The condition of your nails reflects the overall state of your health. Therefore, it is necessary to be conscious of how healthy your nails are. You can try some natural ingredients like coconut oil for nails.

People all over the world have been procuring the fantastic benefits of coconut oil for centuries.  In recent years, it gained immense popularity in the field of nail care as well. [2]

The composition of coconut oil comprises high saturated fats. All these fats are beneficial for the human body, and they do not cause any harm [3]. The natural fungicidal, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties make it rich and beneficial. The oil is a package of powerful antioxidants along with vitamin E, vitamin K, and many other healthy nutrients. [4, 5, 6, 7].

This article reviews the efficacy and uses of coconut oil for nail care, plus a guide to common nail problems, tips, and precautions.

Coconut Oil for Nail


RELATED: 6 Coconut Oil for Toenail Fungus Remedies and How to Use Them

Benefits of Using Coconut Oil for Nails and Cuticles

It Strengthens Weak Nails

Atopic dermatitis(AD) or eczema, which is characterized by dry, itchy skin that is easily colonized by Staphylococcus aureus, can cause nails to become pitted and split.

A 2008 study by Verallo-Rowell VM and associates found that coconut oil “may be useful in the proactive treatment of AD,” which would also prevent further weakening or splitting of the nails[12].

It is Ideal for Treating Nail Infections

Capric acid, caprylic acid, lauric acid, linoleic acid, and palmitic acid all work to boost the anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties of coconut oil.

These qualities make coconut oil ideal for a range of topical applications [13].

Fungal nail infections are often caused by the Candida species, particularly C. albicans.

A study published in 2015 found that consuming a diet that includes coconut oil reduced the C. albicans population in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract [14].

Consequently, infections and subsequent deaths associated with the overgrowth of C.albicans in the GI tract were also reduced [14].

Furthermore, coconut oil has been proven effective in controlling drug-resistant strains of the fungal pathogen, which can result from the repeated use of antifungal drugs. [15].

RELATED: 6 Coconut Oil for Toenail Fungus Remedies and How to Use Them

It is an Effective Moisturizer for the Skin and Nails

In tropical countries, people have used coconut oil as a moisturizer for many centuries [16].

In the 2004 study entitled “A randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis,” researchers concluded that “coconut oil is as effective and safe as mineral oil when used as a moisturizer” [16].

There are several ways you can use coconut oil when it comes to nail care.

10 Ways to Use Coconut Oil for Nails and Cuticles

1. Coconut Oil and Aloe Vera for Healthy Cuticles

Aloe vera is ideal for keeping the skin nourished or hydrated, making it perfect to use with coconut oil to keep cuticles healthy.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel

Recommended Directions:

  1. Heat the coconut oil in the microwave until it turns into liquid.
  2. Mash the aloe vera gel thoroughly with a fork.
  3. Mix the coconut oil and aloe vera gel.
  4. Apply the mixture on the cuticles and around the nails.
  5. Allow the mixture to dry naturally.
  6. Wipe away any remaining aloe vera residue.

2. Coconut Oil and Olive Oil Cuticle Moisturizer

Olive oil makes for a wonderful cuticle moisturizer because it can penetrate the skin and the nails easily.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Heat the coconut oil in the microwave until it turns into liquid.
  2. Add the olive oil and mix the oils thoroughly.
  3. Put one to two drops of the oil mixture onto the cuticle and the nail.
  4. Massage for a few minutes.
  5. Allow the oil to dry naturally.
  6. Repeat once daily.

3. Coconut Oil, Honey, and Rosemary for Nail Growth

Those of you who crave for longer nails can get great benefits from coconut oil. After giving your nails trim, you immediately start anticipating their growth.

Long nails are an added beauty to your hands, and they are the perfect elements where you can implement your artistic talent by creating nail arts on your own. Nail arts look best when applied on longer nails.

Coconut oil is here to put an end to this anticipation. Using coconut oil on your nails will intensify their natural growing process and ensure you longer nails in a very short span of days.

Honey and rosemary oil contain antioxidants that make them ideal for encouraging nail growth.

What You’ll Need:

  • A ¼ cup of coconut oil
  •  A ¼ cup of honey
  • 4 drops of rosemary essential oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Heat the coconut oil in the microwave until it turns into liquid.
  2. While the coconut oil is still warm, mix in the honey and the rosemary essential oil.
  3. Soak your nails in the lukewarm mixture for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Repeat the process every other day.

4. Coconut Oil and Garlic for Strengthening Weak or Brittle Nails

Garlic has long been used to strengthen weak or brittle nails. When used with coconut oil, garlic can moisturize your nails and make them look shiny.

