How Fast Do Fingernails Grow?


Do you wonder how fast nails grow? Find out as we explain everything about nails,including growth rate, tips on how to make them grow faster, and record-breaking nail lengths around the world.

How Fast (Or Slow) Do Nails Grow?

You can ask how fast nails grow, but the proper question would probably be, how SLOW do nails grow?

The answer is…

In a month, fingernails grow at the rate of about 3 millimeters.

In a week, fingernails grow 0.5 to 1.2 millimeters.

In a day, fingernails grow at around 0.1 millimeters.

Per second, fingernails grow at the rate of about one nanometer

Now is that slow or what? But we suppose speed is subjective.


If you’re the type who doesn’t like to be bothered paring down nails, this is pretty fast enough. However, if you’re growing out your nails so you can prettify them with nail polish and nail art, this can feel like forever.

Get To Know Your Nails

Do you know the parts of your nails? If you’re going to become a nail art enthusiast, you have to know your nails well.


Here are the different parts of your nails:

Matrix – This is the tissue under the nail which the nail protects. It contains our nerves, lymph, and blood vessels. The matrix produces the cells that become the nail plate.

Nail Plate – This is the hard part of the nail. It is actually made up of dead compacted cells that’s why it’s strong. We often call this in layman’s terms as simply “the nail”.

The Lunula – This is the small white crescent moon that you see on your nails. It is most visible in the thumb and least visible in the little finger.

Nail Bed – This is the skin beneath the nail plate.

Nail Sinus – This is where the nail root can be found.

Cuticle – This is the thin sliver or layer of dead skin cells that cover the back of the visible nail plate. When we get a manicure, it is common for the cuticle to be removed.

We’ll be mentioning these different parts as we go along.

How To Make Nails Grow Faster

For different reasons, we sometimes need to grow our fingernails faster. It could be an event we want to go to. Or some nail design that caught our fancy. Or maybe a friend with gracefully long fingernails we suddenly envied. For whatever reason, we totally understand if you are hoping to grow your nails faster.

The bad news is that there is no overnight miracle to growing nails. The good news is that if you’re patient, you can cut down on the long waiting time and grow your fingernails a bit faster than normal.

Here are a few tips and tricks for you:

  1. Maintain healthy and strong fingernails

Before you start thinking of growing long fingernails, you have to have the basics down pat first. This means having nails that are healthy and strong.

Poor nail growth is the result of brittle and weak nails. If your nails are prone to breaking and splitting, you’d be hard put to actually grow your nails. They would just keep breaking at the slightest pressure or accident. Also, even if you do manage to grow them, they’d just look weak and unhealthy and not at all the graceful and beautiful nails that we’re aiming for.

So, make your nails healthy first.

  • Eat healthy food. A person with a good intake of healthy food will have faster growing nails than a person who starves and diets herself every day. If you start feeding yourself with the right foods, you’ll be shocked at how much your nails will change for the better in a very short amount of time. Add the following to your diet: chia seeds, almonds, spinach, cacao, pineapple, chickpeas, and pumpkin seeds.
  • Massage hands with olive oil. Before going to bed, apply warm olive oil to your nails and massage gently for 5 minutes or so. Wear cotton gloves while you sleep. You won’t only get stronger nails, you’ll also get softer and smoother hands. You can do the same with coconut oil.
  • Trim nails regularly. It seems counterintuitive to trim your nails when you’re actually making them grow longer but think of plants and hair. Don’t they grow faster when trimmed? Trimming gets rid of any weak parts of your nails and thus makes them grow stronger and faster.


2. Use gloves when washing dishes

Detergents are harsh on your nails and can adversely affect their health. Wear gloves to protect your nails and hands from these harsh chemicals. Do the same whenever you need to handle strong chemical cleansers like when you have to clean the bathroom.

3. Avoid gel manicures

Too many gel manis are not good for your nail health. The UV light damages the skin around and below your nails. Your risk for cancer also increases the more that you get gel manis.

4. Avoid false nails

In the same way that you should avoid toxic materials on a daily basis, so should you also keep away from the chemicals and glue that hold false nails. They take away the protection on your nails.

5. Read the labels on your nail polish

Start reading the labels on your nail polishes. Avoid painting with nail polish that have toluene, sulfonamide, and formaldehyde as ingredients. These ingredients are toxic and unhealthy for your nails and body.


Amazing Nail Trivia

Now let’s have some fun with nail trivia. You might not think it, but there are a hundred amazing things about nails. Here are some of them:

  • An astronaut’s fingernails can suddenly fall off during space walks.
  • The nails of the hand that you use the most often grow faster than the nails on the other hand.
  • Nails do NOT continue to grow after death as many believe. The skin shrinks thus giving this impression.
  • Cuticles seal out bacteria. (Think of that when you have them cut off at the salon.)
  • After you get sick, nails grow faster.
  • A piece of nail in a bottle of Coke will dissolve in 4 days due to the soda’s high level of corrosiveness.
  • Nails grow faster on longer fingers. So, the nails on your middle fingers grow the fastest and the nails on your thumbs grow the slowest.
  • To grow from base to tip, fingernails will need around three to six months.
  • Shridhar Chillal has the Guinness World record for the person with the longest fingernails on a single hand. They measure 909.6 cm (358.1 in) and he’s been growing them since 195. We’d show you a picture but it quite upset our usually iron stomachs. Ugh!

Good luck on growing your nails!