You use them as often as you use your hands. Small yet useful, you see them more often than you see your feet. They have always been there for you when you needed a good scratch at the back, when you needed to open a package, remove a sticker, type something on the keyboard, they have always been there. What are they? They are your nails!
Nails are horn-like envelopes covering the end portions of the fingers and the toes. Nails are made from keratin, a tough protein that also makes up horns and hooves in animals. If you would want to know what your nails are for and how they grow, come on and let’s get to know the nails.
FUNCTIONS OF THE NAILS
- Aesthetics – let’s face it, putting polish and cutting the nails are some ways for people to make their nails look more attractive. Effectively, beautifully cut and painted nails are part of what makes a person look more attractive. In the same manner, clean and well-groomed nails also hold a certain appeal for employers, friends, and possible mates.
- Protection – more important than making one look more attractive, the nails protect the finger tip and the surrounding tissues from different injuries. Nails prevent various accidents that could happen to the fingers.
- Movement – nails are able to enhance the movement of distal digits. When cutting an onion or a fruit for example, using your fingers to hold the knife and the object you are cutting makes each cutting movement more accurate and precise.
- Sensitivity – although nails do not have nerve ending, when they touch an object they are able to enhance the sensitivity of the fingertip.
HOW THE NAIL GROWS
- Living part of the nail – the only living part of the nails is the portion under the epidermis, the part still under the skin. That is the part that grows.
- After an accident – the full or complete fingernails nails will grow for 3 to 6 months following an accident. Toe nails require 12 to 18 months to re-grow completely.
- Average growth of nails – 3mm or .12 inches in a month, just like hair.
- Factors that can affect nail growth – age, gender, season, heredity, nutrition, and exercise level.
- When does nails grow fastest – the nails grow fastest during the summer season.
- Do nails grow after death – no. The illusion that nails grow even after death is brought about by the shrinkage of the skin. Nails do not grow after death.
HELPING NAILS GROW
- Argan Oil – naturally produced, argan oil has been used by Berber women for centuries. Made by these native women from Morocco, the Berber women have discovered a long time ago how argan oil is beneficial to the nails and other parts of the body such as the skin and hair. Brought out of Morocco to be studies, it has been discovered that argan oil is rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids (among many other nutrients) that are beneficial to nail growth and nail protection. A few drops massaged to the nails and the nail beds will help keep the nails strong and healthy.
The nails are small yet important parts of our body. Taking good care of the nails is vital to help them grow correctly.