Can You Use Super Glue for Fake Nails?

You are late for a party and you just found out that you are out of nail glue. You wouldn’t want to go there without your pretty nails, would you?

I bet at that moment, the super glue in your home will start looking really friendly. You will be tempted to use it, thinking what could possibly go wrong?

A lot of other women and girls also wondered about that and ended up losing their nails forever. 

Super glue might feel the same as nail glue, but there is a reason nail technicians came up with nail glue.

So, don’t even think about using superglue as an alternative to glue. Keep on reading to get a detailed idea as to why you should never use super glue to attach fake nails and what are the repercussions if you do. 

Can You Use Super Glue for Fake Nails?

In short, Yes and No. Yes, you can use super glue or Krazy glue to attach fake nails, but no it won’t come without severe consequences. 

You can use super glue to attach fake nails, and they will adhere properly too. But, when it’s time to remove them, you will regret ever thinking about it in the first place. So, your hasty thinking has sabotaged you and now your natural nails have to pay the price. 

As a result, you now have an infection, nail damage, or possible nail loss. Your nail might get ripped off when you try to remove the fake nails.

Now, you might have some idea how severe the consequences can be of using super glue on fake nails. 

Wait! Are you arguing that you heard many professionals on the internet saying nothing can go wrong if you are careful?

That’s not so simple. Yes, it is true that Super Glue and Nail Glue have a similar chemical composition but the concentration is different. 

Let’s get into the science of it so you can get a clear idea of how super glue is actually different from nail glue. 

Is Nail Glue the same as Super Glue?

Again, I must say Yes and No together. Yes, they have a similar adhesive component and no their whole composition is not exactly the same. 

Both super glue and nail glue have the same primary component, cyanoacrylate. However, nail glue has lower concentrations of cyanoacrylate while super glue has much higher concentrations. 

Nail glue also has additives that make the glue last longer, allowing it to handle moisturizer better and be gentle on the skin. 

Unfortunately, superglue doesn’t share the same privileges. Instead, superglue contains etching agents that are known for roughening up the surface they are used on. Etching agents make the bonding so strong that when you rip the glue off, it takes the surface of the object it was attached to with it. Imagine that happening to your natural nail. 

Moreover, nail glue is made in a sterilized environment. It is a skincare product made in a healthy and safe environment. The processing is monitored so nothing infectious gets into it. 

On the other hand, superglue isn’t made with the intention of being used on the skin. So, even if some other chemicals get in, that might be hazardous to the skin, who would care? 

Well, you should definitely care, because you were thinking about using it on your skin. 

Related Interesting Read: UV Gel as Glue for Fake Nails

Nail Glue vs Super Glue

Let’s take a quick look at various similarities and differences that exist between nail glue and super glue.

 Nail GlueSuper Glue
Short Term DurabilityNot as strong as super glue in the short termStrongest adhesiveness in the short term
long Term DurabilityTends to last longer, even in moistureTends to weaken over time in moisture
Effect on nailsWon’t damage nailsWeaken or damage the top layer of nails
priceA bit expensiveCheap
ingredientsLess concentration of Cyanoacrylate + Additives to make it skin safeHigher concentration of Cyanoacrylate +  Etching Agents
Place of ManufacturingMade in a sterilized environmentMade in an unsterilized environment

Can you use super glue as nail glue?

Yes, you can but you SHOULD NOT! 

Using super glue in place of nail glue will severely damage your nails and might even cause permanent damage and loss of the nail. 

Here are a few detailed reasons why you should never use super glue as nail glue:

Harmful to Skin

While applying super glue on a nail, it will cause skin irritation. If you manage to avoid skin and attach the nail, it still has corrosive compounds that damage your natural nail. 

Hence, it is unsuitable for attaching fake nails and being used as an alternative to nail glue. The corrosive compounds will have adverse effects on your skin and natural nail bed. 

Difficult to Remove

Superglue is made to be used as a permanent adhesive. Remember the ads, once you use this glue to stick something it won’t come off ever. That’s the sole reason they are made for. 

Unless you want to keep those fake nails attached for the rest of your life, you wouldn’t want to use super glue as nail glue. 

Removing the fake nails that are attached to superglue can be excruciating. 

You might rip off the top surface of your nail along with the fake nail while removing, which is less painful or you might rip off your natural nail which is painful beyond measure. 

Superglue is known for ripping off the surface to which it is attached, so it is not good for your nails, PERIOD!

So, unless you are ready to face such severe consequences, you should not use super glue as nail glue. 

Chances of Infections and Allergies

As I mentioned earlier, superglue isn’t made in, what is considered to be, a medically safe and sterilized environment.

While certain standards of hygiene and sterilization are met in the preparation of nail glue, they aren’t the same for super glue.

Super Glue is made in factories that might not have a good and clean environment. Also, the chemicals used in its manufacturing won’t be processed for skin-safe or medically safe standards.

Even they have mentioned on the bottle that the glue is hazardous. How can you even think of using it to attach nails in the first place then?

There can be a number of contaminants in there. Infectious contaminants can cause allergies or worse reactions. Chemicals and other contaminants that might have gotten into the glue will not only affect your nailbed but may get in your body and cause severe medical problems.

Also, bacterial or fungal infections can take birth from using such substances on your nails.

You can never know what kind of infection you are going to get from a contaminated superglue. So, it is best to avoid it.

Weakens Natural Nail Bed

Even if you were able to remove the fake nail attached with super glue, the natural nail won’t be the same after that.

The top layer of your natural nail will be damaged from using the super glue in the first place. Then, removing it using acetone or other solvents might have damaged the remaining nail bed and fingers too.

So, your fingers will be in a worse and weakened state and you will need a lot of time to nurse them back to their proper health.

