Nail Health - Why do I have ridges in my nails?

If you have regular manicures it’s important to keep your nails in tip-top condition because the better condition your nails, the better your manicures will be. Keeping nails nice and healthy will help to maintain their strength, encourage growth and make future manicures neater and easier to apply.

Taking a look at your nails can be a quick way to see whether your nails need more attention and TLC but did you know that your nails can tell you a lot about your overall health?

Our nail health blog posts are written from a manicure and nail maintenance perspective. If you believe that your nails may be indicative of other health symptoms, please consult a medical professional.

Ridges in Nails

There are two types of ridges people often see in their nails; Vertical ridges and horizontal ridges.


Vertical Ridges

These are ridges which run from the cuticle down to the tip of the nail.

vertical ridges in nails

The good news is that vertical ridges are usually harmless and don’t often indicate any health problems.

For most people, ridges in nails are genetic and nothing to worry about.

Sometimes, ridges in nails can appear as we get older and this is simply a sign of ageing.

Minimise genetic ridges for a smoother gel manicure. Use a gentle nail buffer to smooth out the surface of the nails prior to cleaning and applying base coat or colour. Be careful not to over-buff or work the nail too hard. Use our Nail buffer block or single nail buffer sticks. Note - the coarsest side of the buffer should not be used on natural nails - this is for removing Gel Polish.

Smooth out ridges whilst helping them grow with our Nail Strengthener Treatment.

Our Manicure and Pedicure Set includes a selection of electric nail buffers and electric nail file to help you get the perfect manicure.

In very rare cases, ridges in nails can be attributed to a deficiency in iron. Have your iron levels checked with a medical professional before taking any supplements.

If you have ridges in your nails which are accompanied by a change in nail colour consult a medical professional.


Horizontal ridges

These are ridges which run from the side of the nail across the width of the finger to the other side of the nail. Horizontal ridges are often known as ‘Beau’s Lines’.

horizontal ridges in nails

Horizontal ridges can be a sign of previous injury. For example, a painful bump to the nail bed or accident with the nail (like shutting your finger in a door… ouch!) can show weeks or months later in the nail as it grows out. Generally there’s nothing you can do to remove a ridge like this, it’s best to let it grow out in it’s own time. (With Fingernails this can be up to 3 months, toenails can take around 6 months)

Occasionally, people who buff their nails too aggressively or too often can see horizontal ridges in their nails. If you think this could be you, reduce buffing to once a month and only buff nails gently and for a shorter period of time. Take a look at your nail buffer - is it too coarse? The roughest side should be much less abrasive than a standard nail file.

Sometimes people undergoing treatment for medical conditions can experience horizontal lines.

If you have severe or deep horizontal lines in your nails not caused by over-buffing, consult a medical professional as they can sometimes be symptoms of a more serious illness.


Improve your overall nail health

SensatioNail have developed a range of nail treatments and tools to help keep your natural nails in perfect condition.

Strengthen & Smooth Nail Treatment - This fab nail strengthener is infused with  anti-oxidant vitamins A & E to nourish nails and help them get stronger and longer. This product also smooths out nail ridges and helps protect against nail splitting.

Protect & Grow Nail Treatment - Wear our Protect & Grow Nail Treatments between SensatioNail gel manicures to help protect nails from damage and promote healthy nail growth. The formula is infused with vitamin B5 and optical whiteners to make nails appear whiter and shinier.

SensatioNail Manicure & Pedicure Set - Our manicure set includes 12 tools for buffing nails, shaping nails and removing rough skin from fingers and toes. All tools come in a handy case which also includes a touch-activated air dryer.

mani pedi kit nail strengthnerhelp nails grow