Why Do Toenails Grow Slower Than Fingernails?

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Why Do Toenails Grow Slower Than Fingernails: Toenails, indeed grows slower than fingernails because of lack of circulation coupled with other factors which I am going to reveal to you somewhere in this article. Keep reading.


Over the years, There has been some interesting speculation over the growth of fingernails to toenails. All of which has led to so much work done by scientist.

One amongst the numerous theories of how fast do toenails or fingernails grow was put together by one William Bean – a renowned physician who took out time to carefully ascertain the exact reason for nail growth using himself as the object of the experiment.

Another scientist worthy of mention who has also contributed his quota to how fast do fingernails grow is Rodney Dawber – a dermatologist.

What they did and how they did it is what you’ll get to know later in this article.

That said, I won’t be wrong to say that we owe a lot to these men through which the theories of nail growth was fully understood to some extent.

However, it will be a sin in my path if I fail to tell you things that go behind the scene about how nails grow. This brings us to the obvious question.

How do nails grow? Well, don’t stress yourself too much, I’ll tell you.

Like I would always say, the whole growth processes are quite an intricate pieces of stuff to comprehend but not to worry, that’s why I’m here for you.

Let me summarized it for you to understand so that we can dive straight into our subject matter which says, why do toenails grows slower than fingernails.

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

Nail Growth Anatomy

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.

Your cuticle, on the other hand, is that tiny skin that helps to 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.

Whats now the nail plate?

The nail plate is the visible part of your nails that sits comfortably on your nail beds – the pinkish part of your nails.

As the old cells which are already dead are pushed out to form the nail plate, the growth process continues, and more new cells are made.

But that’s not all because the growth of nails slows down with age and some other factors. This best explains why adults have slower nail growth compared to adolescents.

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

With that being said, it will also interest you to know that averagely, 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.

That alone should give you an insight by now that fingernails, indeed grow faster than toenail but then again, it will be illogical to conclude without proofs. This now brings us to the question, how fast do toenails grow. Before i”ll answer that question, I want us to look at what makes nails grow.

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

What Makes Nails To Grow

Nails grow because of two things, namely;

1. Frequent use
2. Blood flows

Let’s go back and see what our scientist are saying about this.

Theories Behind Nail Growth

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 for 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.

Recommended: 9 Factors Affecting Nail Growth And Possible Solution

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

Another claim worth looking out for is that of Rodney Dawber – a dermatologist and also, a rugby player.

Dawber, whose left ring fingernail was severely bruised during a rugby match experimented with his injured finger.

He wanted to see if his bruised finger would grow along with the rest. An experiment that left him perplexed and later made him postulate that nail growth depends on terminal trauma or how a fingertip is used.

According to him, when a fingertip is used quite often, such finger tends to grow faster. His findings further buttress the available facts that nails on dominant hand grow more quickly than the other.

Here’s something you should know about TRAUMA.

How Trauma Contributes To Nail Growth

When your fingernails receive light trauma, that slight impulse sends a message across to your nail matrix that there’s a wear or perceived damage.

This further triggers the matrix to produce and release more blood to that region perceived to be damaged.

Is that all to why do toenails grow slower than fingernails? Certainly not. There’s more to it. Keep reading.

Other Theories That Proves That Fingernails Grow Faster Than Toenails

Another theories that support the claim that fingernails grow faster than toenails is that of 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.

This further explains to some extent why nail growth slows down a bit as we age. That’s not all I have for you; there is still more claim you should see.

Which is, toenails, being that 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 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.

Recommended: 25+ Best Food For Nail Growth And Nail Strength

How Fast Do Toenails Grow

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 well.

How To Make Toenails Grow Faster

The best and most effective ways to make your toenails grow faster is to keep them massaged.

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

Massing and moisturizing your toenails with any essential oil such as coconut oil is what you need for speedy growth of your toenails.

Why Do My Toenails Grow So Fast

If your toenails are growing so fast, it, therefore, means that you’re giving them what they want. So if your toenails are not growing as fast as you want them to grow, Regular exercise that involves the toes, coupled with massaging and moisturizing is the only thing you need to grow them.

Do Toenails Grow Slower In Winter?

Yes, winter and other colder environment have a negative impact on nails but during summer, they tend to grow really fast because we often spend more time doing so many activities during summer than in winter. Also, sunlight helps our body to produce more vitamin D which is a contributing factor to nail growth.

Do Nails Grow Faster In Hot Weather?

Yes, nails usually grow way faster during warm weather than in the winter and that’s because winter comes with decreased blood stimulations and pressure.

Do Nails Grow Faster At Night?

There are a lot of factors that come to play when it comes to nail growth but from what we’ve seen, nails do not grow faster at night rather, they grow faster in summer. On average, the human fingernail grows to an approximate length of 0.1 mm a day and 3mm a month.

Why Do Fingernails Grow Faster Than Toenails

Fingernails Grow Faster Than Toenails Because;

1. They receive more blood flow than toenails
2. They’re closer to our heart and tend to receive more nutrient than your feet which are farther apart.
3. They receive more trauma than the feet.

How Fast Do Fingernails Grow Per Second

Fingernails grow at the rate of 0.92 – 1 nanometre every second, 0.1 mm, 0.0036 mm in an hour and 0.003937 inches or 86,400 nanometres in a day.

The Take Home, Why Do Fingernails Grow Faster Than Toenails

It’s quite evident now that the rate at which fingernail grows cannot in any way be compared to that of the toe.

Toenails, on the other hand, according to the 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 flows, trauma, and the nearest to the heart is that which makes your fingernails to grow way faster than your toenails.

Now you know why toenails grow slower than fingernails. If you enjoyed reading this article, please do well to SHARE it with your friends.

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