Introducing The Woman From Texas Who Had The Longest Fingernails On Record

Jun 09, 2021 by apost team

There are countless reasons why someone might get inducted into the “Guinness Book of World Records.” Some people can list the most digits of pi or have even baked the largest pie! However, a Houston, Texas woman was included in the book for an unexpected — if not unusual — reason. Ayanna Williams is the 2018 world record holder for having the longest fingernails of any woman. How long were these overgrown backscratchers? Combined, her nails totaled an incredible 18 feet and 9 inches long. That's a Lincoln Town Car worth of fingernails.

Looking at photos of Williams’ nails is a little disorienting at first. During a 2017 interview, her nails had been painted a shade of coral pink, and truthfully, you would have been forgiven for thinking she was holding a bundle of crab legs. It's a unique look for sure.

Williams could not get enough of them. In that 2017 interview, Williams quipped, "They're just an extension of me. Some people act grossed out by them, but I don't care. I think they're incredibly beautiful and special."

Williams admitted that certain aspects of her life are made somewhat more challenging due to her nails. Certain chores around the house posed a unique danger to her nails, so she avoided them outright.

But in April 2021, Williams finally parted with her record-breaking nails, having them cut at a dermatology office in Fort Worth, Texas. The dermatologist, Dr. Allison Readinger, had to use a handheld rotary saw to remove each of the massive fingernails, ending Williams’ decades-long journey of having the most eye-catching nails on the block.

Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video :-) 

Williams started growing her nails over 28 years ago, and she admitted that she doesn't exactly remember why she started growing them. "I was dating a guy at the time", she says in a 2017 video, "and I had let them grow a little long — maybe 3 inches. He seemed to like it and encouraged me to keep going. Next thing I knew I had these."

What did someone with the world's longest nails do for work? Well, unsurprisingly, her career focuses on fingernails, too. As a nail technician, Williams spends her working days attending to the needs of other fingers, including painting, trimming and managing cuticles. Even at work, she had to be careful to avoid breaking her own nails, however. Her entire life often seemed to revolve around her precious record holders.

She rarely attended to her own nails at work, however, preferring to take her time in the comfort of her own home. With so much real estate, she used her nails as a palette for experimentation. Typically, a new paint job would take her around a week to complete and used up over two bottles of polish. Because of the tedious nature of the task, the process is essentially never-ending. Just like the Brooklyn Bridge, by the time you get to one end, you need to paint the other.

When Williams got into the record books, she told reporters in 2017 that she had no immediate plans to back down and wondered out loud if there would ever be a point where she would cut them.

She discussed this in a 2017 interview with HoustoniaMag, saying, "If I can’t make a decent living like I would like to, I might have to cut them. That and my health would be the only reasons."

In a more recent April 2021 video from Guinness World Records, Williams explains that she’s “just about tired of (her nails)” and that “it is time for them to go.”

Before having them cut, Williams wasn’t able to perform everyday tasks like washing dishes, and adding nail polish to her nails would take up to three days. With that said, Williams took time in her most recent interview to tell viewers not to worry about what other people think and to grow their nails if they want to, emphasizing that she doesn’t regret her experience. That’s why it’s also no wonder that her appointment with Dr. Readinger was an emotional and bittersweet one. On the one hand, Williams said that the pain in her thumb, which was caused by having such long nails, had subsided and that it felt good not to have such a burden. On the other hand, however, she had to literally part ways with a piece of herself. In the end, Williams kept a positive attitude.

“I’m gonna always be the queen that I am with or without my nails, because my nails don’t make me, I make my nails,” Williams said.

According to USA Today, Williams’ record-breaking nails will be on display at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum in Orlando, Florida. And as for Williams’ future plans, she says that while she plans to grow her nails out, she doesn’t anticipate ever reaching her previous length.

Whether it is Williams' extremely long nails or any other record attempt, what is your favorite example of someone taking their body to the extremes? Let us know, and pass this unusual (and fascinating) story on to friends and family members!

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