Clear Nail, Still Fail

By: Diana Borishkevich
Mr. Leingang’s Sixth Period
Science Class
• How does painting your left
thumb nail clear and not
painting your right thumb nail
at all affect how fast your
thumb nails grow?
• As you paint your left thumb nail
with clear nail polish, and not paint
your right thumb nail at all, then
your nails will grow at the same
rate because nail polish is only
applied on the top of the nail and
shouldn’t affect nail growth.
• Manipulated variable: left thumb nail painted
clear, right thumb nail unpainted
• Responding variable: how much your thumb
nails grow
• Controlled variable: nail polish used, ruler
used, nails used, length of each trial (15 days),
starting length of both nails (1.2 centimeters)
Standard Ruler
Nail Polish Remover
Clear Nail Polish
Nail Filer (optional)
Nail Clippers
Cotton Balls
• 1. Measure both thumb nails and make sure that they are the same
length. (Preferably 1.2 centimeters because that’s how long mine
were in my experiment.) You can use the nail clippers to clip them
to be the same length, and then file them until they are exactly the
• 2. Paint your left thumb nail with clear nail polish. Don’t paint your
right thumb nail at all during the experiment.
• 3. After five days, dab some nail polish remover on a cotton ball and
remove the nail polish completely from your left thumb nail.
• 4. Then measure and record how long both of your thumb nails are.
• 5. Repaint your left thumb with a new clear coat of nail polish. Let it
• 6. Repeat steps 3-5 two more times, (fifteen days altogether), as
Trial One.
• 7. Repeat steps 1-6 one more time as Trial Two.
Data Tables for Trial One
Data Table for Trial Two
Day Number:
Left thumb nail (cm)
Right thumb nail (cm)
0 (control length)
1.2 centimeters (0)
1.2 centimeters (0)
5/ growth
1.3 centimeters (.1)
1.3 centimeters (.1)
10/ growth
1.3 centimeters (0)
1.3 centimeters (0)
15/ growth
1.4 centimeters (.1)
1.4 centimeters (.1)
Average length/ growth
1.3 centimeters (0.05)
1.3 centimeters (0.05)
• I thought that if I painted my left thumb nail clear and
didn’t paint my right thumb nail at all then both thumb
nails would grow at the same rate because nail polish is
only applied to the top of the old nail cells. My results
showed that I was correct. I can prove this because in both
trials, both of my nails (the left thumb nail which was
painted with a clear coat of nail polish and the right thumb
nail un-painted), grew at exactly the same rate. In both
trials, my thumbnails were 1.3 centimeters on Day 5, 1.3
centimeters on Day 10, and 1.4 centimeters on Day 15.
There was no difference. This supports our original
hypothesis. Therefore, if you paint your thumbnail clear
then that nail polish will not affect how fast our thumbnails
• 1. The purpose of my project was to see whether clear nail polish
would make my thumb nails grow faster than no nail polish at all.
• 2. Before the test, I honestly didn’t have any clue as to what the
results would be. I formed my hypothesis just on an educated
• 3. a. The one major error I did that could have affected my data was
that I forgot to measure on one day and I measured my nail length
on the next day. Also, one time I forgot to remove my nail polish
during one of the days. I don’t know if those things really affected
my nail length, but that’s just what I did wrong.
b. I learned that nail polish doesn’t affect how fast your nails grow.
c. What I could do differently next time is actually follow my
procedure perfectly and do everything on time, and maybe next
time I could see if the nail polish that is supposed to make your
nails grow faster actually works.
5-paragraph Background Section
Does nail polish affect nail growth? That is what I wanted to find out. As my results in my experiment showed,
clear nail polish obviously didn’t affect my nail growth. I researched and found out that colored nail polish does
not affect the growth of your nails, either. Contrary to popular belief, making any dietary changes in the hopes of
enhancing your nails won’t affect your nail growth or the strength of your nails.
You see, your nails are made up of a protein substance called keratin. This is the same substance your body uses to
create your hair and the top layer of your skin. Your fingernails grow slowly at a rate of around a tenth of an inch
per month. Nails start in the nail root and when new nail cells are created, they push out the old cells. These old
cells slide along the nail bed, creating you nail plate, which you think of as “your nails.”
When you apply nail polish, you are only applying it to the top of the old nail cells. The new nail cells are made
under your cuticle, away from the nail polish. So, supposedly, applying nail polish shouldn’t affect nail growth
because nails grow from the inside of the body out, and not from the surface of the old nail cells.
However, there are some good effects of nail polish that can actually help your nails. Some of these are to repair
splits or tears on the surface of your nail plate. Also, you can harden your nail plate with any type of nail polish.
These are good things because when you hurt your nail plate, it affects your nail growth. By applying nail polish, it
can protect the nail from wear and can help them be longer. Nail polish can help your nails be longer not by
actually making them grow, but by helping them not wear off. So, keeping your nail plate healthy will keep your
nail root and new nail cells healthy too.
Problem is, some nail polishes dry out your nail beds, which damages your nail root and then that leads to the
production of unhealthy nails. Using the wrong type of nail polish remover could also dry out your nails. The nail
polishes and nail polish removers that should be avoided are the ones that contain acetone, toluene sulfonamide
or formaldehyde. The last two ingredients can also cause redness and irritation on the skin around your nail plate,
which is called the “nail folds.”
So, nail polish shouldn’t be able to make your nails grow. But it can protect the nail from wear, fix imperfections,
and harden your nail plate. All these things contribute to healthier nail growth in the future. Some nail polishes
don’t do anything but dry nails out, and these should be avoided. But over all, nail polish is like a glue created to
make your nails pretty and keep them from looking like Mr. Leingangs. (hey, it’s only for girls though) =)
Trial One
Trial Two

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