Do Nails Grow Faster In Water? Find Out Now

I am sure that at one point in our lives, we have heard that water makes nails grow faster. However, the common belief that nails grow faster in water is a myth. Nails are made up of a protein called keratin, and their growth is determined by genetics and overall health.

Soaking nails in water does not affect their growth rate. However, keeping nails hydrated can make them appear stronger and less prone to breakage. As an expert nail blogger who has had long nails on for quite some time and still currently does, I can tell you from my little years of growing nails that fingernails do not grow faster in water instead, water causes more harm to them than good.

Before I proceed to share with you my professional skills and give you my reasons, here’s a mail I want you to see. I got this mail a few days back from one of my subscribers.

It reads;

Hi, my name is Gloria, and I’m a diehard fan of your blog. I’ve been following all of your blog posts, especially how to stop biting nails in 9 minutes, and it has been helpful.

In fact, with your tips, I no longer chew my nails and today it is two months that I haven’t gone after my nails.

Just recently, I stumbled on a post that talks about growing nails in water, so I want to know if the Nails Grow Faster In Water.

Do Nails Grow Faster In Water

The real answer is No, nails do not grow faster in water. It has been revealed that too much water does more harm than good for your nails as it makes your nails weak and brittle. In this article, I will discuss why this is not possible.

Studies on Nail Growth in Water

Two things happen to you when your nails are in the water for too long a time

1. The skin around your nails shrinks and retracts backward giving an illusion of longer nails

2. Your Fingernails out of excitement expand

Having listed two possible things that may occur when your nails are in the water, let me explain further.

1. Skin Shrinks

Suppose you’re that type that usually spends a considerable amount of your time in the pool or does activities that require immerging your fingers in water for too long. In that case, you must have noticed that each time you take your hands out of the water, your nails usually appear as if they’ve grown.

Do Nails Grow Faster In Water

Well, the truth is, what you’re seeing is a result of shrinking skin and not actual nail growth per se. And when this happens, it gives you this false illusion of a longer nail. But if left for some time, it goes back to normal.

But why does this happen in the first place? Here’s the catch.

Our skin is made up of an outer covering known as Sebum. Usually, sebum acts as a protective covering on the surface. During swimming, for example, the sebum which acts as waterproof gets broken, which further allows water to get the better part of your skin, making it look waterlogged.

The excess water already presents or is trapped in the skin of your fingers causing some parts to swell more than others. That’s precisely why your nails look wrinkled after using the swimming pool for a long time giving your nails that appearance of long nails.

What can I do if my skin shrinks after swimming?

There’s absolutely nothing you can do if your skin shrinks probably after spending time in the pool or doing the dishes other than to wait for a while for it to get back to normal.

However, you can prevent this from occurring, especially if your work involves submerging your fingers in water often by wearing rubber gloves. Doing this will safeguard the protective oil – Sebum from being broken as a result of overexposure to water.

2. Nails Expands

If you cut a piece of sliced bread and allow it to stay in water for like an hour, what do you think will happen? It will swell. The same thing goes for your nails. When your nails spend a considerable amount of time in the water, your nail plate absorbs water and thus expands, making your fingernails appear longer.

But if left for some time or when moisturizer is applied to it, it takes away the moisture from the nails and restores them to their original position.


The process of nail growth begins in the matrix, which is the base of the nail located just beneath the cuticle. The matrix contains cells called keratinocytes that produce keratin, a protein that makes up the nails. As the keratinocytes die, they are pushed forward by new cells being produced in the matrix.

This process causes the nails to grow. Water does not play a direct role in the process of nail growth. However, keeping the body hydrated is important for overall health, which can in turn promote healthy nail growth. Drinking enough water can also keep the nails hydrated, which can prevent them from becoming dry and brittle nails.

It is also important to note that nails can be also affected by certain health conditions, such as anemia, thyroid problems, psoriasis, and eczema, which might affect the rate of nail growth and appearance, so it is important to address those underlying conditions if you have any concerns.

