Nail Tidbits to Chew On
So where does that leave your nails? Back at good health. And good nutrition. Same thing. For as nail-knowledgeable Dr. Norman Orentreich said to me, “There are no specific foods for the nails. Just good nutrition.” I would disagree with the doctor on only one thing. Never let uf on protein!
But a few more Orentreich-finds about fingernails: Bosses take heart! It seems that the best nails grow on the workers the ones who really get in there and pitch. That’s right. The harder the work, the stronger the nail grows a sort of built-in wow-self-destruct device for protecting those nails. And when the work lets up, the nail grows thinner again. How’s that for keeping every worker at it!
Remember that bit, ladies, if you’re complaining too much about work (as long as that work doesn’t involve keeping your hands in detergent). For here we go again alkaline detergent is your old destructive enemy. And while nails are practically indestructible, enough alkaline soaks can do the dirty, destruction work.
The most fascinating nail-bit of all is that nail-biters’ nails grow 20 percent faster than anyone else’s! But since the nail biter never lets them get long enough for anyone to have a look at, we don’t recommend this sort of stimulation.
Stimulation, however, is what it takes just as with the hair to get proteins and all those good vitamins into circulation and out on you in the form of good, strong-and-long nails. That’s why buffing (but no biting, please) gives the nail that little push out to long.
And nails, like hair, grow faster in warm weather. Some believe it’s because cold can make them brittle. (Cold makes me brrrrittle.) Others say that vitamin D is essential for healthy nails. This might be the reason that good old Sol brings the nails out of you.
Dr. Norman Orentreich also tells us that the rate of nail growth varies in each and every one of us (here’s the one spot where nails break away from hair; hair grows at six inches per year and that’s that!). And, of course, according to our various, and very personal, metabolic systems. It must be the truth. I haven’t forgotten my own very personal and very nail-disastrous experiments with taking thyroid pills. Rotten health, naturally, can affect your nail growth. (That’s why I want you in great shape all over!) But get this piano-playing, pregnancy, and typing (whew!) can increase the growth of your nails. And apparently growth decreases with age diminishing almost fifty percent between the ages of twenty-five and ninety-five. Tell you what. If I’m still kicking at ninety-five, I promise not to worry Dr. Orentreich with my nails!
And, if you care, there’s this little tidbit. The middle fingernail on everybody’s hand grows fastest and the nails on the right hand grow faster than those on the left. (Presumably this applies to right-handed people lefties, you’re opposite.)
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