Does Salt Water Make Your Nails Grow?

Nails are composed of keratin and nail growth is determined by health condition, nutrition intake, and nail care. While age, gender, and genetics can also cause nails to grow!

Nails are a fascinating part of the body. Beautiful, well-groomed nails are often seen as a symbol of elegance and good health for girls especially. It plays a crucial role in protecting your fingertips and helps to perform various tasks with precision. There are several ways to do nail care. One popular way that has come to practice is to use salt water and many people think that it makes your nails grow.

While the influence of natural processes like this is tempting, it is necessary to separate fact from myth when it comes to the beauty care of nails. So, Does Salt Water Make Your Nails Grow? I will help you to find out from this write-up whether saltwater truly possesses the power to make your nails grow. By exploring the science behind nail growth and knowing the benefits of salt on nail health, you will come to know about every aspect of using salt water for nails in detail.

Does Salt Water Help Nails Grow? Myth or Fact?

Moving into the realms of salt water’s impact on nail growth, let’s explore the myth along the way and evaluate the factors that contribute to healthy nail development.

There are many opinions regarding the role of salt water in nail growth. One opinion suggests that salt water makes your nails grow. However, no actual scientific evidence exists to substantially support the claim that salt water allows faster nail growth. Hence, due to the lack of scientific data, it is not safe to say that salt water actually helps nails grow. Regardless, it can play a role in maintaining the health of your nails.

Salt Water Components Explained

The main component of salt water is water. It also contains dissolved salts and other minerals. Here are the main components of salt water.

  • Water: The solvent in which salts and other minerals are dissolved.
  • Sodium Chloride: Common table salt, which is the most abundant salt in seawater.
  • Magnesium Chloride: A salt that contributes to the overall salinity of seawater.
  • Magnesium Sulfate: Another salt found in seawater, commonly known as Epsom salt.
  • Calcium Carbonate: A mineral that can be found in the form of microscopic shells of marine organisms like corals and shellfish.
  • Potassium Chloride: A salt that is present in small amounts in seawater.
  • Sodium Sulfate: A salt that occurs in seawater but is less abundant than sodium chloride.
  • Other Trace Minerals: Saltwater also contains various trace minerals such as bromine, strontium, boron, iodine, etc.

The Science Behind Nail Growth

The science behind nail growth

Nails are composed of a protein called keratin and nail growth is primarily determined by the vitamin and nutrition intake. Maintaining an overall healthy diet contributes to healthier skin, hair, complexion, and nails. Age, gender, and genetic characteristics can also be responsible for nail growth.

The average nail growth of a person is 0.14 inches per month for fingernails while it is 0.063 inches per month for toenails. The fingernails generally take 3 to 6 months and the toenails take 12 to 18 months to redevelop. As a result of the creation of cells from the matrix of the nails, the nail plate is hardened and made up. This process continues for the time it takes necessary nutrition and helps the nail to remain in a healthy condition.

What Does Salt Water Do?

Even though salt water does not have a direct connection to growing nails faster, it sure has some beneficial impacts. Regular table salt is refined, due to which, it loses many of its mineral compounds. A mixture of lukewarm water and sea salt is the most healthy way you can use salts for the betterment of your skin & nails.

Evidently, seawater has the same concentration of minerals and nutrients as our bodies do. This makes sea salt a natural ally in making cuticles, brittle nails, & skin healthier. Sea salt soak will strengthen nails and also help remove dead skin cells.

A 7-Step Salt Water Remedy for Healthier Nails

A 7-Step Salt Water Remedy for Healthier Nails

If you want to use salt water to make your nails grow, you can use the regular table salt method or the sea salt method. For both, follow the procedures carefully.

  • Step 1:  Take a bowl that you can dip your hands into. Make sure it is big enough to fit your hands or toes.
  • Step 2: Add 2 cups of water to the bowl. Preferably lukewarm water.
  • Step 3: Add 2 teaspoons of regular salt or sea salt to the water.
  • Step 4: Pour 1 teaspoon of olive oil and mix the solution well.
  • Step 5: Dip your hands in the solutions for about 10-20 minutes. Repeat this process multiple times a week for observable results.
  • Step 6: Clean & rinse your hand after soaking in the mixture.
  • Step 7: Apply moisturizer to your hands & nails.

