Broken or missing nails are traumatic. They leave you confused and bereft of self-confidence.
Fortunately, most damaged nails grow back naturally, with little effort on your part.
Nevertheless, many artificial nail lovers often wonder if you can continue wearing fake nails on damaged or missing nails. Is it safe? Does it impact natural nail growth? Will it affect your health?
We answer these and other related questions below.
Can you put acrylic nails on damaged nails?
Yes. You can put acrylic nails on damaged fingernails, provided you have enough nail area left to work off.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. On the contrary, health professionals warn against putting acrylic on damaged or broken nails as it increases the risk of nail infection.
Can you Put an Acrylic Nail on a Missing Fingernail?
Yes, you can put an acrylic nail on a missing fingernail. A professional nail tech fixes the problem so well that no one will notice your fingernail is missing.
What’s better, there doesn’t need to be a significant remaining nail on the finger to use acrylics.
That said, you must understand a few things. First, applying acrylics on a missing fingernail isn’t the best idea.
Instead, letting the missing nail regrow before resuming acrylic application is safer.
Also, fungal attacks are a big risk if you have missing fingernails. So, you must be extra cautious.
For instance, prevent moisture and dirt accumulation under fake nails.
Finally, it takes the best professionals to safely and beautifully attach acrylics on a missing fingernail.
Unfortunately, it also costs more than applying acrylics on healthy nails.
But how much do nail fills cost? Find out in our guide.
Can you Put Acrylic Nails on Damaged Fingernails?
Yes, you can put acrylic on damaged fingernails. It’s practical to conceal the damage while rocking beautiful artificial nails.
Indeed, a few salons do the job so well that no one will notice the nail damage.
However, be warned that putting acrylic nails over damaged or broken ones increases the risk of nail infection.
Instead, consider restoring the nails before reapplying fake nails.
Can you Put Acrylic Nails Over Fungi?
No, it isn’t advisable to put acrylics over fungus-infected nails. Although many nail salons will do it if you insist, it’s a big risk.
For instance, fungus-infected nail beds are weaker. Therefore, they cannot naturally support nail extensions.
More importantly, fake nails trap moisture underneath, potentially worsening the fungi problem.
Above all, fungi spread easily. It would help if you focused on containing the problem instead of exposing more people.
Can you Put Acrylic Nails on Damaged Toenails?
Yes, you can put acrylic nails on damaged toenails. It’s a fantastic way to cover the damage. But be warned that it may worsen the existing condition.
For instance, acrylic nails can worsen onychomycosis (toenail fungus).
Worse still, fungal infections spread easily. Therefore, a mani-pedi when dealing with toenail fungus puts many other people at risk.
How to Put Acrylic Nails on Broken Nails
The best way to put acrylics on broken nails depends on the location of the damage.
The following are recommended ways to put acrylics on nails broken at the edge and those broken in the beds.
Nails Broken at the Free Edge
Fixing nails broken at the free edge is quick and easy because there are typically no bleeding or open sores. Here’s how to proceed;
- Use alcohol to clean the damaged nail. It is a disinfectant that protects the wound from bacteria and other microorganisms. Alternatively, use a skin antibiotic like Neosporin.
- Do you wish to extend the nail’s overall length? If so, use nail glue to attach a nail tip. Then trim and shape the tip with a nail file.
- Use a nail file to blend the seam. Then remove the gloss on the natural nail and brush away the dust.
- Apply a thin layer of nail dehydrator or pH balance and allow it to dry.
- Apply a thin, even layer of acrylic nail primer and wait a few minutes as it dries.
- Apply acrylics and allow them to dry. Keep a few tips in mind here. First, ensure the acrylic evenly covers the natural nail plate and the tips (where applicable). Secondly, don’t disturb the setup until it’s solid-dry. The process is the same as applying acrylics to natural nails.
- Finish up by cleaning up the excess material on the cuticles. Then shape the nails to your style and buff them to a smooth texture.
Interesting read: Difference between hard gel and acrylic.
Nails Broken in the Nail Bed
The first step is to assess the damage when applying acrylics to nails with bed damage.
If the crack or break is so small that the outer edges of the bed are firmly attached to the rest of the nail, apply acrylics as you’d do for nails with breaks at the free edge.
Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case, as bleeding and open wounds often accompany nail bed damage.
Also, the damage could be so bad that the outer parts of the nail bed are dangling.
In that case, we advise our clients to wait for the wounds to heal before applying acrylics.
This is important because covering an open wound with acrylics invites fungi and bacteria.
Also, an open wound hurts when you apply acrylics over it. Above all, the chemicals in acrylic products can interfere with the natural healing process.
But if you must apply acrylics immediately, perhaps for an important occasion, secure the nail first.
Apply a tiny bead of acrylic or sufficient nail glue to firmly reattach the bed. Then wait for the glue or acrylics to dry and become completely solid.
Now you can apply acrylics. First, file down the acrylic bead with a nail file to attain the desired acrylic nail thickness and smoothness.
Then apply acrylics as you’d do when working on a nail with minor cracks at the free edge.
How Long Do Acrylics Stay on Broken Nails?
Typically, breaks at the free edge take 2-4 weeks to grow back to the same size as the rest of the nails.
On the other hand, it takes 4-8 weeks for damaged nail beds to heal completely.
Note that you need an acrylic fill-in if the acrylics stay on for over two weeks. Repeat the fill-in process every two weeks until you remove the acrylic nails.
Read also: How many times can you refill acrylic nails?
What’s the Cost of Removing Acrylic on Broken Nails?
So, how much does it cost to remove acrylic nails? The price depends on the location of the nails, the type of salon, and whether you’re getting another manicure.
