Have you ever wondered how fast do nails grow in a week? On average, a normal fingernail grows at a rate of 0.5 – 1.2mm per week, which is about 0.1mm a day. However, this rate differs from person to person.
Toenails typically grow at a pace that’s one-third the speed of fingernail growth, averaging about 1.62 millimeters each month.
The growth rate of nails is influenced by several fundamental factors, though it might appear to be erratic.
Curiously, not all nails on a single hand grow uniformly; the nails on your dominant hand and those on your longer fingers tend to grow faster.
The rate of growth differs by around 0.1mm, which can make it quite noticeable from finger to finger.
Nails that are bitten tend to grow three times more rapidly than those that are not. This increased growth rate is a result of the trauma caused by biting, which boosts blood circulation in the nail bed.
Nails serve the primary function of safeguarding the fingertips and toes. Consequently, it is logical that the longest nails experience quicker growth to provide adequate protection.
Fingernails require three to six months to regrow completely, and toenails require 12 to 18 months as they are generally subjected to less trauma than fingernails.
Several factors affect how fast nails grow, including age, sex, season, exercise level, diet, and hereditary factors.
While many of these growth-influencing factors are beyond your direct control, you can still aid the process by maintaining proper nail hygiene.
Contrary to popular belief, nails do not continue to grow after death. The skin dehydrates and tightens, making the nails (and hair) appear to grow.
Should you notice that your nails are growing slower than usual or if you experience any atypical symptoms, it’s recommended to consult with your general practitioner for guidance.
Your symptoms may be attributed to nutritional deficiencies or another underlying condition.
Your doctor can help determine why this is happening and advise you on any next steps.
How To Make Your Nails Grow Faster
Eat Protein-Rich Food
Protein is important for so many things, and vital for the structure of your nails, as they are made of a protein called keratin.
Consuming protein-rich foods can significantly aid in boosting your nail growth. Here are some protein-rich foods to include in your diet:
- Eggs: High in biotin and protein, eggs can improve nail thickness and reduce splitting.
- Lean meat: Chicken, turkey, and other lean meats are excellent sources of protein for healthy nail growth.
- Fish: Salmon, tuna, and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can enhance nail strength and prevent brittleness.
Vitamins And Minerals
Certain vitamins and minerals are mandatory for healthy nails.
It’s best to get these from a natural source, like your food, but if you are vegetarian or are deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, it may be smart to take a vitamin.
The important nutrients that promote nail growth include:
- Biotin: Found in foods like almonds, salmon, and avocado, biotin is essential for strong and healthy nails.
- Vitamin A: This vitamin helps regulate the synthesis of keratin and can be found in carrots, sweet potatoes, and spinach.
- Vitamin E: It helps with blood circulation, ensuring proper nourishment of your nails. Almonds, sunflower seeds, and avocado are good sources.
- Calcium: Known for its bone-strengthening properties, calcium is also important for nail health. Include dairy products, leafy greens, and almonds in your diet.
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Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Keeping your nails hydrated is important for promoting growth and avoiding breakage. Much like your skin and hair, hydration goes a long way for your nails too.
Ensuring that your nails are properly moisturized will prevent them from becoming brittle, which can cause them to break easily.
Here’s a list of simple ways to keep your nails hydrated:
- Use a hand cream: Make it a habit to apply hand cream every time you wash your hands. This will keep your nails moisturized throughout the day. Look for creams with ingredients like shea butter, vitamin E, or glycerin for extra nourishment.
- Cuticle oil: Applying cuticle oil regularly can help maintain the health of your nail bed, which in turn supports nail growth. You can apply cuticle oil once or twice a day using a brush or cotton swab.
- Wear gloves: Wearing gloves while doing chores that involve water or harsh cleaning chemicals will protect your nails from being stripped of their natural moisture. This is especially important for those who have sensitive nails.
- Avoid nail polish remover with acetone: Acetone can be very harsh on your nails and cause them to become dry and brittle. Opt for acetone-free nail polish removers instead to minimize nail damage.
Take A Biotin Supplement
We touched on the importance of vitamins and supplements, but biotin requires it’s own category as it’s so important for the health and wellbeing of your nails.
Incorporating biotin-rich foods into your diet may provide the necessary nourishment your nails need to grow and remain healthy. Here’s a list of foods that are a good source of biotin:
- Eggs: Especially egg yolks, are a great natural source of biotin, but make sure they’re cooked, as raw egg whites can hinder biotin absorption.
- Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and sunflower seeds are not only rich in biotin but also other essential nutrients for healthy nails.
- Meat: Chicken and red meat, like beef and pork, contain a fair amount of biotin. Opt for lean cuts to minimize unhealthy fats.
- Fish: Salmon and sardines are biotin and omega-3 rich, which helps promote nail growth and overall health.
Adding these biotin-rich foods to your daily meals might be a tasty and nutritious way to make your nails grow faster.
If you don’t think you get enough biotin in your everyday meals, consider a biotin supplement to bridge the gap.
Some studies suggest that taking around 2.5 milligrams of biotin daily can show improvements in nail strength but consult your doctor or a healthcare professional before starting any supplement regimen to get tailored advice.
Note: biotin deficiency is rare, and if you’re facing issues with brittle nails or hair loss, it might be due to other underlying conditions like iron deficiency or thyroid issues.
However, if you’re already following a well-balanced diet and maintaining overall health, supplements might give your nails that extra support they need to grow strong and fast.
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Trimming and Filing
Regular trimming and filing of your nails can encourage healthy growth. It’s important to keep your nails at a manageable length and to maintain a consistent routine. Here are some tips for trimming and filing:
- Use clean, sharp nail clippers or scissors to trim your nails. Make sure to disinfect them before use to prevent any infection.
- Instead of cutting your nails in one go, trim them in small increments to maintain control and avoid accidentally cutting too much.
- File your nails in one direction instead of using a back-and-forth motion. This can help prevent splitting and maintain a smooth edge.
- Choose a nail file with a fine grit to prevent damaging the nail.
Keeping your nails and cuticles hydrated is crucial for maintaining their strength and promoting growth. Here are some tips to ensure your nails stay moisturized:
- Apply hand cream or cuticle oil after washing your hands. This can help keep your nails and cuticles hydrated and prevent them from becoming dry and brittle.
- Use a cream or oil rich in vitamins and nutrients, such as vitamin E and biotin, which are known to promote nail growth and strength.
- Massage the cream or oil into your cuticles and nails, ensuring that you cover the entire nail surface. This can help stimulate blood flow to the area, which can encourage growth.
- Don’t forget to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated from within, as this can have a positive impact on your overall nail health.
By maintaining these proper nail care habits, your nails will not only look better, but they will also be healthier and grow faster. Remember to stay consistent with your routine and give your nails the attention they deserve.
Use Nail Hardeners
When trying to make your nails grow faster, you’ll want to strengthen and protect them from any potential damage.
One common (and effective) approach is using nail hardeners, which play a crucial role in maintaining healthy nails. Here’s what you need to know about using them:
Nail hardeners, often found in the form of nail polish or special treatments, work by creating a protective layer over your nails.
This helps to prevent breakage, splitting, and chipping, ultimately allowing your nails to grow uninterrupted. There are various types of nail hardeners, so be sure to choose one that suits your needs.
Be cautious with the frequency of using nail hardeners, as excessive use can lead to brittle nails. It’s best to apply them once a week and make sure you remove them properly before reapplying.
Give your nails a break between applications by letting them breathe for a day or two, and always follow the product instructions.
Incorporating nail hardeners into your nail care routine is a simple and effective way to boost their growth. However, don’t forget to pair this with a healthy lifestyle and follow other tips, such as:
- Eating a balanced diet
- Staying hydrated
- Taking biotin supplements
- Regularly moisturizing your cuticles
- Filing your nails gently and in a single direction
With the right approach, you’ll be well on your way to achieving the long, strong nails you desire!
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Use Gloves When Cleaning, Doing Dishes, Etc.
Why should you wear gloves? Wearing gloves can:
- Prevent damage and breakage caused by manual tasks like dishwashing or gardening.
- Shield your nails from harsh chemicals and excessive water exposure that can weaken them.
- Reduce the risk of infections that might slow down nail growth.
When cleaning your home, especially using soaps or detergents, slip on a pair of rubber gloves to protect your nails from soaking in water and chemicals for extended periods. This will keep them healthier and reduce breakage.
Exposure to soil, dirt, and harsh weather conditions when gardening or engaging in outdoor sports can affect nail health.
Opt for durable gloves that provide ample coverage for good nail health.
In freezing temperatures, your nails can become brittle and prone to breakages. Wearing warm, insulated gloves will help maintain proper circulation and nail health during harsh winters.
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