Are you always looking enviously at other people’s nails, wishing yours could look so long and beautiful? You may think that your nails are short and weak due to genetics, and that there’s not much you can do about it. In fact, you can have longer, stronger nails. They may not be model perfect, but it’s nearly a certainty that your nails can grow longer and stronger if you take the following advice.

1.  Stop Using Your Nails as a Tool

Okay, back in the caveman days using fingernails as tools was probably pretty useful. But now that we have real tools, there’s no longer a need for you to use your fingernails to pry things open like the tab on a can of cat food. Fight the urge to use your nails, and instead reach for the nearest spoon or whatever you need to get the job done. Your nails will thank you for it.

2. Take Biotin

Biotin is a vitamin that supports healthy hair and nail growth. This is a supplement that is readily available in pharmacies and grocery stores. Over a short period of time, you’ll notice that your nails don’t peel, and are growing in thicker than they used to.

3. Moisturize

Before bedtime or while you’re watching TV, take a few minutes and moisturize your nails and cuticles with olive oil or coconut oil. In a pinch, you can even use vegetable oil. This simple little trick will help to prevent breaking, splitting and cracking, as well as help nails grow faster.

4. Wear Gloves

Yes, those bright yellow gloves that your mother used to wear while she washed dishes were actually a smart idea. Gloves protect your nails from harsh soaps and detergents, and also provide a barrier so nails and hands don’t dry out or accidentally get chipped. If you don’t like the yellow, these handy gloves are also available in hot pink.

5. Switch to Non-Acetone Polish Remover

Acetone is very drying on your nails. Although it only takes a second or two to remove nail polish, the acetone sinks into the porous nail bed. Ask your salon manicurist to use a non-acetone based remover instead.

6. Let Nails Breathe

Give nails a break from polish on the weekends to let them breathe a little. Layers of polish can be gorgeous, but your nails need a break between manicures. It’s better to have more manicures with weekend breaks, than it is to keep piling on layer after layer of polish.

You’ll be surprised how fast your nails grow when you use these tips. Pretty soon your next dilemma is needing to trim your quick-growing nails so often!