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How To Repair a Cracked Nail
One of the most frustrating things that can happen to long natural nails is to crack one way down low into the nail bed. Ouch! What do you do? It’s too low to just cut it off and it hurts! Fortunately there is an easy way to repair a cracked nail at home. Here’s how.
What you will need:
A tea bag, fiberglass strip or tissue paper (gift wrap tissue paper, not a facial or toilet tissue paper)
Sharp sissors (embroidery sissors are best)
3 way nail buffer
A plastic sandwich bag (the thinnest, cheapest bags work best. Not a zippered bag, the cheap fold over bags)
Glue drying spray or brush on activator (optional)
Step 1) Wash and dry your hands throughly. if you have nail polish on your cracked nail, remove the nail polish first and then wash and dry your hands. Your nails must be clean and free of all oils and lotions before you begin or your patch will not last.
Step 2) Use the 3 way nail buffer to remove the shine from the surface of the cracked nail.
Step 3) Apply a dab of nail glue to the crack and then carefully and very gently wiggle the nail so that the glue flows into the crack. Wiggle the nail 1 or 2 times, then hold the nail firmly in place for 1 minute allowing the glue to dry.
Step 4) Apply a thin coat of glue to the nail covering the crack and the surrounding area, about 1/8 inch on either side of the crack.
Step 5) While the glue is still wet place your patch material over the crack. Your patch material should be precut into a strip that will cover the entire crack but not all of the glued area. You want the base glue to come out further than the patch material.
The best patch material is a fiberglass strip purchased from a beauty supply store. The second best patch material is a tea bag. Cut the tea bag open and remove all the tea. Cut a strip of fabric the desired length and width. The cheapest patch material is a piece of tissue paper. Use white tissue paper and you will need at least 2 strips cut to size. The first strip should be a little smaller than the second strip.
Press your patch material into the glue using the plastic sandwich bag. Placing the sandwich bag over the patch and pressing the patch material firmly down on the nail. The plastic will not stick to the glue but will allow you to firmly press all the edges of the patch material to the nail. Remove the plastic sandwich bag. If you are repairing more than one nail, use a clean section of the plastic bag for each patch. Dried glue on the plastic bag will stick to your patch glue if you attempt to reuse the same spot on the sandwich bag.
If you are using tissue paper to patch the crack, apply a second coat of glue and tissue paper and let dry.
Step 6) Apply another coat of glue and let dry or spray with a glue dryer or activator if you have one.
Step 7) File and shape the nail, smoothing the edges if any of the patch has left a rough edge. Lightly buff the surface with the 3 way buffer to finish.
When you want to remove the patch, wrap a cotton ball soaked in acetone with foil around the nail for 5 minutes. The patch will slide off.
If you want the patch to last for several weeks, quickly wipe polish off with polish remover, do not soak the patch with polish remover. Buff the patch with a 3 way buffer and apply additional nail glue. Allow glue to dry before reapplying polish.
If you take care of your glue patch it will last until you remove it.
The following is a video that shows how to use a purchased nail repair kit. I included the link because the technique is well demonstrated even though some of the products used are different than what I recommended.
Check out more from nail artist, manicurist sensation Katherine Fahrig on her blog here at http://nailsatpanache.wordpress.com