There are a lot of products out there that promise longer, stronger nails. These nail-growth products are often packed with nutrients such as keratin, biotin, peptides, amino acids, vitamin E, jojoba oil, proteins… The list can go on and on. And when you read the label and see all of those good-for-nails ingredients, you might think, "Well, this is definitely going to make my nails completely flawless."
But how do we really know if they actually work? Well, you could test them all, which would ultimately be very expensive and super time-consuming, as you have to wait for them to grow after all. You could ask around and see what your friends recommend. And you could also diligently read the reviews of the products you're interested in to see what they have to say. While you can't take every review as the literal truth, reading a huge number of reviews for one product can help you discern.
Or you can leave the work to me—I ended up doing the two latter options. I asked my fellow editors for their recs, and I scoured the reviews of many nail-growth serums and products to see what was up. Check out my findings below.
Sally Hansen's product is an affordable buy that contains a concentrated peptide serum that's enriched with biotin. You're supposed to see longer nails in two weeks.
What a reviewer says: "I noticed an improvement in my nails after just the first application. I put it on my nails at night before I go to bed. I have been using it faithfully now since it arrived. Yes, my nails are definitely stronger and are growing fast! I don't feel the need to cover my hands and only wear clear polish now that I am not embarrassed by my nails! I am applying it twice a day now. Incredible results!
This 14-day treatment will get your nails healthier and promote growth. It's especially great for damage due to gel and acrylics. It has a subtle pink shimmer.
What a reviewer says: "I really did not have any expectations of this product when I first started using it but figured it was worth a shot. I had acrylics for over a decade and then had to stop during the pandemic. My natural nails were so damaged, brittle, and peeling that I had given up the idea of having nice nails again. I thought the Nailtrition at best would bind the peeling nails and prevent them from splitting, but my nails are growing so well and (knock on wood) haven't broken or split since I've started using this."
The water-based formula is fortified with keratin, amino acids, collagen, and calcium. As its name suggests, you should see noticeable improvement after five to seven days of application.
What a reviewer says: "The only product that ever helps my nails grow. I used to use this product many years ago before I had acrylic gels on my nails for close to 20 years. So you can imagine the shape they were in when I took them off. I was looking for this product and was happy to see it was still on the market. What I like best about it is that it absorbs into your nails so you don't have to worry about waiting for the clear shiny coat or light-pink coat to dry, nor do you have to worry about taking it off every few days and reapplying. This is so easy. You just apply it to your nails and cuticles, rub it in twice a day, and watch your nails grow stronger, longer, and so much healthier. Highly recommend."
The magic ingredient in this treatment is keratin, which is a hardening protein. It dries quickly and creates an extra-strong and hard finish on the nails.
What a reviewer says: "Great product at an affordable price. I've tried other products before to improve my nails, and [they] never worked. This Nail-Aid really works! Major difference in my nails. They've grown, and nails aren't thin or brittle. The only thing I noticed is if you stop using the product, your nails return to their normal way. I highly recommend getting this Nail-Aid with continued use."
Enriched with hydrolyzed wheat protein and calcium, OPI's Nail Envy will strengthen your nails. And stronger nails equals longer nails. It comes in four neutral shades for a subtle hue.
What a reviewer says: "I'm very lazy. I'm not a fan of doing things over and over, like reapplying every other day, removing once a week, and so on. I wanted longer nails, though, so I purchased this and followed the instructions for several weeks. It worked! My nails were definitely stronger and longer."
The health of your cuticles can affect nail growth and strength. This treatment is like cuticle oil, cream, and butter in one—it's so nourishing. Ingredients include Japanese seaweed, aloe vera, rich bran oil, shea butter, and vitamin E.
What a reviewer says: "This is a holy-grail product. I'm a teacher who grades papers every day, and those papers leave my cuticles chronically dry and hard. I've tried several cuticle oils/conditioners, and nothing had really worked until this product. My cuticles are now soft and healthy. No more hangnails. No more clingy cuticles that held on to the nail, preventing growth. I'm so amazed at how fast I saw results. Buy this ASAP. You will love it."
This treatment is infused with hyaluronic acid to hydrate the nails and keep them moisturized. When your nails are hydrated, they'll be less brittle. The formula increases thickness, density, and durability.
What a reviewer says: "My nails have always been weak—they split, crack, and peel. They improved somewhat when I took biotin but still peeled. This product stopped all that! My nails are stronger and longer than ever before in my life!"
There is a protein-peptide ingredient in this nail strengthener that works to condition and hydrate the nail. The product penetrates the nail bed and improves health and growth and keeps nails moisturized.
What a reviewer says: "Have tried others for my easy-to-break nails! This is amazing. I apply twice a week, either alone or under nail polish, and my fingernails actually have some length. And I love that this is a 'clean' product."
The key ingredient here is green algae extract infused with biotin, which works to harden the nails and promote healthy growth. The formula is also 100% vegan and cruelty-free.
What a reviewer says: "I was so impressed with how amazing this product worked. This left my nails looking and feeling much healthier. It worked great as a base coat or worn by itself."
This oil is formulated with wheat germ oil, vitamin E, and chamomile oil to stimulate nail growth and promote flexibility. It also has ingredients to support the treatment of fungal infections.
What a reviewer says: "I purchased this to deal with my hard cuticles and skin around the nails, both hand and feet. Wow, my hands and feet have never looked better!!! My nails are strong and beautiful and have grown out easily."
Other Nailcare Products to Try
This treatment contains five nourishing and reviving oils to rescue damaged nails, especially ones that are recovering from gel manicures. It also has a sheer-pink hue, so it makes for a perfect solo coat.
Caudalie's ultra-moisturizing cream is great for both your hands and nails. Key ingredients include antioxidant grape polyphenols and shea butter.
With over 55,000 ratings and 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, this one is a winner. The cream prevents chips, splits, peels, and cracks, making your nails stronger and longer.
Olive and June's nail strengthener contains celery-seed extract, which heals and conditions the nail surface, plus a flora complex to nourish the nail plate.
This base coat is formulated with three AHAs, patented Hexanal, and vitamins C, E, and B5. All of these ingredients work together to restore, strengthen, condition, hydrate, and protect.
This is another highly rated product on Amazon. It's got over 100k ratings and 4.5 out of 5 stars. It will provide intense moisture to your nails and hands and absorbs so quickly.
You get two cuticle-fixing products in this set. One is a cuticle oil that's infused with jojoba and coconut oils and vitamin E. The other is a cuticle remover, which is a gentle exfoliating treatment to remove the dry and dead skin around the cuticle area.
Formulated with 30% shea oil, L'Occitane's oil keeps your cuticles conditioned and nails shiny.
This nail conditioner does it all. It improves cracking, splitting, and peeling and heals thin, brittle, and difficult-to-grow nails. Your nails will be smoother and healthier.