Q&A

Why aren't my client's nails growing and what can I do to get them to grow?

Q.

One of my clients has worn acrylic extensions on her nails for several years. She used to live in Florida, and her nail technician there used a drill on her nails. Since then, her nails have stopped growing. They grow about three-quarters of the way out on her nail bed, and stop. There has been no new growth for several years. What has happened to her nails, and how can I get them to grow? Also, can she wear extensions? I put fiberglass wraps on her nails last week and they all fell off in just a few days. Is this problem related to her nail bed problem?

A.

Nails do not stop growing. Some nails appear to stop growing when in fact they may grow at an abnormally slow rate. In addition, if they grow out only a certain distance on the nail bed and no farther it is not because there is no growth; rather, some people have nails that are more fragile than normal. They break readily and do not grow past the nail bed.

There is no known way to make nails grow faster or longer; however, intake of multi-vitamins, and minerals along with biotin supplements has been reported to help some people. Extensions may be worn if your client is not allergic to the product. However, a periodic rest without any nail products may also be helpful.

I cannot explain the loss of the fiberglass nails, but I do suggest a dermatologic evaluation if there is a nail bed problem.

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