How to Repair a Broken Nail…

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I recently got a small tear on the outside corner of my index finger (of course on my blogging hand!) and I really didn’t want to loose the length so I decided to do my first repair. Before blogging when I would get a break I would just cut it off and grow the nail out again, but now I’ve worked so hard to get them to the length they are I just couldn’t cut it off and loose all the length.
So, here’s how I repaired my nail..

Which nail wrap should you choose?
1. Silk Wrap: These are very thin, flexible and become almost invisible once you apply glue or gel over them. If you have very strong nails and aren’t very hard on you nails silk would be a good option for you.
2. Fiberglass Wraps: These are very similar to silk wraps in terms of looking natural and becoming invisible after glue or gel application but they offer more strength to the nail. If you have thin/weak nails or you have a deep tear that you are trying to repair and you are someone that is hard on your nails fiberglass will be a better option over silk.
3. Linen: If the nail world whenever someone says they broke a nail the most recommended thing is to “teabag” it. This is basically doing a linen wrap repair. Linen offers the most strength but it is also thicker and more opaque and may require more buffing to make it blend into the nail. If you had a severe tear or the entire nail broke off and you want to put it back on or you are very active and hard on your nails linen will be the best choice for you.
What overlay should I use?
You have several options of what to use over your wrap to repair the nail…
1. Nail glue or resin: This is the easiest and cheapest overlay to use. You can view my tutorial on this method [here]. If you rarely use polish and are gentle on your nails this would be a good option for you. I must add that if you apply the glue to thick you will notice cracking in the gel/glue. Also, in my opinion the glue just doesn’t last very long on the nail and can start to lift after a week or so.
2. Gel polish or Shellac: If you already have a gel polish system you could easy use gel polish for your overlay repair. If you are someone that polishes your nails about once a week this would be good for you.
  • if you want to try gel polish I would highly recommend Gelish Vitagel as a starter, you don’t need a foundation or top coat but you do need a lamp. If you are trying to grow your nails out, this has the added benefit of vitamins that will help strengthen the nail as it grows.
3. Acrylic: If you are very hard on your nails and like to change your polish a couple times a week acrylic will be a good option for repair because it offers the most strength and can withstand the use of polish remover better than glue or gel polish.
4. Hard Gel: This is what I chose to use simply because it offers about the same strength as acrylic but it can withstand more polish changes than acrylic can. Hard gel is a non porous gel therefore acetone doesn’t penetrate it causing it to disintegrate after several polish changes like acrylic will.
If you are wondering about removal of any of these methods, unless you have lifting, it’s not necessary. Why? Nail, like hair, does’t repair itself so they only way to get rid of the break is to grow it out. Whichever method you chose it is simply a permanent bandage to help you keep the length as you grow it the break.
With Polish:
color: China Glaze Cranberry Splash

As you can see, once I did a manicure (base coat, 2 coats of color and top coat) over it you cannot tell that one of my nails has a break. And I’ve done 3 polish changes so far and the repair is still going strong.

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33 Responses

  1. Torrie Hoskins says:

    Hi there
    I just tore the side of my thumbnail today ( I hit it on the door fram coming into the house ) and new instantly it was cracked

  2. Sharon says:

    I found this information useful. I have one cracked thumbnail that I need to get it repair. Wow….I was watching the video. Thank you for sharing. Pretty color fingernails color.

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  23. VanessaP says:

    If I’m using gel polish, would I just go ahead and use the gel base coat then cure over the wrap?

    • yes, you would apply the foundation(cure) over the wrap and continue as would doing a regular gel manicure. You may want to add a extra coat or 2 of your color (or clear) to add the thickness needed to protect the break.

  24. What hard gel did you use?

  25. Anna Cubana says:

    Thanks for this! Great tip!

  26. hello from sunny south ALABAMA;
    I just have to chime in on repairing nails and the questions about it(lol)
    first may I compliment you on your nails.
    I use silk repair tabs ;yet have used tea bag; paper tape(in an emergency ie:away from my mani kit& linen repair tabs.
    I find that silk repair tabs smooth out better;less filing and buffs to a glossier shine.

    I use brush on nail glue;as I get more controlled application.

    Also; this method as with a lot of others in the nail art business;takes practice (at least it did for me LOL)

    Your site is very well done and for having children; you do great work hahahaha.
    Thank you for sharing your talent.

  27. Thanks for the tips. You have really nice nails.

  1. January 19, 2014

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  2. January 19, 2014

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  3. March 17, 2014

    […] Easiest way to repair broken nails […]

  4. September 22, 2014

    […] How to Repair a Broken Nail by The Polished Mommy […]

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