My nails suck. And I've been trying to fix them for many years. The ends peel and thin the nail bed to the point where they are soft and pliable and then can easily tear. I haven't been able to grow my nails long for basically my whole life.
I've tried just about everything from Sally Hanson's line of Hard as Nails, to Essie's Millionails, to products like Nail-Aid Maximum Collagen builder. My diet has drastically improved over the years and I get enough iron and other nutrients; plus I've tried putting collagen powder in drinks and eating several months worth of Skin and Nails Biotin. I've also tried just soaking them in vitamin E oil and almond oil, which is basically all vitamin E only less viscous. I've tried gloves when I shower (although that didn't last very long; it's surprisingly annoying plus water still gets into the gloves) and painting my nails week after week to try and protect them from my hot showers [and life in general], which has been the main culprit in damaging my nails further. Nothing has worked. The problem with all these attempts is that they take several months of doing before you realize it's not working once the nail grows out.
I'm pretty sure my issue is genetic at this point, but that's not stopping me from trying things. My latest attempt was deciding that gel nails was my answer. After buying all the stuff and painting it on, I was astounded. I loved the stuff; it made my nails hard and it lasted a good week before I even needed to make touch-ups. The problem was taking the gel off. As I went through the process each time, I was thinning out the nail plate while trying to get the base gel layer off; each subsequent application was making my nails thin and weak. Although I managed to keep the length of my nails in tact (they were growing, omg!) I was still making them worse.
And then I was introduced to IBX. I'm not sure how I heard about it online, but once I started seeing pictures and reading reviews, I was sold.
IBX works differently by sinking into the nail plate and fusing all the keratin layers together. Now, it is technically a long-term application system, which basically means you'll have to use it for a long while before you see any results, but I can tell you right now that after one application I have already noticed the difference and that's why I'm writing about it today.
My nails are still thin and pliable thanks to the gel, but they're not peeling. They've only grown a tiny bit for the last week but they haven't torn at all from being so thin. It's amazing. (I clipped them all the way down in order to "start over" once I started using this). In the meantime I'm not applying any gel; just regular polish, so nothing is stopping my nails from tearing, and yet they're not. I'm almost crying in joy.
There's just one issue you need to know about before you rush out and buy it.
It is for "professional use only". It's not sold in stores anywhere. Technically, it's for nail salons so that they can charge a customer some $10 to add IBX to their gel regimen. But, thanks to forum posts, I found a website that supplies it (and no, not ebay, although you can find it there for super expensive). It's called beautysupplycanada.com, and you actually need to register an account and be approved before you can even see the price (hint: it's $46.95 for the duo pack). So yeah, it's not cheap, but if it works it works and it's definitely worth it to me.
Once I grow my nails out for a full cycle, I'll start putting gel polish back on, which makes me super excited. I keep ordering new colors from Wish for like $1 each and they take a whole month to come but who cares lol they're stacking up and I can't wait to try them!