Why do people keep their pinky nail significantly longer than the rest?

Why do people keep their pinky nail significantly longer than the rest?

Keeping the pinky nail longer than the rest is a practice associated with various cultural and subcultural traditions. In some societies, a long pinky nail is considered a symbol of wealth or status. In certain subcultures, such as certain music scenes or among individuals who practice specific martial arts, a long pinky nail may have practical or symbolic significance.

Additionally, some people prefer the aesthetic of having a longer pinky nail. It’s important to note that the reasons for this practice can vary widely across different cultures and individuals.

I’ve lived in Vietnam for 10 years. When I first asked about this trait, which is getting harder to find these days, I was told it was to show that the owner of said (creepy) long fingernail doesn’t do manual labour and, thus, is a higher-class individual. It’s in the same realm as having lighter skin. Darker-skinned Asians are considered lower class (by their race) because they are supposedly out in the rice paddies working all day.

Just want to back up the people who’ve already said that it has to do with social status and appearances: specifically, it says, “I don’t labour,” which is a kind of shorthand for saying that you are pretty comfortable if not outright wealthy and that you belong to the non-labouring classes.

And I’d like to point out that this long nail thing is literally thousands of years old, in one form or another, which means that it obviously predates the snorting of powdered drugs. Some guys might use it for this purpose, just like some guys almost certainly use it to pick their noses and ears, but the important thing to my mind is what it has traditionally meant, which is to signal membership in some version of the leisure class.

Ultimately, it’s the same thing with women’s long nails. What I really love is watching the cashiers at my grocery store struggle with the register keys with their super-long acrylic nails because that look clashes in practice with actual manual labour (in the literal sense, manus = hand, in this case).

I’ve always been a bit put off by women sporting this look for the same reason (well, apart from the fact that I think it looks completely ridiculous): it basically screams, “I’m extremely spoiled and demanding and will give back nothing in return.” Of course, I’m sure lots of women who like the look will disagree.

Why do some people cut their fingernails but let the ones on their little fingers grow out?

I can’t say I remember seeing this in North America, but it was standard in Japan and, I assume, in other parts of Asia some decades back. And judging by this question, it may still be an affectation.

It was most often seen in male civil servants, office workers, and academics. I assumed that it was done to show that the person was not of the manual labouring class. I suppose a secondary meaning would be that the longer nail would help with shuffling all the paperwork that a “mandarin” is obliged to work with. I haven’t seen such nails in many years. Perhaps the rise of keyboards put an end to that practice in Japan.

I seem to vaguely remember that having a more extended fingernail on the little finger was some good luck talisman. I don’t know if this was a Japanese belief or something I just picked up along the way.pinky nail

What is the proper length for fingernails on a man?

As short as possible without causing injury.

Let me start by saying you can keep your fingernails any length you want. It’s your body. I will give reasons for my suggestion, but my reasons don’t necessarily apply to you, and if you have long nails, I’m not going to call you mean names. Do whatever you like.

For practical reasons, I think most men would be served best by keeping their fingernails as short as possible, just short enough such that there is no “white” part along the top, and if there is, it’s only the slightest sliver.

This has, traditionally, been the norm for men because physical labour has generally been the domain of men, and long fingernails interfere with physical labour. While I am not a fan of the gender role, the fact that short nails are more practical remains the case and is reason enough to groom yourself accordingly.

My main reason for recommending short nails, however, is a sexual one. If you’re a straight man and you’re going to be manually pleasuring your lover, long fingernails risk cutting her on the inside. That’ll be unpleasant for her, risks infection, and offers an all-around wrong time. Why take that risk when the solution is a pair of nail clippers away?

This, by the way, applies to lesbians just as well. There’s an old joke – “What do you call a lesbian with long fingernails? Single.” Men should keep their nails short for the same reason.

Obviously, if you’re not going to be digitally pleasuring anyone, and long fingernails don’t hinder your profession and hobbies, the above doesn’t apply to you. People might look at you weird since you’re not adhering to your gender role, and that’ll be annoying, but hardly a reason to change if you’d prefer long nails. Do what you like.

