10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Nails

Pink glittery nails

1. How fast do your nails grow

The rate a person’s nails grow at can be affected by a number of factors, including gender, age and hormones, but on average, nails grow at a 3.5 millimetres per month. It may seem unfair, but men’s fingernails seem to grow faster than women’s, except during pregnancy! You may notice your nails grow faster in summer than winter and grow faster when you’re sick. Counter-intuitively, the longer your finger, the faster they grow and strangely, your nails on your dominant hand grow faster than your non-dominant!

2. Your diet can change the health of your nails

You have heard of eating certain foods to help your hair shine? Well nails and hair are both made from the same protein, keratin. A healthy diet, rich in vitamins helps strengthen both your hair and nails, and a diet of junk food is sure to lead to split ends and cracked nails.

3. Your nails can be an early warning indicator

Dermatologists can tell a lot about you from your fingernails, maybe not if you brush your teeth twice a day, but there are some serious diseases that can be uncovered by fingernail examination. Indentations across the nail surface could be damage, but could also be a marker of zinc deficiency, diabetes, or high fever. Blue discolouration can be a sign of lung cancer, while yellow discolouration can be related to respiratory disease. Remember, if in doubt, seek the advice of a medical expert, not a nail blog!

4. Stress, the nail killer

We all know about the nervous nibbler, but even if you’re not a nail biter, high levels of stress, anxiety and a lack of sleep can divert vital nutrients away from the process of hair and nail creation. Get that beauty sleep!

5. Nail do not keep growing after you die

The rumour goes that your nails and hair keep growing when you die. FALSE, with no blood flow, the creation of new keratin for nails and hair is impossible, however, the skin can shrink, creating the illusion of growth. Moving swiftly on…

6. Your cuticles are there for your protection

Cuticles have an important job, they are the Guardians of the Nail Bed. Keeping bacteria and dirt away from the growing nail bed is an important job, so try not to cut them back. Use moisturiser and keep pushing them back to maintain a clean look

7. White spots ≠ Calcium deficiency

That is right, your parents lied to you. White spots are a good indicator of minor injury to the nail when it is being formed. These are commonly seen in people who bite their nails but could also indicate a minor infection or an allergic reaction to nail polish.

8. Nails can grow long, like really long

The world record for the longest fingernails is 8.65m (eww). No, I won’t show you a picture.

9. Coke is so acidic it can completely dissolve a nail

We all know water is great for our health, and sugary drinks are bad. But how bad are they? Try this for yourself, put a nail clipping in a can of Coke and check back in a couple of days

10. Storing nail polish in the fridge makes it last longer

You’ve probably heard this somewhere before, or maybe know somebody who swears by this, but its FALSE. Putting polish in the fridge subject it to temperature changes that alter the consistency of the polish, potentially ruining your smooth finish. Polishes are best kept at room temperature, and make sure to screw that lid on tight!


Karen Harrington started Beauty Courses Online in 2008 and has decades of experience in the beauty industry. Karen has owned multiple beauty salons, aswell as a conventional beauty school. Thousands of students have begun a career in the beauty industry from studying courses provided by Karen.