"Criminy! It's busted!" you say to yourself as you stare helplessly at the jagged void in a once perfect fingernail. "Now what?"
What, indeed, do you do to preserve and repair a broken nail? Here are some thoughts:
1)A dab of instant glue on the nail break may buy you some time until you can sit down and spend time with repairs.
2)When you have an indentation on the leading edge, you need to file down to the lowest level to restore the proper curve of the edge.
3)If the nail break is so far down that no nail can be used for playing, consider these options
a.Reduce the length of the other nails and do without your usual tone for a while until the broken nail grows out. At least the fingers will be in better balance.
b. Apply a fake nail with glue. This can work surprisingly well, but it isn't the first choice, as it requires bonding plastic onto your natural nail.
c.Receive an acrylic treatment at a nail salon. Like the fake nail applied with glue, this has a very significant impact on the nail surface. If nail breaks occur several times a year, consider using acrylic reinforcement on all the nails of the right hand. Be aware that some individuals fare better than others with this remedy. You have sensitivity to the process, and you might want to try just the pinky or another finger to check it out. I've had no problem with acrylics and have relied on it continuously for many years.
4)A word of advice about nail care: maintain the best shape and polish to provide maximum protection. To reduce weaknesses, create a smooth curve, looking from above, and make the leading edge no longer than needed, thick, and polished like glass using progressively finer sand paper. A multi-surfaced sanding file from the drugstore should work well enough.