Here's Why Your Fingernail Lengths Are Different On Each Hand

Fingernails are one of the most perplexing parts of the body. They can get soft and start bending. They can develop seemingly mysterious white spots. All of these phenomena are hard to understand, including why we have fingernails in the first place.

According to nail technician Katie Barnes, nails naturally grow at different rates, and this has nothing to do with how we take care of them (via Scratch Magazine). Moreover, nails typically grow about 0.5-1.22 mm per week, and some fingers' nails even grow faster than others. In fact, nails continue to be professionally researched, with new studies being published in scientific scholarly journals. One of the most recent studies aims to uncover how fingernail configuration truly works, focusing on fingernails' widths and heights, per Research Gate. While we know nails grow at different rates naturally, there may be solid reasons for their differing growth patterns. Like toenails, fingernails grow at wildly different rates, so if you ever feel like you're clipping certain fingernails more than others, it's because you are.

Both genes and water can affect fingernail growth

Nail technician Katie Barnes told Scratch Magazine that middle fingernails grow the fastest, with the rest of the fingers falling in line from fastest to slowest as: ring finger, index finger, thumb, and, finally, the pinky, or little finger. Furthermore, she explained that the growth rate difference may only be 0.1 mm, but that this is enough difference to be noticeable on your hand.

While they grow differently naturally, there may be certain factors that affect fingernail growth. According to Today I Found Out, your genetics may have an impact on how fast your fingernails grow, as well as if one hand's nails are growing faster than the other's. Cells in different parts of the body grow at different rates as well, so your hands may simply have different rates for genetic reasons.

The white part of our nails that grows is the lunula, or the distal matrix, per Today I Found Out. When it grows, it's because cells are growing and dividing. Perhaps one hand's nails always grow faster, or perhaps it's happened one time because one hand was in water longer than the other, which can help cells grow and divide (via Socratic).