In the hierarchy of beauty horror stories, breaking a nail falls in our top 10. Not only can it be extremely painful, it’s also unhealthy for your nail beds in the long run. We chatted with celebrity manicurist Angel Williams on what to do if your nail cracks or breaks — and whether you can really fix a broken nail. Here’s what we learned.
What causes nails to break?
Brittle nails and nails lacking moisture tend to break often, or when you use your nails as tools. Also, typing with your nails as opposed to the pads of your fingers causes this, as well as applying any stress to the tip of the nail. Nails can also break due to a vitamin or mineral deficiency, or keeping polish or nail strengthener on for way too long.
Why should you always fix broken nails?
Depending on the level of brokenness, you could scratch yourself or someone else, it could end up being dangerous. Every nail should be nice and even rather long or short.
How do you fix a broken nail?
For an at-home mend, you could cut a small piece of tea bag or coffee filter paper slightly larger than the repair site. Apply a small dot of nail glue at repair site and apply the paper over it, making sure the glue spreads throughout the entire piece of paper applied. Trim and buff after the glue has dried if the mending is taking place near the edge or sides of the nail. Apply top coat or polish. When I mend a broken naiI, I like a brush-on glue for better control, like the IBD 5 Second Brush On Glue.
Any other tools or tricks when fixing a broken nail?
Do the “52 fake out” — cut the broken nail down and apply a full-coverage tip with glue to get you through. Another tool I like to use is a nail powder. Apply a thin layer of glue over the entire nail that needs mending. Sprinkle or dip the fingernail in the nail powder — the IBD 5 Second Nail Filler Powder is great for this — and let the glue absorb. Let it sit to dry/set, buff the surface for smoothness and apply top coat or polish. The powder adds to the nail until the damage area grows out, and your nail will be on the road to recovery.
How to Fix a Broken Nail at Home
STEP 1: Cut a small piece of tea bag or coffee filter to create a patch.
STEP 2: Apply a small dot of nail glue, and apply the patch.
STEP 3: After the glue dries, trim and buff the nail.
STEP 4: Apply polish and/or top coat.