The other day someone made a comment in my nail polish post asking about how to recover from damaged nails. I was going to answer and totally forgot. I really do read and enjoy the comments I get, I'm just super flighty sometimes and forget to reply.
So because I've gotten this question a few times, here are my go-to products for healthy nails.
First, Rejuvacoat. This is how I grew my nails in the first place. It's a clear polish that you apply once a day and it strengthens weak or damaged nails. It works!
A decent substitute for that is OPI Nail Envy.
For damaged cuticles, you need to keep your hands moisturized and rub some sort of oil or cuticle cream on your nails a few times a day. My go-to product is The Naked Bee Cuticle Salve. I love that stuff. I used to have horrible cuticles and now they look great.
There are lots of things that probably work well though. Vitamin E oil, coconut oil, shea butter, etc. Anything moisturizing. Just keep your hands and nails moisturized.
Also, make sure to push your cuticles back on a regular basis, but do NOT trim them. If you have excess cuticle skin, use a product like Sally Hansen cuticle remover. It works awesome.
To make your nails grow, consider a biotin supplement. I started taking a multi-vitamin a couple of years ago with biotin in it and my hair and nails started to grow like crazy. It works!
And lastly, this is just all my trial and error opinion. I'm clearly not trained to give any sort of professional advice, all I know is what has worked for me.
And there you go! :)