- Weak or chip-prone digits? Dump a teaspoon of finely chopped garlic in your base coat. It strengthens nails really well (some people claim it also helps them grow faster) for a fraction of the price of drugstore nail hardeners.
- Want curls, but forgot your iron and rollers? Put a paper bag on your head. Seriously. "Paper bag" curls work on the same principle as rag curls. You just tear a big paper grocery bag into strips, then roll your towel-dried or slightly dampened hair up in them. You can sleep on them or, for faster results, blow-dry and then spritz with hair spray.
- Use Pam to set your manicure. In the old days, salons used mink oil (yech) to set manicures and help dry them. Now they have fancy hand dryers, but oil is still a good way to keep your nails from smudging or getting divots.
- Got oily hair and there's no shampoo or powder in sight? Grab a packet of (plain) dry oatmeal. It absorbs oil just as well as dry shampoo or powder, and it's easy to brush out.
- Hair dry and brittle? Here's a trick from the Greatest Generation: use mayo as a hair mask. Our grandmothers and great-grandmothers did it, and look how shiny their hair was. All jokes aside, the egg and oil in mayo make it a good strengthener and hydrator.
- Don't peel off a chipped nail. If you can't get to a salon, grab some fake nail glue. Using something small, sharp, and unlikely to flake off (like an orange stick, a toothpick, or the tip of a pin), swipe a tiny bit of glue into the crack, let it dry, and then paint over it with a base coat and polish if you have it.
- Need more shine without the product? If shine spray weighs down your hair too much, or you just don't have any available, rinse your hair with vinegar while you're in the shower, leave it on for three to five minutes while you're shaving, washing up, etc., and then rinse it out with cool water when you're done.
- Another fast shine fix? Dip your hair in ice water. The cold seals your hair's cuticle, making it look smoother and more reflective. Just don't dip your scalp in and give yourself brain freeze.
- Static in the air got your hair looking like you just touched a Van der Graaf generator? Swipe a dryer sheet across the offending hairs to tamp down flyaways. It reduces static in your hair the same way it does in your towels.
- Dreaded nail fungus got you keeping your feet and hands hidden? Try putting Vicks VapoRub on your hands and feet before you go to bed, then wear gloves and socks over it. It should take about six to eight weeks to alleviate most of the effects of the fungus, although it may not kill it altogether.
When you're in a jam and desperate for hair or nail help, the perfect fix can come from some highly unexpected places. Whether you tore a nail and can't get to the salon, need a manicure to dry fast, or forgot your curling iron before a big event, there's slightly bizarre but excellent assistance for you when you keep reading.
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