How long should a man's fingernails be?

I’ve been told several times that my fingernails are too long. I don’t think they are- opinions on socially acceptable length for a man’s fingernails, please.

Short. There really shouldn’t be a lot of the white part of the nail. Cut that off when its easily done so.

I’d say the white part should be 1 mm or less.

Clearly, they should be the optimal length to maximize the efficiency of the ass-scratching protocol.

They should be long as you wish them to be. Let no one victimize you like that unless you enjoy being such a victim. Think for yourself.

Sadly, the only way to follow this advice is to ignore it.

I dunno about any other man’s fingernails, but I like to keep mine about half a centimeter shorter than the finger itself. (Any shorter than that and it bleeds too much when I bite it).

But then if you ignore it, aren’t you really following it?

When I was a young’un taking piano lessons, my piano teacher insisted I keep my fingernails short. It’s been quite awhile since I played the piano, but I still feel uncomfortable when my fingernails get more than a little long.

You’re looking for opinions. GQ is for questions which have at least a hope of a factual answer.

Moved by

samclem GQ moderator

Short. That’s what Sister Marie Bernard always said. When I was in primary school we were required to line up in front of the teacher each morning so that she could inspect our fingernails and see that they were clean and short.

There is no standard on this. Go what with you’re comfortable with.

Short, with two exceptions:

One thumbnail, and one pinky nail, on alternate hands, should be left a bit longer than all others.

The thumbnail is for those things manly men do which are made easier with a thumbnail as a handy (pun intended) cutting or prying tool… opening packages, for example.

The pinky nail is for digging earwax out of your ears.

What? Come on, you do it too!

Long enough for you to be able to give really nice back-scratching to your Significant Other.

As far as a more readily measurable length goes, thouhg, at least to the tips of your fingers. (Says she of the incredibly badly bitten nails, whose hands are ugly. Perhaps hypocritically, I love beautiful hands with strong, healthy nails on a man.)

Long enough to reach the ground.
Or is that legs?
I always get those parts mixed up…

And I have heard guitar players argue about whether nails should be grown just a bit past the tips of the fingers on the playing hand (“nature’s own picks”) or cut very short on both hands because they just get in the way. I suspect it all comes down to your personal playing style there. (Fella bilong missus flodnak plays guitar, I don’t.)

I’m used to seeing men with short nails, so that’s what I generally prefer, but as far as I’m concerned the only rule, and it goes for both sexes, is to keep 'em clean.

…and for og’s sake, clip those nasty yellow toe nails too! :eek:

They get in the way on the left hand (fretting hand). Having them on the picking hand (for fingerstyle) is neat but not incredibly useful.

My preference for men’s hands is for the nails to be no longer than the tip of the finger. That way he can still open things for me and scratch my back but his hands don’t look more feminine than mine! Though it’s a good idea for you to get a manicure every so often for the health of your nails.
On a side note, a tip for guys; at the beginning of warm weather season wherever you live, do us all a favor and go get a pedicure. It won’t run you more than 20 bucks typically, 'cause you’re not getting them painted and it will help your toenails to grow more healthily; they won’t ingrow, they’ll be shaped not to catch on things or split, etc. Everyone should get a pedicure once in awhile but I know men need a little push moreso than women.

I personally like to keep my fingernails long (about a quarter of an inch), but everyone else says I should cut them.