The common cold has no connection to winter’s typically cold weather. Contrary to what you might think, chapped lips and broken nails don’t happen when you sneeze or feel like you’re dehydrated. If dry nails bother you, take steps to keep them in good shape in this chilly season.
Nails are composed of calcium oxide molecules that stick to blood vessels that encircle the skin and reduce blood flow. At cold temperatures, the calcium oxide molecules collapse and leak out of the nail’s surface, causing unhealthy, weak nails. The occurrence of wet and short nails is less common in cold weather.
Best Practices for Preventing Dry, Broken Nails in Cold Weather
The best way to avoid dry, cold nails is to take a warm bath or shower at least two to three times a week, said Kevin Campbell, director of the Enfield-based Snap Nail Salon, where he’s an aesthetician.
“You should be using body wash or body lotion with plant and floral extracts,” Campbell said. “Additionally, apply vitamin E to the bottom of your heels, ankles and wrists.”
More than that, recommend Campbell and other nail care experts, applying vitamin E to the nails may be a good idea if you have to wear gloves in cold weather.
You can also buy some sealant or tape that will help prevent the scaling of the nails or squashing in it, said Karina Alvarado, a manicurist and salon owner in Brooklyn, New York.
“You can buy chalk/epoxy nail tape that go over the top of your nails,” Alvarado said. “The glue adhesive and padding can be applied with your nails lightly to help hold the tape together.”
In another hack, nail technicians recommend using a natural, white nail polish. “Just make sure to prep the nail before the polish gets on.”
If you’re someone who uses nail polish every day, you might be able to absorb the dry, brittle surface of the nail without messing with the nail bed itself, Campbell said.