fingernail anatomy, nail anatomy

Fingernail Anatomy : The Definitive Guide To Growing Nails

Fingernail Anatomy : For you to excel in anything you do in life, first you need to study carefully how that thing works. Same goes for your nails. Having a vast knowledge of the different parts that makes up the nails is a prerequisite to growing nails.

fingernail anatomy, nail anatomy

And that’s what this article Nail anatomy is all about. In this article, I’m going to tell you

  1. What fingernail or toenail anatomy entails
  2. What are nails
  3. Different parts of the human nails and their functions
  4. And lastly, implements you can use to care for your nails.

That said, lets quickly dive in to fingernail anatomy proper but before i do so, Let me start by telling you this short story.

My nails are the most precious part of my body. Do you know why? I guess you don’t. well let me tell you today. It is the most precious part because it is the only part i pay so much attention to, Simply put, i worship my nails (lol)

Growing healthy looking beautiful nails takes time and dedication to be honest with you but when one is abreast with the right measures coupled with the right understanding of the entire nail anatomy, getting that pretty long nail would seem more like a work over.

Read Also : Nail Cuticle Problems, Causes, Prevention And Care

Well without wasting much of your precious time, lets quickly run through what fingernails entails, its anatomy and some related terms associated with it.

What’s Fingernail Or Toenail Anatomy?

Anatomy involves a systematic study of different parts, shapes, or structure of a body. The study of anatomy is a crucial one because it helps you to discover key structure, appearance and forms of a body.

fingernail anatomy, nail anatomy

So when we talk of Fingernail anatomy, what this means is, we want to critically look into the different parts that makes up the nails. This now bring us to our next heading.

What Are Nails?

Nails are scale-like substances that are hard and usually found at the top end of the finger tip of most primate. What are primates?  primates consist of groups of related mammals such as humans, apes etc.

Read Also : Grow Healthy Natural Nails In 2019 With This Actionable Steps

For us to have a clearer understanding of the term Nails, lets quickly look out what Wikipedia is saying about it.

According to the free encyclopedia Wikipedia, It describes Nails as an horn-like material more like an envelope covering the tips of finger and toes in most primate.

Having known this, it is imperative to state also that this hard strong scale-like or hornlike material is made up of Alpha-Keratin  (Alpha-keratin is a special type of keratin found hair’s, horns and nails in most primates)

Read Also : Guide On How To Apply Cuticle Cream The Right Way

Fingernail Anatomy : Nail Structures, Nail Growth And Patterns In Humans

Nails which are a very important part of the human body tends to follow some certain patterns of growth called Nail growth patterns.

These nail growth patterns helps us to identify the average rate of nail growth in the human body.

Read Also : Nail Gang, Meaning And What It Takes To Join The Community

For example, the average nail growth has been quoted to be between the range of 2-3.5 mm per month and can take up to 6 months for it to grow from the root to the free edge.

Why this might sound weird, it is right to say that not all our nails grow at the same pace.

Some takes time to grow while others does not.

For example, in an experiment carried out by Journal of Indian Academy of Forensic Medicine on Nail growth,

Read Also : 12 Natural Home Remedies For Nail Growth

It was reported that nails tends to grow faster during the summer than in winter in young adults between the age of 10-25 and much more slower in infants and aged people.

The experiment also proved that the middle finger shows average growth in both hands while the index finger shows minimum growth rate in both ends.

Read Also : How To Get Long Nails In One Week In 2019

It also went further to prove that Nail growth in male is a bit slower than that of female. In male, the higher growth rate is usually attributed to the right hand while the higher growth rate for toes is on the left leg.

In females, growth rate for toes are higher on the right while growth rate for finger nails are higher on the left.

Fingernail Anatomy : Do Nails in finger and Toe grows at the same pace?

NO, fingernails and toenails don’t grow at the same rate, they grow at different pace. Fingernails grows up to four times (4 X) faster than toenails. Nails in general grows at an average rate of 2-3 mm a month in human.

Read More : 35 Nail Care Materials Every Manicurist And Pedicurist Should Have

In a nutshell, fingernails requires 3-6 months to attain full growth from the scratch while toenails requires approximately 12-18 months.

although, actual growth rate maybe dependent upon some certain factors such as age, gender, season, diet etc.

What Then Can Hinder The Growth Rate In Nails?

Growth rate of nails can be affected by so many factors, it can be affected by

Read Also : Long Nail Beds And Its Importance To Nail Growth

  • Habitual Nail biting
  • By Trauma
  • By Application of chemicals

What Can I Do To Improve Nail Growth?

Consistent manicure at least once in a week coupled with coconut oil can speed the growth of nails.

Coconut oil should be massaged gently around the Nail cuticle everyday for about a month for effective results.

