I hear this question on a regular basis in my salon: “Does my hair and nails grow faster in the summer? It sure seems like it.” The truth of it is Yes! Why, you ask? No one really knows for absolutely sure. They (i.e., doctors, scientists, cosmetology professionals, etc.) just know that is does indeed happen.
There are many theories out there on the web, and I was surprised to discover as I read, no single site would declare with 100% scientific proof what we all seem to know as true anyway. But I was able to determine these top 3 possible explanations:
1) Warmer weather increases blood flow to the skin and scalp. Increased blood flow causes increased cell production, which means quicker growth – reportedly by as much as 10 to 15%!
I, personally, have a tenancy to believe this one. It just makes sense.
2) The sun comes out in the summer, so we humans come out more frequently to enjoy its warm rays. As a result, Vitamin D is produced, which is an important nutrient for cell growth.
3) Increased nail growth is linked to fluctuations in hormones. (This is why children’s nails grow faster than the elderly. Also, due to significant pregnancy hormone changes in the last trimester, hair and nails will grow faster in mommies-to-be. It’s a myth to give the prenatal vitamins full credit for this increased hair and nail growth spurt. Pregnant women experience increased hair and nail growth regardless of vitamin intake.)
So there you have it. Theories abound, yet the mystery remains. Yet another question I will add to my list when I meet up with God one day.
Here are a few other factoids of trivia to share at your next party:
Nails grow faster on the dominant hand, due to increased blood flow to the working hand.
Toe nails grow slower than finger nails. Toe nails take 9 to 12 months to grow from matrix to free edge whereas the finger nails only take 4 to 6 months.
Hair and nails, in fact, do not continue to grow after death. Due to dehydration of the skin after death, the skin retracts, giving the allusion that the hair and nails have grown.
Til next time…. take care of you!