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Old 07-09-2018, 09:47 AM
Carey Carey is offline
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Originally Posted by redir View Post
Almost the same story for me. I have psoriasis that attacks my fingernails making it impossible to use them. It hit me in my 30's after playing for a good ten years and depending on nails. I gave up classical guitar entirely because it was so frustrating. Then I decided to pick it up again and play with no nails at all. The freedom of not being dependent on nails is just wonderful. I'd never go back, not that I could, but still...
It's encouraging to hear that you'd not go back to playing with nails even if
you could, because mine are hooking to the point that I might have to go
no-nails, as well. Maybe that's not so bad?
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:24 AM
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fazool fazool is offline
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I have tissue paper flimsy nails. I can bend some of my nails backwards.

I have always had this issue. I can (literally) rip my nails in half with my other nails.

Upon recommendation read here on AGF I got Hard as Hoof cream. My nails grows remarkably faster and feel a little stronger than before.

I tried every nail polish, coating and everything. This has worked the best for me.
Fazool "The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Potter"
Taylor GC7 | Taylor GA3-12 | Taylor SB2-S | Ibanez AC240
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Old 07-09-2018, 01:30 PM
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jojobean39 jojobean39 is offline
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Default Stronger nails?

I use a file that has the 7 different steps, from coarse to buff. I always use the buff at the edge of the nails. It makes them a bit smooth so there are no rough edges.

I like my nails quite long- about a quarter inch of white showing. The best thing I have been able to do is to smooth out the tips with that buffer to make them rounded and dull.

I have had issues with breaking nails as I play bass and they’re heavier strings. They tend to just break the nail to pieces (sometimes it’ll just fly off) or file it down, versus guitar strings which can put small cracks in them.
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Old 07-09-2018, 02:59 PM
redir redir is offline
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Originally Posted by Carey View Post
It's encouraging to hear that you'd not go back to playing with nails even if
you could, because mine are hooking to the point that I might have to go
no-nails, as well. Maybe that's not so bad?
I don't think it's so bad now, mush less frustrating, but I did quite playing for a few years because of it!

As a matter of fact it was because of this forum and a post I saw years ago in it to this website that I started playing again:
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Old 07-09-2018, 11:53 PM
jaybones jaybones is offline
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I have a vitamin D deficiency, and learned that causes brittle nails. I also take keratin supplements (part of my hair loss prevention regimen- along with keratin shampoo and minoxidil).

Seems to make my nails strong.

Before I knew I had the vitamin deficiency, I was using a product called Hard as Hooves- rub into the nail at the cuticle.
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:04 AM
Guitar Slim II Guitar Slim II is offline
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Originally Posted by Dave T View Post
Not trying to be completely negative, just passing on my personal experience.

I've tried every dietary trick, vitamin supplement, and gimmick recommended on this and other guitar forums. None of them helped me get longer, stronger nails.

My "M" nail has a hard ridge down the middle, which cracks as soon as the nail gets long enough to make good string contact. My "A" nail has two such ridges and it has decided to curl down between them and then break at inconvenient times (generally while playing). My thumb nail ("P") also has a ridge that cracks regularly, but fortunately (or not) it is on the right side of the nail so even after filing the crack down I usually have enough nail on the left side to engage the string.

Since I'll be 70 years old in a couple months I don't think this is going to get any better. Despite my guitar teacher encouraging my playing with nails I'm leaning hard toward going back to playing with my finger tips.

You may be able to take your nails even shorter than you think, although this may necessitate some adjustment of hand position. You might be able to get away with just fingertip length. Playing with nails doesn't necessarily mean playing with long nails. I tend to like mine short anyway -- I keep them between 1/8 and 1/4 inch past the finger tip -- closer to 1/8.

Your other options are try the "falsies" or, as you say, just lose the nails. At your age and with your issues, I don't think traditional-length nails are in your future. I've also heard the adhesives used for the false nails are terrible for your real nails, and you already have problems with those.

BTW, I've been blessed with healthy nails most of my life, but I'm getting older now as well, and have a ridge on my 'a' finger that chips easily, and tears if I don't notice and repair it immediately. I'm developing a similar ridge on my 'm' finger. Unfortunately, aging is an issue.

Last edited by Guitar Slim II; 07-11-2018 at 04:02 AM.
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:18 AM
Bikewer Bikewer is offline
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As Guitar Slim is saying... My own optimum playing length is quite short; no more than about 1/8”.
They are hardly distinguishable from my LH nails. I use the classical guitar hand position I learned years ago from the classical guitar column in Guitar Player magazine, and I get excellent tone and volume.

So far, I’m almost a week in with the James Taylor “wrap” recommendations and haven’t had any trouble.
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:19 PM
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Fngrstyl Fngrstyl is offline
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I put a little piece of silk wrap, and a drop of glue on top of my natural nails. Pretty much invisible too.



Glue applicator (Pipett)
Chad Fengel

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"Only by becoming acquainted with your own self,
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Old 07-11-2018, 06:11 PM
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StephenHD35 StephenHD35 is offline
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I switched to acrylics a year or so ago. I'll never go back and wish I'd done it years earlier.
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:05 PM
wood nacho wood nacho is offline
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I have jumped on the fiberglass nail train and I couldn't be happier. The way I do it very similar to how James Taylor does it in the video posted earlier in this thread. I do 3-4 layers of fiberglass and it will stay on for maybe 1 week. Sometimes they get worn down but it is easy to do a quick fix with some nail glue or another layer of fibreglass.
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Old 07-14-2018, 02:06 PM
Quickstep192 Quickstep192 is offline
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I did the fiberglass thing for a while, but over time, my "real" nails got really thin.

I read a suggestion to use hoof cream (Different than Hard as Hoof). I brush on a coat a couple of times a week. I think it actually makes my nails softer and therefore more flexible. I haven't broken a nail since I started using it.
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Old 07-15-2018, 09:09 PM
jrethorst jrethorst is offline
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Default has good advice:

John R.
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Old 07-16-2018, 04:18 PM
waterboy waterboy is offline
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I had really good results from hoofer's choice cream, applied to the nail and cuticle. A good file used frequently also helps as others have also mentioned.
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Old 07-18-2018, 10:21 AM
SBalderrama SBalderrama is offline
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I learned something from the Flamenco forum that works well for me. Crazy glue Brush on ( which is the same type of cyanacrylate as medical grade I believe, but I'm not a doctor and didn't stay at a holiday inn ) and acrylic powder. Instead of using the acrylic activator, brush crazy glue on then dip the nail in powder. Repeat a few times, use a nail glue accellerator, and then file and buff. It's quick and easy compared to using the acrylic gel, and way cheaper than a nail salon. The one advantage of an actual nail salon is that something like solar nails will probably last longer before coming apart, but the crazyglue/acrylic thing is so easy it doesn't bother me.
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Old 08-07-2018, 11:38 AM
Rapido Eduwardo Rapido Eduwardo is offline
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Have trouble getting my thumb nail to grow. It seems to grow VERY slowly. So I bought some Rico nails and they work great. Easily removed after practice, which I did not expect. They are held to the nail by Glue Dots, which I get from my local Was Mart. They come in several flavors, but I have found the 'Super Strength' one to work best. They are also sometimes called 'permanent', which is very misleading. When the Rico nail is removed all of the glue dot comes off and only the glue on the Rico nail remains, which I remove with a metal pointed nail file. Works like a charm.
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