Why do people grow long nails?

Different reasons. Originally, long nails were a symbol that one did not work — like the wealthy, noble Mandarins of ancient China, with nails so long they began to curl. I think the same psychology is still in play with some women who either grow long nails or have fake-looking acrylic ones. pinky nail

I could never understand how some women can type with long nails; if my own get more than a slender edge of “white,” I can’t type for shit! Plus, having ANY nails longer than bitten-into-the-quick means you type the letters of your keyboard — I have to buy letter stickers from eBay on a regular basis to keep my keyboard even slightly readable.

For some of us, longer nails are a symbol of something entirely different: no longer biting one’s nails. I bit my own into the quick until my mid-20s when dental work meant I could no longer bite them if I wanted to keep my dental work! I stopped thanks to learning the joys of a nice manicure and nail polish .

But then I had a baby and lost the ability to polish my nails, so they’re now always natural — sometimes long, sometimes not, but no longer bitten halfway to my elbows! 🙂

Can boys have long nails?

100% Boys are free to express themselves with long nails just as girls are! I know tons of people in Toronto who get their nails done at salons or do them by themselves! It’s an experience everyone can enjoy! Long nails, in general, can take some getting used to – but there is no problem with guys having them!

I see guys in my salon all the time getting manicures and pedicures! They are treated no different, and honestly, the guys who come to my salon have some of the most beautiful nails because they are not afraid to express themselves!!pinky nail

Everyone should live their best life and enjoy themselves- if that includes long nails, I say go for it!!

Why do we still have nails, even though we last used them a long time ago?

Nails are a natural part of human anatomy and serve various functions, such as protecting the fingertips and aiding in tasks that require precision. While technological advancements have reduced our reliance on nails for certain activities, they continue to be relevant for practical and evolutionary reasons.

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Exploring the multitude of nail types across the animal kingdom reveals a fascinating diversity. Different species have evolved specialized nails or claws to serve specific purposes, ranging from hunting and defence to climbing and digging.

In humans, nails have persisted as evolutionary remnants with several benefits. Here are 30 reasons why we still have nails:

  1. Sensory Function: Nails enhance tactile sensitivity, aiding in our ability to touch and feel objects.
  2. Protection: Nails shield the sensitive tips of fingers and toes, reducing the risk of injury.
  3. Grip and Grasping: Nails provide a better grip for holding and manipulating objects.
  4. Scratching: Nails are helpful for grooming and relieving itchiness.
  5. Tool for Precision Tasks: Nails act as natural tools for tasks requiring precision, like picking up small objects.
  6. Thermal Regulation: Nails can assist in regulating body temperature by facilitating heat exchange.
  7. Evolutionary Legacy: Nails are remnants of our evolutionary history, serving purposes that were more critical in the past.
  8. Social Significance: Well-groomed nails can have social and cultural significance, reflecting personal care and hygiene.
  9. Identification: Nails contribute to individual identification through unique patterns and characteristics.
  10. Communication: Nails can be used for non-verbal communication, such as tapping or signalling.
  11. Health Indicators: Changes in nail appearance can signal health issues, providing diagnostic clues.
  12. Enhanced Sensation: Nails amplify the sense of touch, enriching our interaction with the environment.
  13. Cultural Practices: Nails play a role in cultural practices like nail art and adornment.pinky nail
  14. Manual Dexterity: Nails enhance the precision and skill of our hands for various tasks.
  15. Defence Mechanism: Nails can be employed defensively in situations where physical protection is needed.
  16. Enhanced Tool Use: Nails complement the use of tools, aiding in tasks that require fine motor skills.
  17. Symbolic Significance: Nails may have symbolic meanings in different cultural and religious contexts.
  18. Aesthetic Appeal: Well-maintained nails contribute to personal aesthetics and grooming.
  19. Nail Beds as Cushioning: The nail beds act as cushioning for fingertips, reducing impact.
  20. Support for Surrounding Tissues: Nails provide structural support to the surrounding tissues of fingers and toes.
  21. Adaptive Evolution: Nails have adapted over time to suit the changing needs of human ancestors.
  22. Enhanced Precision in Manipulation: Nails improve the precision with which we can manipulate objects.
  23. Hygiene Aid: Nails aid in maintaining hygiene by preventing dirt and debris from accumulating under the fingertips.
  24. Contribution to Fine Motor Skills: Nails contribute to the development and refinement of fine motor skills.
  25. Facilitation of Cleaning: Nails can be used to clean hard-to-reach areas, enhancing personal hygiene.
  26. Cultural Identity: Nail styles and grooming practices can be indicative of cultural identity and heritage.
  27. Support for Nail Growth: Healthy nails contribute to overall fingertip strength and support.
  28. Evolutionary Adaptation for Climbing: Nails may have evolved to aid in climbing and traversing environments.
  29. Expression of Individuality: Nails provide a canvas for individual expression through nail art and decoration.
  30. Psychological Well-being: Well-groomed nails can contribute to psychological well-being by boosting self-esteem and confidence.pinky nail

