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Fact or Fiction - Growth of Toenails

What about your toenails?

Your toenails grow much slower than your fingernails. They grow at an average rate of 1.62 mm per month.

And if you lose a toenail, it can take up to a year and a half for it to completely grow back. That’s three (3) times as long as it would take your fingernail to regrow.

This is because your toenails are generally subjected to less trauma than your fingernails. Although you may stub your toe here and there, this temporary burst of circulation won’t have a lasting impact.

How to make your nails grow faster

Although there aren’t any scientifically proven methods to make nails grow faster, there are a number of ways to increase the overall health of your nails.

The following methods will help strengthen your nails and prevent them from breaking, allowing them to remain long as you grow them out:

  • Take biotin. Researchers in one 2007 study Trusted Source found that taking 2.5 milligrams of biotin every day reduced breakage and increased overall nail health.

  • Use nail hardeners (but sparingly). Nail hardeners may also strengthen the nail and reduce breakage. However, it is said to avoid prolonged use, as they can break down the nail over time. You should limit or avoid strengtheners that contain formaldehyde or formalin.

  • Avoid glue-on nails and toxic polishes. Frequently applying glue-on nails or toxic polishes can increase your risk of breakage. Opt for nontoxic or water-based polishes whenever possible.

  • Groom your nails. Keeping your nails clean is key to overall nail health. Use a clean pair of clippers to trim them regularly. Once a week should be enough. Keep your cuticles pushed back or trimmed, too. And don’t forget to moisturise!

The bottom line

From the time of year to how old you are, there are several factors that affect how fast your nails grow. Although most of these factors are outside of your control, you can help the process along by practising good nail hygiene.


If you feel like your nails are growing unusually slow — or are experiencing discolouration or other symptoms — talk to your podiatrist or doctor. Your symptoms may be tied to nutritional deficiencies or another underlying condition. Your podiatrist or doctor can help determine why this is happening and advise you on any next steps.


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