A few weeks ago, I was in the kitchen mashing garlic potatoes for a tasty dinner when — all of a sudden — I experienced the traumatic event that is breaking a nail. Based on my reaction and mad dash to the bathroom, my husband thought I’d seriously injured myself. My body was fine. My nail was not.
Now, most men (and some women) don’t understand the significance of a broken nail. They don’t get how disheartening and frustrating it can be. You spend weeks growing those things out, keeping them all the same length, filing them so they don’t snag. You might even invest in vitamin supplements to help them grow faster and stronger.
So when a nail breaks, you go through a grieving process.
Also, a single broken nail amid a group of longer, perfectly shaped nails doesn’t look that great. (In truth, no one really cares but you. That doesn’t make it less annoying, however, to have uneven nails.)
Fortunately, there is a short-term fix. If you’re gently on your hands, the aptly named “tea bag trick for nails” can get you through a hot date or a charity fundraiser.
Ready to learn how to mend a broken nail with a teabag? The only caveat is that your nail must be partially attached for this to work. Let’s dive in.
Tutorial: How to fix a broken nail with a teabag
To start, gather your supplies. You’ll need scissors, a new tea bag, and clear nail polish
1. Prep your tea bag
Gently cut the corner off a new teabag. Save the tea. You can use it later in a loose-leaf tea ball.
Then, trim away a piece of teabag that’s large enough to cover the crack or snag on your nail.
2. Apply clear nail polish
Apply a thick coat of clear nail polish over the broken nail.
3. Place your patch
While the clear polish is wet, place your teabag patch over the crack in your nail. Using the applicator brush of your clear polish, smooth down the teabag to remove any bubbles.
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4. Apply more clear polish
Liberally apply a second coat of clear polish over the tea bag. Allow it to dry completely, and then apply a third coat.
5. Add color
After the clear polish dries, apply your regular nail polish on top. This should hold for at least a few days. Repeat as necessary until your nail grows out and you can trim.
- Empty, dry tea bag
- Clear nail polish
- Cut a piece from your tea bag that is big enough to go over the crack/snag of your broken nail. I usually demolish an unused tea bag and then save the tea for my loose-leaf tea ball.
- Apply a thick coat of clear nail polish over the broken or snagging nail.
- While the clear polish is still wet, gently place the tea bag over the crack/snag. Using the brush of your clear polish, press down on the patch to remove any bubbles.
- Liberally apply a second coat of clear polish over the tea bag. Allow it to dry and then apply a third coat.
- After the clear polish dries, apply your regular nail polish on top. This should hold for at least a few days. Repeat as necessary until your nail grows out and you can trim.