What You’ll Need:

  • A ¼ cup of coconut oil
  • 1 big garlic clove, minced

Recommended Directions:

  1. Heat the coconut oil until it turns into liquid.
  2. Stir the garlic into the lukewarm oil.
  3. Soak your nails in the mixture for at least 5 minutes.
  4. Rinse your nails with warm water.
  5. Dry your nails thoroughly.
  6. Repeat the process once a day.

5. Coconut Oil and Tea Tree Oil to Get Rid of Nail Fungus

Your nails are often attacked by fungus resulting in fungal infections. Almost all of us went through this problem at least once in our lifetime.

Fungal infections cause the utmost irritation and pain. But worry no more, coconut oil contains antifungal acids that both prevent and cure fungus.

All the vitamins and antioxidants of this oil ensure nourishment and moisture back to your nails so that they look even prettier.

Coconut oil and tea tree oil both have antifungal properties that fight C. albicans, one of the most common causes of nail fungus.

What You’ll Need:

  • ½ teaspoon of coconut oil
  • 3 drops of tea tree essential oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Heat the coconut oil in the microwave until it turns into liquid.
  2. Add the tea tree oil and mix thoroughly.
  3. Apply the oil mixture directly onto the affected nail, making sure it soaks to the nail bed.
  4. Allow the oil to dry naturally.
  5. Wear gloves or socks to bed.

RELATED:  19 Home Remedies for Foot Fungus, Nail Fungus & Athlete’s Foot

6. Coconut Oil with Lavender and Jojoba Oil for Strong Nails

Weak and brittle nails are two very common problems. Weak nails break very easily. An excellently maintained hand loses its beauty when one or two of the nails break down.

If you want to grow healthy and natural nails, start using coconut oil from now onwards.

The oil, being enriched with nutrients and powerful antioxidants, provides your nails the required amount of strength and nutrition.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 half cup of fresh and organic coconut oil
  • 5 drops of lavender oil
  • 5 drops of jojoba essential oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Mix all the ingredients to form a solution.
  • Soak your nails for at least 15 minutes in this solution.
  • Repeat this twice every week.

7. Coconut Oil for Preventing Hangnails

Hangnails [7] mostly occur when your hands are exposed to too much use of water. Say for those who have to work always with water; hangnails are very common.

Sometimes, an improper manicure may also cause hangnail.

So what is hangnail? A hangnail is that little extra bit of skin that you may find coming out of the cuticles of your nails. [8]

Hangnails create openings in your cuticles. These openings provide bacteria and fungus the chance to hamper your skin by causing infections.

Such situations are totally unwanted. Hangnails cause discomfort. And if they get infected somehow, that just adds in more irritation and disturbance.

But no worries, coconut oil is here! The oil has the necessary agents that will resolve all of these problems.

Coconut oil provides your cuticles the necessary protection and prevents hangnails along with the infections that may be accompanied by them.

Recommended Directions:

  • Apply some of the coconut oil on your cuticles and massage the oil by gently pressing the cuticle of your nails.
  • This will make the cuticles stronger and prevent hangnails.

8. Coconut Oil for Healthy Nail Ridges

You may discover ridges on your nails sometimes. Ridges are often accompanied by lines or marks and weird spots on the nails. [9]

Though ridges are very common, they usually don’t point out to any health problems. Rather, it is usual to appear with growing age.

The vitamins and antimicrobial [10] properties of coconut oil both prevent and eliminate ridges of your nails.

Recommended Directions:

  • Just keep on applying a few drops of coconut oil regularly on your nails.

9. Coconut Oil, Lemon Oil, and Honey for Curing Nail Discoloration

You may notice discoloration of your nails [13] at times.

Often these discolorations refer to various health problems. They are mostly results of skin infections that are caused by dirt, pollutants, and fungus.

The use of coconut oil takes in charge of curing this discoloration. The antioxidants and vitamin E help your nails to gain back their natural colors.

Also, the fungicidal and antimicrobial properties of this oil protect your nails from fungus and other infections and thus prevent discoloration.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of coconut oil
  • 4 to 5 drops of lemon essential oil
  • 2 teaspoon of honey

Recommended Directions:

  • Mix the ingredients well.
  • Soak your fingertips in this solution for 15 minutes.
  • Repeat daily till the discoloration goes away.

10. Coconut Oil for Soft and Shiny Nails

Smooth and soft nails make you feel great about yourself. We all want our hands to be soft and beautiful which can only be obtained if your nails are shiny and beautiful as well.