Please note that using a saltwater mixture may present healthier nails and softer cuticles. Essentially, they do not make nails grow faster but support the growth indirectly by keeping them healthy.

Benefits & Side Effects Of Using Salt Water On Nails

If you want to use salt water to maintain the growth of your nails, you need to be associated with the pros and cons of using it.

The Benefits

Here are the pros of using salt water for growing nails.

  • Gives Stronger Nails: Mixing salt water with other essential oils like coconut oil can help you with stronger nails.
  • Gives Brighter Nails: Mixing salt water with lemon juice can help you to get brighter nails in a short period.
  • Maintains Nail Health: Using salt water for your nail growth is an indication that you take care of your nails regularly. As a result, your nail health can be well maintained.
  • Treats Sensitivity of the Nails: It can be used to treat sensitivity, like redness, inflammation, and pain in the fingernails or toenails.

The Side Effects

While there might be benefits to saltwater on your nails, there are also some drawbacks that you should be aware of. So here are the cons of using salt water for growing nails.

  • Makes the Nails Dry: Excessive use of salt water can cause dryness to your nails & hands.
  • Discolor the Nails: Sometimes your nails may turn yellow because of using salt water on them.
  • Break Down the Nail Bed: Using hard water on your nails can break down the nail bed and nails in turn. So, the growth of nails might be hindered.
  • Can Affect Nail Health: Using salt water can split up your nails and make them weaker. As a result, nail health is affected.
  • Corrosion: If you have any metal jewelry, like rings or bracelets, on your hands, prolonged exposure to salt water can lead to corrosion of these metal items.

Alternatives To Salt Water For Growing Nails

Alternatives to salt water for growing nails

There are many alternatives to salt water for growing nails that you can opt for and some suggestions on how to use these for your nail health.

  • Coconut oil: One of the most overlooked ingredients in your kitchen is coconut oil. Just like hair, it can be beneficial for your nails too. Massage your nails daily with coconut oil to increase their vibrancy and looks. It makes the cuticles stronger and moisturizes the nails. The antioxidants present in it help to get rid of bacterial as well as fungal inflammation.
  • Olive oil: It is an excellent option for fragile, dry nails. Olive oil is easily penetrable, so it hydrates your nails from the inside by getting to the innermost layers. Your nails as well as cuticles should be treated with warm olive oil, then left on overnight. You may add tomato juice to olive oil to improve the effects.
  • Cuticle oil: Cuticle oils are an amazing healer on dry, fragile nails. They moisturize the nails and also boost circulation to encourage nail growth. To prevent your nails from cracking and breaking, put some drops of cuticle oil on them using a cotton ball or pad. The oil may also be applied with a brush. After applying, give your nails a few minutes of gentle massage.
  • Flaxseed oil: Try flaxseed oil to help in the growth of nails. Flaxseed is rich in lecithin and omega-3 fatty acids that help support the growth of healthy nails. Just give your cuticles and nails a gentle massage. Make sure to wear gloves overnight. For optimal nail development, repeat this procedure multiple times per week.
  • Green tea: Green tea is great for nail development because it is rich in antioxidants. Make a cup of green tea, then let it cool. Put your nails completely in the solution and dip them for five minutes. After thoroughly rinsing, pat dry with a towel. After that, massage your hands with an excellent hand cream. You may follow it two times per week.
  • Garlic: Garlic contains sulfur, which is known to encourage the growth of fragile and thin nails. For optimal results, add crushed garlic clove with lemon juice to boiling water. Allow these to boil for some time, then thoroughly cool. Put the mixture in an empty nail polish bottle, and apply it on your nails every night before bed.
  • Orange Juice: Orange juice contains vitamin C and folic acid. Both promote nail growth. Every day, let the orange juice immerse your fingertips for a few minutes. Rinse them thoroughly, then pat dry with a soft cloth. After that, apply a high-quality moisturizer.
  • Biotin Supplements: One of the B complex vitamins is biotin. Sardines, salmon, carrots, cauliflower, bananas, sweet potatoes, and eggs are natural sources of biotin. It is not a bad idea to include foods and supplements high in biotin in your diet as it can promote healthy cell growth and help the digestion of amino acids that help create proteins to ensure steady nail growth.
  • Vitamin E: Vitamin E is a good natural alternative to salt water for growing nails. You need to press the vitamin E gel on your nails. To make it smell sweeter, mix in a little lavender oil. Massage it in, then let it stay for the whole night. Your nails will be stronger and more bright in the morning.
  • Nail Strengtheners: Nail straighteners strengthen nails by protecting and nourishing natural nail plates. They frequently provide a flexible film to the nails to strengthen the structure and deliver nutrients and minerals. It can also heal damaged nails if used daily or on alternate days for up to two weeks.

