20 Fun Facts About Your Nails and Nail Polish

Did you know that the first artificial nail was invented by a dentist named Fred Slack? He created it as a temporary replacement when he accidentally broke his fingernail at work in 1957. He used aluminum foil and dental acrylic to create an artificial nail that looked similar to the real nail that broke! The artificial nail protected his nail bed until the nail grew back. His brother, Tom, patented the final product and started the company Patti Nails.

Read more fun facts about nail polish and your nails below:

1. Nail polish has been around since as early as 3000 BC, but did you know that some of the ingredients included beeswax, egg whites, gelatin, and vegetable dyes?

2. Nail polish was used to identity class rankings in Ancient Egypt. Nude and light colours were worn by people in lower class, while high class women painted their nails red.

3. Acrylic nails were introduced in 1978 and were invented by a dentist named Fred Slack. Years earlier, in 1934, a dentist by the name of Maxwell Lappe created a product called Nu Nails, which was an artificial nail designed for nail biters.

4. A bottle of Cutex nail polish cost 35 cents in 1934.

5. Nail polish sales reached $768 million in 2012 – an increase of 32 percent from 2011.

6. Opened bottles of nail polish last for about two years. When air is introduced to nail polish after a bottle is first opened, some ingredients evaporate, which changes the consistency and formula of the polish.

7. Don’t try painting your nails on an airplane. Most airlines won’t allow it!

8. Jeff Pink—founder of the nail polish brand Orly—is credited with branding French manicures in America when he began applying them to speed up the makeup process for actresses making multiple costume changes. But French manicures are said to have first been introduced in Paris in the 1930s by Max Factor.

9. Fingernails grow an average of 3.5 mm per month. Age and genes also play a role in how fast your nails grow.

10. Men’s nails tend to grow faster than women’s.

11. The fastest growing nail is the one on your middle finger.

12. The slowest growing nail is your thumb nail.

13. Typing with your nails will actually stimulate their growth.

14. Some people are allergic to nail polish. People with this allergy are most often allergic to Formaldehyde, an ingredient in many nail polishes.

15. Your nails need to rest between manicures. It is recommended to give yourself a day or two of no polish in between manicures.

16. Your nails can provide a lot of information about your health. Some of the indicators are:

  • Nail bed discoloration (blueish colour) – lung disease
  • Capillaries in the cuticles – autoimmune disease
  • Pale nails – anemia
  • Thickened nails – fungal infections that generally traverse the entire nail bed
  • Dark brown/black vertical lines on the nail bed – sign of melanoma
  • Depressions and small cracks in your nails – psoriasis
  • Nails that break very easily – thyroid abnormalities
  • Horizontal white lines (Muehrcke’s lines) across the entire nail on multiple fingers – kidney disease, liver abnormalities or a lack of protein and other nutrients
17. Did you know that your nails grow faster in summer months than they do during winter?

18. Studies have found that excessive stress can inhibit growth of your nails.

19. Ten percent of all known dermatological conditions are related to nails. These include fungal infections, bacterial infections, vertical lines and ingrown toe nails.

20. If you place a piece of your fingernail in Coco Cola, it will dissolve in 4 days.

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