Understanding Your Nails
Understanding Your Nails
Carla Kay (Celebrity Manicurist) gives expert video advice on: What is the purpose of fingernails and toenails?; What are fingernails made of?; What are the main parts of the nail? and more...
What is the purpose of fingernails and toenails?
The purpose of your fingernails and toenails are to protect the tissue underneath. Also, you are more able to pick up things with your fingers, so you have to have some protective coating over your fingers - it would be very painful without the coating over the top of that tissue.
What are fingernails made of?
Fingernails are made of protein. Protein is also in your hair, as well as in horse hoofs. It's a main part of our nutrition, so the better you take care of yourself, the healthier your nails are going to be.
What are the main parts of the nail?
The main parts of the nail are the matrix (the root of the nail), the moon (the start of the nail bed), the nail clate, the nail bed and the cuticle, which is the most important part that keeps the nail sealed and healthy.
What is the nail 'matrix'?
The nail matrix is actually the root, which is the start of the nail that is connected to the half moon where the nail starts out.
What are the 'nail bed' and 'nail plate'?
The nail plate is the actual hard surface on the outside. The nail bed is the tissue underneath. It gives you protection, and the ability to pick things up without any type of pain.
What is the 'cuticle'?
The cuticle is the most important part of the nail because it is actually the skin that seals around the edge of the finger, which keeps you healthy. If the cuticle seal is broken, that leads into major infections, which a lot of people unfortunately are becoming common with. The cuticle area is very important - it seals the entire nail and should not be messed with.
What is the 'nail fold'?
The nail fold is the skin that goes all the way around the nail to keep the nail bed in place.
What is a 'hangnail'?
A hangnail is very painful. A hangnail is actually part of the skin on the side that will separate, and you definitely need to cut that part off. A lot of people think you need to cut cuticles. No. You need to cut whatever is visibly hanging, which will be a hangnail.
How do nails grow?
The nails start at the root of nail which is actually called the matrix. It pushes out the nail plate where all of the cells are going crazy and working together, but it is actually starting at the matrix and onwards to the little moons that you have on your nail.
Are nails a living tissue?
No. The only live part is underneath at the matrix that we talked about before, the roots. There are no nerve endings in the nail - if it was live it would be very painful getting a manicure.
Why is nail care important?
Nail care is important, as long as we can take care of hangnails and the drying of the cuticles - if you don't apply moisture to the cuticles they become cracked. Once they become cracked, then infection can get involved, and you don't want that. That is an open wound just waiting to happen. By getting manicures done, you'll have less hangnails, your nails will look beautiful, and overall you will be healthy.