Strong nail glue
October 29, 2005 1:13 PM   Subscribe

What is the strongest glue I can buy that is safe for my nails?

I used to spend lots of money (about $17 every 1.5 weeks) to get acrylic nails applied at a local nail salon. They looked great, but it was really starting to hurt my pocketbook.

I started buying the acrylic nails you find in drugstores and doing them myself. After I paint, buff, and file them, they look great. However, the glue never holds like the glue they use in nail salons. I tried the "extended wear/improved bond" nail glue that was also in the drugstore without much better results.

I need something much stronger. Something that's probably sold in a hardware store. What is the strongest glue I can buy that is safe for my nails? Or, what type of glue do professional nail salons use and where can I buy it?
posted by skjønn to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total)
Do you want it to be removable at some point? If you aren't bothered I don't see why you shouldn't just use superglue. I understand that it was originally invented for some kind of medical use (on skin I think). My only experience of acrylic nails is that my cats wear them (Softpaws) and the glue that come with those and holds up great is basically superglue.

If you're trying to find exactly what the salon uses I would just go ask in a Sally or similar.
posted by crabintheocean at 1:41 PM on October 29, 2005

Your average run of the mill superglue generally works well, and i've used it on my nails with no ill effects. Hell, I've superglued my fingers to shit with no ill effects. It comes off skin in a couple of hours, but it'll hold your nails on for fricking ever.

I'm pretty sure that what they use in nail salons is along the same lines, and I'm also fairly certain that superglue is cheaper than whatever they'd sell you specifically for nails.
posted by salad spork at 1:43 PM on October 29, 2005

Slightly buff your fingernails with an emery board to "roughen" them up. Wipe your nail with something dampened with nailpolish remover (acetone) to de-oil it.

Roughen up the underside of the nail with an emergy board, wipe with a dry something. Superglue or the stuff that comes with the nails should have a much better bond.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 1:47 PM on October 29, 2005

Beauty supply stores have the nail glue most pros use, and most of them sell to the public. You do want to roughen and de-grease as recommended above for best results. I'm pretty sure it's just superglue, though.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:53 PM on October 29, 2005

Oh, and those places have the actual nails even cheaper than you can find at a drugstore, with a wider range of widths and curves. If you're in the US, Sally Beauty Supply is where I go for that kind of thing.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:54 PM on October 29, 2005

Cyanoacrylate superglue works pretty well. It also works well for nail repairs, say if you split or tear a nail, to glue it back together.
posted by tomble at 4:31 PM on October 29, 2005

There are different grades and kinds of Cyanoacrylate. Generally a glue that kicks faster is weaker and a slower glue is stronger. Also CA needs moisture to cure, try exhaling on the glue on your nail before applying the acrylic nail.
posted by Mitheral at 8:06 AM on October 30, 2005 [1 favorite]

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