Close-up photo of a woman's hands gracefully holding a potted plant, showcasing her long, healthy nails. The vibrant green leaves mirror the growth and strength she desires for her own nails.

How To Grow Your Nails Faster: A Complete Guide

If you’ve ever dreamed of having long, healthy nails but find that your nails are slow to grow, you’re not alone. Many people struggle to get their nails to reach the length they desire. The good news is that there are several proven methods you can use to grow your nails faster.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Soak your nails in olive oil, eat gelatin and biotin-rich foods, massage cuticles with jojoba oil, avoid very hot water and harsh chemicals, and apply a strengthening clear polish regularly to help your nails grow faster and stronger.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about nail growth and how to accelerate it. We’ll discuss the biology behind nail growth, factors that affect growth rate, the best practices and products for healthy nail growth, as well as some remedies and recipes you can use at home to get your nails to grow to the length you want.

Understanding Nail Growth Biology

Nails are made of keratin, which is a protein that also makes up hair and the outer layer of skin. Keratin is produced by cells called keratinocytes in the nail matrix, which is the root of the nail under the cuticle.

As new keratin cells are formed, older ones get pushed out toward the tip of the nail, causing it to grow. This process takes about 6 months for fingernails and 12-18 months for toenails.

Nail Formation Process

There are three main stages in nail growth:

  1. The nail matrix – This is where keratin production and nail growth begins.
  2. The nail bed – The newly formed nail plate becomes visible here as it detaches from the matrix.
  3. The free edge – This is the part of the nail that extends past the end of the finger or toe.

The cuticle also plays an important role by protecting new nail growth and preventing infection.

Nail Growth Rate and Factors That Influence It

The average growth rate is around 0.1 mm per day for fingernails and 0.05 mm per day for toenails. However, many factors can affect individual nail growth speed:

  • Age – Nails grow fastest between ages 10-30, then growth slows as we age.
  • Season – More growth in summer, less in winter.
  • Nutrition – Proteins, vitamins and minerals promote growth.
  • Trauma – Injury can temporarily stop growth.
  • Health conditions – Thyroid issues, diabetes, skin disorders.
  • Medications – Drugs for heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer.
  • Pregnancy – Hormone changes can accelerate growth.

Keeping nails moisturized and filed to proper length also helps maximize their growth potential.

Common Nail Growth Problems

Abnormal nail growth can result from both internal and external factors:

Problem Causes
Brittle nails Iron deficiency, thyroid disease, fungal infection
Ridges Aging, dryness, trauma, psoriasis
Discolored nails Fungal infection, bacterial infection, trauma, nail polish
Slow growth Poor circulation, malnutrition, aging

Consulting a dermatologist is recommended if you experience consistent nail growth problems. Underlying conditions may need to be addressed.

Best Practices for Faster Nail Growth

Moisturize Nails and Cuticles

Keeping nails and cuticles adequately moisturized is key for quickening growth and maintaining strength. Massage a rich moisturizer like coconut or olive oil into nails and cuticles for a few minutes daily.

Quality cuticle oil applied 1-2 times per day also wonderfully conditions the nail matrix where new cells form. Doing so boosts circulation to stimulate faster renewal. For intensely dry skin and nails, an overnight oil soak restores incredible hydration.

Choose a Strengthening Clear Polish

Using a strengthening clear nail polish is an easy way to help nails grow quicker by preventing cracks, chips and peels which slow gains. Many formulas contain moisturizing oils plus ingredients like biotin, calcium, keratin that nourish nails.

Applying a base coat under color additionally shields nails. Thin, peeling nails become tougher within weeks of consistent use per brands like OPI Nail Envy and Sally Hansen Hard As Nails.

Avoid Nail Damage from Harsh Chemicals

Preventing damage from harsh soaps, cleaning agents, acetone removers is paramount for growth. The nail layers can erode from chemicals, becoming thin and weak. Wear gloves when washing dishes, cleaning bathrooms. Using a gentle nail brush removes debris without stripping oils.

Non-acetone removers like Ella+Mila’s formula avoid dryness and irritation. Significantly limiting exposure lets nails grow out healthier and longer.

Prevent Fungal Infections

Fungal infections are common nail issues that can halt growth. These occur from bacteria entering damaged nails or cuticles. Avoiding sharing tools like nail clippers reduces transferring germs. Sanitizing manicure tools with solutions like Barbicide kills fungi.

Catching early signs like nail discoloration then using an antifungal treatment helps. Using a curing UV lamp for gel polish is ideal over air drying, as it can sterilize properly. Keeping nails short and dry while managing infections enables regrowth.

Trim Nails Properly

Proper Trimming Improper Trimming
Using sharp manicure scissors or clippers Using low-quality dull tools
Cutting nails straight across to avoid splits Rounding nail corners which causes tears
Filing gently only when needed Overfiling which thins nails

Trimming nails appropriately avoids splits, chips and damage. Using high-quality tools, cutting straight across, gently filing only ragged edges are vital for optimal growth. Harsh trimming causes thinning and prompting breaks which hinder length.

