How to Repair a Torn Fingernail

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To avoid nail breakage, moisturize your nails and use gloves when you're washing dishes or gardening. Here's how you can fix those unavoidable nail snafus.

Things You'll Need

  • Tweezers
  • Colored Nail Polish
  • Emery Board
  • Manicure Stick
  • Nail Buffer
  • Nail Glue Or Fast-bonding Glue
  • Nail-polish Remover
  • Toothpick
  • Tea bag, coffee filter or silk swatch

Remove any polish from the nail. Start with clean, dry nails.

Cut a patch from a tea bag, coffee filter or swatch of silk. The patch should be large enough to cover the tear.

Put a drop of fast-bonding glue on a toothpick and apply it to the tear. Use nail glue or a household glue containing cyanoacrylate. If you get any glue on your skin, wipe it off with acetone-based nail-polish remover.

Hold the nail in place with the toothpick for 30 seconds. If the tear is small, this alone will fix it--no need for a patch.

Dab the glue on the patch, then pick up the patch with tweezers.

Use the toothpick or a manicure stick to smooth the patch onto the tear. Act quickly because the glue dries fast.

Allow the glue to dry thoroughly for 1 minute. Then smooth out any rough edges with an emery board and a nail buffer. File nails in a square instead of an oval shape to prevent breakage.

Apply colored nail polish to camouflage the patch.

Tips & Warnings

  • If glue gets in your eyes or mouth, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Do not use glue containing cyanoacrylate to attach artificial nails.

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