Tan persons raw nails Credit : João Jesus / Pexels

There is nothing quite as annoying as your nail breaking unexpectedly. Maybe it ruined your manicure or just made your nails an odd shape. Either way, it sucks.

You might not be able to completely avoid nail breakage, but here are some factors that contribute to why your nails are breaking so often. 

Although these are the most common factors, there might be other reasons why your nails are breaking. It's also possible that there may be multiple reasons why your nails are breaking. Read on to learn more. 

Gel Manicures

We love getting gel manicures as much as the next person, but the harsh chemicals used in them, as well as acrylics, can damage your nails. According to SLMD Skincare, gel manicures can lead to cracking, peeling, and brittleness because your nail technician will file your nails down so the gel can stick on better. If you're removing a gel mani, the acetone can also harm your hands and nails. 

Picking off Nail Polish 

This goes hand-in-hand with gel manicures. SLMD Skincare reports that when you pull off your nail polish, you're also removing the top layer of your nail, which is not ideal. Although the temptation to pick off your polish is there, it can lead to thinning, and it will take a long time for your nails to recover. 


Although it is not something we can control, as you age, your nails can become brittle and dull over time. Healthline reports that fingernails get thinner, but your toenails get harder and thicker as you grow older. 

Too Much or Too Little Moisture

If you have an issue with too little moisture, your nails might end up dry and brittle, which is usually caused by a lot of washing and drying your fingernails, Healthline says. Meanwhile, your nails can become brittle and soft with too much moisture from overexposure to chemicals. 

Exposure to Household Cleaners

We know you still need to clean your house, but it could be one of the things harming and causing your nails to break. Similar to gel manicures, exposure to chemicals in household cleaning products can cause harm to your nails.

However, this is one of the easiest to remedy. Just start wearing gloves as you use cleaning supplies; you and your nails can thank us later. 

Medical Issues 

This is not as common as the other causes of breakage, but it is still something you should keep an eye on. If you are concerned that you are suffering from one of these, please contact a medical professional. The most common medical cause of nail breakage is iron deficiency, according to Healthline. Another potential health issue that can affect nails is thyroid issues.