Why Do Toenails Grow Slower Than Fingernails?

Toenails grow slowly and have a rounded shape, while fingernails grow faster and are more pointed. Toenails also grow more slowly than fingernails, which means they’re less likely to get caught on things as you walk around. Notwithstanding, the question is, “why do toenails grow slower than fingernails?”

Toenails grow slower than fingernails because of lack of circulation and are less likely to be subjected to trauma and other factors. Toenails have a thicker cuticle, meaning they have more layers between the nail and your skin, which slows down their growth. They also have less blood flow than fingernails, meaning they don’t get as much nutrition from your body, so they grow more slowly.

Pro Tip: Toenails grow 1.62mm per month, and fingernails grow up to 3mm per month, two times more than the growth rate of toenails. While it will take 6 months for a lost fingernail to regrow, it takes toenails up to 12 months.

Do Toenails Grow Slower Than Fingernails?

Yes, toenails grow slower than fingernails. Toenails grow more slowly than fingernails, but they still grow. The nail plate is the part of your nail that you see, is made up of keratin (the same protein as hair). It takes about 6 months for a fingernail and about 18 months for a toenail to grow out fully. You can speed up this process by filing and buffing your nails regularly so that they don’t get too long and split or break off prematurely.

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Why Do Toenails Grow Slower Than Fingernails?

The nails grow slower than fingernails because of two major reasons. Firstly, the fingernails get more engage in activities than the toenails. Toenails have no significant use unlike fingernails. Fingernails are used for washing, exercising, typing, writing, etc. Secondly, due to this activities, enough blood provides nutrients for the nails to flow in.

In addition, the growth of nails starts and ends in the matrix. What’s the nail matrix all about? The nail matrix is the portion just beneath your cuticle. On the other hand, your cuticle is that tiny skin that helps seal your nails to the nail plate. For the growth of nails to occur, new cells are first produced in the matrix. When new nail cells are formed, old cells are pushed out to build the nail plate.

Toenails grow 2 – 3 times slower than fingernails, and they grow up to 1.6 – 2 mm a month. Any damage to your toenails can take up to 12 – 18 months for them to grow out completely.

Why Do Toenails Grow Slower Than Fingernails, why do fingernails grow faster than toenails

Recommended: Why Are My Fingernails Not Growing? ( 9 Reason And Solution)

How Much Faster Do Fingernails Grow Than Toenails

Fingernails grow faster than toenails by a ratio of 2-3 times. On average, fingernails grow at the rate of 3 -3.5 mm a month which is 2-3 times faster than toenails which grow at the rate of 1.6 – 2 mm a month. Also, fingernails grow at the rate of 0.92 – 1 nanometer every second, 0.1 mm, 0.0036 mm in an hour and 0.003937 inches or 86,400 nanometers in a day.

As far back as 20 centuries, a renowned physician named William Bean carried out a controlled experiment using himself.

He marked the beginning of his nail very close to his cuticle with a tiny tattoo as a baseline when he was 32. He did this every month to monitor how fast his nails are growing.

Why Do Toenails Grow Slower Than Fingernails, why do fingernails grow faster than toenails

After the first twenty (20) years of his experiment, he noticed a slower growth in his nails compared to when he first started the experiment. This, made him conclude that blood flow, indeed, is responsible for nail growth especially in fingernails.

Pro Tips: The rate of nails slows down as one ages.

Recommended: 9 Factors Affecting Nail Growth And Possible Solution

What Makes Fingernails Grow So Fast Than Toenails?

When your fingernails receive light trauma (either from gently tapping on a keyboard or striking the cord of a guitar), that slight impulse sends a message to your nail matrix that there’s wear or perceived damage. Going on somewhere.

This further triggers the matrix to produce and release more blood to that region perceived to be damaged. Is that all why do toenails grow slower than fingernails? Certainly not. There’s more to it. Keep reading.

Another theory that supports the claim that fingernails grow faster than toenails is the closeness of hands to feet. Fingernails, since they’re closer to the heart, tend to get the better circulation of blood and nutrient compared to your toes or feet that are farther apart.

Toenails, because they don’t have much access to air or sun and are mostly kept in shoes, tend to grow slower compared to fingernails. Fingernails, on the other hand, have access to all of these things, and they tend to grow more rapidly during the summer when there’s plenty of sun than in winter.

In addition, Fingernails grow faster than toenails because they’re closer to our hearts. The blood vessels in your fingers are closer together, so they receive more nutrients and oxygen than your feet, which are farther apart.

how fast do fingernails grow per second?

An average fingernail growth rate of 0.92 nM/sec. It's also important to note that the rate of nail growth varies depending on the person's age and genetics, as well as proper diet.


It’s quite evident now that the rate at which fingernail grows cannot be compared to that of the toe. Toenails, on the other hand, according to numerous theories, grow way slower than fingernails. Which can be attributed to blood flows coupled with terminal trauma that your fingertips receive. All of these boosts in blood flow, trauma, and the nearest to the heart is that which makes your fingernails grow way faster than your toenails.