Read Also : How To Grow Nails Fast In 1 Hour In 2019

Also, manicure exercise should be done once in a week for about a month after which you stop cutting the nails follow by habitual greasing the nail cuticle with coconut oil. When you do this religiously, you’ll be amazed at the result.

PS : Generally, from all that you’ve read or probably seen, we won’t be wrong to say that Nail growth in humans varies.

The rate at which growth occurs in finger nails is much more faster than that of toe nails.

Read Also : Which Fingernail Grows The Fastest ?

Nail Pathology

Topically, the structure of the nails is such that bears all the necessary six parts necessary for nail growth.

fingernail anatomy, nail anatomy

Parts Of The Nail And Their Functions

Parts of the nails includes the root, nail bed, nail plate, eponychium, paronychium, and hyponychium.

Read Also : Benefits Of Keeping Longer Nails

fingernail anatomy, nail anatomy

Nail Root

The nail root which serves as the power house and also an important part of the nail structures contains white crescent edges known as the nail lunula.

The root portion lies below the skin, underneath the skin and with tiny branches that stretches across the finger.

Read Also : How To Wipe Your Butt With Long Nails

Nail Bed

The nail bed is known to contain a lot of blood vessels, nerves and melanocytes which extends from the edge to hyponychium. The nail bed is that pinkish tissues where the nail plates lay on.

Nail plate

These are the visible parts of the nails otherwise called the finger nails. This plate contains Keratin and sits comfortably on the nail bed with the help of specialized structure known as groove which then act as an anchor to the nail bed.


The eponychium otherwise called Cuticle sits between the skin of the finger and that of the nail plate.

Read Also : How To Moisturize Nails The Right Way

The cuticle helps to join the skin of the finger to that of the nail plate while acting as a protective measure.


The skin that sits onto the nail plate is referred to as the paronychium. The paronychium is responsible for hangnails, ingrown nails etc.


The free edge found between nail plate and skin of finger tips is referred to as the Hyponychium. In other words, the Hyponychium also serves as a protective barriers.

Other insensitive parts of the nails are as follows

  • Free edge
  • Nail body
  • Nail wall
  • Lunula
  • Mantle
  • Nail grooves
  • Bone

Free edge

The free edge is the part that extends past the skin

Nail body

This is the visible parts of the human nail which can be seen with the naked eyes.

Read Also : What Is Nail Care And It’s Importance

Nail wall

The nail wall is the soft skin found on both part of the nail.


This is the whitened half-moon found in nails


The function of mantle is to hold roots and matrix tightly together. In other words, they bond roots and matrix.

Nail grooves

The nail grooves is the part that nails slide on.


The structure of your entire nail is made possible by the skeleton structure found on your finger tip known as the bone. For without it, your nails will be shapeless.

Nails Implement Or Nail Care Kit

What is implements in nail care?

fingernail anatomy, nail anatomy

Nails implement in nail care are set of tools whose work is to take care of delicate procedures in other to achieve optimum manicure and pedicure work.

Read Also : Nail Care For Seniors Or The Elderly

Tools commonly used to achieve this are as follows

  • Nail Cuticle pusher : This tool is used to push loosened cuticle back.
  • Callous remover : The work of this tool is to strip off excess callouses and corns.
  • Cuticle nipper : This tool is used to cut or nip away excess cuticle
  • Nail Filer : This tool is used to file nails after manicure or pedicure. The reason for this is to have uniform growth rate in nails.
  • Nail clippers : As the name implies, nail clippers are used to clip overgrown nails.

Read Also : What Does Nail Biting Mean?

How to maintain or sterilize nail implements?

If you must maintain a healthy looking nails, then you must learn how to maintain your nail implement the right way.

To do this , follow the procedures below.

  1. After use, make sure you to clean all your nail implement (clippers, fillers, nippers, pushers etc)
  2. Make sure to wipe all of these nail implement and be sure they’re are free from any hanging debris.
  3. Also wash nail implements with soap and water after which you disinfect with disinfectant like alcohol or dettol.
  4. Store in a cool dry place, be sure where you’re keeping them its free from moisture as this might contaminate them.

Conclusion On Fingernail Anatomy

If you must grow an healthy looking nails in 2019, then you must understand the basis of Nail anatomy, its structures and patterns with which this growth follows.

As it is rightly written, nails contains some basic parts, this parts should be taken good care of because once any of them is damaged, getting that dream nail of yours will seems like a futile journey.

However, in case of severe damage to any of the parts, it is recommended to see a Dermatologist for possible prescription.

Furthermore, care should be taken to avoid getting contaminated from unsterilized nail implement. be sure to clean and sterilized nail implement before and after use.


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