Wednesday, March 4, 2015

How to Repair a Nail with a Nail Wrap

Nail wraps are a great way to fix a broken nail.

Not those beautiful Jamberry wraps used as art for the nails. 

I'm talking about the old fashion wraps that were used years ago to fix broken nails or overlay the nails for strength. 

The advantages of nail wraps are they are lightweight, thin, have flexibility and do minimal damage to the natural nails. They are the most natural way to fix a nail. 

My nail business is the care of natural nails, as opposed to doing artificial acrylics and sculpting gels, so I use wraps often. 

I have clients who have permanent vertical cracks in their nails. I keep those types of nails wrapped all the time and maintain them each time the client comes in for a manicure. 

Here is a bit of nail wrap history.......
Paper Nail Wraps
paper nail wrap
paper nail wrap
Nail wraps became popular in the 1970s as paper wraps that were applied to the nails using a nail polish like adhesive. 
They did no damage to the nails at all. The problem with them was they came off when you removed your polish so therefore, had to be redone each time the polish was changed.

Then came cyanoacrylates, aka Crazy Glue and 5 Second Nail Glue. Paper wraps could be attached more permanently. A piece of the paper part of a tea bag worked nicely as a wrap too! Nails fixed with paper required a lot of maintenance. Many times, a hard nail will crack right through the wrap.

Linen Nail Wraps

 Then there was the linen wrap. 
linen nail wrap
linen nail wrap
Linen wraps were very durable on the nails but they were so thick and noticeable under polish. They were not sticky like the silk and fiberglass wraps available now. You can imagine how difficult it was to glue a thick piece of linen onto a nail and get it to look presentable. The cool thing about linen was, you could make a nail extension with it due to it's strength and thickness.

Today, the nail wraps of choice are silk and fiberglass applied with nail glue or resin.

Silk Nail Wraps

silk nail wrap
silk nail wrap
Silk wraps came first. The original silk wraps did not have an adhesive side. They were a bit tricky to apply to the nail with nail glue. Sometimes, it was difficult to get the edges of the wrap to stick down. Silk has a nice tight weave and is a durable fabric. It virtually disappears on the nail when glue is applied.

Fiberglass Nail Wraps

fiberglass nail wrap
fiberglass nail wrap
Then, fiberglass came along. I first used fiberglass with the Backscratcher's Glass Glaze Wrap System in the late '80s. Fiberglass is very thin and has a looser weave than silk yet creates a strong wrap. It will fray more than silk during handling and it doesn't disappear as well as silk when resin is applied. I apply 2 layers of fiberglass when mending a crack. I find that the layers create a tighter weave that is better at holding a nail crack together. For my vegan friends, fiberglass is the way to go.
 My choice is silk because of it's tight weave and the fact that it disappears when glued. For me, it makes a strong repair for a broken natural nail. It also makes a nice overlay on natural nails or nail tips. A well done wrap is smooth, blends in with the natural nail and does not show at all when the nails are polished. 

Acetone will dissolve the nail glue or resin slightly when polish is removed. Non acetone polish remover will not dissolve the glue. I add another thin layer of glue during a manicure if I feel the coating of glue or resin is getting too thin. The goal is to let the crack grow out so I want to keep the nail wrap on and strong as long as possible. I do replace them as needed.

Here is a badly broken nail that I mended with silk wrap. The broken nail was trimmed to take some stress off of the cracked area. Repairs hold better on shorter nails, but they can be done on long nails, too.
cracked nail repair before & after
We got this wrap to hold until the crack reached the free edge.

(Note: The blue spots you see are remnants of the dark blue polish the client was wearing when she broke the nail playing tennis. The polish seeped under the nail during polish removal. It's not mold.)

If you want to repair your broken nail yourself, you can find nail wrapping materials at beauty supply stores such as Sally Beauty Supply.

Let me show you how it's done. Watch my video How to repair a broken nail with a nail wrap on youtube!

You can always come see me for nail services at Styling Point in Media, Pa. if  you live in the Philadelphia Delaware county area!

       Have a Beautiful Day! 
Licensed Cosmetologist, Esthetician, Makeup Artist

 Wedding, special occasion or everyday makeup and skin care services available in the Philadelphia, Pa. area. Visit my makeup page for more information!

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