What is the nail matrix?

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C'est quoi la matrice de l'ongle?

We sometimes hear about the nail matrix. You do not know what it is?

A clear and quick explanation with the essentials of what you need to remember about this famous nail matrix. What is it used for, how can it get damaged and, above all, how to take care of it?

Obviously with the aim of having pretty nails and beautiful manicures all year round.

Between the finger and the nail, where is the matrix? How does it allow your nail to grow?

The matrix is ​​located at the base of the nail, protected, not visible and under the epidermis. It is she who is at the origin of the growth of the nail.

In the matrix, the cells multiply and become loaded with keratin, which gives your nails their solid and uniform structure. From the matrix, the nail grows continuously. It is estimated that a nail grows on average 3 mm per month.

Two things to remember, depending on your diet, growth is faster. Likewise, between the ages of 20 and 30, nail growth is greater.

Well, you will have understood, the matrix must be pampered, if you want strong and healthy nails.

Nail matrix diagram

What happens if the matrix is ​​damaged?

Accidents happen. Simple impact on the nail, deep cut, crushed or torn nail, in short all the accidents of life which damage the nail matrix. All result in specific, appropriate treatment, and sometimes via surgery.

For serious accidents to your matrix (deep cut, total crushing or tearing of the nail):

A visit to the emergency room with a specialized antenna in the hand and finger will be mandatory. There the appropriate treatment will be given to your nail, and to your matrix. To be effective and give the best results, treatment is given in the hours following the accident.

When the nail matrix is ​​damaged or destroyed , the nail can no longer grow normally and at the point of impact, it splits along its entire length, or even does not grow back, or in a twisted manner. This has the effect of leading to your nail growing completely separated in two, without aesthetics.

In this case, after emergency first aid, it is possible to apply resin to compress the split in order to try to eliminate the split and prevent your nail from splitting in two when growing, which It doesn't become infected, deformed or stuck everywhere. We strongly advise you to contact a nail professional, a certified nail technician to carry out this filling.

Aesthetically, it goes without saying that after such an accident, you cannot apply varnish until the nail heals completely. Even semi-permanent varnish is of no use in this case. We remind you, the semi-permanent beautifies and lasts a long time, it does not give structure to your nail, or strengthen it.

In the event of a lighter accident on the nail and the matrix:

Split nail, very brittle, cuticle cut slightly, you will have to disinfect your nail, and wait for the wound to heal. Start taking nail strengthening supplements as soon as possible. By applying healing creams, such as Avène repair cream (it applies to the entire hand and moisturizes well).

Once the wound is closed, daily apply moisturizing treatments (detailed below), file your nail, to keep its shape, avoid getting stuck. Depending on the condition, you may even be able to gently push back your cuticles and buff it.

In case of a nail stuck in a door:

A painful wound, but without any visible, open wound. There is a good chance that a bruise will form under the nail, at the level of the horny plate.

Wait a few hours for the blue to appear. If it is there, to prevent it from deforming the horny plate, and being very painful. Take a sewing needle, disinfect it with alcohol. Pierce your nail between 1 to 3 places gently to allow blood to flow.

In other words, place the needle diagonally across your finger and gently push it through your nail. It goes in very shallowly, and this little hole will release the blood. If necessary, do it in a second place, so that all the blood pocket accumulated under the nail comes out.

After that disinfect your nail well, and let it grow. It will be damaged but it will not be deformed. To protect it and help it, opt for a repairing varnish. Vitry varnish is very suitable for this.

The speed of reconstruction and growth of the nail:

To conclude this chapter, a nail is reconstituted in 3 to 6 months for the hands, and more than 12 months for the feet. If your matrix has been damaged, care, patience, and possible reconstruction in resin or surgery are your remedies. We assure you that taking care of your womb is worth it!

Why and how to take care of your nail matrices on a daily basis?

We all want strong, smooth nails of the correct length to apply a pretty varnish. However, we are not all so lucky, and to get there, it is the matrix and the cuticle that need to be nourished and hydrated.

To promote the growth of your nail , and the beauty of your nail, daily application to your cuticles using circular massages of vegetable oils is one of the best ways to obtain this result.

Yes, your matrix being at the base of your nail, absorbs its oils , strengthens itself which intensifies the production of keratin, therefore the growth of the nail.

What vegetable oils should you apply to hydrate and stimulate your matrix?

The star of oils to nourish your cuticles and help nail growth is castor oil . Specifically recommended for cuticles and nails in general, this fairly thick oil should be applied every day, preferably in the evening, with a massage of your finger to thoroughly penetrate the material.

Natural shea butter , without mixing, is also an excellent nourisher for the nails. Apply a dab to all of your hands, heat it in the hollow of your apple, to make it pliable and spread it on your nails (always using rotating movements, focusing on the base of the nail).

Last advice, when you prepare your nail, first of all push back your cuticles as much as possible, without forcing, without bleeding and hurting the base of your nail. If there are small unsightly pieces of skin remaining, then cut this excess cuticle with pliers, taking care to cut only the small pieces of excess skin , without going near the base of your nail at the risk of cutting the epidermis.

From now on, you know everything about the nail matrix, its usefulness and how to take good care of it!

Article published on October 21, 2021 and updated on January 7, 2023.