" -Hooked" - nails

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.

Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by Nylonstringer » Sun May 25, 2014 6:49 am

okjellno wrote:When I started playing guitar my nails did not hook. Then my nailbeds grew out(I had been biting my nails/nailbeds since childhood), and with them some of my nails started hooking. Since they did not hook to begin with, I began to suspect that making my nailbeds more evenly curved/less pointy under the nail would help with the hooking. To fix this I had to use a knife and cut into the nailbed under the nail(while using weed for the pain). Currently I'm just making sure to push back the nailbed so it does not grow too uneven/pointy again, and everything is perfect. I'm not sure I can recommend this method to anyone. Since everyone's different, there's probably a good chance this only works for me.

A big big no no to this one. What your doing is the equivalent of having a nail caught on something and ripping itself off the nailbed. Believe me this will not help your nail in anyway. My wife can testify to this. Her one nail will not grow properly and when it does theres no strength.
I have hooks in the middle of i and m. My own solution was to either shorten those two nails to about 1-2mm pass the fingertip with no ramp, just rounded. Or if they are longer then i use the heated teaspoon trick which really does work well. I cant play with ramped nails. I find the tone is too inconsistent. If my hand isnt in its precise angle of attack then all of that fullness is gone



Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by okjellno » Mon May 26, 2014 10:29 am

Appreciate the concern, but what I did I did a while back. Can't be undone. To clarify further: I pushed the nailbed back 1-2 millimeters, making it nice and even under the nail. I did not slice and dice half the nailbed or anything like that. The nailbed now stops just where my fingertip starts pointing downwards. As long as my nail is not stuck to my fingertip where it's curving downwards, it will not hook when it grows out. I have not noticed any ill effects on the health of my nails from doing this. The only downside is that my nails look a bit longer than they otherwise would.

String ill

Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by String ill » Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:19 pm

I wonder whether filing a ramp on the left hand side of the nail removes the edge support for the nail and hence causes the nail to curl over more. I haven't had time to experiment with and without a ramp to see whether it affects the amount of nail hooking.

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Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by twang » Sat Nov 01, 2014 3:08 pm

I found an easy fix for hooked nails:

Soak your fingers in warm water until the nail gets soft. Stick an Alaska Pick on the finger to give the nail a nice curved shape. Let the nail dry out. Remove the Alaska Pick.

If you don't have an Alaska pick, you can get a similar result by just holding your thumb nail under the hooked nail until it dries.

Wearing the Alaska Pick for a few minutes after getting out of the shower helps keep the nail unhooked.
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Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by Alicia » Sat Nov 01, 2014 5:29 pm

Thanks. I'm going to try that.

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Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by Ceciltguitar » Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:50 pm

There are several artificial nail products specifically made for guitarists. I have tried several, also experimented with ping pong balls, silk wraps and other professional nail treatments.

After years of experimentation, the best solution for me for the past 10 years or so for both nail shape and for nail re-inforcement is cutting small strips of plastic and using krazy glue to glue them underneath my nails. The plastic that I use is from a product that has changed names from "photo lamination" to "business card lamination", and I have bought it (only twice, it lasts a long time) at Wal-Mart.

Warning: Krazy Glue is supposedly not good for fingernails. I have never had a problem.

Best wishes!

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Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by cliffbryant » Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:06 pm

Using a moisturizer on the hands seems to help a bit, at least for me.

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Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by robin loops » Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:05 pm

String ill wrote:I wonder whether filing a ramp on the left hand side of the nail removes the edge support for the nail and hence causes the nail to curl over more. I haven't had time to experiment with and without a ramp to see whether it affects the amount of nail hooking.
I've abandoned more extreme ramps for this very reason. In my case the curvature at the edge of the finger helps keep the nail from bending downward as it grows. So the solution (to hooked nails) was only exacerbating the problem. What I do now is standard rounding (shape of finger tip) and then add a slight ramp afterwards.
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Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by djqsrv » Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:54 pm

My m fingernail hooks pretty bad. I have been using a steep ramp on this finger with what I thought was good results. Today I finally tried the heat reshap method I have seen people talk about on this forum and a few other places. All I have to say is "why have I not been doing this all along?!" I used a method where I held the nail in a nice shape wile running a slightly hot iron over the nail. It seems to have worked great. I then filed and buffed a nice general arch instead of the ramp and I love the way it engages the string. I would highly recommend for anyone with some severe hooks to give it a try.
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Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by D.Cass » Fri Jan 09, 2015 7:01 pm

Sorry, I have not read all the posts. My m nail tends hook and I ramp the the nail, astually I ramp them all. The idea is to off set point high point of the nail so it isn't in the the middle. If the high point of the nail is in the middle then it exaggerates the the hook even more. Also, I tend to keep them fairly short. I haven't tried any products and probably never will. IMHO, I would fiddle with the shape and how you file before using any kind of product.


Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by Sandrevan » Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:06 am

I have naturally hooked nails - I and m are the worst. For a while I kept them short and played with fakes (Riconails). As I progressed in skill I found the fakes limiting; not enough feel and too much nail noise. So I started searching again for ways of straightening them. I found the 'lighter and hot spoon method' mentioned on this forum. It was ok but not great.

I did a bit more searching which led me to Belucci's (Mangore.com) website. He suggested using a soldering iron. I use a small metal bracket to define the shape and the soldering iron to provide the heat and have found this works well for me. I straighten my nails every night before I play as they revert back to the hooked shape whenever I take a shower. I also use 'Hard as Hoofs' and Omymyrrhe to keep the nails strong. I haven't broken a nail since I started using this method around 18 months ago. :P

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Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by guitarguy » Wed May 20, 2015 1:09 pm

I think you could get happy with Rico Nails. I quite like them - they sound great. So it's easy to get hooked on them :wink:

You can find quite a bit about these false nails in this forum. Try this thread: viewtopic.php?f=87&t=53890


Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by RWiecha » Sun May 24, 2015 2:31 am

Yeah, short nails, the only thing I can do. Tried nail polish, lasted only few hours. :-(


Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by clivepics » Sun May 24, 2015 7:46 am

I have a little bit of a problem here - a slight hook but find that keeping the nails as short as possible and checking the filing of them each day seems to make things work just about ok.

Mark Farber

Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by Mark Farber » Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:33 pm

I think I finally found the solution -

File the nails really short and find a good PIANO teacher!!!

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