The dreaded broken nail. It can ruin a day and alter a well-planned outfit. The good news is that with a few hacks, a bit of patience, and some expert tips, it doesn't have to completely upend your manicure. Chances are, you have all the essentials needed to repair a broken nail within reach. If not, no biggie, not all is lost.
First thing first: It’s important to take proper care to prevent infection and treat the wound. It may sound overly dramatic, but a broken nail should be looked after similar to a cut on the skin.
1-The Tea Bag Method
Step 1: Clip the broken nail as close to the fingertip as you can.
Step 2: Using a glass or crystal file, gently file any snags, but be sure to avoid the split itself.
Step 3: Trim a tea bag or paper coffee filter to the size of a small patch that can cover the break in the nail.
Step 4: Paint the broken nail with a generous coat of clear polish.
Step 5: While the clear polish is tacky, use a pair of tweezers to gently place the trimmed tea bag/coffee filter over the broken part of the nail. Press the patch into place using the tip of the tweezer.
Step 6: Allow it to dry. Then cover the nail with one or two more coats of clear polish.
Step 7: After the clear polish has dried you can polish with the color of your choice to camouflage the teabag.
2-Mending With Glue
If your nail is just split, rather than completely broken off, try our cofounder Yasmine's favourite quick-fix method: glue. Keep in mind this definitely isn't a permanent fix—you'll still have to book an appointment with your manicurist—but it should hold you over until you can make it to the salon.
Here's what you'll do:
- Step 1: Lightly the surface of the nail—the key here is to be super gentle, since too much pressure can actually cause more damage.
- Step 2: Apply two coats of a fast-drying nail glue to temporarily fuse the crack together until your next professional nail appointment. This will also prevent it from catching and snagging.
- Step 3: When the glue is 100 percent dry, cover the area with a thin coat of to help hold the crack in place ( SOS DAMAGED NAILS is always a good option, since it also helps strengthen your nails).
Alright, you may not want to hear this, but there isn't a truly permanent fix for a broken nail. No matter how good the repair, a difficult and deep crack or break will always seem to sneak its way back through the repair. If the break is in a convenient spot to allow it to be cut down, it might be easiest to just cut it and trim the rest of your nails to match.
And of course, to avoid broken nails in the future, Yasmine advises all her clients to moisturize daily with cuticle oil and keep their hands protected from the elements. “Fingernails are constantly exposed to harsh hand soaps, chemicals and water,” she says. “Keeping them moisturized and polished is the best solution to avoiding breakage.”
4-Preventative Tips and Products
Broken nails could signal that it’s time to cut them. “Keep nails shorter,” Yasmine advises. “Shorter nails are less likely to split and snag.” Also, invest in some smart nail care tools like a glass or crystal file. “Glass files don’t cause the microscopic tears in the nail that typical emery boards do,” Yasmine adds. Try our latest baby in the family Crystal File.