A lot of beauty takes time. You wait for your hair to grow after you tried (and failed) at the latest hair trend and you wait for your skin to clear up after a week-long chocolate binge. You also wait around for your nails to grow from either a.) a broken nail, or b.) cutting them, or c.) your nail-biting habit (no judgement).
Whatever the reason, all that matters is that you’re curious about how long it takes for nails to grow. Ahead, the answer to that, plus other nail-biting questions.
how long does it take for nails to grow back?
If you’ve ever gotten mad over a broken nail, rest assured that your feelings are valid. That’s because nails don’t just grow on trees. They take a long time – six months to be exact and 18 months for toenails, according to Ramya Kollipara, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Westlake Dermatology in Dallas.
For fingernails, this works out to aboutone tenth of an inch per month, according to Autumn Grant, Owner and Founder of The Kind Poppy.
how do you make your nails grow faster?
Trying to grow your nails at a faster rate is a difficult process – one that requires a lot of patience. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to speed things up.
Take biotin. You may have heard about the benefits of biotin to hair and skin. But you’ll be glad to know that this also extends to the nails. “Biotin supplements can help nails become thicker and stronger,” says Dr. Kollipara. Marcela Correa, medical nail technician, agrees, adding that it’s “packed with protein and amino acids which is great for the keratin production in the body, making it essential in the growth of nails.”
Grant also recommends vitamin C and biotin together – two vitamins that you can find inside a bottle of Vital Proteins Beauty Boost™.
Avoiding acrylic and gel services. Thankfully, this is a great time to skip the monthly nail appointment. But if you’re going the DIY route at home, be aware of the products you’re using. Toxic nail polish, for instance, should be avoided at all costs, says Grant.
As for at-home products that will help, Anna H. Chacon, MD, board-certified dermatologist, recommends nail hardeners. Like the name says, these harden the nails, making them harder to break. You can also pamper your nails while making them stronger with jojoba oil.
“This nail strengthener works on both hands and toes to promote healthy nail growth and improve strength deep within the nail cell layers,” says Dasha Minina, serial entrepreneur and owner of Maxus Nails and Beauticial List. She recommends Jojobalieve It, a natural nail butter that is rich in jojoba oil and can be applied daily.
Eat a balanced diet and drink enough water. Remember: Your nails are a direct reflection of your overall health. So, fuel your body – and your nails – in all the right ways, starting with a diet full of biotin-rich foods. This includes egg yolks, salmon and nuts of seeds (learn more about the benefits of biotin for nails here). Drink up while you’re at it, too, since Dr. Chacon says that staying hydrated is a “key way” of maintaining healthy nail growth.
how fast do nails grow in a week?
Nail growth happens at a snail pace. According to Dr. Chacon, fingernails grow 0.5-1 mm per week. Toenails are a lot slower: “Toenails grow at an average rate of 1.62 mm per month or about 0.25-0.5 mm per week.”
Translation: Props need to be given to those folks who won the Guinness World Record for having the longest nails. Turns out, it’s not an easy feat.
which nail grows the fastest?
The answer to this is a real nail-biter. Ready to learn which nail grows the fastest? Drum roll, please: It’s the index fingernail. The reason why? “The growth rate of the nails relates to the length of the terminal phalanges or the outermost bones of the finger,” explains Dr. Chacon.
But if you’re looking to compare fingernails to toenails, fingernails win that race. “The main reason being the difference in temperature affecting the blood flow,” Correa explains to Lively. “In the summer, you will notice your nails growing at a faster rate due to the increase in temperature!”