15 Best Nail Strengtheners for Healthy, Durable Nails








ClothedUp may earn affiliate commission from links, but we recommend only products and brands we love.

Last Updated: June 10, 2021

Keeping your natural nails healthy and strong might be harder than it seems. Whether your nails are damaged from fake acrylics or are just naturally brittle, investing in a good nail strengthener can do wonders for enhancing your natural nails.

Not everyone is blessed with long, durable nails, and there’s no shame in a little help. While we don’t have anything against fake nails, we understand the need to give your nails a break every now and then.
If you’re ready to achieve Pinterest-worthy nails that are all your own, keep reading to find the best nail strengtheners on the market.

Best Nail Strengtheners

No matter what type of nail strengthener you’re in search of, we’ve got you covered. From best creams to polishes to hardeners, something from this list is bound to catch your eye.

Best Affordable

Sally Hansen Hard as Nails

One of the best hardeners in the game, this long-time favorite helps prevent chipping, cracking, and splitting, all for an unbeatable price. 

Often used as a base coat under nail polish, this strengthener will protect and strengthen your nails with as little as one coat a week.


OPI Natural Nail Strengthener

This nail strengthener is perfect for those who want to show off their natural nails

Made to build layers of protection onto your nails, this hardener can be thrown on anytime you need it. If you’re into low maintenance nail care but want strong, healthy nails, this product is for you.


Essie Treat Love and Color Nail Polish

Looking for a pop of color with your nail strengthener? Try Essie’s Treat Love and Color Nail Polish.

It brings dry, brittle nails back to life through the use of collagen in their formula. It boasts stronger nails in just 3 days and comes in 35 beautiful and unique colors.


Sally Hansen Mega Strength Hardener

Okay, okay. We know Sally Hansen is already featured in this list, but this brand just knows how to make the best products for nails.

This specific formula claims to strengthen, shine, and fortify your nails. Plus, you can choose from over 30 color polishes that work with this hardener for gorgeous, healthy nails.

Best Clean

Tenoverten The Foundation Nail Strengthening Base Coat

Created with nourishing Vitamin E and horsetail leaf extract, Tenoverten’s strengthening treatment contains everything you love and nothing that you don’t. 
This is an “8-free” formula, meaning it doesn’t contain any of the 8 toxic ingredients often found in other nail treatments. Apply 1-2 times a week for strong, healthy nails.


Ella+Mila Nail Strengthener

This nail strengthener is enriched with vitamin E and free from formaldehyde, acetane, parabens, and other potentially harmful ingredients. 

The process of applying this hardener properly is quite involved, so it’s important to read and follow the application process carefully. However, if you’re able to commit to this strengthener’s multi-step process, you’ll achieve strong, healthy, durable nails you can be proud of.

Best Protein

Orly Nail Defense Strengthening Protein Treatment

Because it’s enriched with plant-derived proteins, this treatment helps strengthen even the weakest nails. It prevents breakage and peeling, and can be worn alone or as a basecoat. 

RELATED: Polygel Nails 101: What to Know Before Committing

Best Cream-Based

Hard as Hoof Nail Strengthening Cream

Great for your nails and hands, this cream softens and conditions for long and hydrated nails.

Their formula has been used for over 25 years, using ingredients like calcium, glycerin, and  hydrogenated jojoba oil.
Use up to 3 times a day for best results.

Best Versatile

Deborah Lippmann Hard Rock Hydrating Top and Base Coat

This hardener from Deborah Lippmann is one of the best treatments to use in whatever way you need it. It can be applied alone, as a top coat, or as a base coat. 

For best results, apply once a day until you change your nail polish.

Best Clear

Dr.’s Remedy Enriched Nail Polish

Made with wheat protein and a multivitamin complex, this clear polish will nourish your nails for long-lasting hydration.

Besides preventing breakage and promoting growth, their formula also dries quickly, creates shine, and has antifungal properties.

Best for Nail Biters

Barielle Nails Don’t Bite

If you’re trying to ditch the habit of biting your nails, you need this treatment in your life. Odorless and invisible, you won’t be able to tell you’re wearing a treatment until you chew on your nails. 

It has a bitter taste to discourage nail biting, and pro-growth ingredients to help repair any damage already done to your nails. 

RELATED: How to Stop Biting Your Nails— Advice from Former Nail Biters

Best Lengthening

Duri Rejuvacote

This strengthener revives dying nails with it’s maximum strength formula. It works by creating a protective layer over your nails with keratin and calcium for even more lengthening power.

You apply it once everyday for two weeks, and then just once a week after that. When used as directed, you achieve healthy, stronger nails in no time.

Best Pens

Neem Nail and Cuticle Pen

This well-loved neem oil treatment nourishes and strengthens for lasting, durable nails. 

The convenience of this pen makes it easy to throw in your bag for on-the-go nail touch ups! Plus, you can flip it around afterwards and use the other side to perfectly shape your cuticles.


ISDIN SI-NAILS Nail Strengthener

This nail-strengthening pen didn’t win a Good Housekeeping Beauty Award for nothing. Customers said their nails were less brittle and more hydrated after just 28 days of use. 

Like a serum, this treatment absorbs into nails without leaving a filmy residue. It might be a little more costly than other nail treatments, but this strengthener is well worth the price.

Best Instant

High Maintenance Instant Nail Thickener

If you’re looking for a quick fix, pick up this product during your next beauty shopping trip. This anti-aging formula claims to thicken nails 50% with just one coat! Furthermore, it’s packed with proteins to condition and moisturize your nails.


In Conclusion

Bottom line: you don’t have to settle for weak nails when there are so many great nail strengtheners on the market. 

Whether you want to go natural or just add a top coat to your polish, these are the best nail strengtheners and hardeners that will give you strong, fortified nails. 

So, next time you plan on giving yourself an at-home manicure, pick up one of these nail strengtheners for your best nails yet! 

UP NEXT: Best Matte Top Coat + Matte Nail Polishes