#Beautyschool: What To Do When Your Nail Is About To Break
Photo: Getty

Question: I have long nails and one is breaking below the white tip—is there anything I can do to stop it from coming off completely so I don’t sacrifice my whole manicure? 

Answer: Nothing ruins a perfect set of long nails you’ve spent weeks growing faster than the moment you open a can or car door wrong, or anxiously bite down a rough edge without thinking. But if you act quickly (and resist the urge to just clip it off every time it catches on your top), you might be able to avoid a painful break below the nail line.

Manicurist Miss Pop recommends going to a salon and letting a professional deal with the damage by putting a silk or fiberglass wrap on the nail. “They’re so old school, but they’re my favorite solution for a bad split that goes too deep to be filed. If you’re in a pinch, like you’re in the middle of the woods camping for days, a little nail glue can temporarily hold it, but when you go to remove the glue or it flakes off, it can cause more damage,” she says.

Manicurist Helen Han at Tenoverten agrees that glue will make a severe or painful break even worse, but says it’s okay for a minor tear. “Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly, then cut the nail short and put a drop of glue and 5-Second Nail Filler Powder, which you can get at drugstores, on. Then buff it out so the surface is smooth and put a Band-Aid on until it heals.”

 To prevent breaks all together, skip gel and give your nails a break in between manicures. Han advises keeping your nail polish on for five days, and removing it for two days, during which time you should moisturize the nail with coconut oil or olive oil. And remember when filing to always go in one direction: “If you go back and forth, you can cause tiny tears that lead to peeling,” says Miss Pop.

From: Harper’s BAZAAR US