In summary, while the practical uses of nails may have evolved, their persistence in humans is a testament to their multifaceted roles, from functional adaptations to cultural and aesthetic significance.

Several myths and misconceptions surround nails, often rooted in cultural beliefs or outdated information. Here are a few common myths about nails:

  1. Nails Continue to Grow After Death: Contrary to popular belief, nails do not continue to grow after death. What happens is that the skin around the nails retracts as it dries, giving the appearance of longer nails.
  2. White Spots Indicate Calcium Deficiency: White spots on the nails are commonly attributed to a calcium deficiency, but they are more likely caused by minor injuries or trauma to the nail matrix. These spots, known as leukonychia, are usually harmless.
  3. Gel Polish Weakens Nails: While improper application and removal of gel polish can potentially damage nails, the gel itself doesn’t inherently weaken them. It’s essential to follow proper procedures to minimize any adverse effects.
  4. Nail Hardness Reflects Health: The hardness of nails is not necessarily an indicator of overall health. Factors like genetics, age, and external influences play a role in nail hardness.
  5. Cutting Cuticles Promotes Nail Health: Cutting cuticles can increase the risk of infection and nail problems. Cuticles serve as a protective barrier, and pushing them back gently is generally recommended over cutting.
  6. Nail Biting Causes Permanent Damage: While chronic nail biting can lead to short-term damage and increase the risk of infections, nails usually recover once the habit is stopped. Permanent damage is rare.
  7. Nail Shape Affects Strength: The shape of the nail doesn’t significantly impact its strength. Factors like nutrition and overall nail care influence strength.
  8. White Nails Indicate a Healthy Liver: The colour of nails is not a reliable indicator of liver health. White nails may result from various causes, and a medical assessment is necessary for an accurate diagnosis.
  9. Nail Growth Accelerates When Cut: Cutting or trimming nails does not influence their rate of growth. Growth occurs at the nail matrix, and factors like genetics and overall health play a more significant role.
  10. Nail Polish Causes Yellowing: Yellowing of nails is often attributed to nail polish, but it’s more commonly caused by pigments in dark-coloured polishes or underlying fungal infections. Using a base coat can help prevent staining.

It’s essential to separate myths from accurate information when it comes to nail care to promote healthy practices and avoid unnecessary concerns.

Why do people grow extremely long fingernails?

I know a woman who had long, fake, beautiful nails. She kept them because her husband would make her do all the hard work if she didn’t have those nails. I can’t speak for other women, but I suspect those really long nails are a fad.

What is the reason for people who keep one nail super long and clip the rest?

There used to be a reason in the 70’s and 80’s. A lot of cocaine hit Houston, and I could usually tell if they were users because they each had one long nail to snort it. I worked in a head shop/record store, and we could always tell who did a lot of it. I don’t know why someone has one long nail nowadays.pinky nail

Why do older people generally have very short nails?

