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Trust us when we say that we understand the frustration of having almost grown out your nails to the perfect length and then one splits, or paying for a professional manicure only to tear a tip just days later. Since we use our hands all the time, breaking a nail is extremely easy to do, especially if your nails are dry and brittle.

The best thing you can do is prevent breaks from happening in the first place by keeping your nail beds and cuticles hydrated with oils such as coconut oil and jajoba. You can also use vitamin E oil to help keep your nails nice and strong. Something else you can do to prevent chipping or splitting is to keep a base coat on your nails at all times, making sure that it covers the tips.

You should also make sure that your nail shape is conducive to the base of your nail, and the length should never exceed the fringe of your nail bed. Familiarize yourself with the different nail shapes, from round to almond to stiletto nails, and choose one that is best for both your natural nail bed and lifestyle. In other words, pick a shape that is easy to maintain at home. By doing all of this you can easily prevent your nails from chipping and splitting.

But if you are unable to prevent breakage, there are a few ways that you can save and repair your nail. Below we’ve listed out some fast and easy ways to fix a broken nail at home.

How to fix a broken nail

1. Seal it with nail glue

Gently buff the surface of your nail, then apply two coats of a fast-drying nail glue. Hold the nail together until the glue dries completely. Once your nail grows out, you can clip away the broken bit. Try Super Strong Nail Bond ($13; amazon.com).

2. Apply a fake nail

One of the easiest ways to fix a broken nail is to apply a press-on nail over the break. This will buy you time as your nail grows out underneath. Some of the best press-on nails use an adhesive that will last up to seven days. We like Kiss Strong Enough Salon Acrylic Nails ($6; ulta.com), which you can paint over to match your other nails.

3. Or, apply an adhesive tab

You can also use an adhesive tab, like Virtual Bond Adhesive Tabs by Dashing Diva ($5; dashingdiva.com) to cover broken nails. Simply stick it over the affected area without peeling back the top layer of adhesive.

4. Patch it up with a tea bag

The oddest way we’ve heard of fixing a broken nail is with the tea bag method. Cut off a small piece of a tea bag and use a thin brush and some nail glue to secure it to the nail, essentially patching the break. Every few days, you will need to apply another coat of nail glue to make sure the patch sticks.

5. Use a fill powder

Fill powder has a thicker viscosity than nail glue and is a lot more durable, so this trick is ideal for deeper breaks. First, apply a layer of nail glue to the break, then sprinkle the fill powder over it. (You can also dip your nail into a dish of fill powder.) Repeat this process a couple of times, depending on how bad the crack is. Once dry, buff the nail until smooth.

6. Clip and file it

A lot of times even after you repair a nail, the crack reappears. So the best way to fix a broken nail that isn’t too deep is to simply clip off the broken bit and file down the nail. Trim your other nails to match and finish by applying a protective top coat. We like Sally Hansen Ultimate Shield ($7; ulta.com).

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