Why Are My Nails Clear? 3 Ways To Avoid Clear Nails

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Your nails are supposed to be 18% hydrated. If overhydrated, it will leave your nails transparent. If your nails absorb more water than needed, they will turn clear, and this will make your nails very flexible and easy to get broken. To avoid this, you should wear gloves whenever doing any activity involving water. Getting manicures and generally taking care of your nails will make them strong and keep them healthy.

Your nails can be a window to your current health. It appears that through the condition of your nails, you can tell what problems or deficiencies you are facing.

Your nails could be yellow, have lines, or be brittle, which can convey your health issues. Unfortunately, many people think it’s a warning sign of some impending problem and get worried about clear nails.

Your nails can appear clear because they naturally might be, or external factors can cause them. So, let’s dive into why they appear clear and things you can do to keep your nails healthy.

Reason for clear nails

A young woman is washing dishes in the kitchen. Her constant touching of water has made her nails clear.

When you have continuous contact with water, then it can make your nails appear transparent. This includes how much you wash your hands throughout the day, if you’re a swimmer, or just are involved in a work that requires you to remain in the water constantly.

There are microscopic channels that make it easy for the nail plate to absorb large quantities of water.

A regular healthy nail plate can hold up to 1/3rd its own weight in water. But if it constantly remains in the water, the water can pass between the keratin cells and through the flattened cells.

You must have witnessed your skin turns pruney as slight folds form on the fingertips in the form of wrinkles. While your skin behaves this way when in water for a long time, your nails also get affected.

Your nails become overly soft, overly flexible, and tear easily. It’s because your nails have absorbed too much water, and then they appear to be clear.

Healthy nails have about 18% of water, so too much water can weaken your nails. Our nails are made up of layers of keratin that will weaken due to too much water absorption.

If you don’t take care of your nails, they will start peeling and splitting in between.

Translucent tips

Your nail tips are supposed to be translucent or partially white with spots or bands of translucency. This is a sign of hydrated nails, and that’s how you know you’re taking care of your nails.

Your nails are made up of keratin layers. People mostly have 50 layers of this keratin forming their fingernails and 100 for toenails.

Depending on the layers, your nails may appear white or translucent. But if you don’t keep your nails hydrated, the tips will appear whiter. Massaging them with nail oil is one way of taking care of your nails.

Healthy nail plate

Your nails are supposed to be healthy if you have a visible pink area from where your nail starts growing. This provides constant nourishment and flow of oil and moisture to your nails to remain healthy.

If you see a half-white moon from where the nail grows, this is a visible lunula. Not everyone might have a visible lunula, but most people can see them. It means you have healthy nails.

As soon as the keratin cells pass the lunula area, they die. Then, they start drying out and lose their opacity, becoming translucent.

The color of the nail grown that extends past your fingertip depends on how much of the inner cell material stays in the nail plate cells as it continues to grow forward.

They will appear to be clear on edge, but as they grow out will become whiter, as the cells are dead and enough moisture isn’t provided to them.

3 ways to avoid clear nails

A man is at the nail salon getting his nails manicured to stay healthy and strong.

Now that you’re aware of overhydrating your nails and how that can affect your nails in the longer run, it’s vital to learn to take care of them.

1. Oil

To help with the water effect on your nails, hydrate them with a good quality wax-based nail and cuticle oil.

Applying them overnight on your nails will give you good results. The oil will help penetrate the nails and make them strong and healthy. This will also help your nails in avoiding absorbing too much water.

The white tips will disappear, keeping the natural tone of your nails intact.

2. Gloves

Gloves are a great way to avoid getting your nails too hydrated and transparent. Wearing gloves for all the housework, like doing dishes and laundry, will keep your hands from aging and your nails from getting transparent. Your hands will also be free from the harshness of the soap.

Any task you do which involves water can harm your hands and nails to a great extent. For nourishing and healthy-looking hands wearing gloves is a great way to avoid it.

A pair of latex gloves is a good choice for your hands. When you get your hands wet doing a specific task, immediately applying a nourishing lotion will keep your nails and hands healthy.

3. Getting nails done

Many people opt for getting manicures or getting their nails done. Caring for your nails in this way is a good thing because the oils and massages given in a manicure help make your nails and cuticle strong while keeping them hydrated.

Nail polish acts as a barrier between your nail plate and water. This way, your nails remain firm and in good condition, lowering down the chances of getting them overhydrated.

Of course, if you get your nails done each month, it’s also important to let them breathe by taking a month off once every 6 months.

If you do your nails by yourself at home, then be careful of nail polish removers. They can be very drying to your nails, hampering how they look so white. So, remember to give your nails an oil or lotion massage frequently.


What do healthy nails look like?

Healthy fingernails are smooth, uniform in color, strong, and free of spots. Sometimes your nails might have little lines, which should disappear after some time.

Other than this, some people have a half-moon appearing where the nail starts growing from, indicating healthy nails.

How do I make my clear nails white?

While clear nails indicate healthy and adequately hydrated nails, sometimes it might be the opposite. Pay attention if your nails are being overly hydrated, which makes one’s nails transparent or clear. If your nails are brittle, easily flexible, then they’re excessively hydrated.

Eat and drink water in moderation. Try to use gloves whenever possible for housework. Apply lotion every night before sleep. Doing so can make your nails healthy and back to their natural-looking form.

What should I eat to strengthen my nails?

Eating a good and healthy diet is essential to have healthy-looking nails.

Your diet should include plenty of nutrients, vitamins, and proteins. You can get this from leafy green vegetables, eggs, meat, beans, nuts, and whole grains.

What color should my nails be?

Your nails should be a slightly pink color to be termed healthy. If they are of any other color, then it might be a sign of some health issue. They should also be straight and strong.

Your nail tip can be slightly transparent. Some people have a half-moon appearing on their nail bed; some don’t, but it’s a good indication if you do.

To summarize

Your nails are a part of your body and deserve the same attention as any other part of your body. The healthy nails one strives for can be different looking for different people. The half-moon on your nail bed that appears on some people’s nails is a good indication of healthy nails.

Some people do have naturally looking clear nails, but clear nails indicate overhydration for others. Your nails made up of keratin need the right amount of hydration otherwise will start looking transparent.

This transparency also makes your nails easy to get broken and flexible enough to be folded. So, start taking care of your nails if you haven’t started already. Use those gloves more often and apply that cuticle oil to make your nails strong.

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Saumya Malik
I'm an ardent follower of everything good for the health and wellness of body and mind. I am passionate about providing effective solutions to general health and mental well-being issues and wants to help people achieve the same. When I'm not writing, you can find me curled up with a good book in a corner or cooking as a form of good mental therapy.

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