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How to Make Your Fingernails Grow Faster

If you're an expressive person who uses your hands when you speak, your hands and fingernails will play an important role in the image you project. You want your nails to look their best. Although long fingernails are not necessary to make a favorable impression, you may be anxious to have your nails grow faster if you happen to have experienced a bad manicure, a torn nail, or are overcoming a nail biting habit. Is it really possible to make fingernails grow faster?

If you're concerned about how to make your fingernails grow faster, it's important to understand how fingernails grow in the first place. Fingernails are composed of protein fibers called keratin which is the same protein hair is made of. Growth occurs from the moon-shaped area seen at the base of the nail, which is sometimes known as the growth plate. As the nail grows, cells from the matrix multiply, mature, and die. Upon death, they become filled with this protein matrix, which gives the nail its tough, hard exterior.

How fast do fingernails grow? Nail growth rates vary, but on average they'll grow around an inch and a half each year in a normal person. The rate of fingernail growth varies depending upon the nutritional status of the person as well as how much blood flow reaches the growth center or matrix of the nail. Interestingly enough, the nails on the hand you favor grow faster than the ones on the opposite hand. If you're right handed, the nails on the right will grow faster. Fingernail growth rates also vary based on finger length. The longer the finger is, the faster the growth rate. Age and time of year also play a role in how fast fingernails grow. Nails grow faster in people under the age of thirty and during warmer times of year such as the summer.

Although these are interesting facts, they don't necessarily address the issue of how to make your fingernails grow faster. One way to ensure that nails grow at their optimal rate is to take an inventory of your nutritional habits. Extreme dieting, particularly low protein diets can slow down nail growth. Make sure you're not restricting calories excessively and are getting a sufficient amount of protein in your diet on a daily basis. Your diet should also be well balanced to provide the vitamins and minerals needed to help fingernails grow fast. If there's some question as to whether your diet is adequate, add a multivitamin and consider drinking a protein drink once a day.

Another consideration is your general health status. A variety of underlying disease states can slow down fingernail growth and make nails more fragile. These include kidney disease, thyroid disease, cancer, and a host of other medical conditions. If you're concerned about nail growth and are experiencing other symptoms, a few lab studies might be in order to rule out underlying health conditions that could contribute to nail problems.

The last factor to consider if you're concerned about how to make your fingernails grow faster is blood flow to the matrix of the nail. Activities that increase blood flow to the fingernails may stimulate nail growth. Some activities that may do this include frequent typing, playing the piano, and other activities where you use your hands a lot. Surprisingly enough, biting your nails can have the same effect, although it wouldn't be recommended. While it may not be practical to take up piano to make fingernails grow faster, using your hands as frequently as possible on a daily basis may help.

Probably the best strategy to make fingernails grow faster is to make sure you're getting enough protein and are practicing sound eating habits on a daily basis. Engage your hands as much as possible to stimulate blood flow and make sure you're taking meticulous care of your nails to keep them from splitting or breaking.

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