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How To Fix A Broken Nail With Nail Polish – Easily at Home

If you have broken a nail and you are looking to fix it using Nail Polish, then today is your lucky day.

I would like to present to you the best method to repair your nail(s) and pull them back together.

I’d like to outline step by step, what you need to do and provide you with some tips and tricks along the way.

There’s nothing worse than breaking a nail; it can ruin your current design, cause you pain and irritation, and it can prevent you from getting the long strong natural nails that you could have achieved otherwise.

As a certified Nail Technician, I often run into many clients who have broken or split a nail; and over the years I’ve been able to identify the best way to resolve this common and unfortunate event. I’d like to present this to you today.

Now the often recommended and traditional way is to use hard gel. This is good if you don’t plan on removing it, since hard gels are permanent and they can only be filed off. But the truth of the matter is Hard Gel is not for everyone. Instead, using Gel Polish you can get the results you want to achieve.

So without further ado, let’s get started…

How To Fix A Broken Nail With Gel Polish

What You Will Need:

  • Nail File (Crystal Glass Nail File Recommended)
  • Rubbing Alcohol/Nail Polish Remover
  • Nail Glue
  • Aluminium Foil/Small Bowl
  • Toothpick
  • Silk Wrap
  • Hurry Up Nail Glue Dryer – Optional
  • Base Gel
  • UV/LED Lamp – Optional
  • Top Coat

Step One:

To start with, you are going to want to remove any polish that you have currently on your nail.

You are also going to want to remove it along with the break itself.

For this, you are going to want to use a Nail File.

I recommend using a Crystal Glass Nail File (like this from Amazon). 

This is because you will find that you have more control during the filing process.

Let’s say you had a split in the center of your nail.

You would want to remove the polish in a downward motion (and not side to side or up and down) so that you do not cause any further damage to the split.

Be sure to gently buff the surface of your nail to get rid of any shine – this will help give the gel something to adhere to.

Just like any time that you use a file, you always want to clean off the excess from your nail, and you also want to push back your cuticles and remove any skin that may be on your nail plate.

Step Two:

Once you’ve removed all of your polish with your nail file, next, take some Rubbing Alcohol (wipes like this are the easiest to use) or some Nail Polish Remover (the best one I have used is this) and cleanse the damaged nail.

Step Three

At this stage, you are going to want to take some ultra-quick Nail Glue (like this), and apply a small amount to a piece of Aluminium Foil.

You could use a paper plate or a piece of plastic, but the Foil is great to prevent any spillage and to prevent the glue from going on your carpet or worktop.

Now, you don’t actually have to use a toothpick, but I like to do this instead of applying directly onto the nail. This way you will have a lot more control.

Next, to get the finer and most precise application of the glue into the break itself, you’re going to dip the toothpick into some of the nail glue on the foil.

Using a Toothpick and Aluminium Foil

From here apply the glue directly onto the break. You are going to want to ensure that the whole break is covered – including in between the break itself.

Then, gently smooth the glue to ensure it covers the entire break and a little bit of the surrounding area.

Step Four

Next, you’re going to take a small piece of Silk Wrap (like this) and you want to cut it into a piece that fits the break with it slightly overlapping the surrounding area.

Just roughly eyeball the size of the Silk Wrap but if you want to be more precise then you can go ahead and just mark on the wrap with a pencil.

Just be sure not to pull your silk too much because it’s cut on a bias which means it can stretch.

After you trim your rectangle you actually just want to cut the corners of each side to give you a stop sign – this is going to help it sit around the cuticle line on your nail.

Before you can actually apply the silk wrap, make sure you fix your nail by ensuring that the nail is folded over and pressed hard to make sure it’s completely flat and flush.

Once cut and your nail is ready, gently press this piece down.

If the break is on the tip of the nail, you will want to make sure you leave some excess on the tip – that way it’s secure.

Then apply a little bit more glue just to make sure the break is fixed.

Advanced Tip: If you want the glue to quickly dry, I recommend you use the Hurry Up Nail Glue Dryer.

This is a really effective way that will save you a lot of time!

To use this, hold it about six inches from the nail and just lightly spray it – this will dry your nail glue instantly on contact.

Step Five

Once the initial layer of glue is dry (after you’ve waited or used the recommended dryer above) you then can move on to more layers of glue.

I recommended doing about two or three layers of glue, that are individually dried, to make sure that you have a secure bond. This is what it looks like:

How To Fix A Broken Nail With Nail Polish
Secure Bond

Step Six

Once the glue has fully dried then you need to file off the excess on the tip. Use your Nail File, or a Buffer, to smooth out the surface of the nail.

Step Seven

Once the nail is completely smooth then take a Rubbing Alcohol Wipe/Nail Polish Remover applied to a Cotton Ball and cleanse the nail once more prior to the application of the Gel Nail Polish.

Step Eight

Now, apply some base gel and cure for 30 seconds using a UV/LED Lamp (like this).

When using a gel polish like shellac or gellish for example, only a UV light can cure/dry it so this will be required for this step.

Your base layer is a soak-off gel and thinks of clear gel as a base gel (essentially the same) – just think of it as gel polish without any color.

You want to apply an even coat and not press down on the bristles, instead, float over the nail because you want to create some thickness.

You want the gel to saturate the entire silk wrap.

After you cure you can trim away the excess silk wrap – it doesn’t have to be perfect because you will chew it up later.

Now go back in with your gel and use a fair amount of product on your brush.

You want to create thickness so using the floating technique will really help to create this.

Just hover over and let the gel make contact with your nail. Then pull down very gently and just smooth to get rid of any brushstrokes. Your bristles should barely move.

Step Nine

When the gel is fully dry, apply a layer of topcoat. You will similarly need to cure this coat got around 30 seconds.

This is going to be your final coat. When applying this coat, ensure your bristles are expanded on the brush.

This will help you get the least amount of product around your cuticle area.

You will want to thin the product to ensure that your overlay looks natural instead of having a big bump at the top of your nail.

After this coat is applied, go ahead and cure for around 30 seconds….and then we’re almost done!

Step 10

To finish the nail you’re going to have to file it one last time using the Crystal Glass Nile File.

Remember there’s an inhibition layer that’s left after you cure your gel so you need to get rid of the stickiness otherwise it’ll get stuck to your tools.

I usually begin by going gently around the cuticle and remember you don’t have to file very much in this area because you didn’t put very much product there, to begin with.

Because a Crystal Nail File grit is quite high you only need a few strokes.

Once you’re done follow the curve up the sides of your nail and then move to the tip.

I like to use strokes going downward towards the tip to ensure the coat is thin.

Then just blend the middle portion that’s left which is the apex and the highest point of the nail.

Finally, you just need to get rid of your dust and make sure that you refine the free edge and finish with a top gel

I’d also recommend that you do not neglect your Cuticles so make sure you use cuticle oil to preserve the health of your nail and help it grow back stronger. Cuticle oil is my remedy for everything!

Step Eleven:

You’re all done and your broken or split nail is now fixed! Now, you’re ready to paint your nails with regular polish!

Final Words

So there you have it, a quick, easy and effective way that the professionals use to repair and fix a broken nail.

By following this step-by-step process, you can prepare your nails for your new polish in no time at all; and not let your broken nail ruin your new design and look.

If you are new to this technique, then I would thoroughly recommend that you invest in a good UV/LED Lamp; for not will it only be essential for curing Gel Nails, but you will be able to repair a nail whenever you get a break.