Disaster - broke my right thumbnail - artificial nails?

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
Ramon Amira
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Disaster - broke my right thumbnail - artificial nails?

Post by Ramon Amira » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:55 pm

Haven't broken a nail in ten years, but now it's completely gone - entire thumbnail. Started with just a split, but no matter what I did it kept getting worse. It will be months before it's back to normal length, and I keep it pretty long.

I'm considering resorting to artificial nails, which I have never used. Questions: Recommendations for best artificial nails, best way/product to stick them on, and most importantly, will it damage or affect my natural nail as is grows out. The thought of putting glue all over my nail is not pleasant. Will glue damage my nail?

Thanks for any input.
Ramon
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flashdharma
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Re: Disaster - broke my right thumbnail - artificial nails?

Post by flashdharma » Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:04 pm

I play electric (steel strings) but I fingerpick exclusively and, I use nails, not picks. I recently had the same issue. I broke my thumbnail. I looked everywhere on the web and found RICONAILS. They come with a glue system that is temporary. You can glue the artificial nail on, and remove it when you are finished playing. I ordered a set of nail replacements from them, but I have not received them yet.

Perhaps someone else has had experience with them . . . they look very good in theory. There are some YouTube videos on shaping and applying them.

When I first switched from banjo to guitar, I played with a thumbpick and artificial nail on m,i. I went to a nail salon to have them applied. They worked fine, but the process became a pain in the butt, so I just grew out my natural nails and played more lightly.

Hope that helps,
Bill

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lagartija
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Re: Disaster - broke my right thumbnail - artificial nails?

Post by lagartija » Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:44 pm

Recently I took a hunk out of my left side of my right thumbnail...the first time in eight years I have damaged a nail.
I used the nails you can get at the drug store, KISS oval active nails. I did NOT use the glue they give you with a nail kit. It will dry your nails out and if the nail replacement comes off, some of the nail underneath might as well. Instead, I used glue dot brand multipurpose glue dots. They are an adhesive, similar to double stick tape but stronger. They come on a roll of dots. You can find them at Michael’s Craft stores.
The nail is cleaned first with alcohol and then the glue dot applied. Peel off the second paper covering the dot and press the nail firmly in place. Then cut and file to the shape you want.
A dot kept the nail on very well while playing, but I found that showering and washing my hair would allow water underneath and this makes the glue weaker. It can last two days or so if you don’t get your hands really wet. But the dot roll is big and pretty inexpensive, so using a new one every day for playing is the best course.
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Re: Disaster - broke my right thumbnail - artificial nails?

Post by khayes » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:27 pm

Some years ago I broke my 'm' fingernail a few days before a playing engagement. My sister is a professional manicurist and she installed an acrylic nail which I then shaped to my satisfaction. I had no problems with it and found it kind of enjoyable. Pay a visit to a manicurist and see what they have available. A broken thumb nail would not be a disaster to me, as much as one of the other fingers.
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Re: Disaster - broke my right thumbnail - artificial nails?

Post by celestemcc » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:54 pm

Ten years? Wow, that's wonderful! That's the one nail I break most, so I've gotten used to learning to play without a thumbnail. Lagartija's solution is one I use when necessary; and probably the least damaging in the long run.
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Re: Disaster - broke my right thumbnail - artificial nails?

Post by bauersachs82 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:50 pm

I just got the Savarez nail kit in the mail today for my thumb nail. I'm surprised at how much it feels like a real nail. It's a silk adhesive cloth. Apply a layer of silk, then the glue, let it dry, repeat. I did 3 layers of silk and let it harden. Then clipped it like a real nail and filed and buffed it. It's not as glassy as a natural nail but it works. The kit was kind of expensive for what it is though. It smells like regular old super glue and I saw silk cloth like this on Amazon much cheaper.

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Re: Disaster - broke my right thumbnail - artificial nails?

Post by George Crocket » Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:41 pm

Ramon Amira wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:55 pm
Haven't broken a nail in ten years, but now it's completely gone - entire thumbnail. Started with just a split, but no matter what I did it kept getting worse......
Exactly this happened to me 2 months ago. For a variety of reasons I tried an Alaska Pik (viewtopic.php?f=87&t=77300&p=954295&hil ... ks#p954295) and I stuck with that for a couple of weeks. To a degree it worked, and with practice would have got better. But sometimes it inadvertently caught a string, and the click was quite audible. With no very good reason to continue, I discarded it, and have been playing with no nail. That will do fine for the next month when I have nothing but routine practice. Subsequent events should be ok with a partially regrown but functional thumb nail.
George
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Re: Disaster - broke my right thumbnail - artificial nails?

Post by simonm » Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:25 pm

I can't remember who mentioned it but I think is was a member here who said he went to a nail salon and got a nail fixed there. I don't think it was a thumb nail but he said it was very effective. Never tried it myself.

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Re: Disaster - broke my right thumbnail - artificial nails?

Post by mainterm » Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:10 pm

Ramon Amira wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:55 pm
Questions: Recommendations for best artificial nails, ...
I have found this depends on the nail profile - the curvature when you look directly at the nail end and see how it more or less curves downward at the edges. Matching, or at least getting a fair match to this curvature is the way to go. Hence acrylic nails that come in a set with many different sizes. I have big fingers, so I usually end up using acrylic toe nails. As I only apply these in rare circumstances, and often while traveling, I just work with whatever I can find at a local market or pharmacy.
best way/product to stick them on,...
If by "best" you mean least likely to come off or degrade, then I would suggest loctite brand super glue. I've tried many different similar glues, this brand is the best in my experience.
and most importantly, will it damage or affect my natural nail as is grows out.
Yes. Using fake nails glue to the top of the nail surface is not a healthy thing to do for the nail underneath. I would only do this if you are recording, performing or otherwise really, really need that nail there. If you do glue a fake nail on, try to minimize the glued surface as much as possible, leaving as much natural, uncovered nail from the cuticle to the edge of the fake nail as you can whilst having enough glued area for a strong bond.
The thought of putting glue all over my nail is not pleasant. Will glue damage my nail?
I don't think the glue does anything as glue. In my experience, covering the surface of the nail somehow causes it to thin and weaken over time. The other hazard is snagging a fake nail - if this happens it is possible that the fake nail will tear off, taking some natural nail with it. This is bad.

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Re: Disaster - broke my right thumbnail - artificial nails?

Post by Steven Morgan » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:33 am

I prefer to use a bit of nail from "c", or "s", or "e" lol. That is a problem if I'm currently playing pieces with rasgueado in them. So, in those moments I take some from my left thumb which I grow out a little for this purpose. I then use brush on nail glue to secure it. Then I use a file to buff it down some. Finally I put a coat of nail glue over the top of the repair job, let it dry, and then cover the nail with Original Nail Envy nail strengthener by OPI. I hope that helps :)
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Re: Disaster - broke my right thumbnail - artificial nails?

Post by dtoh » Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:22 am

simonm wrote:
Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:25 pm
I can't remember who mentioned it but I think is was a member here who said he went to a nail salon and got a nail fixed there. I don't think it was a thumb nail but he said it was very effective. Never tried it myself.
That would have been me. IME soft gel is much better than acrylics. More flexible for a more natural feel and tone. Also if you have major damage to the nail tip, the nailist can use a form to create a gel-extension to nail if the nail tip has been broken off.

It's more expensive than home treatments (including artificial nails) but 100 times easier and better. IMHO.

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