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How to Fix a Broken Nail

There are much worse things in life than breaking a nail, but a bad split can be painful. And in some cases, there's no way to remove the broken part without exposing your nail bed. Fortunately, there's a pretty simple way to repair your nail. Since our nails can't heal themselves, your best bet is to keep the split nail from snagging while it grows out. If you don't want to walk around with a Band-Aid, try doing this to keep the broken nail as intact as possible.

What you'll need

  • Clear nail polish
  • Nail clippers
  • Nail file
  • Scissors
  • One tea bag emptied of the tea, or a coffee filter
  • Colored nail polish (optional)

Clip the broken nail if possible, getting it as close to the tip of the finger or toe as you can. Gently file any snags, staying away from the split itself. Trim the tea bag or coffee filter to the size of a small patch that can cover the break in the nail. Paint the broken nail with a coat of clear polish. While it's still tacky, gently place the trimmed tea bag/coffee filter over the broken part of the nail. Cover the nail with one or two more coats of polish. To cover the tea bag, use a colored polish.

Image Source: IMAXTREE
Join The Conversation
Mia-Tired Mia-Tired 5 years
Works great! Did this on my finger nail. Make sure to let the filter dry before applying the other two or better coats of clear nail polish. Thanks!
piccalily piccalily 7 years
This is an excellent idea. Thanks man!
rebelde816 rebelde816 9 years
This happens to me all the time. Thanks bella!! I never thought of this before!
Fokked Fokked 9 years
I've definitely tried this before... and it never really works. It tends to lift or peel.. or just rip again. Perhaps it worked better on feet than hands since you don't use your nails so much?
anaisethenry anaisethenry 9 years
I'm trying this as soon as I get home!
plasticine1 plasticine1 9 years
my nail just broke today, on the nailbed. i'm gonna try this when i get home!!
heineken67 heineken67 9 years
I do the same thing, leeluvfashion! It's such a pain. Tissue paper and nail glue are usually a temporary fix for me, but maybe if I use a tea bag it will last longer next time.
Cinnamon-Girl Cinnamon-Girl 9 years
What a good idea ! thanks for sharing Bella . i really needed this advice a month ago ...the same thing happened to me .
Leony Leony 9 years
Thanks for the post! I had broken finger nails a quite few times and it sucks :(
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 9 years
^ grea should be "grew."
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 9 years
I needed this post; I'm known to accidently catch my nail on my shaver (how! I don't know...) and a few times I had to wait until my nail grea to trim it since it was almost at the nail bed. Ouch.
jconcep jconcep 9 years
i use nail glue instead of clear nail polish for the patch... and once that is dry, i buff it smooth and as flush as possible to the nail, then apply clear nail polish or go on with applying a base coat then color. :-)
julieulie julieulie 9 years
Oh man, this happens to me ALL THE TIME. This might be the first time in 2 or 3 years that I haven't had a giant piece of a toe or fingernail missing. Ugh.
carhornsinapril carhornsinapril 9 years
ouch! i've never had a split on my toe before. sounds painful.
SaRaH-22 SaRaH-22 9 years
i usually just use a drop of nail glue or if im out superglue and then paint over it and USUALLY stays long enough untill it has grown out far enough
mischo-beauty mischo-beauty 9 years
Thanks Bella... hope your toe gets better quick!
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 9 years
Wow, I've never thought of that. Some of my flamenco-guitarist friends strengthen their nails with silk (and some of them - and these are men - get acrylics!), but I've never really thought of it as a way to fix breaks. Thanks for sharing!! I'll definitely be relying on this advice next time I break a nail.
juliarose23 juliarose23 9 years
thanks bella i will remember this!
d_et_g d_et_g 9 years
Clever idea! I'll keep it in mind!
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Interesting. I've never had a split this bad before. Normally I just cut the nail and wait for it to grow back out.
jspeed jspeed 9 years
interesting idea --I'll have to try this next time
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