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FOR AGES 3 YEARS TO 18 YEARS
Both nail and hair growth happens every day in a small amount.
If the dominant hand in a human is relatively more active than the other one, the dominant hand's nails may grow faster. Fingernails also grow a lot faster than toenails.
Nails are grown in most primates, a claw-like plate that grows at the tip of toes and fingers. A nail resembles a claw found in animals. Toenails and fingernails are composed of a strong, protective protein known as alpha-keratin, a polymer. Alpha-keratin is also found in claws, horns, and the hooves of vertebrates. A nail consists of a nail bed, a nail matrix, and grooves around it along with a nail plate. The nail matrix is occasionally known as matrix unguis, onyschostroma, and tetragenous membrane. The skin under the nail plate is the nail bed. The nail root is in sinus unguis or nail sinus. The function of fingernails is to protect the fingertips, distal phalanx, and the soft tissues around them from injuries. Unlike nails, claws are compressed sideways and ventrally curved.
Nails are composed of several layers of dead keratin protein cells.
The nail protects the germinal matrix. This matrix contains blood vessels, nerves, and lymph. As long as the matrix is healthy and receives the nutrition it will produce cells. The old nail plate cells are pushed forward with the creation of new cells. This causes translucency, flatness, and compression of older cells. This is the reason why the nail bed capillaries are below visibility, giving it a red color.
When a heart stops beating, brain cells die quickly, however, cells using less amount of oxygen live slightly longer. So, it is possible for nails and hair could grow a little even after the brain dies.
The growth rate of the nail depends on the season, sex, age, diet, exercise level, and hereditary characteristics. The human fingernails grow around 0.14 in (3.5 mm) per month, while our toenails grow around 0.063 in (1.6 mm) per month. Fingernails take three to six months to completely regrow and toenails take 12-18 months.
After the body dies, there is no glucose present in the body, so skin cells, nail cells, and hair cells do not turn over to produce new ones. Hence, hair and fingernails stop growing.
The structural protein, keratin, is similar to a curled, long ribbon. Two of these molecules intertwine creating a combined dimer strand. Several of these dimer strands intertwine to form flexible and strong fibrous material. This material then takes a flattened sheet-like shape (nails) or a long strand shape (hair). Most of the hair and nails structure is due to keratins and some layers of flattened dead cells are also present.
Nails may appear to grow on a dead body for any observer. However, because of dehydration after one's death the skin and soft tissues shrink, exposing the hair and fingernails that were covered by the skin makes them appear longer.
Like fingernails, it might appear as though the hair grows out of a decaying skull in a dead body. So, the hair and nails do not grow after death. In ancient times, humans noticed that the hair and nails appeared to grow in a dead person. This led to the assumption that the hair and nails grew even after death. Well, the fact is that hair and nails, like other parts of a person, cease to grow as soon as a person dies.
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