Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How to apply a silk wrap tutorial

Last week, I dinged my nail pretty bad and got a crack on my index finger.  Eeek! I didn't want to take down length so I buffed the crack out but it left me with a weak spot in my nail. Eeeek 2x!

I decided to reinforce it with a silk wrap and gel resin while it grows out versus taking down length completely and having uneven nails!  Overall, silk or fiber glass wraps are great for strengthening thin weak nails or helping repair a broken damaged nail.

Basic Supplies: Swiss Silk Wraps or Fiberglass Wraps. IBD Gel Resin, ASP Nail dehydrator and 4-sided buffer.  Silk wraps give a more natural look while fiberglass wraps are more durable but show fibers more easily.  I've used both and both work great.  You don't have to get these exact brands.  All of these products can be found at Sally Beauty Supply or any nail supply retailer.  


Hurry Up! Nail Glue Dryer. Spray this on your last coat to instantly dry your resin. Spray outdoors because it is rather fumey. Wipe your nail with rubbing alcohol afterward.

I made a video version of this tutorial, click here.

Steps for applying a silk/fiberglass wrap:
  1. Remove all polish.
  2. Prep your nail. Gently, buff  away any peeling. If it can’t be buffed down or your nails are thin, you’ll have to take down length. -sorry-
  3. Remove any oils with rubbing alcohol or nail dehydrator. Make sure your nail is clean and free of any dirt. 
  4. Remove the backing. Apply silk wrap getting close enough to the edge.  Silk wraps are slightly adhesive on one side. Trim the excess wrap with scissors.
  5. Apply gel resin over wrap and let dry. Apply 2-3 coats of resin letting the coats dry in between. Wrap your tips with resin by applying at the edge. 
  6. Optional: Spray nail glue dryer.
  7. Buff smooth with 4-sided buffer using sides 2-4. 
  8. Optional: Apply another layer of glue, let dry and buff smooth.
  9. Apply polish as normal. 
  10. LET IT BE! Don’t do multiple polish changes or wear glitter.  The more contact it comes with remover the weaker the resin will become.  The wrap can withstand brief contact with remover or use non-acetone remover.  Ideally, you’ll want the wrap to last a month or longer while it grows out.   Remove and reapply wraps as needed.
  11. BE CAREFUL! The nail is still damaged under the silk wrap.  The wrap reinforces it but it’s not invincible! Don’t use your nails as tools! Wear gloves while cleaning!
  12. To remove, soak a cotton ball in acetone and let sit on your nail and slide off or use the foil method.  DO NOT attempt to pick or pry off silk wraps.  Doing so can cause major damage to your natural nail!
  13. If you do not have silk/fiber glass wraps, you can substitute with a tea bag AKA the tea bag method.  The tea bag won’t be as durable or last as long as the silk/fiberglass wrap. 

Reinforced with a wrap.  Please excuse the staining.  I need to do a lemon treatment soon!

I will probably wear this wrapped for a month or so until the weak area grows out. I wore a silk wrap on my right thumb for 4 months last year because it never recovered from peeling and it always broke. 

How to repair a nail tear or crack:

Last summer, I got a lot of nail tears way down on the nail bed. I think this was attributed to using OPI Nail Envy and it caused my nails to be strong but inflexible. The tip of my nail must’ve flexed but broke/tore on the sides.

To halt further breakage, I used a drop of nail glue and sprinkled the filler on it to reinforce the tear and buffed it down then applied the silk wrap as usual. Before, I’d apply the wrap then it would fail.

If you see a line through the wrap where the break is, then the wrap has failed and can break further. Make sense? Sorry it’s hard to explain without a picture. I don’t have any tears at the moment. **knocks on wood** Thank goodness, don’t jinx me! You can read the full story here.

If your nails are chronically breaking, here are some things to consider:
·         What’s your current nail care routine?
·         Are you eating a balanced diet to promote healthy nails?  Are you drinking enough water?
·         Are your nails too long for your lifestyle? 
·         Do you use your nails as tools?

Obviously, not following a care routine, having poor eating habits, being dehydrated, using your nails to pick or pry at objects can all lead to nail damage/breakage.

As always, please seek assistance from a medical care provider if you are experiencing serious problems with your nails as there might be an underlying issue that needs to be diagnosed and treated.

Also, I’ve read other tips to repair nails using UV Gel polish cured under a UV light.  I think this method is a better alternative to using silk wraps; however, I do not own a UV Lamp.  The starting kit for an UV gel polish system is quite expensive but is on my lemming list for 2012!

That's it!  Thanks for reading.  I'm off to not freak out about the weak spot on my index finger!  

**Will totally freak out**


  1. So handy and a great idea if you can do it yrself!

    1. It's pretty easy. After I got all those breaks, I got pretty handy in doing wraps!

  2. Thanks i need to get the silk wrap for one of my toe. it was half broken and damaged.

  3. Replies
    1. Glad that I could help. Let me know how it works out for you!

  4. Excellent post!! exactly what I was looking for.