Having a good understanding of how the nail is structured will make it easier for you to follow our nail tutorials.
The Free Edge
The end of the nail plate that is shaped during Manicure & Pedicure
The Nail Plate
This is the visible part of the nail that sits on top of the nail bed. It is made by Keratinisation; the transformation of living cells to hard, dead cells, and it consists of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sulfur and nitrogen.
The half moon shaped point where the matrix and nail bed meet.
The overlapping skin surrounding the nail. Its job is to protect the matrix from being invaded by bacteria and physical damage.
The skin covering the matrix and the base of the nail plate.
This skin line where the nail plate separates from the nail bed.
The Nail Grooves
These are the grooves on the skin at the sides of the free edge, and the nail follows them as a guideline when it grows.
The Nail Walls
The skin on both sides of the nail plate.
The Nail Bed
This is the part of the finger underneath the nail plate.
This is where the nail is made. It is the only living part of the nail, and contains nerves and blood vessels so that cell reproduction can occur.