10 Best Nail Strengtheners to Try for Your Brittle Nails

Do you have weak, brittle, and fragile nails? If that is the case, you’ve probably heard this one before.

You need a good, if not the best nail strengthener you can find to solve your problem.

You have thought about it, but it is definitely time to invest in a hardener that can help your nails look as strong as ever.

Nail hardeners, or nail strengtheners, are specially formulated from nutrients that form a protective coating on your nail, which helps weak nails grow.

In the same time, the hardener will protect brittle nails from flaking. And most importantly, it will finally give you that sexy nails appearance you always wanted.

After a careful consideration and looking up several products, we’ve found the best nail strengthener for you. It is up to you to choose which one you like.

When you shouldn’t use a nail hardener

While we recommended using nail hardeners for strengthening your nails and helping them grow, we do not recommend using them if you have too dry nails.

In some cases, dryness is the main reason for brittle and weak nails.

Before you start using the nail hardener, we recommend adding some moisture. This will provide some hydration for your nails, and after a while, you can start using the nail hardener.

If you use the strengthener on dry nails, you will end up with even worse splitting and fissures on the end of your nails.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the ten best options on the market.

10 Best Nail Hardeners ( 2019 Review )

1. Essie Treat Love and Color Nail Strengthener

Essie Treat Love and Color Strengthener

Made from collagen extract, brightening pigments, and camellia leaf extract, the product is marketed as the best from protecting nails from peeling and breaking.

What is more important, you can use this product even on dry nails, as it restores moisture.

In addition, it will visually brighten your nails since it has brightening pigments. This will all result in an enhanced appearance of your nails.


  • Available in more than 20 colors
  • You will see results within a week
  • Free of harmful substances like formaldehyde


  • It takes a while for the nail hardener to dry
  • Some colors are faint
  • Some reviews complain that the polish streaks

2. OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener

Opi nail envy nail strenghter

While it is one of the more expensive nail hardeners on the market, OPI is definitely worth the price. You can get it in 10 different shades that will help you skip the regular nail polishes.

The formula is available in both glossy and matte finish. As for ingredients, it is made of hydrolyzed wheat protein and calcium, which we all know help for stronger nails.

This product is specifically made for brittle nails, meaning it is perfect for those of you that have a bad habit of biting your nails.


  • One of the best base coats used by salons over the world
  • The natural yet classy finish make it perfect
  • Dries quickly, which is perfect for those on-the-go situations
  • Works with most nail polishes


  • OPI changed the formula a few years ago, and people have noticed it is not the same quality
  • Some complain it peels off almost immediately
  • It turns thick and gooey

3. Barielle Nail Strengthener Cream

Barielle Nail Strengthener Cream

The product is specifically designed for badly damaged nails. The cream’s formula contains aqua, hydrolyzed soy protein, beeswax, lanolin wax, and paraffinum liquidim.

All in all, you get all the crucial ingredients that will provide your nails with the nourishment they need to be long and healthy.

In addition, the cream protects your nails from peeling and breaking.


  • One of the easiest nail hardener to apply you can find on the market
  • The cream is free of formaldehyde
  • You will notice results within just one month of usage


  • You need to apply it several times per day
  • Some will find it works more as a moisturizer, not a nail hardener
  • Some Amazon reviews claim they’ve received a product with a different consistency

4. Quimica Alemana Nail Hardener

Quimica Alemana

The original formula of Quimica is one of the most preferred nail strengthening products. It forms a protective barrier on the nails.

The application process is a bit bothering, as you need to apply one coat at a time. But it gives your nails a natural healthy look within just a few weeks.

If you have a habit of applying acrylic nails, the product will help you get back to your original and natural nails quickly.