Removing acrylic on broken nails costs up to $18 per hand. Of course, it also depends on the type and extent of nail damage.
The process takes 20-30 minutes, depending mainly on the removal method. It’s a fairly quick process if the nail technician uses an electric nail file.
However, soak-off removal takes longer, often up to an hour. Removing your own nails takes the longest.
What’s the Cost to Fix Broken Nails?
Most nail salons charge around $3/nail to fix broken nails, though you may pay up to $5/nail, depending on the type of artificial nails and the extent of the damage.
For instance, fixing one fake nail is quick and easy if the damage doesn’t affect the natural nail. However, suppose the breakage damages the nail bed.
In that case, the nail salon may remove the artificial nail and advise you to allow the natural nail to heal before reapplying with acrylics.
That said, gel nails are cheaper to repair than acrylic nails.
You, therefore, need to know what makes nails pop off. Read our article, Why do nails keep lifting for more information.
Can I Use Fake Nails on a Broken Nail?
Yes, you can use fake nails on broken nails. This can be especially helpful when attending an important event.
Applying fake nails over broken ones lets you conceal the problem and get through the day at your best.
We recommend attaching the fake nails or tips using fingernail glue. But remember to fix the broken nails when the event is over.
To know more about nail tips vs acrylic, be sure to read our guide.
How do you Cover Up a Missing Fingernail?
Wrapping with a bandage is the easiest and safest way to cover a missing fingernail. It’s not the prettiest option.
However, it keeps your nails healthy and protects the exposed nail bed from external elements. Moreover, you can paint the bandage to look like a real nail.
However, when looks are critical, you can cover an exposed nail bed using non-toxic nail polish. A fingernail wrap is another option.
How to Put Acrylic on a Missing Finger Nail
Applying acrylic on a missing fingernail is a delicate process best left to professionals. But the general process is the same.
First, apply fingernail glue on the area with a missing fingernail. Then attach a single acrylic strip to the finger, ensuring the glue reaches every corner of the acrylic piece.
Then wait a few minutes for the acrylic strip to dry before applying the next strip.
When done, clean up the excess glue and clip your natural nails to the desired height and shape. That’s all!
How to Cover Up a Lost Fingernail
Fortunately, acrylics aren’t the only way to cover up lost fingernails. The following are three additional (and safer) options to consider;
- Band-aid: A bandage is your best option if you’ve lost a fingernail and wish to see it regrow quickly. It keeps the skin around the fingernail moist while preventing infection. Apply over-the-counter pain meds over the injury to minimize discomfort.
- Fingernail wraps: A fingernail wrap is another excellent way to cover a missing fingernail. It protects the nails while preventing infection. Additionally, it’s cost-effective and easy to apply. The only downside is that touching the wrap can weaken the adhesive. Nail wraps can also cover cracks and broken nails.
- Nail polish: If you apply fake nails over a missing fingernail, opaque nail polish is your best bet. Avoid clear nail polish as it exposes the missing fingernail. Instead, speak with your nail tech about a color that suits your looks and fashion style.
Do Acrylics Really Damage Natural Nails?
Yes, acrylics can ruin your natural nails. It’s infuriating because the product itself doesn’t harm nails at all.
However, the application and removal process can easily cause cracks or breakage in the nail plate or bed.
For instance, most cheap monomers contain methyl methacrylate, which requires over-filing as it needs a rough surface to stick properly.
Overfilling can damage your nails and cause irritated red rings, known as “rings of fire.”
The removal process is just as risky. For example, anything except a file and acetone-based solvent can damage the nail plate.
To prevent damage, only remove fake nails with gel or nail polish remover. Also, never use a nail tip to remove artificial nails/.
Interesting read: Will my nail grow back after being ripped off?
How to Repair Damaged Nails After Acrylics
Healing and rejuvenating damaged nails following a prolonged period of using fake nails can be challenging.
For one, few people are willing to take a break from artificial nails.
In addition, it takes several weeks or even a few months for damaged nails to heal fully, yet most people aren’t willing to wait.
Nonetheless, the following is a quick guide to healing your natural nails after acrylics if you’re prepared to go all the way;
- Maintain short nails by trimming them down weekly.
- Stick to the nail’s natural shape.
- Regularly push back the cuticles with a cuticle pusher.
- Massage your nails with cuticle oil once or twice daily.
- Keep off electronic files for a while.
- Soak your fingernails in olive oil or lemon juice once or twice daily.
- Switch to traditional nail polish. It’s kinder on natural nails.
- See a doctor if the problem doesn’t improve in a month.
Can I Put Nail Polish Over Pseudomonas?
Yes, you can put nail polish over pseudomonas but it is not advisable. Pseudomonas is a type of bacteria that can cause infections, particularly in wounds or areas of damaged skin.
Nail polish is not a suitable treatment for bacterial infections and can worsen the condition.
If you suspect you have a Pseudomonas infection, seek medical advice from a healthcare professional. They can provide an accurate diagnosis and prescribe appropriate treatment, such as topical or oral antibiotics.
Interesting read: Can I put nail polish over pseudomonas?
What are The Best Alternatives to Acrylic Nails?
The best alternatives to acrylic nails that you can consider are:
- Gel nails
- Dip powder nails
- Press-on nails
- Nail wraps
- Natural nail care
- Nail stickers
- Gel nails extensions
Putting acrylics on damaged nails is simple. Indeed, it takes under 15 minutes per nail if working in the right conditions.
However, be warned that acrylic nails aren’t entirely safe for damaged, broken, or missing nails. It may inhibit natural healing and increases the risk of fungal infections.