What Does a Long Pinky Nail Mean?

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At some point in your life, you may have seen someone walking around with short nails and a long pinky nail and been caught a little off guard. And we don’t blame you, it’s a weird look with lots of myth and mystery surrounding it. 

So, what does a long pinky nail mean?

  • Some associate a long pinky nail with cocaine use
  • It can be seen as a status symbol in some places
  • Often classical guitar players will keep their pinky nail long to use as a plectrum

As in the case with many of these weird style quirks, people read what they want into it. Maybe you just like the look. Maybe it’s a subtle hit to cocaine use. Any one example is hard to interpret. If you like the look, go for it!

In this article, we’ll discuss the phenomenon of the long pinky nail.


What Does a Long Pinky Nail Mean?

1. It Can Be a Status Symbol

Wearing a longer pinky nail might have something to say about your place in society. An extremely common reason for men – in some cultures – to keep a long pinky nail is to represent that they’re wealthy and originate from high social status and class. 

In these cultures, the long pinky nail generally represents that they will not do manual labor because of their status. Long pinky nails were especially popular some years ago when manual labor was associated with those who were less privileged. 

In those days, you were considered more privileged if you worked an administrative or academic job. Long pinky nails on men are similar to long ones on women – both signify elegance and class. 

Long pinky nails on men are similar to long ones on women – both signify elegance and class.

Of course, if you work on a computer or use a phone a lot, long nails can get in the way!

2. To Bring Good Fortune

Amongst palm readers, long pinky nails are said to bring good fortune to those who wear them. Palm readers believe that if the nail on your pinky is longer than your ring finger’s distal knuckle, you are intelligent and lucky.

So, if you see someone walking around with a long pinky nail, they might just be a palmist. Or, they’ve been to a palmist and have learned this nugget of knowledge!

3. A Musician’s Tool

Often, professional musicians worldwide will grow their pinky nails to be quite long. In the case of acoustic guitarists, they’ll often have a whole hand of long nails, which they use to pick the strings of their instruments when they’re playing. 

If you see someone with a hand of long nails and a hand of short nails, they’re probably a classical guitarist. Guitarists are usually dedicated to keeping their hands healthy since they are vital to their craft, so you can expect their nails – long or otherwise – to be pristine. 

4. A Subtle Hint to Cocaine Use

Many attribute a single long nail to cocaine use, and refer to the phenomenon as “coke nail“. You use the long nail as a “spoon” to take cocaine from a bag and prep to snort it.

Many attribute a single long nail to cocaine use, and refer to the phenomenon as “coke nail”. You use the long nail as a “spoon” to take cocaine from a bag and prep to snort it.

5. To Raise Awareness for Violence Against Children

Polished Man is a movement that has gained quite a bit of popularity recently and is one that aims to bring more attention to violent crimes committed against youth. Those who participate in the campaign paint one of their nails blue to represent one in every five kids who are victims of sexual violence. 

Most men also opt for black polish when participating in this campaign, as it’s slightly more neutral and wearable. Those who participate in this campaign will often choose their pinky nail and may choose to grow this nail out to make the painted nail more noticeable.


Taking Care of Your Nails

Whether your nails are all short, all long, or you’ve just got one long pinky nail, it’s important that you’re caring for your hands as best as possible. Here’s how:

Whether your nails are all short, all long, or you’ve just got one long pinky nail, it’s important that you’re caring for your hands.

1. Keep your hands clean

After you have washed your hands, ensure that you have cleansed your nails by first removing any traces of polish. This should preferably be done using an acetone-free remover, as it will not dry your nails out. 

If you want to take it a step further, apply soap to a clean toothbrush, and scrub your nails and the surrounding skin gently to exfoliate and remove any dirt. 

2. Trim your nails regularly

Consistent trims are very important to your nails, as they will make your nails less prone to breaking and snagging. Aim to clip them every two weeks, adjusting the frequency as you see fit based on how your nails respond to the trim. 

3. Be gentle

Human nails are more delicate than we think, so treating them as such is important. Try to stay away from putting metal tools beneath your nails – too much digging can separate the plate from the skin. This condition is known as onycholysis and is common for people over 50.

Getting cleaning chemicals on your hands and washing dishes by hand can also weaken your nails. So, be sure to protect them by wearing nitrile, vinyl, rubber, or plastic gloves when doing your home cleaning. 


Nail Health is More Important than Length

Long nails might be wonderfully elegant, but if you frequently deal with nail breakage or hangnails, we recommend that you trim your nails regularly and maintain a shorter look. At least for long enough to allow your nails to grow stronger. 

Shorter nails with rounded edges can still be sophisticated since they look neat. Plus, they are far easier when it comes to management, so you won’t have to put your nails through any additional wear and tear – so long as each nail is the same shape and is similar to your other digits. 

Once you get used to it, you won’t miss the length you had before. 

Keep a nail file handy

If your nails are exposed to potential damage throughout the day, it helps to keep a nail file close by to buff away any rough edges on the spot. For a smooth finish, work in one direction, following the grain of your nails. 

Moreover, instead of using an emery board, which can lead to snags and peels, try using a glass file instead. These files work to create even edges and are gentle even on weak, damaged, or brittle nails. 


Conclusion

If you see someone with a long pinky nail, you can’t really tell much about them. Perhaps the Urban Dictonary is right and they are a cocaine user. More likely, they’re a guitar player or they just like the look! Tik Tok and Urban Dictonary don’t define the truth.

And if you like a look: go for it! Who cares what other people think?

Written by Kayla Young

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