How Long Does It Take For Nails to Grow?

Guilty of biting your nails? Trying to ditch the acrylics and see some natural growth? Sometimes, beauty is all about waiting. After all, good things take time! 

If you’re wondering how long it takes for nails to grow, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll fill you in on just that, along with some other tips and tricks to consider. 

Understanding Nail Growth

Before we go any further on how fast do nails grow, let’s talk about how nails grow. We know you didn’t come here for a nail anatomy course, so we’ll keep it short. The nail is made up of 4 important parts: the matrix, plate, cuticle, and lunula. Each plays an important role in nail growth. 

For instance: 

  • The matrix is the root of the nail and constantly makes new cells that force old cells to become packed together and pushed through the skin. 

  • The nail plate is the hard part of your nail. This is the actual part you’re trying to grow. This is what those old cells we mentioned above form. At this point, these cells are dead; hence, why you don’t feel a thing when you clip your fingernails. 

  • The cuticle is a part of the nail you’re familiar with. This small section of skin protects the matrix from germs, and while it doesn’t pertain directly to the way nails grow, it’s super important for fingernail health.

  • The lunula is that small white spot at the bottom of your nails that resembles a half-moon shape. This is part of the matrix but is the only visible part. Pretty cool, right?!

How Long Does It Take For Nails to Grow? 

Alright, let’s talk speed. We regret informing you what you probably already knew. Nails grow very slowly. Fingernails only grow about 3 millimeters per month and toenails grow even slower (about half or ⅓ that rate). Growth varies on a few factors like age, time of the year, or if you’ve lost a fingernail completely.

The older you get, the slower your fingernails and toenails grow. If you lose one completely, it will take about half a year to grow back. Toenails can take even longer (about a year and a half). Moreover, the seasons also play a role in nail growth. Growth is faster in the summer, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. 

Fun Fact: Your dominant hand grows faster. So, if you’re right-handed, this is probably why your right-hand fingernails always seem to be longer than your left ones. 

How to Make Your Nails Grow Faster

What can you do to grow your nails faster? Here are 4 tips to follow:

1. Clip Your Nails 

Proper nail clipping keeps nails healthy and promotes healthy growth. If they constantly get tears or snags, they’ll easily break. Cut your nails straight across and slightly round the edges using a nail file. The same goes for your toenails!

2. Don’t Bite Your Nails

This one is a no-brainer. If you want your nails to grow, stop biting them! The same applies to your cuticle. Don’t damage or remove it. There is really no good reason to remove the cuticles as removing them allows an easy entry to germs and bacteria.

3. Wear Shoes That Fit

Tight shoes harm your toenails. So, no matter how cute those shoes you saw at the store are, if they’re not your size, don’t get them! 

4. Stay Away From Acrylics 

If you want your nails to grow out, stay away from acrylics, which damage your natural nail. Instead, shape your nails and apply regular polish at home. We recommend applying some nail hardener. This product strengthens nails, making them less likely to break.

5. Take Biotin 

You’ve probably heard the benefits biotin has for the skin and hair. This also extends to nails! Biotin supplements help nails grow thicker and stronger since they’re packed with amino acids and protein. These are great for keratin production in the body – a substance essential in nail growth.

Good Things Take Time!

Now that you’re a nail growth pro, implement these accessible practices to spark faster growth. As your nails grow, continue to care for them and maintain the length. Good things take time, and this couldn’t be more true for beautiful nails!

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