It's impossible to speed the rate at which nails grow, but proper care ensures they don't break or flake away, increasing nail strength. Moisturizing and certain nutrients helps ensure healthier looking nails, even though these tissues are technically dead.
Regardless of what a person does, nails grow approximately 1 millimeter per month. The dietary supplement biotin is one way to increase the strength of the nails. By decreasing the number of splits and breaks, it causes the nails to appear to grow faster. Biotin is available as a pure supplement or as part of the commercially prepared products for hair, skin and nails. There's no set limit on the amount of biotin to take, but dermatologists recommend avoiding large doses.
Topical moisturizers also help to ensure healthier nails. Without daily application of a moisturizer, the nails begin to dry and flake away. As nails become thinner, a break is more likely, causing the nail to lose the growth from the past month. Moisturizing also helps keep cuticles healthy and prevents hangnails.
Although nutrition doesn't improve nail growth, a lack of good nutrition hinders it. Infections and aging slow the growth of nails. Hormonal changes, such as those occurring during pregnancy, improve the nail growth rate, as do warmer temperatures.