Severely bitten nails can be rather unsightly and cause the biter to be self-conscious about showing off her hands. Adding nail enhancements to bitten nails can be a rather complicated and tricky procedure, but if you can pull it off and make a set of beautiful nails on what was once a small and stubby nail bed, the effect on the client can be dramatic and do wonders for her self-esteem.

Ann-Marie Reaves, assistant director of education for Star Nail International and manicuring instructor at Henri’s School of Hair Design in Fitchburg, Mass., shows how she does acrylic extensions on bitten nails.

1. Do basic prep work and apply primer.

2. Place a ball of wet acrylic on the free edge.

3. Press the acrylic over the tips of the fingers to create longer-looking nail beds. Use a color as close to the natural nail color as possible.

4. Do all 10 nails and let dry, then file the sidewalls and free edge. This will give you structure to create a new free edge. Apply a form to create the new free edge using white acrylic.

5. Extend the free edge to desired length.

6. Apply pink acrylic from the smile line to the cuticle area using the two- or three-ball method like you would for any acrylic enhancement.

7. File and buff the nails to shape and desired length. Apply oil and buff to a high shine. Apply top coat or sealer to finished nails.

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