I am continually surprised when a question contains a hidden bias. In this case, there is the label “older people”, which confines these short nails to a specific group, negatively prejudicial, marginalizing the elder’s “very short nails” as an outlier, an exile, resulting from a very close and distorted observation of what should be a minor detail. There are many other examples from other areas of consideration in one’s life that might reflect an observer’s narrow vision.pinky nail

Just an aside here, but there can be frequent questions, usually coming from younger people who don’t yet have the viewpoint of an elder who can see things within the context of age and life experience. Thus, we have inquiries about the appearance of an elder, queries that mean the younger person is asking about something which, to the elder, is no longer essential but which looms large in the mind of that younger person.

“Oh, don’t worry about XYZ, that’s just those old people doing their thing – and they aren’t that important”.

1.) Nail care is not simply about beauty and looking good. Frequent manicures and pedicures help maintain the health of hands and feet, and as a person ages, such maintenance measures lose their importance.

2.) They could intentionally or unintentionally, the nails are kept short by frequent breakage. This could be often or only occasional, a random thing due to some unknown deficit in their nutrition. Nails at any age are subject to the vagaries of a person’s diet, and while a person is generally healthy, nail maintenance might be lacking.

3.) Older people have streamlined their priorities, and they need more time and energy for nail care. By the time someone is “older”, they are not going to devote a lot of time to a beauty regimen. Of course, there are exceptions, such as special occasions or a casual photo shoot, so older people can and do spruce up their nails with a manicure or two.

I would not think it odd or obsessive if someone was in an open casket for their funeral, and they had specified in their will, or special instructions, that their nails be manicured, like any other instructions for their appearance.

4.) Nail biting can become a maladaptive habit, deployed as a helper to relieve stress, anxiety, and boredom.

5.) Many times, someone’s nails can be dropped from their maintenance program, and they prefer to spend their time on more straightforward, more doable and impactful elements of their appearance. Short nails might stand out to an observer, such as yourself, who values nails because they regard them as an essential part of a person’s “look”.

But to most people, nails are barely noticeable and are not a primary feature of their appearance. Of course, as any two people get to know each other, these and other micro-elements loom large.

My favourite anecdote is when a person wonders about an “oldperson’sn smell”; they are probably unaware that the answer is in biological science, or they wouldn’t ask. Older people develop a biomarker called “nonenal” that emerges when “older people” gradually age, and this bio-factor is out of their control.

So this is why and how older people can be characterized by their “nonenal”, for example, same as their “very short nails”.pinky nail

Why do some people grow one long fingernail?

The thumbnail and first two fingers of my right hand are always a bit longer than all the remaining nails on both hands. It’s because I use them for finger-picking when I play the guitar. I keep the others trimmed short, but sometimes if I have gone a week or so without a new trim, I begin to get self-conscious about my “long” nails, and they actually become quite uncomfortable, and I can’t wait to get home and correct the problem.

After forty+ years of playing the guitar, it’s just normal for people to see me with three nails, which are longer than all the rest. I am not sure how many people are actually aware of them, however, but I am always mindful of their length.

Believe it or not, it’s because the person with the long nail did not cut that nail shorter. People like to have a single long nail for different reasons. I want to have a long nail available when my hands are dirty because that’s always when my nose starts itching, and I need a clean nail to scratch it with.

Another everyday use for long nails is to extract slivers or splinters, and yet another is to use as a small measuring spoon for strong spices, paint pigments, or drugs like cocaine.

Do you have any tricks for growing nails faster?

You can only make them grow slowly. You can make them strong so that they will grow without breaking. That’s your main goal, to keep them from breaking.pinky nail

Brace yourself; this is going to be a long answer.

