According to Good Housekeeping, nails grow at a maximum rate of about 1/8 inch per month. There is no way to increase this rate by eating the right foods or taking vitamin supplements. However, it is possible to support and sustain the growth that is occurring. Since an unhealthy diet and dehydration can cause slow nail growth, eating properly may result in healthier, stronger nails.
WebMD says that although nothing can make nails grow faster, their growth may be supported with a biotin supplement. Since biotin strengthens brittle nails, people taking the supplement are often able to grow stronger nails, decreasing the chances of their breaking and splitting. Cuticle oil may also support growth by keeping nails hydrated and healthy. High-protein diets and eating garlic do not, however, increase nail growth.
Harsh treatment and the use of chemicals can destroy nails, according to Good Housekeeping. The online magazine recommends wearing gloves while washing dishes, cleaning and dealing with detergents or other chemicals. Nail biting should also be avoided as should digging in the garden with no gloves on.
Weak nails can be strengthened with nail hardeners or lacquers, silk-wrap treatments and other topical nail treatments. Nails should also be filed frequently to prevent snags and breakage.