Extremely long nails easily fall into the "it's all relative" category: What one woman considers long might be nothing compared to another woman's idea of truly lengthy nails. There are nails that are long, yet still considered acceptable to sport in professional environments. On the flip side, there are nails that are so long, they're considered works of art in their own way.
About Long Nails
Though many women prefer their nails long, few wear them extremely long - that is, so long that they require special care and perhaps even turn heads and act as conversation pieces. Chances are you can't remember the last time you saw nails like that! They're not uncommon, exactly, but they also aren't considered socially acceptable in the everyday world. For example, extremely long nails simply don't pass muster in the workplace, and they can make even the most basic daily activities challenging. It's no wonder that extra-long nails aren't exactly seen on a regular basis.
On the other hand, women who sport them do so for a reason. They love the look, and many describe excessively long nails as elegant, veritable works of art that require time, care and attention in order to be properly maintained. Needless to say, keeping them in great condition and preserving their shape over time does require some commitment, so it's important to keep that in mind if you're even thinking about taking the plunge into the world of extremely long nails.
The World Record Holder
Lee Redmond, a woman from Salt Lake City, Utah, set the world record in 2002 for the woman with the longest fingernails. In 2008, they were measured at over 28 feet long. In 2009, Redmond was involved in a car accident that broke her nails. She says she will not attempt to grow them again - the first record setting attempt took 30 years to achieve, and she's not sure she will live for another 30 years.
Pros and Cons of Extremely Long Nails
Truth be told, the cons seem to outweigh the pros when it comes to wearing the nails excessively long. Though those who prefer the look claim that it's not actually so difficult to accomplish basic tasks, the simple truth is that things like going to the bathroom and cooking suddenly become quite challenging when the nails are so long. Typing, of course, is out of the question, unless the nails are only moderately long (and by this, we're referring to the type of long length that women commonly tend to sport). Extremely long nails, though, are entirely different, and clearly present a laundry list of challenges that must be faced.
The pros are few and far between, at least for those who do not subscribe to the school of wearing their fingernails dramatically long. However, those who do state that it's a beautiful, elegant look that sets them apart from the pack, and many consider it their "statement accessory" of choice!
Caring for Excessively Long Nails
If you choose to grow your nails to dramatic, uncommon lengths, be aware that you'll definitely have your work cut out for you. Hygiene is perhaps the biggest concern, because the nails easily pick up dirt and bacteria, which will collect over time. A great way to give dramatically long nails a test run is to invest in some press-on nails. These quick, convenient nails literally stick to your natural nails with a bit of firm pressure.
Another option is to pay a visit to your local nail salon and ask for a set of long acrylic nails. A talon-like length is certainly challenging, but one way to determine if you would be able to deal with the real thing is to try out acrylics.
Things to Consider
Consider your lifestyle when you're determining the nail length that is most suitable for you. If you're a typist, you've probably already found that even slightly long nails can make it difficult to work efficiently. If you work in a kitchen or as a stylist (or in any profession that requires you to touch food or people), it's best to avoid long lengths and stick with a neat, short nail. Hygiene, at the end of the day, is the most important factor.