When salon owner Pattie Kobe was just a kid, she accidentally slammed her big toe in a car door. Not only did it hurt, the nail never grew back properly - only the very bottom portion was attached to the nail bed. Years later, as the owner of State of Mind salon & Spa in Merrillville, Ind., she saw was far from alone - illness or injury had left a lot of her clients with deformed or mostly missing toenails. That’s what prompted her to experiment with different ways of rebuilding a missing nail. “We discovered that you can sculpt pink-and -white toenails using a form in just the same way you would with a nail biter. In my case, we trimmed back the detached portion of the nail first,” she says. “We’ve had total success with nails as short as 1/8 of an inch. If there’s no nail whatsoever, though, the artificial nail won’t hold up to close-toed shoes.”

Salon owner Pattie Kobe repairs damaged toenails using the same products and techniques she would for nail biter. The result is a perfect set of pink-and-white toenails.

Kobe has been amazed at the way word has spread since she began offering the service “Runners with thick, awkward, ridged toes are good candidates, as well as women who simply have ugly toenails and won’t wear sandals. Since toenails tend to be flat, building them up just slightly can improve the whole appearance of the nail. We have many clients wearing sandals for the first time,” she says.

State of Mind offers the service as an add-on to a $50 spa-style pedicure. Kobe charges $20 for the big toes or $35 for a full set “It’s $120 in product and takes a little as 15 minutes to do.” she says “We’re currently promoting the service to local podiatrists and physicians. We hope to develop mutual referral relationships with them.”

Another option for correcting and extending deformed nails - and even creating a whole new nail when none is there is Light Concept Nail’s Pedique. Since this light-cured gel product is highly elastic, it adapts to the movement of the foot, says LCN regional sales director Michelle Davignon. “It has good adhesion properties and will attach to hard callused skin. Pedique is available in pink, clear, and opaque and can be used with FM Pearl White to create a permanent French look for more information, call LCN USA at (800) 866-2457 or (860) 528 7477, or visit www.lcnusa.com.

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