How to Fix a Broken Nail At Home: Tips, Causes And Preventive Measures

Learn how to fix a broken nail at home with our expert tips and tricks. Delve into the causes and find out how you can prevent such nail mishaps from happening.

Chhavi Puri
Written by Chhavi Puri , Skincare Coach & Makeup Expert
Updated on Apr 08, 2024 | 06:47 PM IST | 191.7K
How to Fix a Broken Nail
How to Fix a Broken Nail

It’s always a hassle to deal with that much-dreaded broken fingernail – you must be wondering if there’s a way to salvage the situation until it grows out naturally. Well, there is! In this article, we’ll answer the question of how to fix a broken nail, providing you with some effective ways to repair it and keep it concealed. Moreover, you need to understand why nails break in the first place – we’ll get into some of the most common causes.

We know how disheartening the situation can be, especially if you’ve just gotten a fresh and pretty manicure. But don’t worry, with this guide that we’ve prepared, you will be able to turn things around. From strategies such as making use of household items like the tea bag method to using specially formulated glue for broken nails, we’re sure that you’ll find one that works best for your problem.

Also, we understand that going forward, prevention is key — find out the dos and don’ts when it comes to caring for your nails so that you can avoid mistakes that may lead to a broken nail in the future. Healthy-looking and strong nails require time and effort to achieve and maintain, and this article aims to help you achieve just that.

Common Causes for a Broken Nail

Broken nails are a common occurrence; they are typically caused by everyday activities or minor accidents. However, one of the main reasons this happens is because you do not take proper care of your nails. Activities like aggressive nail trimming, using your nails to open cans and packages, and biting them can cause them to become damaged (1). Moreover, exposing them to harsh and harmful chemicals, such as ones found in cleaning products or hair removal creams may make them even more prone to breakage. 

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Another very common way that you can end up with a broken toenail or fingernail is through physical trauma such as accidentally banging your nail against something hard. Whether the impact is sudden or there's constant pressure against it, like squeezing your toes into a pair of shoes that are too small, a nail fracture can be incredibly painful.

How to Fix a Broken Nail: Tips And Tricks

How to Fix a Broken Nail: Tips And Tricks

The following are a few steps that you can take to ensure your broken, natural nail is fixed:

1. Collect the Required Tools And Supplies

Firstly, ensure that you have a good nail clipper — it should be sharp and not rusty. Then, find a buffer, some brush-on nail glue, a tea bag or a silk wrap, and some clear nail polish. Set them all down on a sturdy surface.

2. Trim the Broken Nail

Assess the entire nail and then get to trimming it with a pair of clippers. Do this very gently – take your time and don’t be hasty as this may lead to further damage.

3. Smooth Down the Edges

Using a nail buffer, start smoothing down the rough edges of the broken nail. This will prevent snagging and accidentally hurting yourself.

4. Use a Tea Bag or Silk Wrap to Hold it Together

Take a tea bag or a silk wrap, whatever you have on hand, and cut a small piece of it to cover the broken area. Apply the piece over the fracture and reinforce it using nail glue.

5. Layer on Nail Glue for Support

Start applying the nail glue over the tea bag or silk wrap that you used to cover the broken area. Ensure that you’re doing this in thin layers, giving each of them sufficient time to completely dry. This will ensure that they are extra sturdy.

6. Create a Seal with Clear Polish

Once all the layers of glue have dried down, use a clear nail polish to seal off the area that you just repaired. This will add an additional layer of protection to your nail repair project.

7. Keep the Repaired Nail Away from Moisture

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Too much exposure to water and moisture can cause the glue to weaken – try your best to keep the repaired area dry. 

8. Consider a Temporary Nail Wrap

If the break is severe, we suggest that you use a temporary adhesive nail wrap for extra support.

9. Use a Band-aid for a Quick Fix

If you’re in a place where you can’t immediately attend to your broken nail, find a band-aid and wrap and apply it over the broken area to protect it for the time being. This is especially important if it is bleeding or hurt badly.

10. Keep Your Cuticles Nourished

Use a cuticle oil or cream for nourishment – this will keep your nails healthy over the repair process and as the broken one grows out.

Though repairing broken nails can be a hard task, these tips will be sure to help you, especially if you’re dealing with a nail broken in half. Furthermore, if you want to conceal your broken nail or the repaired area, take a look at the tips below.

Other Ways to Conceal Your Broken Nail

Other Ways to Conceal Your Broken Nail

Below, we’ve mentioned a few ways in which you can conceal your broken nail or draw attention away from the repaired area:

1. Use Nail Stickers or Foil Wrap

Take some nail stickers or foil wrap and use it over the nail to hide the broken or repaired part. This will also add a chic look to your nails – it’s a win-win situation!

2. Create Nail Art

You can use gel nail polish and nail pens to create pretty nail art over the area that you want to conceal. This will create an eye-catching yet camouflaging effect, diverting attention from the mishap.

3. Apply a Faux Nail

If you’ve broken the tip of a nail (one of the most common ways a nail breaks), using a faux tip over the broken part is a great way to protect it until it grows out.

4. Switch to Shorter Nails

If you don’t mind losing some length on all of your nails, this is a fairly easy way to even them out. This protects your nails and prevents the broken one from getting further damaged. Also, if you have a detached nail, this would be the best option.

