" -Hooked" - nails

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
dfl3tch3r
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Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by dfl3tch3r » Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:24 pm

Apparently 'Hooked' nails is quite a common CG problem.
Last edited by dfl3tch3r on Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mr Kite

Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by Mr Kite » Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:08 pm

That reminds me that I had been meaning to try the hot teaspoon method for reshaping hooked nails. One of mine has a slight beak to it. It's not a big problem. It does become more noticeable when the nail is a bit longer, but I keep them as short as I can get away with.

I can't find a demo of this method on YT but I guess you just put a teaspoon in hot water (or tea might be appropriate...) for a bit, then push it into the gap between nail and fingertip.

astro64
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Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by astro64 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:12 pm

I heat the tea spoon with a lighter flame... Then be careful not to burn yourself when you bend the nail with it. But the sound is worth a bit of pain ;)
The best working method is probably to first soak your finger tip in warm water to soften the nail. Then heat the spoon a bit and hold it to the nail. The nail will bend easily. Hold it for 20 or 30 seconds till it sets. I do it without the water generally since that adds several minutes.

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georgemarousi
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Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by georgemarousi » Tue May 02, 2017 12:26 pm

I have tried the heating method, quite good results, but finally settled for lower nails, just 1-2 mm.. The problem is that so small, they are not that efficient.

I have observed recently that there may be room for a more natural way; After a shower, as happens to many, the hook almost disappears. Recently I had a daily walk to a mountain along a river (also got a bit wet), and my nails remained straight the whole day after ! Even though the nails were left quite long, I was able to play very smoothly! Looks again that hydration ( and what else? ) naturally helps to eliminate the hook ! I will try to focus on finding a solution around that root cause, that I mainly think it is hydration.
--Classicals--
Paulino Bernabe Especial 2009
Ramirez 1A 1980
Alhambra Luthier india 2012
Juan Martinez nr 55 (the return @2014)
Yamaha cg 110 (as a kid @88)
--
student again since 2015, to my degree @..? - God bless!

Mr Kite

Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by Mr Kite » Tue May 02, 2017 1:23 pm

It may depend on why they are hooked in the first place. My nails are not very long and i and m have only a slight beak to them - but they are pretty well hydrated and I can't say I notice any difference after showering. Astro64's suggestion of using a lighter was a bit hardcore for me, and the hot spoons are too much hassle anyway. I think what we need is some sort of shaped clamp that heats the nail without burning the skin and allows you to apply pressure gradually as the nail softens - not unlike a heated version of those things women use to bend their eyelashes. I did look for a commercial device along those lines but - pretty unsurprisingly I guess - I didn't find anything. Hair relaxer might work but I expect it would damage the nail - I know it damages hair.

Gwynedd
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Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by Gwynedd » Tue May 02, 2017 5:49 pm

We had a master class with Thibaut Garcia a week ago. He was working with one particular student in our group who is quite good but has the hooked nail problem. He mentioned the method of heating a spoon over a flame or stove to reshape the nail.

Another student a week later, I think he is Vietnamese, mentioned fixing a torn nail in a nail salon using acrylic solution to paste down the tear, followed by UV light. (not about hooked nails, but thrown in because a torn nail before performing is, well, it is not nice.)

hesson11
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Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by hesson11 » Wed May 03, 2017 12:21 am

I've combined a few hints given in this thread with decent, though modest, results. I put Alaska Piks on the troublesome fingers and hold them under a high-intensity desk lamp to heat them up (careful—it can get pretty hot). This has straightened the nails a bit, but the effect, so far, has lasted only a short while. I've only done it twice, so perhaps more frequent "treatments" would have more lasting effects.

(In case you're unfamiliar with Alaska Piks, they slip over your fingers but have a band at the tip that goes under your nail, imparting an upward force from under the nail. Google for plenty of photos and videos.)
-Bob

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robin loops
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Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by robin loops » Wed May 03, 2017 12:37 am

Mine used to curve much more but strengthening them allows them to grow out without bending as much.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
-James-

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georgemarousi
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Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by georgemarousi » Wed May 03, 2017 8:59 am

@Hesson11, wow, Alaska Piks = very good idea! :idea:

just ordered a set ! I believe it can make the heating process faster / easier ! :)
--Classicals--
Paulino Bernabe Especial 2009
Ramirez 1A 1980
Alhambra Luthier india 2012
Juan Martinez nr 55 (the return @2014)
Yamaha cg 110 (as a kid @88)
--
student again since 2015, to my degree @..? - God bless!

dfl3tch3r
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Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:26 pm

Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by dfl3tch3r » Tue May 30, 2017 9:22 am

Revisiting this thread following some experimentation.
Here's what seems to help me:
1) Ignore the hooking until they grow to a usable length.
2) Ramp the nails, but pay close inspection to which part of the nail contacts the strings and really strive to get YOUR correct ramp shape.
3) Hydrate them by painting with Eveline Argan Elixir
And leave until absorbed for at least an hour.