  • The product has been around and has a long history and tradition
  • Repairs damaged nails
  • Perfect for those with acrylic nails
  • Delivers smooth and strong finish
  • Makes your nails as strong as ever


  • Burns if you get it on cuts
  • It is not recommended for those with sensitive skin
  • Some users have experienced burning sensation and pain after application

5. Nail Tek Nail Strengthener

Nail Tek, Nail Strengthener Xtra

If you have severe nail weakness, this nail hardener will get the job done. Made from ethyl acetate, formaldehyde resin, hydrolyzed wheat protein, and calcium pantothenate, the concentrated formula treats weak and damaged nails.

If your nails are resistant to conventional treatments, it is time to try the next-level formula.


  • The results are visible within a short period
  • Great for fixing damage resulting from nail polish and acrylic nails
  • Shields your nail from chipping, peeling, and cracking


  • Some might not stand the strong and unpleasant smell
  • It contains formaldehyde, which is a no-no for some people
  • If your nails are generally healthy, you won’t see much of a difference

6. Nailtiques Nail protein formula 2

Nailtiques Nail Protein Formula

With hydrolyzed keratin and protein, the strengthener will help your brittle and weak nails. It also contains calcium, which we all know is a mineral responsible for strengthening nails and bones.

You need to apply it every day until you see results. After you get initial results, you can apply it every other day.

The brand is well-known when it comes to nail products, so you can be sure you are buying from a company with long tradition and history.


  • Faster than any other base coat
  • Some love that it is packed in a small bottle


  • Customers report their nails start peeling off
  • Over time, it can make your nail even more brittle
  • The brush is too small, and you might have trouble grasping things with your hands

7. Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Nail Hardener

Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Instant Nail Hardener

The product is great for fragile nails. Prepared from diamond powder, nitrocellulose, ethyl acetate, and titanium, the formula ensures protective coating.

The ingredients work synergistically to prevent cracking and peeling of your nails.


  • There are no toxic chemicals, including no formaldehyde
  • You can apply it on your nails instantly
  • The lustrous shine will boost the appearance of your nails


  • Peels off quickly when nails come in contact with warm water
  • The price is rather high compared with other products
  • You have to reapply it frequently, otherwise, it does not work

8. Gelish Vitagel Recovery Nail Strengthener

Gelish Vitagel Recovery LED/UV Cured Nail Strengthener

This is one of the rare options that is cured by LED/UV light. The maximum strength formula of the product will protect your nails up to three weeks with just one application. And you can easily remove it by soaking your nails in acetone polish remover.

The formula delivers salon like finish with just one coat. 


  • Long lasting, the formula stays up to three weeks on your nails
  • You can use it under gel color as a base/foundation layer. For this, you have to apply it in super-thin layers to prepped and clean nails
  • Your nails will grow faster


  • Some have troubles getting it off their nails
  • Tends to peel up faster than regular base coat
  • The product is thick and hard to apply smoothly

9. Onyx Professional Hard Nail Strengthening 

Hard As Hoof Nail Strengthening Cream with Coconut Scent Nail Strengthener

If you need a product for your soft nails, look no further. Onyx Professional’s nail strengthening cream is made of coconut oil, jojoba oil, silk protein, glycerin, and other ingredients that naturally improve the strength and appearance of your nails.

Recommended for soft and fragile nails, the formula will boost conditions cuticles and growth.

In addition, the cream will form a shield protecting your nails from crackling and chipping


  • You can use it as a hand cream, not just as a nail strengthener
  • Delivers pleasant scent
  • Conditions dry nails


  • You need to apply it at least three times per day
  • Some find the coconut scent unpleasant
  • Results take longer to appear

10. Nutra Nail 5 to 7 Day Growth Calcium Formula

nutra nail hardener

Prepared from calcium chloride, aloe vera leaf juice, keratin amino acids, and lanolin. The ingredients work together to help your nails grow strong, within just one week.

The calcium formula will protect your nails from breaking and peeling.


  • If your nails need conditioning, this is among the best formulas on the market
  • The formula dries within just five seconds
  • Your nails will absorb the nutrients that provide fast results


  • If not used continuously, the results will disappear
  • The growing process takes longer than advertised
  • Rarely, anyone notices changes during the advertised period of one week

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