Factors that Affect Nail Growth

Several factors can affect the rate of nail health and growth, including:

  1. Genetics: Nail growth is largely determined by genetics, so some people may naturally have faster-growing nails than others.
  2. Age: As we age, the rate of nail health and growth tends to slow down.
  3. Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes in the body can also affect nail growth. For example, pregnancy can cause nails to grow faster, while menopause can cause them to grow slower.
  4. Nutrition: A diet that is low in certain vitamins and minerals, such as iron, zinc, and biotin, can affect nail health and lead to brittle nails.
  5. Health conditions: Certain health conditions, such as anemia, thyroid problems, psoriasis, and eczema, can affect the rate of nail health and growth.
  6. Trauma: Injury or damage to the nails can slow down or even stop nails from growing.
  7. Medications: Certain medications can also affect nail growth, for example, chemotherapy may cause nails to stop growing.
  8. Exposure to chemicals: Exposure to certain chemicals, such as cleaning products, can also weaken nails and slow down growth. Even the shampoo that you’re using, might dry out your nails and cause weak or brittle nails. You can wear rubber gloves to maintain your nail health while washing dishes or use cleaning products.

Tips to Grow Your Nails Faster

There’s little you can do to grow your nails out but with my experience in nail health and growth and having taught several persons both offline and online, I can boldly say that the secret to getting long nails and strengthen your nails is this:

1. Eat well-balanced diets

Weak or brittle nails can serve as an early warning for some health problems, such as nutritional deficiencies.

2. Take nail supplements

Taking biotin or collagen supplements can maintain nail health. Also, nail supplements that contain calcium can improve nail health.

3. Exercise regularly

4. Keep your nails moisturized always.

You can go to a nail salon to make moisturizer procedures for hands and nails or, if you don’t like going to a nail salon, use at home hand cream or cuticule oil to moisturize your cuticles and the nail bed.

What to avoid for healthy nails

1. Don’t bite your nails.

Wearing nail polish can protect the nail plates and help you avoid biting your nails. Also, remember that constant use of nail polish (even a nontoxic nail polish) can damage the nails. After wearing nail polish for several days, remove it with an acetone-free polish remover and let it be nail polish-free for a few days.

2. Don’t use gel polish

Frequent use of gel polish can lead to nail problems. Avoid this procedure especially if you have brittle nails. Also, because of exposure to UV light required, can influence negatively your skin and weaken nails.

If you can keep up with these things I’ve stated above, your fingernails grow out healthy, you’ll strengthen your nails and you will get rid of nail problems.

More interesting facts about nail growth can be read here.


Does warm water make your nails grow faster?

If you think emerging your fingernails in warm water will make them grow longer then you’re incorrect.
Surprisedly, what it does to your fingernails, especially when little oil is added to it is softens your cuticles for them to be easily pushed back without you feeling any pain.

Do nails grow quicker in the water?

Capital No. The truth is water causes more harm to them than good. For these reasons, I’ll advise that you keep your nails protected by all means.
You can wear gloves while washing dishes, cleaning, or applying moisturizers on them after prolonged exposure to water.

Does drinking water make your nails grow?

I can’t say if drinking water helps your nails grow, but one thing I’m sure of is that taking lots of water can keep your nails and cuticles hydrated.
However, it’s not enough to drink water; you should exercise as well as this is what will keep the blood flowing which invariably can trigger how your nails grow.

Do your nails grow in the shower?

Not really, instead, spending time in the shower will soften your nails and make them susceptible to breaking.

Does water make your nails weak?

The answer is capital. Yes. When nails spend too much time in the water, they swell losing almost if not all of the natural oil in them, which further renders weak or brittle nails.

Does drinking water help your nails?

Taking Water indeed can help your body in a lot of ways. For example, it can help to flush toxins out of your body and make your skin look fresh, radiant, and glowing, in the same way it can help keep your nails and cuticle hydrated.

Does pool water make your nails grow?

There’s no evident report on whether pool water can grow one’s nails, but there is proof that fingernails usually appear longer due to the shrinking of skin which will create an illusion of a longer nail.

What are the effects of Cold Water on my nails?

You can use cold water in nail-treating manicures because it helps to plump up the nail bed and keep the nail supple, which helps it grow longer. Also keeping fingernails in cold water after a manicure helps harden the nail polish.


There may be many articles out there suggesting that nails grow faster in water, but the truth is, it doesn’t.

What a lot of us see as nail growth the moment we step out of that pool is as a result shrinkage in our skin plus a bit of expansion which usually goes back to normal after a while.

So if you’re among those still living with that myth that nails do grow faster with water, it’s high time you stop daydreaming.

Like I’ve said, your fingernails will only grow faster if you eat a well-balanced diet, keep them moisturized, wear gloves to protect your nail health, exercise regularly, and most importantly don’t bite them. Also to have healthy nails, do not overdo the use of nail polishes, or if you love to use them, use bio or non-toxic nail polishes.

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