How To Fix A Broken Nail At Home: 5 Ways That Actually Work

Some DIY ideas to the rescue of a chipped nail that can save you a trip to the salon.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Schwarzburg, MD Dr. Schwarzburg Dr. SchwarzburgMD insta_icon
Written by , Beauty & Lifestyle Writer Shalini Roy Beauty & Lifestyle Writer Experience: 2 years
Edited by , Associate Editor Asmita De Associate Editor Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , Beauty & Lifestyle Writer Joyce Joyson Beauty & Lifestyle Writer

Nothing is worse than chipping a perfectly manicured, insta-worthy nail! We all dread that. Luckily, you can easily fix a broken nail without making a trip to the nearest salon and spending thousands of bucks. You just need the essential tools and patience to fix your broken nails at home. While it may seem a minor issue, severe cases of broken nails may require medical attention.

You need to treat the wound and properly fix the nail if the split injured the nail bed. In this article, we have explained several easy DIY hacks to fix a broken nail at home and shared tips on preventing them from breaking again. Read on for more information.

Best Ways To Fix A Broken Nail At Home

1. Fix A Broken Nail With Glue

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You can use nail glue to fix a broken nail. This is, by far, the best method for fixing your nails right before an important event or when you desperately need them to look good. However, make sure that your nails are clean and free of dirt and oil before trying this method.

Once your nail is dry, apply glue to the broken part and press it against the other side until it dries. Do not worry about being gentle since this method is highly effective.

This method can help prevent further damage to your nails, so you should only use glue if the break is not too severe. It is quick and easy, and the glue is barely visible. Remember, you can try this method only for minor breaks until the glue dries completely. You will not be able to move your nail at all, so avoid using this method if your nails are flexible to prevent further damage.

2. Fix A Broken Nail With Gel Strips

This method is easy and does not require much time or effort. Make sure your nails are clean and dry before applying the product. If they are too wet, the gel strips will not stick properly.

Clean and dry your nails. Cut a gel strip as per the required size and attach it to your nail, similar to how you would apply a band-aid. Make sure that it is on the top of the nail and not the bottom where it would show. Blow dry your nail and make sure that the gel strip sticks firmly to it.

These strips can hold up pretty well, depending on how bad of a break you have. The only drawback is that they are visible, so use the glue method instead if you want something more discreet.

3. Fix A Broken Nail With A Tea Bag

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To get the most out of your tea bag, make sure that it is really warm. This will ensure that the moisture penetrates the nail and prevent further damage, such as discoloration or peeling.

Soak a tea bag in warm water and squeeze out any excess liquid to have it at its most absorbent state. Once your nails are thoroughly soaked, place the tea bag directly on your broken nail and apply gentle pressure. Remove the tea bag after 5 to 10 minutes. You can now use clippers to help shape your soft nails evenly. Dry them thoroughly with a blow-dryer and apply a coat of clear nail polish to protect your nails from further damage.

The method helps soften your broken nail, which makes it easier to work with. However, it is not a durable option, so you should avoid putting pressure on your nails while typing, writing, or using your fingers.

Khushbu, a YouTuber, demonstrates a quick and easy DIY fix for a split nail without using glue. She shares a step-by-step process using a tea bag, a clear top coat, and a toothpick, allowing viewers to repair a broken nail in just 5 minutes. She adds, “I change my manicure once a week so I will do this two to three times a month and by that time a nail will grow and I just trim it off and it will be new again (i).”

4. Fix A Broken Nail With Dip Powder

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If you do not want to fix broken nails with glue, dip powder is an excellent option that helps strengthen your nails. It provides an ultra-thin layer of protection that can help protect your nails and maintain their flexibility, making them ideal if you want something more discreet.

Make sure your nails are thoroughly clean and dry. Mix a teaspoon of dip powder with equal parts acetone in a small dish. Regular nail polish remover can work if you do not have acetone, but use a small amount, so your nails are not too wet.

Now, dip your nail in the powder-acetone mixture and let it dry for about 15 to 20 minutes before removing the excess powder. Repeat the process before curing your nails. Follow up with a coat of clear nail polish and let it dry to ensure a smooth nail surface.

Note: This is not the best method to fix broken nails if you have a habit of being rough on your nails.

5. Use An Artificial Fingernail

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Artificial nails are super thin but durable, making them great for short-term fixes while you wait for your nails to grow back. If you are looking for a suitable artificial nail, visit a salon and ask the technicians to help you find the right size.

