Sometimes broken nails happen! It sucks and it’s sad, but the best thing to do is fix it immediately if possible, and then hope the nail gods make that nail grow out FAST!
There are lots of ways to fix a broken nail with paper, teabags, etc. but I usually don’t have the patience. This is the technique I use, and it can last up 1 or 2 weeks for me, which is long enough for most breaks to grow out. Every once in awhile I will have to reapply the fix, but I am okay with that.
Here is my sad broken thumb, where it usually cracks. As you can see this is a good one, the crack is lifted and everything. Let’s fix it!
What If You Can’t Fix It Now?
Sometimes you are not at home, and won’t be soon. Maybe you are at work and there isn’t super glue anywhere to be found, or you forgot to stash your nail repair kit in your purse (shame, shame!). Or maybe it’s time for bed and you can barely keep your eyes open.
Here is a really simple solution that may be a little strange, but it stops the snagging – on your hair, on your clothes, why does it want to snag on EVERYTHING? Tape to the rescue! A band-aid also works in a pinch, but be careful when you remove it – they are super sticky and can make your tear worse. I don’t recommend wrapping it all the way around so you don’t cut off your circulation, but lay it over the crack securing it from snagging on anything else. This will keep the break from spreading until you can fix it.
Quick & Easy Broken Nail Repair Steps
This fix is best for tears or breaks that are not too deep and won’t receive too much “action”.
1. Gather Your Supplies – Simple list of tools and products:
- Nail polish remover
- Cotton pads, balls or pieces
- Nail Glue – I really like IBD 5 Second Brush-On Nail Glue, it is super strong and last through many, many acetone polish removals (as long as your are not soaking your nails)
- Cuticle stick or non-pointy tweezers
- Buffing Bar/Stick, with multiple grades
- Nail file
2. Remove – Take off any old polish using your favorite nail polish remover and cotton. I like DIY glycerine acetone remover. Be careful not to snag your tear on the cotton.
3. Glue – Using the nail glue apply a generous amount to the tear, making sure to get all the area surrounding it and some right underneath the tear so the glue will bond the two halves together. Let this dry for about 10-15 seconds.
4. Flatten– Use the cuticle stick to push your crack/split/flap flat. Use as little surface area of your tool as possible and apply light pressure for 30-120 seconds – long enough that when you release the pressure the tear doesn’t move and remains sealed and nice and flat.
5. Buff & Smooth – This is the only time I buff my nails, and I try to get only the glue. Once you are sure the glue is completely dry, use your buffing stick to get the glue spot smooth and flush with your natural nail. You won’t be able to smooth it all the way down, or you will take all the glue off and have to apply a second layer. Pay more attention to the edges – if you make sure the edges are flush with your nail, no one will notice a little bump.
6. Clean Up – Use a q-tip soaked in acetone to remove any glue from your skin. Done!
Next time you paint your nails, no one will be able to tell your nail is broken, happy day!
For this look I used:
- IBD – 5 Second Brush-On Nail Glue
- Opi – Nail Envy
- Wet n Wild – Lavender Creme (two thin coats)
- NYC – Classy-Glassy (topcoat)
- How to Repair a Broken Nail by The Polished Mommy
- DIY: Fix a Split Nail with a Teabag! video tutorial by MissChievous
- How to Mend a Broken Fingernail by The Art of Doing Stuff