Our nails truly take a beating throughout the day. Clicking against keyboards, soaking in dirty dish water, digging through our purse and sometimes even ending up between our teeth. Even after all of this, we still wonder why a fresh coat of paint doesn’t solve all our nail problems. The truth is that our nails are a lot more complex than we know. Below, there are 10 weird and important (and fun!) things to know about nails that will help you understand the proper care that they need.
1. Your nails grow about 3.5 millimeters a month. There are number of things that can cause your nails to take longer to grow long, including a lack of vitamins or being sick. If you were to lose a fingernail, it would take about 3-5 months for a fingernail to grow back completely.
2. Hair and nails are made up of the same protein. Both are made up of the protein keratin, they’re just composed in a different way.
3. Men’s nails grow faster than women’s. Facts are facts. However, women’s nails tend to grow faster than men’s during pregnancy.
4. Cuticles are there for a reason. Cuticles seal in moisture and keep germs out of the body. Although some may find them unappealing, it is very important not to pick at the cuticle or to let your manicurist cut them completely off.
5. Genetics determine how hard your nails are. Some of us were blessed with thick nails and others cursed with easily broken ones. You can blame your genetics for this one. The hardness of your nails is passed down through your parents.
6. Your nails don’t need oxygen. When people tell you that your nails need to breathe, they’re wrong. The nail plates are dead cells and don’t require oxygen. However, your cuticles and nail beds are alive and need oxygen to survive.
7. Seasons and weather affect nail growth. Your nails are just like you: They only want to come out during the hot and sunny weather. In cold weather, your nails tend to grow slower.
8. Nail biting is called onychophagia. We should have known this nasty habit had an equally unflattering name to go along with it. The routine of biting your nails is most commonly associated with stress or nervousness.
9. Cutting your nails is important. When your nails get too long, dirt and bacteria can get stuck under them. When these sediments build up under the nail for an extend amount of time, it can become harmful and unsanitary. Keep your nails short to avoid any issues with hygiene.
10. Nails can indicate your health and overall well being. There are numerous signs that show up on your nails that can determine health defects. Some of the most common being pale nails, which could be a sign of anemia, or dark vertical lines which are signs of melanoma. If your nails are blue, it’s a sign your body isn’t getting enough oxygen.