A primer on restoring weak nails. 

By Cory Hawthorne
Updated August 03, 2015
Credit: Tetra Images/Getty Images

This article originally appeared on MIMI.

Acrylic nails are almost like wearing a pair of bomb.com shoes—in a half-size too small. They may look good while they're on, but once you take them off, you will most definitely pay the price. Symptoms often include brittleness, splitting, and thinness, all of which makes growing them out that much harder. I would know; I've nursed my nails back to health time after time again. If you're ready to start a new journey to an au naturel nail life, here are a few tips I've picked up over the years. Trust me, with these you'll be on track in no time.

1. The shorter, the better

When growing your nails out, it is very important to keep them trimmed. I know, I know, making the switch from trendy coffin nails to stubs may be tough, but during the first few weeks your nails probably won't be strong enough to keep their length without tearing.

2. Try a hand massage

Focus on the cuticle with treatments like Vitamin E, olive, and coconut oil. Not only will each remedy leave your hands softer than a baby's bum, they'll also feed your cuticles the nutrients needed to promote healthy nail growth.

3. Give them a bath

There are many different soaking methods that provide nails the goods they need to grow nice and healthy. It might sound weird, but a dip in orange juice, olive oil, milk, or even garlic oil for about 10-15 minutes a few days each week will do the trick.

4. Purchase a nail treatment

Most beauty or drug stores have a wide selection of polish treatments you can use to help strengthen and grow recovering nails. My favorite products are Essie Grow Stronger Base Coat ($8.50, ulta.com), OPI Envy Nail Strengthener Original Formula ($17.95,ulta.com), and Orly Nailtrition ($15, ulta.com).

5. Head to a professional

Knowing how to pamper yourself at-home is key, but splurging and seeing a manicurist does have health benefits! (My latest excuse.) The manicure process stimulates nail growth and always leaves them in better condition. If you prefer to save the cash, simply follow the steps above on a consistent basis.

These quick tips will help repair the damage from those addictive acrylics, but remember it's not a speedy process. Be patient! Before you know it, you'll be sporting posh, healthy, natural nails