Step 1: Minimize water exposure
Water is great for hair and skin but not so much for the nails. Too much water exposure to your nails makes them brittle and weak. You need to put in place measures that reduce the contact time between water and your nails when washing and bathing.
Step 2: Moisturize, Moisturize, and Moisturize
Healthy cuticles equal healthy nails. The main habits to break is picking, trimming, or manipulating your cuticles in any way. Cuticles act as both a seal and a barrier, keeping in hydration and keeping out possible infections. “Your cuticles are the last line of defense, acting as a shield to block the spread of bacteria from moving in on your nail. Use a cuticle moisturizer every day, twice a day during the winter months.
Step 3: File strategically.
Keeping nails at a length that’s functional for your day-to-day life helps prevent breakage and tearing. When you file your nails, make sure you're doing it correctly. Shaping your nails may seem like a mindless activity, but it can actually weaken and break your nails if executed improperly. Start on the outside edge and pull toward the center—then continue to gently swipe across your nail in that one direction. Don't saw the file back and forth, which creates too much friction and gives you frayed edges that catch and snag easily. Hold the file tilted underneath the tip.