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How to Fix a Broken Nail: 5 of the Best Techniques

Breaking your nail is up there with the worst things that can happen on your wedding morning. We've rounded up the best ways to fix a broken nail at home, plus some top tips for strengthening your nails to prevent it from happening in the first place.

You’ve spent months carefully growing, filing, shaping and buffing your nails for your wedding day. On the day before your wedding, you skip off to get your long-awaited bridal manicure, but the following morning you feel a snag. And bam – just like that, your wedding nail dreams are (quite literally) torn apart.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to fix a broken nail from the comfort of your bridal suite. Here, we tell you how to fix a broken nail in five different ways before outlining the best ways to to prevent breakages happening! Oh, and there’s a few of our favourite nail strengthening products at the bottom of the page thrown in for good measure. Consider all future nail disasters averted!

How to Fix a Broken Nail

1. The Teabag Method

The teabag method went viral a while back – and for good reason. It has got to be the most popular way to fix a nail break on the internet.

The best thing about using this method is you can do it anywhere. Seriously, you don’t need fake nails or fancy kit to hand – just a teabag. Yep, the ones you find in every hotel room. Hoorah!

If your nail breaks, cut a small corner from a tea bag and secure it over the break with nail glue. If you don’t have any, one of your bridesmaids is bound to.

Once the teabag snipping is secure and dry, buff it down slightly, paint over it with a top coat and then finish with your chosen nail shade. Even the close up shots of your wedding rings won’t reveal your secret.

READ MORE: What to Include in Your Bridal Survival Kit

2. Apply One Fake Nail

If you’re usually one to go ‘au naturale’ but one of your nails has snapped off before your very eyes, applying one fake nail to cover the damage is a great, quick wedding morning fix.

Press on nails are fab, and they don’t cost much money. If disaster strikes, ask one of your bridesmaids to run down to the nearest shop and pick up your favourite falsies. Press the correct sized nail over your broken one, file it down to match the length of the rest of your nails, then paint it the same shade. You’ll be able to keep it on until your broken nail grows out underneath.

READ MORE: All of the Bridesmaid Duties You Didn’t Know About

3. The Gel Silk Method

If things have gone really horribly wrong, you’ll need a heavy-duty solution to fix your broken nail.

A silk wrap will have the same effect as a plaster would on the skin, binding everything together and letting it repair underneath. All you need to do is file over the top of the nail, cover with a base coat, stick on a piece of silk wrap and buff out your nail once everything has set in place. For extra protection from further breakages, you could apply another layer of gel or top coat.

READ MORE: 15 of the Coolest Wedding Nail Art Designs

4. The Powder Fill Method

One of the most durable at-home quick nail fixes is to mend your broken nail with powder. Granted, it does require a kit like the Orly Nail Rescue Kit, but at less than £15 it’ll be totally worth it.

Apply the nail glue provided before sprinkling nail powder over the top. For less mess, place the powder into a small dish and dip your nail into it.

Do this two or three times, depending on the severity of the crack, before applying some glue-drying spray and smoothing with a buffing block. Et voila! You’re ready to enjoy your day.

READ MORE: The Ultimate Bridal Beauty Countdown

5. Change the Others to Match

Probably not your ideal method if you’ve spent months growing your nails for your big day, but no matter how good your job, the only way to banish a broken nail completely is to file the other nails to match.

We love oval-shaped nails – they look so elegant and they’re less likely to split than square-shaped nails are.

READ MORE: The Best Flawless Foundations to Wear on Your Wedding Day

How to Grow Stronger Nails

It’s all well and good knowing how to fix a broken nail, but how can you prevent breaks from happening in the first place?

If your nails are flaking and peeling like nobody’s business, then it’s time to get those nails feeling stronger. We’ve been on a mission to round up the best and most reliable ways to strengthen your nails ahead of your big day. Nail breaks, be gone!

READ MORE: The Best Fake Tans to Give You a Natural Wedding Day Glow

1. Use a Cuticle Oil Every Day

how to fix a broken nail

Have you ever taken notice of what the pros do when you go and get a manicure? You’re probably too interested in figuring out how to Insta/text/reply to emails with one hand to focus on every step, but that could be the reason you’re missing out on the addition of cuticle oil.

