How to Mend a Broken Fingernail

Here’s the scenario:  You’re about to embark on a weekend filled with glamorous activities including going to the theatre, attending an art gallery opening, shopping for a new Mercedes, getting custom fit for a wig made out of hair sheared from a cross between a Himalayan Yak and Goldilocks, followed by drinks with one eyed Count, and shopping for solid gold polo ponies.

Then your nail breaks.

Now what?  Your manicurist is having her elbows liposuctioned and her assistant is doing a week long “cleanse” that’s left her incapacitated and confined to one specific room in her house.

Well lady, you’re gonna have to fix your own nail.  Buck up.  You’ll be throwing your  head back in fake laughter at any one of  your upcoming events in no time.

So long as you follow these steps.


How to Mend a Broken Fingernail


Gather these supplies.


Cut your tea bag to the size of the nail bed that’s broken.  In my case it’s the teeny, tiny pinkie nail.


Apply a small drop of Super Glue to your nail.


Like so.


Swish it around your nail so it covers the whole thing.


Using your tweezers, place the tea bag on your nail bed.



Like so.

It’s a bit messy but that’s O.K.  It’s all getting covered up.  Also, if your break is a bit further up on the nail than mine, you can cut your tea bag slightly larger so you can wrap the tea bag onto the underside of the nail as well, creating a stronger mend.  My break was right down to the quick so this technique couldn’t be used.



Grab your Super Glue again and put another drop of glue on.  Spread it around.


Now your broken nail is technically mended.  Kind of like fibreglassing a boat.



Using a buffing stone if you have one, buff the nail smooth once your glue is dry.  Do this gently, you don’t want to tear through the tea bag.


Follow up with the polishing side to make your nail bed as smooth as you can get it.


Apply a coat of clear nailpolish to only the mended nail.


Once it’s dry, apply another coat to the mended nail, plus the rest of your nails.  You’ll therefore end up with 2 coats of base on the mended nail.  This will help make it smoother for your nail polish application.



Apply whatever nail polish you think will be The Count’s favourite.  If he is the much sought after one-eyed Count, you can probably get away with only putting nail polish on one hand.   Resume your super glamorous activities as planned.  Phew.  Disaster and embarrassment averted.


Your mended nail will last and look good for weeks!  Unless you’re a heathen and partake in things like this:


If, in addition to chicken coop cleaning, you also partake in gardening, building, fist fighting, dish washing, and general real life stuff, your nails will probably look a little more like this after the weekend.


Notice however, how the mended pinkie nail is still in (relatively) perfect condition.   In my opinion, by and large, these hands are still perfectly acceptable for a night out with royalty.  Provided they’re drunk.

And blind.

And don’t have any sort of intuitive cognitive abilities.


  1. Cassandra says:

    Karen, your personality is everything!
    I loved the advice, and your fun attitude.
    I had forgotten about the tea bag, and when my nails (two of them!) broke below the quick I just glued them. This weekend my husband is surprising me with a trip to Atlantic City, that’s not the surprise, but the hotel and concert are, and I want to look amazing for him, plus he loves his back scratched!
    Loving you from afar!

  2. Your biggest fan says:

    Your wit is hilarious. I am sitting in a hotel currently where people buy solid gold polo ponies (on credit) and I busted out laughing. Very uncouth of me. I actually tore by big toenail so the tips will be used, but I will read your other blogs just for the humor value – THANK YOU!! 🙂

  3. salit2 says:

    cant wait to try this.. How did you know exactly what was happening with all included?

  4. Carlyn says:

    Is there another way of mending your nails without using super glue? Can regular glue work?

  5. Lolita Davis says:

    Karen, the fix is great but your writing is fabulous. You are hilarious! I am reading this first thing in the morning for a quick nail fix and your article started my day out on a funny note. Thanks!

    • Karen says:

      Hey Lolita. Thanks! That’s what I’m here for. To make you laugh and fix the odd problem. Not that having a broken nail is odd, but … you know what I mean. ~ karen!

