This Is How Often You Should Cut Your Nails

Taking care of your fingernails and toenails properly is a delicate art. You want to trim them regularly so they have a clean smooth edge and don't look jagged, yet if you trim them too frequently they'll never grow to your desired length. So how often should you cut your nails? Moreover, what's the proper way to trim them so you can maintain a neat and clean look while allowing maximum growth? 

According to the Canadian Dermatology Society, fingernails grow an average of 2.5mm (0.09 inches) every 4 weeks and toenails 1mm (0.03 inches) a month, and they grow faster in the summer than in the winter. If you lose a nail, it will take 6 months for a fingernail to grow back and an entire year for a toenail. Keep this in mind while trimming those nails, as you want to make sure that you are not cutting them back faster than they are growing — unless you're going for a super short nail look.

How to properly cut nails

Keeping your nails properly trimmed and cleaned is not just a matter of looking neat, it's also an important part of personal hygiene. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the nails can harbor dirt and bacteria that may lead to infection. Cutting your nails the right way can help prevent conditions like a hangnail, which is harmless but can be painful, and ingrown toenails, which often take much longer to resolve(via AAD).

Good thing it's easy enough to care for your nails correctly. If you soak your nails before cutting them, you'll reduce the chance of creating jagged edges across the tips or breaking them (via ADD). When you clip your nails, cut straight across the edge and use a nail file to round the corners, rather than cutting on an angle with the clipper to create a round shape. Filing the corners keeps your nails from getting caught on objects and reduces your chance of breaking them during your daily routine. While it's tempting to push back or clip your cuticles while trimming your nails, according to the ADD that also increases your chances of getting a bacterial infection so it is better to leave cuticles alone. After you're done trimming your nails, moisturize them to keep them flexible and reduce the chance of breakage.