Fingernails can become brittle and chipped if the body is not receiving certain proper nutrients. Biotin is a vitamin that helps the body process fatty acids and proteins. Take a biotin supplement of 2.5 milligrams per day to strengthen your nails. Another important vitamin for fingernails is the B vitamin folate and it can be supplemented in a daily B vitamin complex. Make sure you are getting adequate protein in your diet, with at least several servings of meat, dairy or nuts per day.
You can moisturize your nails just like you would your skin by rubbing moisturizing lotion into them. This is especially important after you remove nail polish and after the nails have been in water. Applying a treatment "nail polish" to your nails actually keeps in moisture, which is why it can be effective in preserving damaged nails. OPI has a great "polish" called "Nail Treatment - Hydrator" which you can find at: http://sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P219339
I hope this helps you.
Vitamins intake might help. Other than that you might observe if your hands are in contact with cleaning products that might be the cause of the dryness.
Something that helps but not everyone stands is using a heavy hydrating cream at night on your hole hand and putting a generous amount around cuticles. After that put some cotton gloves on your hands overnight. Do that routine for a few days and see how it works.
I have the same problem. I try to keep some form of polish on them. It gives an extra coat which makes them less likely to break. I also take Biotin supplements although I'm not sure that its really making a difference.
I've heard that two things can be the reason for really brittle nails....diet and/or thyroid problems. My mom has thyroid problems and her nails are really brittle.
Try keeping strengthening products on them and that will probably help them from breaking and keep them looking nicer.
Hope this helps.
My nails are permanently damaged from either age, wearing acrylics for a very long time, medication I was taking or a combination thereof. I take biotin but haven't seen much of a difference. I think the key is to keep something on them, I use a ridge filler from essie and a very light pink polish. Putting cream on the cuticles is good too to keep them looking good. Also wearing gloves when doing dishes and stuff.
Another option is to use the Perfect Formula Pink Gel Coat (http://bit.ly/fUHH6L) which helps to strengthen, seal, brighten and protect your nails. Personally of all the ones I've tried this is definitely worth the price. If you wanted to finish with a great hand cream which can also be used as a body cream and/or moisturizer, I recommend the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream (http://bit.ly/bVFH1e). The First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream comes in a travel size so you can take it on the go. Hope this works for you as much as it did for me!
I use to have weak dry brittle nails that always peels, I started to take multi vitamins for women and they are strong now. If that doesn't seem to do it try moisturizing your nail and don't soak your hands in water that can be very damaging to both the skin and your nails. If it doesn't seem to get better it might be something you will have to discuss with your doctor.
My nails were always dry and peeling until I started using Dior Creme Abricot Fortifying Cream for Nails. It is this thick orange cream that I rub into my nails and cuticles before bed and it has really helped.
On the subject of gloves at night: I read that really soft, smooth hands come from putting on a thick moisturizer at night, then wear those yellow kitchen rubber gloves over this. I think it was Doris Day (?) who advised this and she has always had beautiful hands! Haven't tried this trick, but it sounds interesting.