The natural minerals and essential vitamins of coconut oil provide your nails the necessary moisture and lock in the water content which results in shinier and healthier nails.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 2-4 drops of lemon oil

How to Use:

  • Mix the two oils and apply the mixture on your nails.
  • Repeat regularly for shiny nails.

What are Some Common Nail Problems and Diseases?

Weak Nails

Splitting and peeling are characteristics of weak nails. These problems develop when your hands or feet are often exposed to water, strong soaps, as well as other chemicals [1].

Ingrown Nails

Heredity, improper trimming, and tight-fitting shoes are some of the causes of ingrown nails.

The nails generally grow into the surrounding skin, which can cause pain, swelling, and infection [2].

Unusually Colored

1.White Marks: minor injuries are often the cause of leukonychia or little white marks that appear on the nails.

These spots usually go away on their own after a few weeks or months.

2.Pale or White: pale or white nails can signal a low red blood cell count.

They can also be a symptom of insufficient nutrients in the diet, an overactive thyroid, liver disease, diabetes, and heart disease.

3.Yellow: thick, yellow, and slow-growing nails can be caused by lung problems, such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

Yellow nails can also be caused by sinusitis, thyroid problems, and rheumatoid arthritis.

4.Red: red nail beds can signal heart issues.

  1. Red and Brown Lines: also known as splinter hemorrhages, thin red and brown lines on the nails can be caused by trauma or fungal infection.

Psoriasis, melanoma, and an infection in the lining of the heart can also lead to splinter hemorrhages.

6.Dark Lines or Blobs: a thick black or brown line that start from the bottom of the nail to the tip could be melanoma, which sometimes appears as a dark blob.

7.Black: an injury to the nail can cause it to turn black or purple-black because of the blood under the nail. The color usually fades when the injury heals [1].

Unusual Shape and Texture

  1. Ridged: nail ridges can develop from several causes, one of which is aging.
  2. Spoon-Shaped: too little or too much iron can cause nails to become spoon-shaped, where they become thin and dip down in the middle.

Spoon-shaped nails can also be a sign of trauma, lupus, and heart disease.

  1. Clubbed: clubbed nails look like the bottom part of an upside-down spoon.

They can cause the tips of the fingers to bulge and could be a sign of heart or lung problems as well as inflammatory bowel disease.

  1. Pitted or Split: Psoriasis, a condition that causes cells to rapidly build up on the skin surface, often begins in the nails. This leads to splitting or pitting on the surface of the nails.

Thyroid disease and inflammatory arthritis can also cause pitted or split nails.

5.Loose: loose nails could be due to long fingernails, adverse reaction to nail hardeners or adhesives, chemical exposure from manicures, injury or infection, medications, psoriasis, and thyroid disease, among others.

Nails that separate from the nail bed

Fungal infection

Fungal infections, which are often caused by the Candida species can cause nails to turn yellow and thick [3].

Eventually, it could also cause the nail to separate from the nail bed.

RELATED: 12 Home Remedies for Nail Fungus that are Simple Yet Effective


Allergic reactions from the use of artificial nails can also lead to the separation of the nail from the nail bed.

What are Some of the Most Common Causes of Nail Injuries?

  • Skin growth – such as moles, warts, and cysts
  • Skin diseases – some examples are eczema and psoriasis
  • Other diseases – this includes HIV, Addison’s disease, and peripheral arterial disease
  • Hangnails – can lead to paronychia, which can make the skin surrounding the nails tender or swollen
  • Nail biting – can cause cuticles to become red, sore, and prone to bleeding, and increases the risk for bacterial infection around the nail beds as well as the mouth
  • Certain medicines – nail problems are some of the side effects of antimalarial and chemotherapy medications

RELATED: Coconut Oil for Dandruff: Benefits & 11 Home Remedies

Tips and Precaution

  • Coconut oil has no side effects, so it is safe for people of any age and children as well.
  • It is recommended to avoid too much dishwashing, clothes washing or swimming for a few days if you are suffering from severe nail and cuticle infections.
  • Always try to maintain good hygiene for both yourself and your family.
  • Trim your nails regularly and cut them short once a while using sharp nail cutters or clippers.
  • Round the edges of your nails after cutting or trimming them off.
  • If you have a habit of biting your nails, start practicing to avoid it from now.
  • Don’t use nails to open up can lids or to untie tight knots.
  • Don’t try to cut off an infected nail. Wait patiently till the nail gets cured and then cut it.
  • Wear the shoes of the right size and choose them carefully.

Bottom Line

Using Coconut oil for nails is one of the most effective ways to keep your finger and toenails in top shape. The antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties of coconut oil can promote healthy nails and keep off many nail diseases at bay.


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