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Nail Structure

It is important to have an understanding of your Nail Structure, so I hope you can learn a thing or two from the descriptions below:

Nail Diagram

Finger Nail Structure

Nail Definitions

The Free Edge
The is the end of the nail plate that is shaped during Manicure & Pedicure
The Hyponichium
This is the portion of skin at the end of the finger underneath the free edge, where the nail plate separates from the skin.
The Nail Grooves
These are the grooves on the skin at the sides of the free edge, and the nail follows the line as it grows.
The Nail Plate
This is the visible portion of the nail that sits on top of the nail bed. It is made by Keratinisation; the change of living cells to hard, dead cells, and it consists of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sulfur and nitrogen.
The Nail Walls
These are the folds of skin where the nail is still attached.
The Nail Bed
This is the part of the finger underneath the nail plate.
The Lunula
This is the moon shaped point where the matrix and nail bed meet.
The Cuticle
This is the overlapping skin surrounding the nail. Its job is to protect the matrix from invading bacteria and physical damage.
The Matrix
This is where the nail is made. It is the only living part of the nail, and contains nerves and blood vessels so that cell reproduction can occur.

Next: Let's learn how the nail grows!

Step 2 - Nail Care - Nail Growth

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