Hence, it’s better not to use super glue on your nails at all.

Other Alternatives of Nail Glue

There are other alternatives, better ones that you can use when you run out of nail glue. You can use nail tabs, double tape, nail polish, and other things in your bag to attach fake nails too. 

They won’t be as durable as nail glue, but they will serve the purpose of the day. More importantly, they will be safe for your nails. That’s all that matters.  

What happens if you use super glue for fake nails?

Don’t tell me that you are one of those people who have already done it and are now searching if it’s bad. Well, you should have at least read about it before applying. 

But now the damage is done. We cannot go back in time to undo it. So, let’s take a look at possible remedies you can try for the fake nail without damaging your natural nail. 

First of all, you should wait at least a day before even thinking about removing the nail. Super Glue is strongest after its application, so you can’t wrestle against it. 

Dip your fingers in warm soapy water and allow the water to do its work. Doing it regularly for longer intervals will surely weaken the molecular structure of superglue.

Hence, you might be able to remove it. I am using the word might because I don’t know what brand of super glue you have used. If you have used a really good one, then maybe moisture won’t have any effect. 

The next one is Acetone. Longer exposure to acetone is harmful to your skin. Dip your fingertips in Acetone for shorter intervals. You can also use cotton buds soaked in alcohol in their place. 

Even if you were able to remove super glue using this method, your nail bed will be severely damaged. So, you need to nurse it back to health before ever attaching fake nails again. 

I can only hope it works. In most cases it does, but then there are some people who use gorilla glue, which is the strongest super glue and isn’t affected by moisture. 

Well, now your only option is to visit a nail technician in a salon, hoping they might be able to remove it, or maybe a trip to the emergency room to get your whole nail removed. 

What Can Be Used Instead Of Nail Glue?

Even if you have run out of nail glue, there are other alternatives you can opt for. It is not wise to just jump for the nearest thing you can find to glue and start applying it. 

There are three possible alternatives that you can safely use instead of nail glue. They won’t be as durable as nail glue, but they surely hold on for more than a day.

Also, they won’t rip your natural nail off while removing it. What more could you want?

Nail Tabs

A gentle alternative to nail glue that is easier to put on and easier to remove. Nail tabs are designed from two-sided tape that can be used to attach fake nails. 

They are not expensive. You can get a pack of a dozen or two dozen for a very low price. 

They are cut in the shape of nails and can be attached to your nails very easily. All you have to do is put them on and then attach the fake nail. 

They can last anywhere between 24-48 hours. So, not as durable as fake nails, but definitely worth it. 

Since you have a whole pack of them, you can use them to wear new fake nails every day. Fashion is all about choice, so why not try new ones every day? 

Double-Sided Tape

Don’t have nail tabs at the moment. Nothing to worry about, you can use a two-sided tape in its place. 

The tape is a strong adhesive, but not as strong as super glue. So, you will be able to take it off without damaging your natural nail. 

However, double-sided tape in your home doesn’t come in nail sizes. It’s a DIY task to get them into shape. 

Take the scissors and start cutting. Once you have cut pieces into shape, you should prepare your nails for them. 

Clean the top surface of your nails so the tape can stick properly. Don’t remove the seal on both sides at once. First, attach one side of the tape to your nail and then remove the covering on the other side to attach the fake nail. 

Do it slowly, Do it simply and do it smartly. Hastiness always ruins everything. 

There might be some sticky adhesive on your nail left when you remove the tape. You can remove it using alcohol on cotton buds. Don’t start using a nail file or sharp objects. 

Double tape is not very durable when it comes to nails. So, it will last for only one day and won’t do you any good against moisture. So, remember not to get near water when wearing fake nails attached to double tape. 

Use Nail Polish

Did you know that your traditional nail polish has some adhesive abilities? Yes, it can be used to attach fake nails in case of emergency. 

Yes, I know that it’s not a very durable method, but it still allows the fake nails to remain attached for some hours. Enough to get you through your party night or event. 

Here’s what you have to do. 

  • Use a nail file to prepare the nail bed for the process. Gently rub the surface. 
  • Apply cuticle oil and also push back the cuticles a bit if needed. 
  • The surface is ready for fake nail attaching. Apply a coat of nail polish. 
  • Wait for the polish to dry a bit, and once it’s tacky attach the fake nail. 
  • Gently press for about 45 seconds to a minute and you are done. 

Congratulations! You have attached the fake nail using nail polish. Certainly better than using super glue and ruining the health of your natural nails. 

Other related Read: Nails Growth Under Glue On Nails

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Can you use super glue instead of nail glue?

Yes, you can use it to attach fake nails at the risk of damaging your natural nails and ruining your nail health. So, no you should never opt for super glue when you run out of nail glue. 

What can I use if I don’t have nail glue?

Three possible alternatives are safe for your natural nails. You can use nail tabs or double-sided tape if it’s available. You can also use traditional nail polish to attach the fake nail. 

How long does super glue last on nails?

Superglue can last as long as you don’t try to remove it using acetone or other solvents. Yes, it can stay on permanently. If you don’t remove it, then you might have to remove the natural nail with it. 

Final Thoughts 

Technically speaking, you can use super glue to attach fake nails, but that doesn’t mean you should do it, especially when the risk to your natural nail bed is so great. 

Remember, if you lose your natural nail, it takes almost 6 months for it to regrow, and that’s if it ever grows at all. 

So, you should never use superglue for fake nails. Never Ever!

But if you have used it, you should immediately start working on removing it safely, so you can save your natural nail. 

There are other alternative methods that you can use when you run out of nail glue. I have shared 3 of them in the above post. 

If you have any questions, you can drop them in the comments section below and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Good Luck!

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