Cuticle oil works wonders at repairing, nourishing and moisturising both your nails and the skin around them. Basically, it’s a sure-fire way to avoid ragged cuticles and dry, brittle nails like the plague. Oh, and it can extend the life of your manicure by at least two days. You’re listening now, aren’t you?

Look out for a cuticle oil which is almond oil based like the Jessica Phenomen Oil Intensive Moisturiser, then slather it on every night before you go to bed to give it the best chance of being absorbed.

READ MORE: The Beauty Benefits of Coconut Oil

2. Up Your Vitamin B Intake

how to fix a broken nail

If a bumpy, ridged nail bed is totally ruining your mani, you need to increase your vitamin B9 intake.

Otherwise known as folic acid, this vitamin repairs and multiplies the cells which make up your nails. For this reason, increasing levels of vitamin B in your diet will give you strong nails that won’t break or thin.

If you don’t want to take a vitamin supplement, high levels of folic acid can be found in beans, peas, fruit and eggs. Bridal beauty begins in the kitchen!

READ MORE: 17 Breakfast Ideas for the Morning of Your Wedding

3. Buff Your Nails

how to fix a broken nail

Nails naturally grow more quickly when they have a higher level of blood supply to them, and one way to make this happen is to massage them.

Shops like Boots and Superdrug sell 4-in-1 nail buffers (this one is only £2.20!) which have a side for each stage of the process: file, buff, smooth and shine. Regularly buffing your nails will give encourage circulation and have them growing much faster.

4. Protect Your Nails

how to fix a broken nail

Planning a wedding doesn’t mean you get out of housework (unfortunately), but the chemicals in your cleaning products (and the bacteria in the dirt you’re removing) can really affect your nails.

Make sure you wear cotton-lined rubber gloves when you’re carrying out your household chores to give your nails the highest levels of protection.

READ MORE: 37 Gorgeous Makeup Ideas for Every Bride

5. Avoid Quick-Dry Nail Polish

how to fix a broken nail

Quick-dry nail polishes tend to contain more acetone, formaldehyde and alcohol than normal nail products. This might not mean much to the average person, but science suggests that these fluids can split your nails and dry them out. Not ideal.

Although this isn’t the case for all quick-drying products, look out for formaldehyde and alcohol when buying polishes in the lead up to your wedding day. This will ensure your nails stay nice and healthy.

6. Beware of Certain Nail Polish Removers

how to fix a broken nail

Certain brands of nail polish remover can also contain high levels of formaldehyde and acetone. These chemicals will leave your nails weak with less natural protection and again, can really dry them out.

Acetate-based removers are your best option if you want to keep your nails strong, so look out for those when shopping for your beauty products.

7. Trim and File Your Nails Straight

how to fix a broken nail

When trimming your fingernails and toenails, cut them straight as a rule of thumb (don’t mind the pun). As well as deterring breaks, this also prevents ingrown nails that can be really painful and difficult to get rid of.

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8. Moisturise Your Hands and Nails

how to fix a broken nail

Having gorgeous nails is all well and good, but you want your hands to look just as nice.

Using a hand cream daily will not only prevent your skin from looking dry but will leave your nails looking stronger and healthier. Lots of hand creams have nail strengthening properties in them – take a look at our roundup of the best hand creams!

The Best Nail Strengthening Products

If you want to speed up your journey to thick and strong nails, it’s a good idea to use a dedicated nail product in addition to following our top tips above.

Here, we round up the best which you should use in the run up to your wedding day. It’s time to get shopping!

READ MORE: 39 Bridal Beauty Hacks That Will Change Your Life Forever

1. Sally Hansen Hard as Nails – £4.95

Sally Hansen’s Hard as Nails was launched back in 1946 and has been well loved ever since. The formula hasn’t changed since then, either. Talk about standing the test of time!

