Salt for Nail Growth: Separating Fact from Fiction

Nice-looking, shiny and strong nails are a dream for most women. Having a neat manicure is a sure way to make a statement and turn heads. While some people are blessed with beautiful nails that are strong and grow quickly, others, like myself, have to deal with brittle nails that like to grow slowly.

For those of us that belong to the brittle nail gang, you know how heartbreaking you feel when a nail you’ve worked so hard on decides to say goodbye with no notice.

For me, fancy false nails aren’t my thing (they can be damaging to your original nails though they are beautiful), so I decided to look up natural ways to get my nails to grow long. One particular recipe stuck with me because it was so easy to use, so I’ll be discussing that in this article, along with others that also work.

But let’s clear up a common misconception that you can grow nails fast using salt.

Can Salt Grow Nails?

Salt does not have the ability to grow nails. Nails are made of a protein called keratin and are formed in the matrix, the area just beneath the base of the nail. Nail growth is determined by genetics and overall health, not by external factors such as salt. Consuming too much salt can dehydrate the body, which can lead to dry, brittle nails, but it will not promote nail growth.

Using Salt as an Ingredient to Promote Healthy Nails

There were several kits and items I tried back in the day before my eyes were opened to the world of homemade DIY hacks.

I was introduced to a whole new world that involved using day-to-day, cheaper materials like oranges and coconut oil.  I realized that I didn’t have to spend so much on all this fancy stuff.

One thing I tried is salt. We all know about this item because we use it to give our food taste. Salt is a crystal, so it promotes the strengthening of fingernails.

It also contains nutrients like iodine which is a trace mineral needed by the body for growth and tissue repair, so it indirectly helps the nails grow.

To make use of salt, you’ll have to soak your fingernails in warm salt water. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Select a bowl big enough to fit one or both hands.
  • Pour one or two cups of warm water into the bowl.
  • Dissolve two tablespoons of salt in the water. This can be Dead Sea salt or regular table salt.
  • Add one tablespoon of olive oil to the salt and water mixture.
  • If your nails have a yellow color, add a few drops of fresh lemon juice.

Soak your fingernails in this mini spa for 15 to 30 minutes a few times a week. After some time, you’ll come to see that your nails have more strength and healthy growth.


There is no scientific evidence to support the idea that using salt and olive oil together can help grow nails. However, salt can be used as an exfoliant to soften and loosen the cuticles around the nails. When mixed with a moisturizing oil, such as olive oil, it can create a scrub that can help remove dry, dead skin cells from the cuticles and surrounding skin.

This can make the cuticles more permeable, allowing moisturizing oils to penetrate the skin more easily and effectively, helping to keep the nails and cuticles moisturized and healthy

If you want to promote healthy nails, you should focus on maintaining a healthy diet, staying hydrated, and taking good care of your nails by avoiding biting or picking at them, and keeping them trimmed and filed regularly.

Other Ingredients to Use for Growing Nails

There are several other things you can use to coax your nails to grow faster without bleeding your bank account.

1. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is great for the healthy growth of hair and nails. It contains vitamin C which helps in collagen production.

All you have to do is rub a slice of lemons on your fingernails and toenails every day for five minutes, then rinse with warm water. 

2. Orange Juice

Like lemons, oranges are full of vitamin C. The antioxidant properties of this vitamin also help to keep infections at bay.

Soak your nails in a bowl containing orange juice for 10 minutes every day. You can mix the juice with some olive oil, that works too.

Rinse off with warm water and hydrate the nails before going to bed.

3. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil gives moisture to nails and hair. It is easily absorbable and it contains antioxidants, preventing bacterial and fungal infections.

Warm up some extra virgin coconut oil in a bowl, let it cool down for a bit, then soak your nails in it for 15 minutes.

You can gently massage it into your nails and cuticles. Rub in circular motions. 

There will be a rush of blood, improving circulation and promoting growth. Do this at least twice a week or every other day.

3. Olive Oil

Olive oil has been mentioned in two different recipes now, making you understand its usefulness in nail care. 

It is the best bet for dry and brittle nails. Olive oil permeates easily, so it reaches the inner layers of your nails and hydrates them from the inside.

Massage some warm olive oil into your nails and cuticles and leave it overnight. You should do this every day if you want your nails to grow fast. 

Knowing fully well that our food intake affects our body functions and growth, here are some food items listed below that will make your nails grow faster. 

  1. Oats 
  2. Beans
  3. Eggs
  4. Salmon
  5. Sunflower seeds
  6. Blueberries

Tips to Maintain Healthy Nails

While your nails are growing beautifully, they must be maintained to keep your hands looking lovely all the time.

Avoid the habit of biting your nails, always keep the nails and cuticles dry. Maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

Trim your nails regularly to make them grow faster and keep your manicure looking neat always. 

Avoid using nail products that contain formaldehyde, toluene, and sulfonamides. Apply flaxseed oil, jojoba oil, or almond oil regularly.

FAQs on How to use Salt to Make Nails Grow

What does salt do to nails?

Salt softens the cuticles, making them more permeable to moisturizing oils. It also gives strength to the nails. 

Is saltwater good for nails?

Soaking your nails in salt water makes them strong and gives you soft cuticles. With the right ingredients, you can get healthy nails in no time.

Can salt make your nails grow?

Salt will help your nails grow out again, making them stronger. The oil helps to moisturize the nails and cuticles, giving them a brighter sheen.