Moisturizing nails with olive or coconut oil can help hydrate dry and brittle nails, says Dr. Wendy E. Roberts, founding director of Dermatopathology at the Loma Linda University Medical Center in California. The best time to hydrate is after bathing. Try rubbing oil over the entire nail on a daily basis. If you take an evening bath, wear light cotton gloves to bed to keep oil from getting on clothes and sheets.
"Vitamins are so important with nails, especially the omega-3 complex," says Roberts, a dermatologist who specializes in dermatopathology. Vitamin C and folate are also important, she adds. Eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, fish oils and almonds will help keep nails from drying out.