Can You Put Super Glue on Your Fingernails?

Attach nails with household glue.

Photo: Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images

To attach fake fingernails to your real ones, you need a strong, fast-acting glue. Acrylic nails are usually sold with a special nail adhesive, or you can find bottles of it in the same aisle. But you don't really need a specially made nail glue; you can you just use the same super glue you bought to fix stuff around the house.

The Truth About Glues

Here's the big industry secret, ladies: Fingernail glue and super glue are the same stuff. The active ingredient in both glues is called cyanoacrylate. This means you can use a typical bottle of super glue in the same way you'd use the bottle of glue that comes with acrylic nails. Oh, and if you're worried about gluing your fingers together? Forget what you've seen on Tom and Jerry cartoons; the super glue you buy at the grocery store doesn't have the industrial strength needed to create those sorts of major mishaps. At worst, you'll be able to clean up your skin with a cotton swab and a little nail polish remover.

Minor Differences

There are some different formulas of super glue out there, so you may find minor variations in the additives that get mixed with the cyanoacrylate. Compare them in the store; read the ingredients and look for the ones that have the same stuff as the nail glues. Avoid using other types of super-strong glues that aren't cyanoacrylate, such as silicone adhesives or epoxy glues, since these won't get you good results and may be terrible for your skin.

Applicators

The major disadvantage of using super glue rather than a standard fingernail glue is the bottle itself. Fingernail glue bottles are tiny and made with applicators designed to squeeze out just a tiny bit of glue, whereas many super glue bottles make it easy to accidentally squirt the stuff all over the place. Using too much super glue is a problem because cyanoacrylate glues actually have a weaker hold when you use too much. So squeeze carefully and stick your nails in place with the tiniest drop of glue you can.

Advantages Of Super Glue

Nail glue tends to be sold in small bottles, usually just enough for the nails it comes with. Keeping a bottle of super glue on hand ensures that you'll have nail glue when you need it to reuse acrylic nails or apply to nails that don't come with their own glue.

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