Plus, the trauma temporarily halts nail cells from properly adhering together. By taking a gentle approach, nails can prosper faster.

Nutrition for Healthy Nails

What you eat can have a big impact on the health and growth rate of your nails. Making sure you get adequate amounts of certain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients is key for building strong, fast-growing nails that resist chipping and breaking.


Biotin is a B complex vitamin that plays an important role in the production of keratin – the protein that makes up your hair and nails. Multiple clinical trials have shown that biotin supplements can significantly increase nail thickness and hardness in people with brittle nails.

Good dietary sources of biotin include eggs, fish, meat, seeds, nuts, and certain vegetables like sweet potatoes and spinach. The recommended daily intake is 30 mcg.


Calcium supports nail health by strengthening and thickening the nail plate. Low calcium intake has been linked with dry, brittle, soft nails that split and break easily. Foods high in calcium include dairy products, leafy greens, legumes, nuts, and seafood.


Iron carries oxygen to your nails, stimulating growth. Iron deficiency can result in spoon-shaped, concave, or flattened nails. Boost your iron levels by eating more meat, poultry, seafood, spinach, and iron-fortified cereal.


Zinc is essential for many aspects of nail formation and maintenance. This important mineral contributes to protein synthesis and promotes normal cell division critical for fast nail regrowth.

Include more zinc-rich foods like oysters, beef, beans, nuts, and whole grains in your diet.


Nails consist almost entirely of protein, specifically keratin. Without adequate protein intake, your body can’t properly manufacture this structural protein to build tough, healthy nails.

Aim for 20-30 grams of high-quality protein per meal from sources like fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, beans, lentils, hemp seeds, and quinoa to nourish nails.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Studies demonstrate omega-3s stimulate nail growth and prevent brittleness. The anti-inflammatory properties of these healthy fats found abundantly in fatty fish like salmon may enhance circulation to spur faster nail cell turnover.


Free radicals can damage nails over time, causing splitting and chipping. Antioxidants like vitamins C and E neutralize these destructive molecules before they can impair nail structure.

Fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds supply antioxidants that promote nail durability.


Some alternative health practitioners recommend gelatin supplements to strengthen weak, slow-growing nails. Gelatin provides amino acids that boost nail health and shine. However, large-scale studies are still needed to confirm gelatin benefits for nails.

Focusing on the right balance of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and healthy fats through food and targeted supplements lays the foundation for faster nail growth and enhanced strength and thickness.

DIY Remedies for Nail Growth

Olive Oil Soaks

Olive oil is rich in vitamins A, D, E, and K which are essential for healthy nail growth. Soaking your nails in olive oil for 10-15 minutes can deeply moisturize and condition them. The emollient properties help soften cuticles as well allowing your nails to grow faster.

Research shows that vitamin E helps protect nails from cracking and splitting while vitamin K assists with calcium absorption for improved nail hardness.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice contains vitamin C, an antioxidant that stimulates collagen production. Collagen provides structure to your nails. Simply apply fresh lemon juice to your nails and cuticles twice per day. The natural acids remove dead cells around the nails allowing them to grow freely.

One study found that participants who used lemon juice on their nails for 6 weeks experienced a 5.7% increase in nail length.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a natural antifungal and antimicrobial that prevents nail infections. Fungal infections are a common cause of poor nail health and slow growth. Apply a few drops of tea tree oil mixed with a carrier oil like jojoba oil once a day.

A clinical trial discovered that a solution of 5% tea tree oil was effective at resolving nail fungus after consistent use for 6 months, allowing healthy regrowth.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil moisturizes dry, brittle nails extremely well. It sinks in deeply and softens the nail bed which enables nails to grow longer without cracking or chipping. The lauric acid also boasts antimicrobial properties to fight bacteria and fungi.

Applying coconut oil to your nails for 5-10 minutes daily can treat discoloration and encourage thickness and shine.


Garlic is loaded with allicin and selenium, two compounds that support nail health. Allicin gives garlic its potent antifungal abilities that clear infections. Selenium improves nail strength and hardness, preventing easy breaking.

Crush some fresh garlic cloves and rub the juice into each nail bed twice a week. One study demonstrated up to 60% effectiveness in treating nail fungus after consistent garlic treatment.


Growing your nails to the length you desire takes time and consistency with proper nail care habits. With an understanding of how nails grow along with implementing a nutritious diet, home remedies, best practices and nail-strengthening products, you can help accelerate your nail growth journey.

Commit to moisturizing and massaging your nails daily, avoiding damage, getting sufficient nutrients, and trying some DIY treatments. With diligence and patience, you will begin to see positive changes within 4-6 weeks. Before you know it, you’ll be proudly showing off beautiful, long, strong nails!

Similar Posts