You have to glue the artificial nail directly on top of your broken nail and file down at least half an inch from where it meets your cuticle line. Use clippers or a buffer to shape it. Apply clear nail polish to seal it in and blow dry to set it.

If your nail is too short, do not apply the artificial nail too close to the cuticle line. Ensure there is at least half an inch between your natural and fake nails before sealing it with clear nail polish. Be careful not to break the artificial nail. Also, do not tear it off as this can damage your underlying broken nail even more.

protip_icon Did You Know?
After a nail ruptures, it may take about 7-10 days for the nail bed to heal and 4 to 6 months for a new one to grow.

If you are experiencing nail breakage, small lifestyle changes can help restore your nail health. Read on to know how you can wreak less havoc on your nails and prevent any split or damage.

What Can Prevent The Nails From Breaking Again?

  • Make sure your nails are always clean and dry. Keep them moisturized for a solid and healthy texture.
  • Trim and file down your nails regularly to avoid accidental paper cuts or damage by other objects.

In a 2022 YouGov survey conducted with 1,060 participants, statistics on nail-biting habits were revealed. About 32% of respondents admitted to having had the habit at some point in their lives, with 41% currently struggling with it. 46% of males and 38% of females were currently dealing with nail biting and this behavior seemed prevalent among those aged 30-44 (57%) and 45-64 (59%). These individuals are prone to nail breakage and should take care of their nails.

  • Do not use your nails to open things that can prick or damage them.
  • Wear gloves while doing housework or handling chemicals, detergents, or harsh substances.
  • Do not apply direct pressure on your nails while typing or playing video games.
  • Use a food-grade oil or wax polish before applying clear nail polish to protect your nails.
protip_icon Did You Know?
Frequent nail breakage can happen when nails become too dry. Frequent manicures and excessive use of hand sanitizers can lead to dryness and contribute to nail breakage.

It breaks our heart when the perfectly manicured nails break. However, you do not have to visit a salon to get it fixed. You can fix a broken nail in the comfort of your own home without spending any penny. There are quick hacks listed in this article to help you fix this issue easily. To prevent the nails from breaking again, you need to follow some tips like moisturizing your nails, avoiding applying direct pressure, wearing gloves while working, and trimming them regularly. Following these will help you maintain your nails.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you fix a broken nail with tissue paper?

If a teabag is not available, you can use tissue paper to mend or repair split nails. To accomplish this, follow the steps given below:

    • Cut the broken nail as close to the tip of the finger as possible.
    • Use a file to file any snags carefully, but avoid the split.
    • Trim a piece of tissue paper to the size of a small patch to hide the nail break.
    • Apply a thick coat of clear nail polish to the broken nail.
    • While the clear polish is still damp, gently lay the trimmed tissue paper over the broken
    • section of the nail using tweezers. Using the tip of the tweezer, press the patch into place.
    • Allow it to dry completely. Then apply one or two extra coats of clear polish to the nail.
    • After the clear polish has dried, apply the color of your choice.

Can you put acrylic over a broken natural nail?

Acrylics can be used to cover a broken natural nail as long as there is no open wound and bleeding. If you clean it with alcohol and experience a burning sensation, you should wait a few days until the injury heals or the bleeding stops.

Is jojoba oil good for your nails?

Yes, jojoba oil is beneficial for the nails. Its moisturizing properties help prevent dryness, brittleness, and promote healthier cuticles. However, direct research is limited in this regard. Massage a few drops of the oil onto your nails and cuticles regularly for improved nail health.

Is putting garlic on your nails good?

Applying garlic on the nails is a home remedy believed to strengthen and promote nail growth due to its sulfur content. However, there is limited scientific evidence to support this claim. Additionally, its strong odor and potential skin irritation may be drawbacks.

Is soaking your nails in olive oil good?

Yes, soaking nails in olive oil is beneficial. Olive oil contains vitamin E that was shown to enhance the look of nails affected by yellow nail syndrome (1). The oil’s moisturizing properties contribute to overall nail health, preventing breakage and improving their appearance. Regular use may help promote healthier nails and cuticles

Key Takeaways

  • The moisture of the tea bag penetrates the nail and prevents further damage like discoloration or peeling.
  • Drip powder provides protection that shields your nails and maintains their flexibility.
  • Trim nails regularly to avoid accidental paper cuts or damage by other objects.

Broken nails hurt like a broken heart. So, here is a video to help you with such beauty mishaps, with practical tips on repairing broken corners, restoring your confidence, and perfecting your nail care routine. Click here to watch it!

Personal Experience: Source


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  1. Successful use of topical vitamin E solution in the treatment of nail changes in yellow nail syndrome
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