MarkJ wrote:There have been several posts on various nail treatments in this forum, and I have tried them all at one time or another. So I am throwing in my observations and experiences with these. I build guitars, so my nails are constantly getting abused by contact with planes, chisels, clamps, etc. Without reinforcement, I would be frequently breaking nails, and I like to play guitars as much as I like to build them. Hope this useful for those that are considering some form of nail reinforcement.
After using UV gel for 2 years, I tried silk wraps. I do it myself. This is nothing more than thin, tight-weave fabric that you cut to shape and peel off a paper backing. Once applied to the nail, you apply a drop or two of CA glue (super glue) that soaks through the material and secures it to the nail. I use at least two layers, covering the top 1/2 of the nail. Let the glue set between layers. A light sanding and then a couple coats of clear polish and you are in business. (Miracle Nail Hardener from Sally's is the best that I have found as it does not chip off). I have never had a wrap lift off in over two years. When the wrap grows out to near the end of the nail, you can remove the wrap by rubbing with a paper towel dampened with acetone, The nail bed will be as good as when you applied it - no damage. Shape and polish the ends with a board and 2000+ grit sandpaper.
Overall, I highly recommend silk wraps. They look completely natural, are thin but incredibly strong, sound good, and won't destroy your nail bed.
MarkJ's post finally led me to try silk wraps. Silk wraps are amazing, and I'll never again use anything else to prevent breakage. On my first attempt I did have a problem with lifting off. So anyone with a lifting off problem may want to consider the following application protocol.
- Wash your hands thoroughly.
- Dip a QTip in acetone and scrub the nail thoroughly until you feel or hear it squeak.
- Use the smallest amount of super glue possible to saturate the wrap. Brush on super glue is the best.
- Wipe of any excess superglue at the bottles mouth.
- Make one quick swipe at the far left edge of the wrap and wait until it quits spreading.
- The next swipe should be far enough away to not spread into the first area.
- It’s not necessary to apply a top coat.
Superglue is hard and brittle, so the more you use the more it's likely to come off. I did an experiment and used a Sally Hansen product over the thumb and a finger wrap, but not on the other two fingers. The wraps with the top coat eventually partially lifted but not the others. Besides a top coat just makes the wrap slightly to moderately more visible.