How do you protect your nail?

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

How do you protect your nail?

Post by shelby » Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:50 pm

I have problem with my finger nails when I go playing basketball. I don't want to get injured or hurt other people. Just want to know if you guys used to have the same problem. Thanks.


Re: How do you protect your nail?

Post by AsturiasFan » Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:00 am

OK since there's been no responses :( , I'll give it a go. Sport stores sell gloves especially made for football and basketball to improve grip. Take a pair :arrow: to a seamstress and have her :) sew something :?: into the tips once you figure out :idea: what the something is. That something obviously will surround your finger tips and be thick or firm enough to protect your nails. Once you get this done re-post so I can patent the idea :idea: . I simply can't do so without full details. :shock:


Re: How do you protect your nail?

Post by junbo » Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:39 am

Firstly, since I have dry, brittle nails and forever had a problem growing especially the index finger nail, I discovered that what helps me grow AND PROTECT the growing nail is Sally Hansen's Continuous Treatment Time-Released Growth Formula. Not only did it help growth, but the coating on the nail seems to help protect it from the occasional bump.

As for protecting them, my main worry is when I travel (which I do a lot in my work) because it seems everytime I pick up my luggage, I always snag a nail or two and it breaks horribly. So I've taken to wearing a left-handed golf glove (it goes onto my right hand). It really helps because I've bumped and snagged my fingers very often when picking up my bag from the airport carousels, loading my hand-carry bag onto the overhead bin, etc. and the glove has really kept the nails from damage.

Hope this helps.

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Re: How do you protect your nail?

Post by ashworth » Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:56 pm

I've found that the most important thing for me is to make sure that the corners of the nail (where the front surface turns down to go into the nail bed) is always very gently rounded and kept glassy smooth. When I've had a nail to tear, it always happens when something snags the left or right edge and tears from the side. By taking away that corner and rounding it off a little, there isn't anything much to snag.

Also, rubbing daily with a good moisturizing oil has helped make them stronger.
- Donnie


Re: How do you protect your nail?

Post by Aurore » Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:53 pm

I wouldn't do anything special, rather go for the shorter nails to play with, just a few mm's extending past the fingers.

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Re: How do you protect your nail?

Post by dory » Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:18 pm

Nutra Nails Naturals nail strengthener has changed my life. Well, maybe not dramatically, because I am only a student-- not a professional. However, putting it on a rarely as once a week has helped me go from someone whose nails were constantly breaking to someone who can actually have nails. The naturals, which I buy at Whole Foods, (also available online) doesn't smell as offensive as the regular Nutra Nails which I buy in the msintream drugstore. Otherwise they work about the same, as does Essie, ehich zi use occasionally. Even being a woman I don't care for the shine, but I put it on both hands to look less weird, and have discovered the shine disappears in a day or so.

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Re: How do you protect your nail?

Post by Jstanley01 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:29 pm

As a beginner, it seemed like my nails would not stay grown for love nor money. Spits, cracks, dings, you name it. Especially my thumbnail. At first I tried cutting and supergluing ping pong balls, which worked okay and which I would still resort to in an emergency. Then I started using polish. And now my p nail is a wonder to behold.

I began just using Sally Hansen clear from the drug store, and now they stay long and are strong enough to play naked if I want to. Absent, that is, a real trauma like a couple of weeks ago when I dinged my a nail loading luggage into the car. (Oh well. Once in a while it's gonna happen no matter how careful one may be. Anyway, the way I see it, a broken nail can be chalked up as an opportunity to practice attacking the string with utmost accuracy. See "Things to remember when you play scales (Spanish Guitar)" by Grisha Goryachev on the tube. Plus, there's always ping pong balls if necessary.)

A regular here -- I forget who -- suggested OPI Nail Envy which I bought online in matte which eliminates most of the shine you get with clear. It is now my favorite polish. Talk about bombproof. As a matter of fact, it takes quite a workout with cotton and a remover to get the stuff off.
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Re: How do you protect your nail?

Post by hanredman » Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:06 pm

When I was still playing regularly, I used to rub petroleum jelly into my nails and cuticles every night, after which I would of course wipe off the access. This kept my nails flexible and "moist", but still stiff enough to produce good tone. Even when I would hit them against something, or bent one backwards, as happens sometimes, the nail would not break, but simply bend and then go back to normal again.
Joseph Redman
Amateur Guitar Builder


Re: How do you protect your nail?

Post by drj » Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:06 pm

I use a product from BADGER - I think it is called nail and cuticle cream, or something similar (the can is not here, but I will post the exact name later.)

My instructor gave me his can when he decided to play nail-less, which is another option to cracked or broken nails



Re: How do you protect your nail?

Post by dwtrux » Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:39 pm


If you are still reading this, I took your initial inquiry as to how to physically protect your nail and the other players. Gloves were a good suggestion.

I actually use the rubber fingertips made by Swingline used for page turning, when I am using my hands for physical work and don't want to get my thumbnail caught or broken. I just use it on my thumbnail and it prevents it from scraping on things. It also can be used to hide the large thumbnail from view during a meeting and look like the rubber tip is for paper turning.


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Re: How do you protect your nail?

Post by Music Therapy Guitarist » Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:49 pm

Sometimes I use a nail hardener to protect my nails. There are many different nail hardening products out there with varying qualities.

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Re: How do you protect your nail?

Post by Smith » Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:02 am

The latest good tip for nail care that I have heard is to keep the top edges of the nail buffed smooth. I have found the biggest hazard is car door handles


Re: How do you protect your nail?

Post by Rassophore » Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:12 am

This is by far the biggest problem for me as well. I am a cashier for a local grocery store and I constantly chip and ding the edges of my nails while scanning or bagging items. Gloves aren't an option for me so I am constantly having to file the nail down when it happens :( I'll have to try some of the nail hardeners and topcoats to stop this from happening!

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Re: How do you protect your nail?

Post by Hyrtsi » Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:39 am

I always use protective gloves when doing work that might damage my nails. You should also consider your nutrition to keep the nails strong.

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Re: How do you protect your nail?

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:59 am

My nails rip and get nicked all the time. I refuse to use anything artificial on my nails. And I have tried playing without nails, but gave it up. You can play faster and have a larger range of tone quality with nails. Out of four right-hand nails that I use to activate the strings, the playing surface of my thumbnail is entirely gone and has been for at least two weeks. And I had to file down the m nail completely to remove a deep tear. It should be back at playing length next week. I am a professional writer, and I write a lot. I am constantly hitting keys on the computer keyboard with my nails. Does not do them any good. However, I suspect that the main source of nicks and rips in nails comes from the very dangerous activity of…playing the guitar. I am currently trying to perfect Käppel's method of shaping the nails and activating the strings. It seems that this will cut down on nail damage considerably once I have mastered it.
Yisrael van Handel
Modi'in Ilit, Israel

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