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Whether you’re looking to curb a nail-biting impulse or simply want a fun manicure, the best nail extensions for bitten nails are easy to apply and long-lasting. On top of that, there are a variety of application methods and colors to choose from including subdued pink, bright coral, and dramatic black. To learn how nail extensions can prevent bitten nails and help you choose the right set, I reached out to Jessica Buckland, Psy.D, a clinical psychologist for the Center of Mental Health in State College, Pennsylvania, and Syreeta Aaron, an educator for LeChat Nails.
What To Consider When Shopping For Nail Extensions For Bitten Nails
Sticker nail forms and reusable dual forms are both popular options for long-lasting gel manicures. Sticker forms temporarily sit under the nail, allowing you to build and sculpt nail extensions using gel before removing the form. With dual forms, you’ll want to find the best size for each of your nails, apply gel to the underside of the form, and press it onto your natural nail. Once the product has set, the dual form pops off and you’re left with a nail extension. Aaron recommends either sticker nail forms or dual forms over glue-on nail tips because they allow you to apply much of the gel on the natural nail, helping to create a durable manicure.
No matter which type you pick, both methods help guide you in shaping the nail and creating your desired length, and both will require some buffing and additional shaping once the nail forms are removed. Gel nail extensions can last two or three weeks but keep in mind that they need to be cured using a UV LED light, which is sometimes sold separately.
For a faster and easy-to-apply manicure, you may prefer press-on nails. These nails come pre-painted and there are lots of colors and designs available — you’ll just need to find the best size for each nail, apply them with glue, and cut and shape them to your desired length. However, press-on nails can be expected to last about one week, so they’re not as long-lasting as gel extensions.
Additionally, Aaron recommends starting off with a “short, active length” to prevent lifting, since bitten nails “don’t have length on the natural nail to support longer nails.” She also notes that you should only apply nail extensions if the cuticles and surrounding skin are healthy and recommends Burt’s Bees Cuticle Cream to help soften the skin.
With these considerations in mind, I’ve rounded up some of the best nail extensions for bitten nails, and they’re all just a click away.
Shop The Best Nail Extensions For Bitten Nails
In a hurry? Here are the best nail extensions for bitten nails:
1. An All-In-One Kit With Dual Forms: Modelones Nail Form Kit
2. An Affordable Kit With Sticker Nail Forms: Saviland Nail Form Kit
3. The Best Press-On Nail Extensions: KISS imPRESS Press-On Nails
Why Do People Bite Their Nails?
According to Buckland, chronic nail-biting is called a “Body-Focused-Repetitive Behavior” (BFRB) and the impulse to bite the nail or pick at the cuticle is often “triggered by unrelated anxiety or a random thought.” In addition to using fidget spinners and distraction to interrupt the nail-biting impulse, Buckland tells Elite Daily, “If nail extensions make it unpleasant to bite nails, that could dissuade the behavior,” adding: “If they cue someone to pause before biting/picking, that could help.”
Jessica Buckland, Psy.D, is a clinical psychologist for the Center of Mental Health in State College, Pennsylvania, and a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Penn State University.
1. An All-In-One Kit With Dual Forms
This all-in-one gel extension kit comes with everything you need for a strong and customizable manicure. It includes six gel nail colors and 72 plastic nail forms (curved and straight) in 12 different sizes to ensure you get a perfect fit no matter what length your nails are. The kit also comes with a UV LED lamp, top coat, base coat, and a slip solution that thins the consistency of the gel for smoother application. A variety of nail tools, including a buffer, file, and tweezers, are also included, so it’s easy to see why this kit has more than 11,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. And according to the brand, manicures can last up to two weeks.
Pro tip: Many reviewers found that using nail clips to hold the forms in place while curing under the light was super helpful. Additionally, the brand recommends applying a nail dehydrator prior to the gel for better adhesion. (Both items are sold separately.)
A helpful review: “I decided to try poly gel because I bite my fingernails down to the skin. I also don’t like long nails just a natural grown look. I was amazed at how easy this was. I had a few issues with air bubbles and the poly gel clumping underneath but I just redid those. Practice makes perfect but for a first try, I think these look great.”
2. An Affordable Kit With Sticker Nail Forms
This nail extension kit uses disposable sticker forms which sit underneath the nail while you build the extensions. The kit comes with 100 forms which can be shaped and molded to your nail for a precise fit, four gel nail colors, base coat, top coat, a brush, and nail files. According to a reviewer, the manicure can last two to three weeks.
What’s more, the kit comes in a variety of color combinations, and you can opt for a set with sequin and rhinestone nail art. You might also like to add a slip solution to get rid of any sticky residue after curing. But don’t forget to purchase the UV LED lamp required for curing, as it’s not included with these kits.
A helpful review: “The brush is really easy to work with, love the overall consistency of the gel and the smooth application. There is a little learning curve but the instructions are very helpful and definitely wouldn't hurt to check out YT on how to use builder gel if you're more a visual learner [...] FYI, I wouldn't try to use this to build super long nail extensions unless you're using doing so with tips. Great for overlays, short to medium nail lengths.”
3. The Best Press-On Nail Extensions
These press-on nails boast more than 12,000 reviews, and at under $10 per set, it’s no surprise they’re a best-seller on Amazon. They offer a time-saving alternative to the gel nails above, and though they’ll only last about seven days, they offer an impressive selection of more than 20 colors to make updating your look easy and fun. They feature a shorter length that’s a great option for bitten nails and come with the super-strong glue needed for application. In addition to these solid colors, the brand offers fun nail art designs too.
A helpful review: “I am a nail biter and love using these nails stop the habit [...] The length is very modest for everyday wear, but I always trim them a little bit shorter to fit my nail bed, they sand and shape easily. One application will last for a week or 2 depending on how hard I am on them.”
Also Nice: A Dip Powder Kit For When Your Nails Are A Bit Longer
If you’ve grown your nails a bit and are looking for a way to preserve them, this acrylic dip powder nail kit is a great option for a long-lasting manicure. It includes everything you need to apply a strong layer of acrylic over your natural nails or an added nail tip. The easy paint-and-dip process doesn’t require forming or shaping of the nail like most nail extension kits do either. You simply apply a layer of base gel to your nail, dip it in one of the eight powder colors, repeat two or three times, and finish with the activator. It works without a UV LED light and results typically last about two or three weeks.
With over 14,000 reviews and 11 color combinations available, this dip kit is an easy way to add durable color to your nails. While some reviewers aren’t a fan of the smell of the base coat and activator, many write that the odor can easily be dissipated with proper ventilation and a fan.
A helpful review: “I love how easy this product is to use compared to acrylic. My natural nails are very short and bitten, I used nail tips combined with the Dip Powder and had got beautiful results at home.”
Jessica Buckland, PsyD, a clinical psychologist for the Center of Mental Health in State College, PA
Syreeta Aaron, an educator for LeChat Nails