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Why Does it Not Hurt When We Cut Our Nails or Hair?

Last updated date: 01st Mar 2024
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Why Do We Not Feel Pain When We Cut Hair and Nails?

The human body is made of different types of tissues. These tissues form organs and organs form an organ system. All these systems work together to constitute a human body. Two of the important body parts are nails and hair. These are made of special tissues. We don’t feel anything when we cut our nails and hair. Let us find out the reason behind it.

What are Nails?

Nails are the plate-like hard structures present on the fingers and toes of a human body. The nails remain attached to the surface of fingers and toes and go deep inside the groove under the skin at their bases.

Nails grow with time and provide strength to our fingers and toes. They provide protection to the sensitive tips of the toes and fingers. When we use our fingers to hold or pick something, nails provide strength and protection from injuries. Similarly, when we stand, run, or walk, the nails in the toes provide support and protection and help us to balance.

Nails in our Fingers

Nails in Our Fingers

What is Hair?

Hair is a strand or filament made of keratin, a strong and tough protein. Hair protects our head from heat and keeps the brain cool during the daytime. It also protects the skull from injuries by acting as a cushion.

Hair grows with time from its base. There is a bulb-like structure forming a hair follicle. It helps in anchoring the hair strand with our scalp. There is hair in other parts of the human body. Body hair helps us to insulate and preserve body heat.

A Girl Brushing her Hair

A Girl Brushing Her Hair

Why Don't We Feel Pain when We Cut Our Hair and Nails?

The process by which nails and hair grow is called keratinisation. Both these tissues are made of keratin, a strong protein. Hair grows from its follicle. Similarly, a nail grows from its base present deep down in the groove in a finger or a toe.

The cells formed at the base of nails and hair are dead. They do not have life and are not connected to any nerve ending in our skin. This is why we don’t feel pain when we cut our hair and nails.

When hair is pulled, the follicles break from the base causing pain as they are connected to nerve endings. Similarly, when a nail is pulled, we feel pain but not when it is cut. This is why when we cut hair and nails, we don’t feel a thing!

Tips for Parents

Explaining the lifelessness of hair and nails can be a difficult thing if you don’t use pictures and examples. Live examples can work too. Cutting hair and nails and explaining scientific facts will help kids understand easily. They will also realise why cuts and bruises hurt but cutting nails and hair don’t.

FAQs on Why Does it Not Hurt When We Cut Our Nails or Hair?

1. Do fingernails have nerves?

Fingers and toenails don’t have nerves in them. They don’t even have blood vessels. They are made of dead cells filled with keratin. This is why we don’t feel pain or bleed when we cut our hair and nails.

2. What happens if we cut our fingertips?

Fingertips are sensitive as they have nerves. When we cut our fingertips by accident, we feel pain. Fingertips also bleed when cut deep.

3. Do we sense anything with our nails and hair?

We don’t sense anything through our nails and hair as they are not connected to our nervous system.