4) Now you can start shaping as the nail will be quite malleable and soft.
5) Turn a gas ring on a low flame setting and place a teaspoon underneath the nail and press and hold it until the correct curvature is achieved and then over exaggerate the curve.
6) Move the outer edge of the spoon towards the flame but make sure the spoon is not touching the flesh under the nail.
7) Heat gradually but be careful to monitor the temperature, you don't want the nail to burn.
8) Paint with Eveline 8in1 Nail Conditioner.

David Russell uses the heated teaspoon method and the Eveline cosmetics are as used by Dimitry Nilov and work very well.

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georgemarousi
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Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by georgemarousi » Tue May 30, 2017 9:36 am

Nice tips! regarding (6), a new trick I use is to protect the flesh using the half of the plastic ball of the kinder eggs ! :)

Let me come back as I have progress too:

I have started using the Alaska piks on wet nails that were mentioned before, and I see great results !!! especially after shower / before play etc. Only issue so far, the effects last for about an hour or so, degrading over time. I will also try to use them overnight for possible more long term results..

I have also found very useful to form them with the back of heated spoon ( up to 60 secs above flame ), protecting my flesh with the tip i mentioned on top.
--Classicals--
Paulino Bernabe Especial 2009
Ramirez 1A 1980
Alhambra Luthier india 2012
Juan Martinez nr 55 (the return @2014)
Yamaha cg 110 (as a kid @88)
--
student again since 2015, to my degree @..? - God bless!

SteveL123
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Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:05 pm

Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by SteveL123 » Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:22 pm

dfl3tch3r wrote:
Tue May 30, 2017 9:22 am
Revisiting this thread following some experimentation.
Here's what seems to help me:
1) Ignore the hooking until they grow to a usable length.
2) Ramp the nails, but pay close inspection to which part of the nail contacts the strings and really strive to get YOUR correct ramp shape.
3) Hydrate them by painting with Eveline Argan Elixir
And leave until absorbed for at least an hour.

4) Now you can start shaping as the nail will be quite malleable and soft.
5) Turn a gas ring on a low flame setting and place a teaspoon underneath the nail and press and hold it until the correct curvature is achieved and then over exaggerate the curve.
6) Move the outer edge of the spoon towards the flame but make sure the spoon is not touching the flesh under the nail.
7) Heat gradually but be careful to monitor the temperature, you don't want the nail to burn.
8) Paint with Eveline 8in1 Nail Conditioner.

David Russell uses the heated teaspoon method and the Eveline cosmetics are as used by Dimitry Nilov and work very well.
I have quite hooked nails on i,a, m. I kept them short and tried different ramp angles and they still hook the strings sometimes which is very annoying. Right now I have cut my nails off to the same length as my left to see how I like it. Definitely not as full a tone and a little less in volume but not real bad as I make adjustments in plucking to get better tone.

I like not having long nails since I am not a couch potato and loves to work with my hands and nails get in the way.

As an experiment, I am going to let my nails grow again and try the hot spoon shaping trick. How long do the nails have to be for the hot spoon to be effective? I also have pretty thick nails (0.55 mm/ 0.02") which may make them harder to bend with heat.
Last edited by SteveL123 on Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SteveL123
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Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by SteveL123 » Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:22 pm

delete

Rasputin
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Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by Rasputin » Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:04 pm

SteveL123 wrote:
Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:22 pm
How long do the nails have to be for the hot spoon to be effective? I also have pretty thick nails (0.55 mm/ 0.02") which may make them harder to bend with heat.
Mine are about 1.5mm and the spoon trick does work, although an hour or so later the nail is back to its original shape.

I have been using a metal spoon on top of the nail and a plastic spoon underneath, to protect the flesh. When you squeeze them together the nail is pressed hard against the hot metal spoon, and as I say it does change shape. Still, this method may be less effective than using a metal spoon underneath. I will try George's approach of protecting the flesh with a bit of plastic. It's been a while since I've had a Kinder egg...

SteveL123
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Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:05 pm

Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by SteveL123 » Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:12 pm

1.5 mm nails is not very long to get a spoon underneath to apply heat. As far as protecting the fingertips from burn, how about putting some masking tape over it?

Instead hot spoons, has anyone tried heating up a pair of pliers?

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