How Long Does it Take For a Toenail to Grow Back?

Toenails may seem insignificant, that is until you’ve had the misfortune of losing one. 

It turns out, our nails are pretty important for protecting the tips of our fingers and toes which means missing a toenail can make walking, jogging, or other activities on your feet pretty uncomfortable for a while.

Unfortunately, they take their time growing back. 

In fact, toenails take 2-3 times longer to regrow compared to fingernails, about 1.62mm per month compared to 3.47mm for fingernails. 

The rate at which it grows back also may depend on the reason it was lost in the first place [1]. 

How Long Does it Take For a Toenail to Grow Back?

After Trimming 

If you are simply engaging in standard hygienic trimming practices with your toenails, you will likely notice them to grow back at a faster rate than if an injury or fungus is involved. 

Toenails typically grow at a rate of 1.62mm per month, which is a little less than the standard thickness of a single grain of rice (1.82mm). 

If you keep up with your trimming, you may only need to do it once every month [2].

After Injury

Trauma resulting in a loss of the nail takes the longest to regrow. An example of this would be if you dropped something on your toe or stubbed your toe, causing the nail to detach from the nail bed. 

This may cause it to turn black and eventually fall off for a new nail to grow in its place. In this case, it could take your toenail 6 months to up to 2 years to grow back fully [3].

After Removal for Medical issues

If you lost your toenail because it had to be medically removed, which can occur in instances of chronic ingrown toenails, it will also take a lengthy amount of time to grow back to its original state. 

In these cases, it may take up to 18 months to grow back completely [3]. 

If you’ve recently lost a toenail, don’t fret. Although it will be unpleasant for a while, there are some things you can do in the meantime to help support faster nail growth. 

How Long Do Toenails Grow in a Week?

From research, we know that nails grow an average of 1.62mm per month. This means they should be growing at a rate of about 0.41mm per week. 

To give you a visual, this is close to the thickness of a piece of lead from a mechanical pencil which is around 0.5mm thick).

Factors That Can Affect Regrowth of Toenails

There are many factors that can affect the regrowth of toenails, including the strength and health of the nail itself, such as collagen levels, keratin levels, and adequate intake of certain vitamins. 

Nails also grow slower in colder weather, likely due to slower circulation and growth slows as we age. 


Collagen is an essential protein for the structure of our hair, skin, and nails. We produce less collagen as we age which can result in brittle, slow-growing nails. 

Although there are food sources of collagen, supplemental collagen is the only type that has been associated with increased collagen levels and boosting the strength and growth rate of nails. 

In fact, it is estimated that we begin producing less collagen as early as our 30s. Although collagen loss as we age is difficult to avoid, certain lifestyle factors can speed up losses, including smoking, and poor diet.


Your nails, as well as your hair and skin, are made from cells formed by the fibrous protein keratin. Like collagen, our keratin levels decrease as we age.

It’s believed that coating your nails with keratin or taking an oral keratin supplement may help improve nail strength but more research is still needed on this. 

Keratin levels can also be affected by a poor diet that is lacking in adequate protein or certain vitamins such as biotin [4].

If you aren’t sure if you are producing enough keratin, choosing a nutrient-rich diet may be more effective than keratin supplementation. Healthy nails grow faster than brittle, cracked, or diseased nails.


Biotin is a B vitamin that is essential for the production of proteins needed for nail growth. 

Several smaller studies support biotin supplementation for the growth and strength of nails however, results may be better for those who have lower levels of biotin in their diet [5, 6]. 

Biotin deficiency is rare and although research available on this is promising, larger trials are needed to determine the effects of biotin supplementation on nail growth and strength in human studies. 

A biotin-rich diet may be more effective.

What Can I Do to Make My Toenails Grow Back Faster?

If you lost a toenail and are hoping to speed up recovery, there are a few things you can do to speed up the process. 

Although there is no proven method to make your nails grow faster, taking supplements such as collagen, consuming a nutrient-rich diet, and practicing good hygiene and grooming can go a long way. 

A supplement like our Ella Beauty vanilla collagen powder includes not just collagen but also vitamin C, antioxidants, and your 100% daily dose of biotin to support the best health and growth for your nails (as well as skin and hair) [7].

Although supplements can help, especially in the case of collagen, a nutrient-rich diet is always the best place to start.

Be sure to get in adequate protein to support collagen and keratin production. 

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, individuals should aim to consume at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (about 0.35 grams per pound per day) [8].

Additionally, practicing good hygiene and grooming are essential to nail care. This can avoid conditions such as fungus or ingrown toenails, as well as potential toenail loss from unclipped nails and/or ill-fitting shoes. 

What to Do if You Lose a Toenail?

If you have lost a toenail from trauma, be sure to clean the area well. Wrap it up with antibiotic ointment to keep it clean, especially when wearing closed-toe shoes. 

If the nail is ripped or broken off in pieces, be sure to trim what is left of the existing nail to avoid an ingrown toenail or trauma to the surrounding tissue. If you are having pain in your toe you can elevate it to help reduce blood flow from pooling in that area and causing swelling. 

It’s best to see a doctor or healthcare professional if you lose a toenail to ensure it is being cleaned and treated correctly to avoid infection. This is especially important if you have a history of diabetes.

Will My Big Toenail Grow Back?

In most cases, your big toenail will grow back. If it was healthy prior to being lost, it should return to its normal appearance once it regrows; however, it might take some time. 

If you have any concerns about the regrowth or health of your toenails, consider meeting with a Podiatrist in your area for an evaluation.  

Bottom Line on Toenail Growth

Lost toenails can be paid. Toenails take 2-3 times longer to regrow compared to fingernails, however, taking a collagen supplement, consuming a nutrient-rich diet, and practicing good grooming and hygiene can help boost nail growth. 

If you lose a toenail due to trauma, be sure to clean it and wrap it properly to avoid infection and it will likely grow back to its normal state in time. 

Seek advice from a Podiatrist or healthcare practitioner if you have any concerns regarding the loss of your toenail.