General Question

AstroChuck's avatar

Why do toenails grow so much slower than fingernails?

Asked by AstroChuck (37438points) February 2nd, 2009 from iPhone

At least mine do.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

13 Answers

shilolo's avatar

Toes are just plain lazy.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

(lol, Lolo)

I think it’s evolutionary – we tend to use our fingernails more, so they break off more, and so it’s helpful for them to grow faster. We don’t really use our toenails that much…or ever, just about.

Perhaps more early humans lived longer to have more babies by having fast-growing fingernails than did by having toenails. That’s just my theory.

Aethelwine's avatar

Not so sure that they do. Just seems that way I guess. What do you look at more often ?

tennesseejac's avatar

if everyone wore firm gloves all the time do you think this would still be the case?

Vinifera7's avatar

Yes. There is no selective pressure to change that attribute in humans.

tennesseejac's avatar

@Vinifera7 if you always wore a hat would your hair grow less?

Vinifera7's avatar

Oh, I guess you must be able to will your hair and fingernails to grow less.

tennesseejac's avatar

@Vinifera7 that is not at all what i was implying, i have heard that guys who wear ballcaps all the time loose their hair quicker than usual and i just thought there might be some relation. you dont have to be such a snarky dick

dlm812's avatar

I agree with tennesseejac’s point… toes are bound by socks or shoes 90% of the time. This probably stunts the growth of toenails a bit, which makes sense for me since I hate shoes and especially socks, so I go barefoot whenever possible – and my toe nails grow faster than most others.

The hat theory is definitely correct. It causes men to loose hair earlier in life.

mea05key's avatar

Cause we cut our fingernails more often than our toenails.

Harp's avatar

Fingernails grow 2–3 times faster than toenails. There are a couple of theories for why this is the case. One is that the greater blood supply to the fingers favors growth. Another is that since fingernails are used as tools by primates, they wear faster than toenails and are more subject to injury, and so must be replaced at a faster rate (fingernail growth is faster on the dominant hand as well).

asmonet's avatar

Mine grow about the same. Shit. That’s weird apparently.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Ha! Harp said that what I said was an actual theory. I feel validated!

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