Here's Exactly How to Fix a Broken a Nail
We know there are much worse things in life than breaking a nail, but a bad split can be painful — both emotionally and physically. Not only does it ruin your manicure (which you probably spent good money on), but it can be an agonizing feeling. For instance, in some cases, there's no way to remove the broken part without exposing your nail bed. Ouch. Fortunately, if you find yourself in a position where you broke a nail, it's not hopeless.
There's a pretty simple way to fix a broken nail — it just takes a few tricks. Since our enamel, aka our fingernails, can't heal itself like skin, 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 bandage on your finger, we're sharing a step-by-step tutorial for patching up the tip to keep the broken nail as intact as possible. First, here's a list of the items you'll need: clear nail polish, nail clippers, a nail file, scissors, an empty tea bag or coffee filter, and colored nail polish.
How to Fix a Broken Nail
Keep reading for a handy step-by-step guide to fixing a broken nail.
— Additional reporting by Allison Ingrum
How to Fix a Broken Nail, Step 1: Clip the Chip (If You Can)
Start by using nail clippers to cut the broken nail if possible, getting as close to the tip of the finger as you can. The same applies to how to fix a broken toenail. We recommend this set of Tweezerman nail clippers ($11 for two).
How to Fix a Broken Nail, Step 2: File the Snag
Next, use a nail file to gently file any snags, staying away from the split itself. The Deborah Lippmann Smooth Operator buffer nail file ($14) has two sides: one with a softer grit for buffing and light filing, and one that's rougher. We recommend using the soft side on a broken nail.
How to Fix a Broken Nail, Step 3: Prep Your Patch
Now you're ready to prep your cover-up to fix the broken edge. Trim an empty tea bag or coffee filter with scissors, like the DS Draymond Story Acrylic Gold Craft Scissors ($13). You want to cut it down to create a small patch that can cover the break in the nail.
How to Fix a Broken Nail, Step 4: Apply Clear Polish and the Patch
Once the patch is cut to your desired size, it's time to apply it. Paint the broken nail with a coat of clear polish, like Essie's Expressie Always Transparent polish ($12).
Don't wait to let it dry — while the polish is still tacky, gently place the tea bag or coffee filter that you trimmed in step three over the broken part of the nail. Then, with the patch in place, cover the nail with one or two more coats of clear polish.
How to Fix a Broken Nail, Step 5: Add Color If You Want
With your tea-bag patch in place, your broken nail should be all set. However, if you want to cover the tea bag, use a nail polish of your choice. Any opaque dark shade will do, but you can't go wrong with Olive & June nail polish in Plaza ($9), a deep mulberry purple.