If you are the kind of person who always wants to look good, especially when attending special occasions, how do you deal with the obstacle that is a broken nail? It’s frustrating and it may look like a small issue, but it can seriously ruin your happy and excited mood. No need to despair though because you can fix up the broken nail in no time and with readily available items in your home.
Why do nails break?
The most common reason for their breakage is repeated wetting and drying. This can be seen during winter when the weather is dry and humidity low.
Another reason they could be breaking is harsh detergents, chemicals, nail polish removers and cleaning fluids. Next time you go on a cleaning spree, please wear gloves. This will protect them from cracking.
One very rare cause of broken or cracked nails is an internal disease or vitamin deficiency. You can confirm this by checking your toenails. If they that are healthy and strong, but fingernails are breaking, cracking or splitting, means that one of the external factors described above is the cause.
Other reasons for broken, cracked or peeled nails include trauma to it, applying acrylic nails or picking at the polish or paint.
How to fix a broken nail – tutorials
Nail fixing can be done in different ways. The main difference is whether you decide to use glue to fix broken one or fix without glue.
Tea bag nail repair
To fix a split-finger or toenail with a teabag, you will need a crystal or glass file, a tea bag or paper coffee, clear polish, tweezers, scissors and polish color of choice.
- Clip the fingernail that is broken and try to do it as close to the fingertip as you can.
- File any snags gently using a crystal or glass file. Avoid the split when filing.
- Take your tea bag and trim it to a small patch that will cover the broken area.
- Use the clear polish to paint the broken one generously.
- While wet, use the tweezers to place the trimmed tea bag over the nail’s broken part.
- Let it dry and then apply two more coats of the clear polish to cover it.
- Wait for it to dry then apply any other color of choice for camouflage.
To following YouTube tutorial DIY: Fix a Split Nail with a Teabag! gives a clear description of how to do it.
Use a silk wrap
The silk wrap, just like the tea bag method, reinforces it so that you can polish it normally. The silk wrap binds to it.
- Make sure they are clean. Remove current polish then clean the broken one with rubbing alcohol.
- Buff, it gently to remove the shine. Measure the size of the silk wrap and cut the piece that fits the nail.
- Apply nail glue on it and then starting from the bend, lay the silk strip on it.
- Brush the glue gently on to the silk strip and completely cover it.
- If there is any excess silk wrap hanging off the ends of the nail, cut them off and then file it to the shape of your choice.
- Buff it for any bumps on the surface and then paint and polish it.
For a video demonstration of the same, watch how to fix a broken nail with the gel and silk method.
Use fake or false nails
Fake or Acrylic nails can hide a broken one perfectly. Just apply them on top of the broken nail.
- Remove polish and clean the broken one thoroughly.
- Brush on the broken nail with some light glue to cover its whole surface.
- Press the fake nail onto its surface and make sure it covers the whole surface.
- Give time to dry then polish it.
To get a full-on tutorial on how to do the same watch this video: Fix a Broken Nail Fast!
Before you purchase acrylic/ false nails, do some research. Dr. Dana Stern, a certified dermatologist, warns against using them. According to her, people with resin and formaldehyde allergies can start swelling, experience pain, get a burning sensation or have the nails separate. They are also very stiff which makes it easy for them to separate from their bed.
They also increase the risk of one getting bacterial infections. This happens if prior to application, one did not completely get rid of the bacteria on them. If this happens, you will notice some green pigment between the acrylic and your natural nail.
Nail glue for broken toe or fingernails
Sometimes, all a cracked nail repair needs is glue. You can temporarily fix a cracked or broken one by dubbing glue on it.
- Begin by cleaning it.
- Press down the broken nail so that it aligns with the attached bottom.
- Add a little glue across the rip (small or big) and allow it to dry. You can press it onto the attached bottom to hold perfectly.
- Buff it, wipe with rubbing alcohol and then apply your polish.
Note that, the nail polish remover has acetone that will dissolve the glue so mind the crack when removing it. This may not hold very bad breaks but will help hold the crack together for some time. For a quick video tutorial on the same, watch this video: Repair a ripped nail fast!
Reconstructing a broken or chipped one
This method is used to reconstruct those that have chipped at the edge or broken at the corner. It helps you create one where there was none. This will help you replace corners that have broken.
You will need a lightless gel, a curing activator spray, glue, swiss silk self-adhesive tabs (or tea bag), a nail clipper and file.
- Make sure they are clean and dry.
- Apply the silk wrap and leave an edge hanging over the broken corner.
- Apply the gel and make sure it does not touch your skin. Use a brush to smooth the gel over. Make sure the layer is thin.
- Spray the gel cure and give it a minute to set.
- Shape the overhanging part with clippers, then apply a second gel coat.
- Spray the cure and then finish shaping the overhang using a file.
- Buff if needed then polish it.
Watch the following video to see how it’s done: How To Fix a Broken Corner
Reattach or repair broken nail with resin and silk
If it broke completely and is completely separated from the rest (as in you have a piece separate from the rest), then this will work for you.
You will need a silk and resin kit, scissors, tweezers, top coat or a strengthener and nail file.
- Have clean and dry finger or toenails.
- Make sure you can line up it where it broke up.
- Cut a silk part out that fits it but a bit longer.
- Brush the resin in the break and make sure it does not get onto other parts of the nail. You will notice that it dries pretty fast.
- Use the tweezers to place the silk on the break and apply a thin layer of resin on the silk to hold it down.
- You can choose to apply the activating spray and then file off the excess silk off it and shape it to your desired shape.
- Add another layer of resin, buff over it and file it.
- Finish off using a nail strengthener.
Watch this video to get a step by step tutorial: How to fix a broken nail.
Preventing nails from breaking
You can prevent your finger or toenails from breaking or cracking by using nail hardeners and hydrators. There is a difference between the two:
These hardeners can either be reinforcing or cross-linking. Cross-linking hardeners react with proteins found in your nail to make them harder. Some of their ingredients include calcium and formaldehyde. Reinforcing hardeners, on the other hand, add a layer on top of it and reinforces their natural structure. Both the cross-linking and hardeners work perfectly to make them hard and make them less prone to breaking or splitting.
The cross-linkers have a disadvantage in that, they can make the nail too hard so that it becomes brittle. This means it will not bend and hence can break easily. Reinforcers also wear off easily and one has to keep reapplying them for effectiveness.
Nail hydrators moisturize it and keep them flexible so that they bend instead of breaking. They are lotion like and thick. They are labeled nail strengthening creams in shops and contain ingredients like petrolatum, mineral oil, glycerin, and beeswax. They keep them and cuticles moisturized. They, however, need to be used on a regular basis since they wash off easily.