Strong and healthy finger and toenails are an indicator of good health but sometimes our nails become brittle, weak and fragile and they lose their strength which is usually an indicator of vitamin deficiencies.
Nails are made of sheets of keratin placed on top of each other. The causes of brittle nails include regularly immersing your hands in water which causes swelling of the gaps between the keratin layers causing them to eventually dry up leading to dry, brittle nails. The same applies to nails regularly exposed to cold winds and weather.
It is very common for nails to become brittle and break as we age often due to a lack of vitamins especially biotin, or vitamin B7. Biotin supplements have been studied and found to help achieve harder and stronger fingernails.