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Dos and Don’ts for Maintaining Healthy Nails

Throughout our daily chores, we use nails for many reasons. Sometimes, we use them as tools to open certain things. Other times, we expose them to detergents & solutions that may make them brittle. Thus, you need to follow some dos and don’ts for maintaining healthy nails.


  1. Keep both the fingernails and toenails clean.
  2. Trim the nails regularly to ensure quicker growth.
  3. Cut down the hangnails carefully.
  4. Use a sanitized nail trimmer to cut the nails.
  5. Use a nail hardener to make the nails stronger.
  6. Wear gloves while doing dishes, gardening, or when required.
  7. Wash the necessary tools for nail care before use.


  1. Do not bite or chew your nails.
  2. Do not cut cuticles as they help to prevent infection.
  3. Do not pluck hangnails as live tissues may also come out with it.
  4. Do not get acrylic or gel nails frequently.
  5. Do not use products that have formaldehyde, sulfonamides, and toluene.
  6. Do not use harsh nail products like acetone for removing nail polish.
  7. Do not scrape off the nail polish as it dries out the nails by removal of the protective layer.


    1. Does seawater make nails grow faster?
      Many people think that nails grow faster after swimming in the water which is not valid. There is no chemical or other substance in pools or rivers that would cause nails to grow faster. But the water may temporarily expand the nails, making them seem bigger.
    2. Do nails grow faster in hot or cold?
      Nails grow faster in hot weather because of rapid circulation. On the other hand, the growth is slower in cold weather since the circulation is slow.
    3. Does Vaseline grow nails?
      There is no proper existing evidence behind the claim that Vaseline grows nails. But if you put on Vaseline frequently, it helps to maintain nail health by hydrating it.
    4. Does honey grow nails?
      Honey contributes to healthier nails by helping to fight bacterial and fungal attacks. So, your nails remain moisturized and flexible. Mix lemon with honey to apply to your nails.

    Final Thoughts

    Salt water can be great for your nails. You can use salt in your daily beauty care routine to gain several benefits for your nails. Although there is a lack of proper evidence on the role of salt water for nail growth, you can still use it for maintaining their health. But, use warm salt water and with time, you should begin to see nurtured strong and resilient nails.

    Primarily, nail growth depends on diet, health conditions, and nail care. So, make sure that you do not restrict the growth of nails somehow. Follow all the dos & don’ts, and keep your nails protected & moisturized.

    Key Points

    • Nails are composed of a protein called keratin and nail growth is primarily determined by the nutrition intake, health condition, and exposure of the body to sunlight. Age, gender, and genetic characteristics can also be responsible for nail growth.
    • Salt water does not have any direct role in the growth of nails. But you can use warm salt water which is favorable for the health of nails.
    • Many people think that nails grow faster after swimming in the water which is not valid. The nails expand after being in the water and as a result, it makes the nails appear to have grown.
    • Mixing salt water with other essential oils like coconut oil can help you with stronger, healthier nails.
    • Cuticle oils are an amazing healer on dry, fragile nails. They moisturize the nails and also boost circulation to encourage nail growth.

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