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5. Opt for a Nude Nail Color

Choose a nude gel polish that blends in with your skin tone and apply it to your nails. This works great for temporarily fixing a broken nail in a discreet manner. 

How to Prevent Your Nails from Breaking

How to Prevent Your Nails from Breaking

If you’ve had enough of broken nails and don’t want to deal with them in the future, take a look at the below-mentioned ways that you can prevent nail breakage:

1. Moisturization Is Key

Hydrated nails are healthy nails! Apply a nourishing moisturizer or conditioning oil to prevent them from getting dry, brittle, and parched, as they are prone to breakage in that condition (2).

2. Stay Hydrated

You must drink an appropriate amount of water to maintain overall hydration. This won’t just benefit your nails but your skin and hair as well.

3. Consume a Balanced Diet

To promote healthy and strong nail growth, it is of utmost importance that you indulge in a diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals, especially biotin (3). You can also make biotin supplements a part of your diet to better your weak nails.

4. Avoid Prolonged Exposure to Water

When your nails are in contact with water for long durations, they tend to start weakening. When performing chores such as washing the dishes, use a pair of gloves for protection, preventing weakened nails.

5. Follow a Gentle Nail Care Routine

Avoid excessive nail clipping or filing as these activities can weaken the structure of the nails (4). Use a pair of clean and sharp clippers and a fine-grit nail file to get rid of any rough edges.

6. Don’t Bite Your Nails

If you regularly bite and chew on your nails, it is important that you break the habit now. This can weaken the nails and cause a whole lot of damage (1).

7. Use a Strengthening Polish or Serum

Use a nail strengthener regularly to add an extra layer of defense to your nails. They come in the form of polishes, serums, oils, and more.

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Mistakes to Avoid When You Have a Broken Nail

There are certain mistakes that you can make which may worsen the condition of your already broken nail. We’re listing a few of them below so that you can be more cautious.

1. Try Not to Use Your Broken Nail

As much as possible, stay away from using the nail that is damaged. Don’t use it as a tool to open objects, peel off stickers, or perform strenuous tasks.

2. Keep the Broken Area Clean

Clean the broken nail on a regular basis to prevent it from getting infected. At the same time, do not soak it in water for too long as it can further weaken the nail.

3. Don’t Pick at the Broken Nail

Often, individuals tend to bite and pick at the broken nail – this should be avoided at all costs. It will only worsen the situation and delay the process of healing.

4. Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Do not let the broken nail come in contact with harsh chemicals such as nail polish remover or dish soap (5). This may lead to further damage, hurting the broken nail.

5. Don’t Get Acrylic Nails or Gel Manicures

Though you might think it’s a quick fix, getting gel or acrylic nails over your broken nail will only make the problem worse and prevent it from healing.

6. Avoid Tight-fitting Gloves or Shoes

Stay away from using gloves that are too tight – this can put pressure on the broken nail or cause snagging on the rough parts. Similarly, if you have a broken toenail, avoid shoes that are too rich.

7. Don’t Stay Away from Getting Professional Help

Seek help from your nail technician or a healthcare professional if the break is causing you any discomfort. Also, if you notice any signs of infection such as redness, swelling, or pus, it is very important to get help immediately.

When Should You See a Doctor Regarding a Broken Nail?

Fixing a broken nail is usually something that can be done at home. However, if you’re dealing with intense pain, severe bleeding, and signs of an infection, it is of utmost importance that you get immediate medical help. In the meantime, we suggest that you clean the affected area if possible and protect it with a band-aid.

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You must keep in mind, that while using at-home DIYs can be a solution, they may not work well in all cases. So don’t hesitate to reach out to a doctor if you have any doubts or require immediate attention, your nails deserve to be cared for. 

Conclusion

To sum it all up, knowing how to fix a broken nail is very important to carry out an effective repair project. You must be aware of the common causes, some of which we’ve mentioned earlier on in the article – so that you can prevent the risk of further breakage. Moreover, with our practical tips to repair and conceal a broken or split nail, you’ll be able to promptly intervene and save your nail until it grows out. Remember, by staying hydrated, eating a healthy diet, and keeping your cuticles moisturized, you will be able to promote the growth of healthier, stronger, and beautiful-looking nails.

ALSO READ: How to Stop Sweating on the Face: Everything You Need to Know

FAQ's

Will a broken nail heal itself?
No, a broken nail will not heal on its own. You must take proper care of it – protect the damaged area and keep it clean. This will prevent it from further damage.

How can I help my nails grow quicker?
Nail growth is generally influenced by genetics. However, proper nail care, adequate hydration levels, and a balanced diet can have an influence on nail growth.

Why is my nail splitting down the middle?
This can happen for many reasons such as dryness, physical trauma, nutritional deficiencies, and other health conditions like thyroid and psoriasis.

Can you use super glue as nail glue?
While some people use super glue as a quick fix for broken nails, we suggest that you don’t do this as it can cause irritation or further damage. Instead, opt for glues that are specifically designed for the nails.

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About The Author
Chhavi Puri
Chhavi Puri
Skincare Coach & Makeup Expert

Chhavi is a certified Skincare Coach and she's also certified in Makeup Artistry. Her fascination with skincare

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