you just can’t stand the thought of coating your hands in garlic, and potentially smelling like garlic for the better part of an hour, try this handy alternative.

All you need is:

  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice

Just grab yourself a small bowl and mix your 3 tablespoons of olive oil with your lemon juice, stirring constantly so it doesn’t separate.

It’s important that you use fresh lemon juice, and not the lemon juice you can buy in the bottle, as it tends to have chemicals and preservatives added to the juice, which could potentially dry out your nails.

Once your mixture is well combined, place it in the microwave for 15 seconds, or until it is warm to the touch, and stir with a spoon.

Then take a clean cotton ball, dip it into your mixture and apply it directly to your dry, polish-free nail beds, cuticles, and even the backs of your nails for optimal results.

Considered to be an age-old recipe for sufficiently hardening your nails, the fats in the olive oil help to strengthen your nails, while the lemon juice helps to whiten them.

Just be sure to repeat this process every night before you go to bed and you should notice your nails feeling stronger in a little over a week.

No longer will you have to spend your hard earned money on chemical-laden store bought products that dry out your nails more than they strengthen them.

And to think you could make yourself a tasty little salad dressing with your leftover ingredients….too much?

Alright, alright, enough outta me. Now it’s your turn!

Tell me, do you have a recipe you consider to the best nail hardener or do you prefer to buy instead of DIY? Share your thoughts and any recipes you may have in the comment section below.

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2 comments… add one

  • Do you need to warm up the evoo and lemon juice? If so, warm it in a little pan for a few minutes to preserve the nutrients. Unfortunately, microwaving anything changes the molecular structure of food so that your body doesn’t recognize it as food and it would render these ingredients less effective even through the skin. This goes even for water! I know, I know, inconvenient but healthy!

  • If you want the evoo and lemon juice to be even more effective, heat them up in a small pan for a few minutes. Unfortunately, microwaving food, even water, changes the molecular structure of food so that your body doesn’t recognize it as food even when absorbed through the skin. I know, I know, inconvenient but healthy!


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