Diana Armstrong has broken the record for longest fingernails on a woman in the world. Armstrong’s nails add up to a whopping 13 meters in length. Painted and filed, her nails were verified by Guinness World Records.

    Armstrong didn’t cut her nails for 25 years to reach the record. Guinness World Records has measured her nails to a total length of 1306.58 centimeters, or just over 13 meters. Her right thumbnail is the longest, measuring 1.38 meters in length.

    Mike Marcotte of Guinness World Records confirmed the record in Minneapolis, where 63-year-old Armstrong lives. “Diana was fantastic to work with,” said Marcotte. “She was extremely patient when I measured her nails along with health experts. That took quite a while.”

    From an early age

    Armstrong has had a fascination with nails all her life, she shares with Guinness World Records. “I’ve always had long nails, but not that long. Even when I was little I had longer fingernails because my mother always grew her nails.”

    Armstrong refused to cut her nails because of her daughter’s death. © Kevin Scott Ramos/Guinness World Records

    Armstrong had a similar experience with her own daughter, Latisha. Every weekend Latisha gave her mother a manicure. When her daughter died of an asthma attack at the age of 16 in 1997, Armstrong was unable to get herself to trim her nails. A day before her daughter’s death, her nails had been painted by Latisha.

    “My kids never knew why I grew my nails,” Armstrong shares. “I kept it to myself until they were older.” Her children were surprised at the sad reason, according to the brand new record holder. “They were ashamed of what people said about me. It also made me feel bad, so I told them, ‘You can tell me to cut my nails, but I simply can’t’.”

    Four days in the nail salon

    Armstrong tells Guinness World Records that her life has changed dramatically since she decided to grow her fingernails. For example, she can no longer open zippers, so that she can no longer wear certain clothes. She also no longer drives a car because her hands no longer fit in the car and she has to use disabled toilets because her nails do not fit in normal toilet cubicles. For many daily activities she needs the help of her family.

    Because of her long nails, Diana Armstrong can no longer perform many daily tasks.

    Because of her long nails, Diana Armstrong can no longer perform many daily tasks. © Kevin Scott Ramos/Guinness World Records

    The whole family is called in to take care of Armstrong’s nails. Manicurists don’t have the time to treat such long nails every time – it takes about five hours to file and paint the nails – so her grandchildren have taken on that task.

    Once every five years Armstrong does go to a nail salon for a major overhaul. Here they give the nails an extensive treatment, for which they use, among other things, a file that is also used for woodworking. About four days and 15 to 20 nail polish jars later, she can go on for a while.

    With her long nails, Armstrong holds the records for longest nails on a woman and longest nails ever on a woman. With this she knocks Ayanna Williams off the throne with a difference of 5 meters and 73 centimeters. Williams cut her nails the day her nails were measured. They are on display in the Ripley’s believe it or not! Orlando odditorium in Orlando, Florida.

    Diana Armstrong

    Diana Armstrong © Kevin Scott Ramos/Guinness World Records