Ayanna Williams of Houston, Texans, broke the Guinness World Record for the world’s longest nails in 2017. At that point, her nails measured almost 19 feet long. To get a manicure, she needed 20 hours and over two entire bottles of polish. However, after years of growing and maintaining her cuticles, she finally cut them. Her final measurement was 24 feet and 0.7 inches. Her final manicure took place over several days and required almost four bottles of nail polish.
World’s Longest Nails Are Finally Cut
So she went to a dermatology office in Fort Worth, Texas. Regular nail clippers couldn’t make a dent. She needed an electric rotary tool operated by Dr. Allison Readinger of Trinity Vista Dermatology. This was the first time Williams cut her nails since the ‘90s. Initially, she had planned to grow her nails only six inches, but now her cut nails will go on display at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum in Orlando, Florida. 
As expected, Williams’ vine-like nails prevented her from some basic activities many people don’t think about. These included washing dishes and putting sheets on a mattress. But, she managed to cook and drive without too much difficulty. However, after she got her dramatic and emotional nail cut, she said that her knuckles “felt like they loosened up”.
“With my movements, I have to be very, very careful. So usually in my mind, I’m already preparing for the next step that I have to do to make sure that I don’t hurt myself with my nails — or break them. I’m excited about cutting my nails because I’m looking forward to new beginnings.“
Of course, the most common question for Williams is: “How does she wipe after using the washroom?” She maintains a wise response. “Since everyone wants to know how I wipe my bottom, put your money where your mouth is, and don’t say I am nasty when I show you.” 
“It’s Time For Them To Go”
“With or without my nails, I will still be the queen,” Williams said, according to Guinness. “My nails don’t make me, I make my nails!”
She had grown her nails for about 28–29 years and enjoyed the extensive nail art that came with it. Her inspiration to grow her nails began when she asked her mother if her nails were long. They were about two inches long at that point. “And that’s where it all began!” she said.
“I’ve been growing my nails for a few decades now. I’m so, so ready for a new life. I know I’m going to miss them, but it’s just about that time — it’s time for them to go.”
Instead, she is taking up the mantle to cheer on the next person eager to beat her record for the world’s longest nails. “Do what you want to do! Let everyone be themselves,” Williams said. “If you want to grow your nails long, do it!” 
Williams mentions the different reactions she would get from people seeing her on the street. Most were positive interactions, but kids’ responses usually took the cake.
“I have this thing that I do with children when they come up to me and they say ‘are those your nails?!’ and I say ‘yeah’ and then I ask and I say ‘How old are you?’ and they say ‘I’m ten or I’m seven,’ and I say ‘Guess how old my nails are? They’re like 28 – 29 years! They’re older than you!'”
Guinness World Records for Longest Nails
For now, the trophy for the longest nails ever on a female’s hands goes to Lee Redmond. She began growing them in 1979, and they grew to 28 feet. However, an unfortunate car accident caused her to lose them. Melvin Boothe has the record for the longest nails in the world on male hands. They measured at 32 feet and 3.8 inches in 2009. Unfortunately, Boothe passed away that December.
Williams is also excited about her nails taking a spot in Ripley’s Odditorium. “It’s gonna be awesome. It’s going to be like a wax of myself even though it’s just my nails. I can’t wait to see that, for real. I’m going to be grinning from ear to ear. Just really think about it, it’s amazing,” Williams said. 
Her record for the world’s longest nails leaves a unique and noteworthy legacy for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
- “Woman with the world’s longest nails cuts them after nearly 30 years.” CNN. Rachel Trent. April 8, 2021
- “Texas woman cuts off her 24-foot nails after breaking Guinness World Record.” USA Today. Asha C. Gilbert. April 8, 2021
- “After growing more than 24 feet of fingernails, Houston woman cuts them off.” ABC 11. April 11, 2021
- “Woman with world’s longest nails has them cut after almost 30 years.” Guinness World Record. Kristen Stephenson. April 7, 2021