Proper filing. Always use a low grit nail file, a crystal file is preferable. Never file in a back and forth sawing motion, instead file in one direction to prevent peeling.
Cuticle care. Use an oil or cuticle remover cream to loosen dry cuticle skin so you can gently push it back. Only cut hangnails or ragged areas if necessary. The cuticle protects your nail from infection, so be precise and gentle.
Avoid harsh chemicals. Most nail and cleaning products contain harsh chemicals. If you must use them, wear gloves or wash hands afterwards and replenish lost moisture with an oil or lotion.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. A well moisturized nail is resilient and less likely to peel or break. Polish also helps hold in moisture, even clearcoat is good.
Increase circulation. Daily massage and stimulation of the nail and cuticle area will do wonders for your nails. Blood flow brings nutrients and oxygen to developing nail cells.
Protect nail layers. Be careful when filing, buffing and especially if scraping to remove gel polish. You have about 50 layers of nail, each layer protects the nail, strengthens it and retain moisture levels.
Minimize water exposure. Water is the enemy of strong nails, it’s absorbed into the layers of the nail, depleting it of moisture and softening them. Dry nails immediately especially after a shower. A clear coat polish will provide added protection.
The perfect shape. The shape of your nails can determine how easily they will break. Most breaks occur on the sides, therefore choose a shape that has minimal filing required on the sides. Square or round is great.
Topical hardeners. Strengthening polishes are great short term to improve weak, soft nails. But use them sparingly and not for more than a month or nails can become overly hard, brittle and prone to breaking.