There’s nothing worse than a break in a set of 10 perfectly manicured natural nails. But clients should know that if—and when!—this happens, all is not lost: Strengthening silk, linen or fiberglass wraps can reinforce a broken nail like a Band- Aid until it grows out again. “The advantage of wraps is that they’re virtually undetectable under polish or gel, which is great since they soak off easily,” says “Fiberglass Queen” Anita Lime-Sims, international nail competition judge and owner of LimeLight Nail Designs in Albany, Georgia.
Like any enhancement service, correct application will improve the durability and effectiveness of wraps. Lime-Sims suggests layering two or more pieces of wrap material depending on the severity of the damage. “This will give you the strength needed to keep the nail together,” she says. “It may seem like a lot, but that’s the advantage of wrap material—it’s strong but thin.”
Depending on the length of the split, you may need to wrap the entire nail, especially if the break runs longer than one-quarter of the way across the nail. When applying a wrap to the entire nail, Lime-Sims leaves a 1/16-inch margin around the cuticle before encasing the wrap material with resin. “However, if the break is in the quick or lower [area of the nail], you may want to use what I call a ‘brace,’” says Lime-Sims. “Use a tip the same size as the nail, and cut out the well. Then, glue the well over the crack of the nail, buff the edges smooth, apply the wrap material over the entire nail and follow the previous steps.”
Ready to let the healing begin? Here, we walk you through the process for a silk wrap repair.
1) Clean and prep the nail to ensure it’s free of dust and debris. Examine the nail to determine where it’s split or broken. Apply a thin layer of resin to the damaged area.
2) Trim the silk wrap to fit the area. Lay the material onto the nail plate using L-shape tweezers to avoid touching the wrap with your fingers. Allow the resin to dry completely or use an accelerating spray.
3) Dab resin over the wrap until it blends seamlessly into the nail.
4) Buff the nail with a 180-grit file to create an even surface.
5) File and shape the nail to ensure an even sidewall where the crack lies. Cleanse the nail.
6) Prep the nail, and continue with the nail service as usual.
“Depending on the client and severity of the damage, you may need to reapply resin over the wrap and buff again. You’ll know if these steps should be repeated if air bubbles appear underneath the wrap or if it remains visible on the nail,” says Brittaney Kirchner, freelance nail tech, Dime Nails.
“When repairing a small crack or broken nail, don’t wrap the entire nail with silk, as it isn’t as strong as fiberglass or linen. Instead, focus on repairing the crack in the nail. Think Band-Aid or stress strip,” says Kimberly Woodard, brand educator, EzFlow.
Repair Natural Nails with These Must-Have Products!
1. OPI Edge File 180 Grit
2. DERMALECT Nail Recovery System
3. IBD Brush-On Gel Resin
4. EZFLOW Sheer Silk
5. SUPERNAIL Silky Linen
6. FAMOUS NAMES IBX Repair
–by Angelina Lewis
This story first appeared in the February issue of Nailpro magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
[Images: Courtesy of Armando Sanchez and Brooks Ayola]