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Question #83870 posted on 09/18/2015 5:02 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Do nails grow faster at higher altitudes? I mostly grew up below sea level, but during my past year in Provo, I feel like I've had to cut my finger nails much more frequently. If not the altitude, what are some things that could be affecting the rate my nails grow?

-I might just be crazy


Dear Paranoid,

The consensus is that there isn't really a consensus. WebMD says you can't change it. Wikipedia claims "growth rate is dependent upon age, sex, season, exercise level, diet, and hereditary factors." Livestrong talks about it and doesn't talk about it at the same time (why does Livestrong even have an article about nail care?). Wired says there are ways to change it.

The best I can find on humidity affecting nail length is from WebMD: nails become more brittle in the wintertime (when the air is drier) and thus break easier, keeping them short. 

Even that sounds a bit fishy to me, but I think that's the best I'm going to get.

-Frère Rubik (who also just read a different Wired article about why you get lots of good ideas in the shower)