A close-up image capturing the gradual growth of a fingernail over a week, showcasing the transformation from a short nail to a slightly longer one.

How Long Do Nails Grow In A Week?

Wondering how fast your nails grow? If you’re looking to estimate when it’s time for your next manicure or have an interest in nail health, understanding the average rate of nail growth is key.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: the average rate of nail growth is about 0.1 mm per day or 0.7 mm per week for fingernails.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the details around the normal rate of nail growth, factors that impact how fast your nails grow, variation based on nail type, and tips for improving nail growth and health.

Average Rate of Fingernail Growth per Week

On average, fingernails grow about 3.5 millimeters per week. However, the specific growth rate can vary significantly depending on factors like age, gender, health status, and genetics. Typically, fingernails grow faster in youth, with the rate slowing down as we age.

Research shows the average growth rate for children is nearly double that of older adults.

Millimeters per Week

Multiple studies have analyzed the typical fingernail growth rate. A 2013 study found the average weekly growth was 3.47 millimeters for men and 3.55 millimeters for women. The range reported was 2.6 to 3.74 millimeters per week.

An earlier 2004 analysis examined the research and determined an overall average rate of 3.5 millimeters per week for middle-aged adults.

However, some individuals may experience more or less rapid fingernail growth. For example, a 2021 review reported weekly growth rates ranging from 1.6 millimeters up to 5.4 millimeters per week across different demographic groups.

Nail growth rates also tend to be slightly faster in the dominant hand.

Inches per Month

To convert the weekly millimeter growth rate into inches per month, we can multiply by 4.3 weeks per month. Given the average weekly rate of 3.5 mm, the typical rate works out to about 0.14 inches of fingernail growth per month. That equates to around 1.7 inches per year.

Average Weekly Growth 3.5 mm
Weeks per Month 4.3 weeks
Average Monthly Growth 0.14 inches

However, actual monthly growth can range from around 0.08 inches up to 0.25 inches depending on the individual. Understanding typical fingernail growth patterns can help monitor health status over time.

Abnormal changes may warrant discussions with a healthcare provider about potential underlying issues.

What Impacts Nail Growth Rate


Nails grow the fastest between the ages of 10 and 30. During our younger years, nails regenerate quickly and grow at a rate of about 0.1 mm per day. However, as we age, the growth rate slows down. People in their 30s and up may only grow 0.05-0.1 mm per day.

The nails become more brittle and take longer to grow out. This is due to reduced blood circulation and cell turnover in the nails and cuticles.


Proper nutrition provides the essential building blocks for healthy nails. Biotin, vitamin C, vitamin E, and minerals like calcium, zinc, and iron promote nail growth. Lack of these nutrients can lead to brittle, splitting nails.

Eating a balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and protein gives your body the fuel it needs to regenerate nail tissue.

Health Conditions

Certain health conditions like hypothyroidism, diabetes, psoriasis, and eczema are linked to nail abnormalities. Fungal infections can also hinder growth and damage the nail bed. It’s important to manage any underlying illness to allow proper nail formation.

See a doctor if your nails change in color, shape, or texture.


Some medications like retinoids, beta blockers, and chemotherapy drugs are taxing on nail growth. They disrupt the nail matrix and can cause side effects like brittleness, grooves, discoloration and shedding. Check with your doctor if new medications are affecting your nails.

Adjusting dosage or switching prescriptions may help.


During pregnancy, increased estrogen and progesterone boost nail renewal. Many women experience fast growing nails throughout their 9 months. However, post-partum nails may become soft and fragile due to nutritional demands on the body.

Taking prenatal vitamins with iron and B-vitamins will help strengthen nails.

Season and Climate

Similar to hair growth, nails elongate faster in summer compared to winter months. This is due to increased blood circulation and cell regeneration in warmer weather. Cold dry air can lead to brittle, peeling nails in winter. Using moisturizer and wearing gloves helps protect nails year-round.

Rate Variation by Nail Type

The rate at which nails grow can vary significantly depending on the nail type. Here is an overview of how growth rates differ for different nail types:


Fingernails typically grow at a rate of 3-4 millimeters per month. This equates to about 1 millimeter of new nail growth per week. Fingernails are composed of keratin and grow from the nail matrix under the cuticle.

The nail matrix contains stem cells that divide rapidly to push out new nail cells, fueling nail growth.


Toenails grow at a much slower rate than fingernails. On average, toenails grow at a pace of about 1 millimeter per month. This means toenails may grow by only 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 millimeter per week. The slower growth rate of toenails is likely due to reduced circulation and pressure in the toes.


Among the fingernails, thumbnails often have the fastest growth rate. Thumbnails may grow at a pace of 0.5-1 millimeter more per week compared to other fingernails. This is because the thumbnail has a larger nail matrix and nail bed compared to other digits.

Nail Type Average Growth per Week
Fingernails 1 mm
Toenails 0.25-0.5 mm
Thumbnails 1.5-2 mm

Factors Affecting Growth Rate

While nail type plays a key role, there are other factors that can influence growth rate:

  • Age – Nails grow faster in youth, slowing down with age.
  • Health – Illness and poor nutrition may slow nail growth.
  • Pregnancy – Hormone changes can accelerate growth.
  • Seasons – More growth in summer, less in winter.
  • Damages – Injuries can temporarily halt growth.
  • Genetics – Some inherit naturally fast-growing nails.

Tips to Grow Nails Faster and Improve Nail Health

Biotin and Vitamin Supplements

Biotin is a B vitamin that plays an important role in helping nails grow. Studies show that taking 2.5 mg of biotin per day can significantly increase nail thickness and help prevent nail brittlness and breakage (source).

Other vitamins good for nails include vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamins in the B complex like niacin and vitamin B12.

Moisturize Nails and Cuticles

Keeping nails and cuticles moisturized prevents hangnails and cracking. Apply a nourishing nail and cuticle oil like jojoba, vitamin E, or coconut oil multiple times per day. You can also apply a thick moisturizer before bed and wear gloves overnight to deeply hydrate the nails.

Avoid Damaging Nails

Certain chemicals and products can cause nails to become dry and brittle, slowing growth. Acetone nail polish remover is very drying. Switch to an acetone-free remover instead. Avoid excess exposure to cleaning solutions, and wear rubber gloves when washing dishes or cleaning to protect the nails.

Nail Hardener and Treatment Products

Using dedicated nail care products can also help maximize growth and strength. Look for those containing hydrolyzed silk protein to reinforce nails prone to peeling or splitting. Nail hardeners with formaldehyde help harden nails, while nail strengtheners with calcium or protein help reinforce thin, weak nails.


Understanding average nail growth rates and factors that impact growth allows you to better care for your nails. While rates vary based on age, health, and nail type – the average is around 0.7 mm per week or 3 mm per month.

Support healthy nail growth by getting nutrients through your diet and supplements, moisturizing, avoiding damage, and using targeted nail treatments.

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