Perfect for brides whose hands are in water or dealing with cleaning products regularly, this nail strengthener is formulated with nylon and silk proteins which provide a protective coat over the nails. Regular use will leave your nails longer and stronger – and this is one of the cheapest products of them all, too! Perhaps price isn’t always an indicator of quality after all…

Buy It Now

2. OPI Nail Envy Treatment for Peeling Nails – £19.50

Soft and brittle nails will really benefit from OPI’s Nail Envy. Thanks to its blend of hydrolysed protein and calcium, it’s a total miracle worker in a bottle and a cult classic for good reason.

The product comes in lots of different formulations, so you’re best to choose the one which tends to your particular nail complaint. This one is great for nails that peel.

For stronger, healthier and longer nails, apply two coats of this product to bare nails before applying an additional coat or two every couple of days. After a week, remove and start again.

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3. OPI Nail Envy Treatment for Thin Nails – £18.50

This product is from the same range as the above, but instead has a focus on thickening thin nails. If you’re a bride whose natural nails have been damaged by years of acrylics, this is the one for you.

Not only does it deliver on its promises to strengthen nails, it works beautifully as a top or base coat and it isn’t too expensive. We’re onto a winner!

Buy It Now

4. Rimmel London Nail Nurse – £4.49

If you’re looking to save money on all aspects of your wedding planning but you still want beautiful, break-free nails, look towards Rimmel’s Nail Nurse Nail Rescue.

For less than £5 this product protects nails from cracking, splitting, peeling and breaking. It’s calcium and keratin enriched to add strength to your nails and protect against damage.

Apply Rimmel Nail Nurse as a base coat underneath your favourite nail polish or wear on its own for extra strength and shine and paint the polish over your nail edges and undersides to seal the tips.

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5. Vaseline Healthy Hands & Stronger Nails Hand Cream – £10.30

For a product which you can carry around with you and apply at regular intervals throughout the day, consider Vaseline’s Healthy Hands Stronger Nails.

Not only does it deeply moisturise to help restore very dry hands (without feeling greasy – result), it also strengthens nails to prevent them from chipping and breaking. We’re huge fans.

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6. The Organic Pharmacy Lemon & Neem Nail Oil – £26

This nail oil is jam-packed full of super ingredients which will transform your nails with every use. Neem will strengthen your nails while jojoba and wheatgerm have nourishing properties and lemon makes this oil a total joy to use.

Apply one drop of this amazing product to every nail (toes included!) every night, gently massaging it in if you have time. Your nails will look glossier and healthier almost immediately.

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7. Mavala Scientifique K+ Nail Hardenener – £15.70

Soft nails which peel and split on the regular need a heavy-duty nail hardener, and this amazing product is one of the best we’ve used in a while.

Included in its cocktail of wonder ingredients is keratin – an addition which will not only nourish your nails but ensure they’re more resistant to breaking going forward.

Use this product twice a week, applying one or two coats before letting it dry and following with your usual base coat and colour.

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8. Decleor Paris Cica Botanic Balm – £35

If polishes and oils don’t really sound like your cup of tea, you might want to choose a balm instead. This mutli-purpose product is great to keep in your bag (particularly in the winter) and won’t leave you with those slippy, greasy hands which nail oils often do.

It contains essential oils such as eucalyptus, rosemary and geranium which act as a protective layer to repair damaged skin and really get deep into the nail bed. It’ll also soften your hands if you apply all over.

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9. Nails Inc. Nailkale Superfood Base Coat – £15

This holy grail nail strengthening product almost contains too many nourishing ingredients to count. It benefits from antioxidant kale extract and calcium plus superfoods aloe vera, lemon, ginseng, pomegranate and grape. Oh, and did we mention vitamins A, C, E, F and H? All of these wonderful additions work together to protect against splitting and breaks, while hydrating and nourishing nails.

Apply two coats of this product two-three times a week and you’ll notice your nails looking stronger and healthier in no time. If you wear gel nails, then Nails Inc also do a specific recovery treatment to rehydrate nails in just 30 minutes between gels.

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READ MORE: Your Complete Month by Month Wedding Planning Checklist

Now that your nails are feeling stronger than ever, you’ll want to make sure the rest of your body gets the same treatment. Take a look at our round-up of the best pre-wedding workouts which you can do in your living room.