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FDP Forum / The Chop Shop / Help for brittle finger nails?



May 3rd, 2015 11:09 AM   Edit   Profile  

My nails are getting more brittle as I get older. I like to have a little bit of nail and flesh strike the strings when fingerpicking and hybrid picking, but my nails are breaking and splitting quite frequently now. Are there any nail hardeners or nutritional supplements that anybody has found effective to help with this problem? I am not yet ready to try glue-ons!

Contributing Member

Washington DC

May 3rd, 2015 07:46 PM   Edit   Profile  

Do you drink lots of water throughout the day? It might help.

Contributing Member


Dig it, pick it, roll it and flick it !
May 3rd, 2015 08:44 PM   Edit   Profile  

Amazon sells a product called Quimica Alemana Nail Hardener 0.47 oz.... its about $7

Also generic can be found at Walmart.


Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
May 3rd, 2015 09:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

When I was playing a lot of banjo without fingerpicks, my nails were wearing down quickly. I took to taking an envelope of Knox gelatin mixed into a glass of orange juice every day. I've since heard that the science on this is unproven, but it definitely seemed to me that my nails got thicker and stronger.

Contributing Member

My cables are made

of copper-free *oxygen*
May 4th, 2015 09:16 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yeah, gelatin (Jell-O) is a great way to help. Proper hydration and a good diet go a long way too.



May 4th, 2015 10:36 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have used acrylics for about 5 years. I have them on my first, second, and ring finger on my right hand. It costs me 7.00, and 3.00 tip about every three weeks. I cannot imagine playing without them. My fingernails are strong stable and predictable. They don't wear down under extended use like a fingernail does.

In that time I have had maybe 5-6 mishaps where I have had to go in for an emergency repair or a super glue job to get by. The good news is, there are nail places all over. I had an accident at Lake Mojave where I slipped out of the boat on the beach, and trashed a nail. No sweat, found a nail place in Bullhead City and got them fixed before dinner.

Unless they have grown out or need a re-fill job, they are undetectable, they just look like fingernails.

First time I used them, it took all of about 2 minuted to get acustomed to them. Will never willingly go back.

Contributing Member

Vero Beach FL

May 5th, 2015 05:02 AM   Edit   Profile  

I started going to a nail salon for acrylic overlays about a year ago for the same issues with my natural nails. This procedure does not add a tip. The technician mixes an acrylic (?) powder with a bit of solvent and paints it on over my nail. After it hardens in a couple minutes, a bit of shaping with an emery board, buff it out, and I'm good for 3-4 weeks. Cost is $2 per nail for 3 nails. I give the tech a $10 and still think it's a bargain.

The hardest part of this is getting the nerve to go into a nail salon in the first place. LOL!

Contributing Member

Floe, WV

A few BIG notes!
May 5th, 2015 08:00 AM   Edit   Profile  

I make hand made pottery on the potter's wheel for a living and need strong nails. I take 400 mg of Hydrolyzed Collagen per day (from Puritan's Pride) and my nails stay quite strong and grow pretty quickly. It makes a big difference.



May 5th, 2015 09:13 PM   Edit   Profile  

Yeah, and collagen might be good for arthritis too?

Contributing Member

Floe, WV

A few BIG notes!
May 5th, 2015 09:38 PM   Edit   Profile  

I started on the hydrolyzed collagen for osteoarthritis. It helps for that with the added benefit of thick strong nails.


Omaha, USA

May 12th, 2015 09:10 AM   Edit   Profile  

Here's what James Taylor does...

James Taylor nail maintenance

Vic Vega
Contributing Member


Deflating Balls Since 1969
May 26th, 2015 03:03 PM   Edit   Profile  

Taking collagen for your nails is wishful thinking. Gelatin (or collagen from any source) will not help at all. It is not even the same material as your fingernails.

"It’s a myth that eating gelatin will encourage healthy, longer nails. I can see where the myth started. Gelatin is made of processed collagen. Collagen is an important protein; it provides strength and elasticity to skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and other body parts. So someone figured that brittle fingernails needed more collagen.

There are two problems with that line of reasoning. First, the collagen you eat gets digested in your gut. More important, your fingernails are not made up of collagen; they’re made up of keratin. Although it’s also a structural protein, keratin is unrelated to gelatin. That’s why eating gelatin or soaking your nails in it will not affect your nails in any way."


(This message was last edited by Vic Vega at 05:07 PM, May 26th, 2015)

Contributing Member

Floe, WV

A few BIG notes!
May 27th, 2015 08:41 AM   Edit   Profile  

I can only speak for my own experience with collagen & nails. I'm going to keep using it as there is a big difference for me with less joint pain in general and obviously thicker, stronger nails.
I don't know the analysis but it does what it does.

Contributing Member

South Florida

May 27th, 2015 10:08 AM   Edit   Profile  

When I'm home I generally play without fingerpicks. But in a live situation it just doesn't cut it.

I've never played anywhere were a James Taylor type song reached the back of the room. Nobody really cares or listen to how nicely you play.

Therefore I don't bother. So I sacrifice precision for volume and reach for some weaponry and allow for the clash of metal on metal.

A good compromise is the propik. You can feel the string but still get some good control.


(This message was last edited by larryguitar19 at 12:12 PM, May 27th, 2015)

Vic Vega
Contributing Member


Deflating Balls Since 1969
May 28th, 2015 08:31 PM   Edit   Profile  

"but it does what it does."

Ha! Or not.

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
May 31st, 2015 02:40 PM   Edit   Profile  

It's true that fingernails are composed of keratin, but keratin is not found in foods, unless you make a habit of chomping on horse and cow hooves like my dog does. Keratin is synthesized by the body from the amino acids found in protein-rich foods, including gelatin.



Aug 26th, 2016 05:08 AM   Edit   Profile  

I play the same method.

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