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Question by Andrew Bulgin
Submitted on 4/16/2004
Related FAQ: Classical Guitar FAQ
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Has anyone to date made any progress in manufacturing artificial nails which are of satisfactory quality (i.e. like real nails) or in a method of nail repair that leaves a reasonably strong nail that can be shaped properly and whose edge can be buffed or sanded to the appropriate smoothness?  Advice concerning breakage avoidance is simply not sufficient.  Breaks will occur despite one's best efforts.  Materials technology has advanced tremendously in the past decades; why is there no artificial nail or nail repair method that can free us from constant anxiety concerning the condition of our nails?  

Answer by zennlah
Submitted on 5/20/2004
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I don't have an answer.  I have the same frustration though.  I would think that someone would create some thing you could attach to your fingers that would allow you to play as if you had perfectly filed and buffed nails.  When you finished playing you could take them off.  I personally do not like having long nails.  Also being a piano student make it not good to have nails.  I love classical spanish guitar music so much though.


Answer by Richard Sportsman
Submitted on 10/15/2004
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Here's what works for me: Put a silk wrap on the nail followed by acrylic to extend the nail if that is necessary.  The silk wrap provides excellent strength to existing nail (like if it is split or cracked), but it is not strong enough to extend the nail. In that case you want to put an acrylic treatment OVER the silk.  Why OVER the silk?  Because if you put acrylic on the nail directly, it WEAKENS the nail, whereas silk does not have this bad side effect.
If you are daring you can do this yourself (as I now do) with kits from a drug store, but I recommend using a professional, at least for starters. Go to a beauty salon that does nails.  If you just need a split repaired, ask for a silk wrap on that nail.  If you need the nail lengthened, have the manicurist put acrylic OVER the silk to extend it (they will look at you funny, but so what, they're getting paid, right?)
Good luck


Answer by jack and frances
Submitted on 10/10/2005
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Artificial nails are easy and readily available. The acrylic nail kits available in any drug store in the US work fine. You can also use the plastic glue-on ones; the plastic in these is a little soft and they do better with a layer of acrylic over them. The acrylic nail systems which are cured with UV light are too hard and brittle and we don't recommend them. Older systems used in the past: cigarette paper re-inforced with old fashioned horse glue, later with crazy glue; cut-up pieces of ping pong balls applied with crazy glue, etc. Having tried many systems, we have settled on (jack) acrylic re-inforced with "silk wrap" (actually fiberglass) and
(frances) Lee Press-on type plastic with a layer of acrylic on top. We'll be happy to share more info. www.guitar-vacation-retreats.com


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