First, you want to protect them from things that make them brittle and things that make them snap:

  • Water. Every time you wash your hands, the water dries your nails out as it evaporates. This makes them weak and brittle. Like a saltine cracker, they will snap with ease. Wear gloves when your nails are going to be wet for a long time.
  • Nail hardeners. Products designed to harden and strengthen your nails can very quickly become counterproductive. If you have fragile nails, you can use these sparingly to get yourself started, but I don’t recommend using them for a long time. They make your nails so hard they snap under pressure. You want your nails to bend under pressure, not snap. If they are too hard, they won’t be flexible enough to bend under pressure.
  • Using your nails as tools/carelessly lifting items, etc. One of the most common causes of nail breaking is when we use our nails as tools or forget to be mindful that they can break. As tempting as it is, don’t open electronics, boxes, etc with your nails. Be careful reaching and lifting, especially with car doors.
  • Acetone nail polish remover. Acetone is the fastest polish remover. It’s also the most drying. I used to peel-off basecoat to avoid the use of acetone. When I do use it, I moisturize my nails immediately afterwards. We’ll get to moisturizing in a minute. You can also use acetone-free polish remover, but it usually could be more effective.pinky nail
  • Buffing. Don’t buff your nails. It makes them weak. Those ridges are actually the more vital parts of your nail. Buffing them is shaving the crucial parts down so you only have the weak parts left.
  • Biting them. Most nail-biters bite because of anxiety. I used to bite them when I was a child, and I had terrible anxiety. I know how hard it is to stop. Research yucky-tasting products you can put on them to help you stop. I also found that polishing them helped me avoid biting.pinky nail
  • Going commando. Don’t leave your nails naked!!! If you want to grow them, make sure they’re always polished, even if it’s just clear polish. Polish helps protect your natural nails from harm, allowing them a chance to grow.

Cultivating strong, flexible nails is easier than you might think. The most important item you need is a good nail and cuticle oil. I have tried many different ones from both indie and mainstream brands.

I have since wholly settled on this one by the indie brand Heather’s Hues. I swear by this nail oil. Ever since I started using it, my nails have been healthier than they’ve ever been. My nails have survived hitting the floor of a mosh pit. And it even comes in different scents. (not sponsored, I love this shit)

Some people also swear by jojoba oil for nails. Once you have your nail oil, you’re going to want to use it often. A few times a day is best when you’re starting. Especially after washing your hands, using acetone, using cuticle remover, or using hand sanitizer. Keep a few nail oil pens around the house, at work, in your purse. Apply it whenever you think about it.

When you polish your nails, make sure you “wrap the tip,” or paint over the edges of your nails. This helps seal in the natural nail, protecting it from the e v i l w a t e r.

Be patient!!! Growing your nails takes time. Even the healthiest nails take a few months to grow long. These are my nails: I grow my nails pretty long because I like to paint them. I grow them a bit shorter on my leading hand.

You may want your nails shorter than mine, but that doesn’t matter! These same rules apply even if you only want to grow them a fraction of a centimetre past your fingertip.

Why do we still have nails, even though we last used them a long time ago?

Nails, like the ones on fingers, have evolutionary significance for humans. They might not serve the same survival purposes as they once did, but they can still have practical uses, and their presence is a result of our evolutionary history.

Why did the ancient Chinese rulers have such extremely long fingernails?

I can think of four reasons off-hand (no pun intended, but I am unrepentant and will let that stand). Long fingernails were a status symbol, showing that that person literally didn’t have to lift a finger to do any work. As far as I know, most women had those extra-long fingernails, not men.

An upper-class man was expected to be at least able to write and pull a bow. It’s hard to hold a brush if you have those long fingernails, much less pull a bow.

Second, 身體髮膚受之父母,不敢毀傷,孝之始也:You get your body, hair, and skin from your parents, so a good child does not harm. Some people, exceptionally well-to-do people in later times, even collected all their old fingernails and hair clippings to put in their coffins to return everything to their ancestors:全收全歸。

Third, even today, some men let the fingernail on their little finger grow longer than their ring finger because 手相, according to physiognomy, it will empower you, give you more authority, and keep you from getting picked on.

Fourth, a lot of fortune tellers let the fingernails on their little fingers grow very long as a mark of their profession. If you see a man with an extra long little finger fingernail, it’s probably a case of the third and fourth reason I have here.

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