  6. BARBARA CRANE says:

    I love your site. This is a good idea….. but seriously Karen you need to tend to your cuticles ASAP!! I keep a couple of shot glasses of organic virgin coconut oil around the house (bed, kitchen, bath). My Mom, who was a long time manicurist, used to remind me all the time “a healthy nail comes from a healthy cuticle”. I can hear her now…

  7. Kali says:

    Thank you for this post! My nail ripped down the center. And it keeps snagging. It gives me that “finger nails on the chalkboard” feeling.

  8. Raven says:

    I love your nail fix soo much!! I live in northern Indiana…the winter weather has been so harsh
    this year so far and last year at this time. Sub-degree weather REALLLLLY wreaks havoc on
    everyone’s nails that I know of. Talk about *Eeep!* For sure!
    Unfortunately, I too am quite ferocious on my nails. Breaks galore!


  9. laurel says:

    ta for the superglue confirmation.
    its what I used to use some 30yrs ago:-) with tissue or cig papers
    musta been a smart kid back then.
    meeting a special bloke for n yrs after 4 yrs emails:-0
    and yup ripped halfway across a long thumbnail this arvo
    Ive added to your method by sprinkling some acrylic powder over the bonded area and also making sure the underside was glued too
    its a nasty rip but just far enough up, to be able to slide teabag under n wrap.
    its less smooth but I figure a gentle buffing wil sort that out enough for polish to hide it:-)
    hassle is I was and will be picking mulberries
    and reckon I will be forced to wear purple polish for weeks:-)
    the nail was stained and getting the area cleaned without ripping more wasn’t possible:-(

    what is it with nails?
    I can do carpentry garden and all sorts of work that should destroy em
    and yet managed to rip this on a poly sack while chipping rock salt!

    thanks for the site and your humour:-) merry xmas and a Happy new year 2015

    • Karen says:

      Eep. That’s a bad break. The fix doesn’t always look perfect (at all) but it always works well enough to hold it until it grows out a fair bit. Hope you had a good Christmas too! ~ karen

  10. Yvonne says:

    I will SO try this, i botched a ingrown nail home remedy – it worked initially on my big toe nail and i was all happy, but then the nail started to split right in the middle, and i caught it on my carpet today and one half is now split almost all the way back – have it fixed with a bandaid right now, but will try your approach tonight, after will take a while to grow out, so i guess i’ll reapply it . i have a lot of “open toe” events going on in the next couple of weeks, this will be my life safer!

  11. Jessie says:

    Try the Lady Soma Skin and Nail Cream – it has really helped my cracked nails and flaky cuticles. After 1 week I noticed a big difference – My daughter uses the creme on the cuticles of her feet and is amazed how well its worked on her cuticles.

  12. Essence says:

    OMG! you are truly a life saver! Thank you so much for this… I wouldn’t have came up with it.

  13. This is one of the best posts I’ve read in a while. Love your humor! That is exactly how my nails would look after the weekend, but great tip for a broken nail none the less!

  14. beckinstein says:

    Oh one question- sorry if you’ve already covered it, the comments are plentiful. Should I trim my nail down before I do this, or is it OK to leave it long? Thanks again!

  15. beckinstein says:

    Great directions, helpful photos and very amusing! What more can you ask for? Thanks for this, I just tore my pinkie nail a good bit down into the nail bed. Hurts and also damn! My longest nail! Hopefully this will help from the tear spreading across the whole nail bed and causing serious problems. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      You’re right Beckinstein. You couldn’t ask for much more. Except maybe french fries. Good luck with the nail! ~ karen

  16. Nancy says:

    A used dryer sheet works too.

  17. Chrissy says:

    I am going on a Cruise in 10 days and I have been working hard on growing my nail. Two days ago I cracked one of them. I put a band aid on it to keep from ripping it off but I knew that was not going to work. So I googled how to mend a broken nail and this page come up. I just did it and it seems to be working great. Thank you so much. Of course I had to share it on FB for all my friends.

  18. this post is so well written! t’was an absolute delight to read. oh, and of the course the info is super helpful, so that um…helps too :p thank you!

    twee & honey

  19. Chris says:

    Hmmmmm, there’s a whole lotta red green (ie duct tape forever) attached to this solution which is fantastic!

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