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Fun facts about nails

Rosanne Ullman | July 10, 2011 | 10:11 AM

If you do fingers and toes for a living, you probably get all sorts of questions. Public relations firm RED P.R. has gathered some answers for you.

About nails:

  1. The lifetime of an adult nail is four months.
  2. Nails grow 20 percent faster in summer than in winter. This is true even in climates where the temperature doesn't change much from season to season.
  3. Nails grow faster on the dominant hand; for most people, that's the right hand.
  4. Typically, nails grow faster on the longer fingers than on the shorter ones.
  5. Women won't like this one: men's nails grow faster than women's nails.
  6. Calcium accounts for less than .001 percent of the nail plate, which contains 3.5 times more sodium than calcium.
  7. It doesn't help nail growth or nail health to add calcium or salt to the diet.
  8. Pits in the nails can be an early sign of psoriasis, although the condition may never progress past that stage. Dry, sunny climates help alleviate the symptoms of psoriasis.
  9. Cutting cuticles does neither prevents nor eliminates hangnails.

About nail products:

  1. The first documented occurrence of nail polishing took place in 3000 B.C. in the area that today is China.
  2. Ancient Egyptian and, later, Roman military commanders painted their nails to match their lips before going into battle.
  3. Modern nail enamel formulas were adapted from car paint technology developed after World War I.
  4. Because oil and moisture on the nail plate cause polish to peel and chip, oil helps the nail after a manicure but not before. Polish lasts longer on nails that are "de-oiled" and dehydrated with an acetone-based cleanser before polishing.
  5. Vitamin supplements that promise "nail health" neither help nor harm the average person's nails.
  6. Eating a generally healthful diet will keep nails looking the best they can, but eating certain foods makes no difference in nails.
  7. Black nail files are created from silicone carbide and are more aggressive than white files, which are made of aluminum oxide. Diamond files are more aggressive than both white and black files.
  8. Pearly and shimmering enamels are created with micronized herring fish scales. The industry has tried to develop a synthetic ingredient with the same effect but has not yet succeeded.

Fun facts about nails
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