Saturday, October 15, 2011

Split Nail Repair 101

I mentioned a few posts ago that I was returning from that short hiatus. I am, but I've hit a snag along the way. Aside from adjusting to a new work schedule and a whole lot of stuff that needs doing, I'm fighting with my nails. One, in particular.

The ring finger on my left hand (aka, my swatching hand) has had a vertical split coming from the nail bed for years. It's fine most of the time, but if I do something clumsy and break the nail, I have to cut it to the nail base and start over...which looks kind of icky when posting pretty nail polishes. It's currently like half the size of my other nails.

If any of you have ever had to deal with a vertical split, you know how irritating it can be, so I turned to the interwebs to see if I could find a good way to make it grow out right. In my search, I found the awesome video that shows how to patch your nails using nail glue and a tea bag. As you can imagine, I was intrigued, so I'm giving this a try.

(The link if you can't play the video. Note: This is NOT my video. I found it on YouTube.)

The basic process is as follows:
  1. Cut the top off a tea bag and dump out the tea leaves. Cut the paper from the bag to the size of your nail., leaving a little extra at the tip. I held the tea bag paper over my nail and traced around my cuticles with a pen to get an exact shape.
  2. Clean the nail with acetone polish or rubbing alcohol to remove all residue.
  3. Cover the nail in nail glue and fit the trimmed paper onto your nail. Be careful when  smoothing the paper over your nail. Cellophane worked in the video, I used the tip of metal cuticle scissors to move and arrange the paper. 
  4. Let the paper set so it doesn't move, then cover the nail with another layer of nail glue.
  5. Allow the glue to dry completely. 
  6. Use a buffing block or file to smooth the nail surface and be careful not to file through the paper. 
  7. Use scissors to trim the excess paper from the nail tip, then file the remaining edges.
  8. Apply your base coat (I used two coats) and apply polish normally.
From what I can tell, this process allows the nail to grow out without separating where the missing nail fiber causes the split, or in the event of a break/horizontal split, it forms a graft of sorts to prevent the entire nail from coming off while allowing to grow.

I'll keep you posted with how this process goes, and if it works effectively. In the meantime, I'll be swatching my right hand, so you'll be relying on my left handed photography and painting skills. Wish me luck. :)

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