Why Do People Grow Out Their Pinky Nail? [Question Answered]

why do people grow out their pinky nail
Source: 8asians.com

Seeing people with long pinky fingernails can be a little odd. But hey, there’s a reason for everything. And we should definitely get to know that. 

So, why do people grow out their pinky nail?

For starters, it can be a personal choice. Some people keep their little fingernails long to snort cocaine. Yup, for drug purposes. Next, this long fingernail is used to open envelopes and mix paint too. Lastly, if these aren’t the case, the fingernail can be an indication of cultural significance.

Now, there’s more to add-

We’ve provided some more reasons and information regarding the issue. Which will surely understand why people grow their pinky nails. 

Therefore, please do keep an eye on our piece!

What is a Long Pinky Nail?

long nails
Source: flickr.com

A long pinky nail basically means leaving that nail longer than the other nails. And mostly, the small fingernail has to go past the knuckle of your ring finger. 

This way it’ll be considered long. Otherwise, it doesn’t draw much attention. And it might not be useful as well. Yes, a long pinky nail used to do lots of things. Some of them are pretty common. And some are quite odd and rare.

What Are the Functional Uses of a Long Pinky Nail?

People can keep their pinky nail long for different reasons. The reasons obviously vary from person to person. Therefore, instead of judging someone with a long pinky nail, it’s better to find their reasons out.

Now, as you’re here, you obviously couldn’t ask the person yourself. But fear not! We’ve discussed some possible reasons to help you out-

To Scoop up and Snort Cocaine without Any Trouble

snort cocaine
Source: quora.com

The first reason can be related to taking drugs. Yup, some men or even women grow out their pinky nail for this. 

They use the nail to scoop up powder cocaine and snort it afterward. Why? 

Well, because the longer pinky nail can act as a line. And powder cocaine is mostly divided into lines for snorting. 

Thus, with the long little fingernail, the whole process gets easier. Because the person doesn’t have to divide the cocaine into separate lines. He/she can just scoop up the coke from the bag and snort it.

So, if you thought that seeing people with one long pinky nail is cool, you’re wrong. Because using cocaine is harmful to one’s mental and physical health. Hence, it’s definitely not cool.

Moreover, oftentimes men are seen with long pinky nails. Therefore, this may be the answer to your question-

What does a long pinky nail on a man mean? 

To Mix Paint in a Cheap and Easy Way

Now, if you think the person doesn’t do drugs, he/she might be a painter. Sounds weird, we know. But this is actually a valid factor.

Because even Picasso kept his pinky nail long to mix paint. 

So yes, there are painters that have long pinky nails. They use it for mixing two or more paints. Yup, we know there are paintbrushes. But hey people have their own methods!

Plus, some might not have enough brushes with them. Or they might think grabbing the specific brush can waste their time. Hence, using that long little fingernail is more effective. 

To Open Envelopes Easily and Properly

Another reason for the nail can be for opening envelopes. Mostly, elderly people keep their little fingernail long for this purpose.

But you can see younger people do the same too. This way, one doesn’t have to rip the envelope or cut it open. They can just slide in their pinky nail and open the envelope.

Quite resourceful, isn’t it?

Scratching Body Parts with Ease

Now, people sometimes use their long fingernails to scratch one or two body parts. But scratching with all fingernails at once can cause one or two to break. 

That’s why some people only keep the pinky long for this. And use it for scratching their body. Why? 

Well, the pinky nail is much narrower and sharper. Plus some say this nail is quite stronger too. So, this is why people in their mid-40s, 50s, or 60, grow out the nail to help with the itching problem. 

To Clean Ear When Needed

Yup, the long pinky nail is used for cleaning ears as well. Because as we’ve mentioned, the nail is narrower than the other fingernails.

Therefore, it can fit into a person’s ear without any problem. And it’s easier to clean your ears with this finger than the other ones. 

This is quite gross and we definitely don’t recommend it. Moreover, this can also cause damage to your ears. 

So, for you, we’ve got some other tools for cleaning your ears. These will surely help you remove earwax-

earwax md

Earwax MD, Ear Wax Removal Kit and Ear Cleaning Tool

clinere ear cleaners

Clinere® Ear Cleaners

So, grab these and clean your ears in a safe and hygienic way. 

Picking One’s Nose

Another reason why people keep their pinky nail long is to pick their nose. Believe it or not, some people have a habit of picking their nose with their fingers. 

In most cases, people keep the little fingernail long to pick boogers. Just like cleaning your ear and scratching your body, this is unhygienic too. And we definitely don’t suggest doing it.

To Open a Cigarette Packet without Ripping It

You might see people who smoke have a long pinky nail. Well, they actually use it for a cause. 

And that’s- opening the package of the cigarettes. Yup, instead of ripping the packet, they simply use the long and sharp fingernail to open it. 

Also, if you didn’t know-

Turkish men mostly use the nail to open their cigarette packet or wrapper. 

To Play Instruments with Strings

Now, some often say that they grow pinky fingernail long for playing guitar. Well, it might sound odd to you.  Because most people use a pick or their index finger and thumb to play guitar. 

But it actually kind of makes sense. 

Because the pinky nail is pointy and sharp like a guitar pick. So yeah some can prefer that nail to the others when playing guitar. 

To Plant Seeds in the Garden

Long pinky nails can be quite useful while gardening too. You don’t believe us? 

Well, some people keep their pinky fingernail an inch long to use it when gardening. They say it’s easier to plant seeds this way. They can just stick their pinky into the soil to create pockets to plant the seeds. 

See? Quite useful!

Other Purposes

Now, there’s a possibility that none of the above-mentioned factors are behind a person’s long pinky nail. Because people are different. Therefore, their purposes are too. 

Some might keep them because they think it’s cool and unique. Then some might grow two or three fingernails along with the pinky nail. Why? 

Well, it’s their own personal choice! 

Lastly, people grow out their pinky nails to showcase different cultural significance. 

What is the Cultural Significance of Long Pinky Nail?

cultural significance of long pinky nail
   Source: quora.com

So, you know that cultural significance is one of the reasons behind the long pinky nail. Well, we suggest you get a bit more knowledge on this. 

Because the long pink nail holds different significance in different cultures. That’s we’ve provided the meaning of the long little fingernail in several cultures-


Cultural Significance

Vietnamese Long Pinky Nail

The long nail means the person is rich and intelligent. Also, some say it helps them to eat pho.

Indian Long Pinky Nail

The long pinky nail means they’re involved in the academic/administration field instead of manual labor. 

Chinese Long Pinky Nail

Sign of wealth, intelligence, and prosperity. Also means that the person doesn’t do any manual labor. Furthermore, if the nail goes past the last knuckle of the ring finger, it can bring the person extraordinary luck.

Thai Long Pinky Nail

Aid to prosperity. The fingernail indicates they’ll be able to save lots of money. It can also mean they don’t work in the fields.

Jamaican Long Pinky Nail

An indication that luck favors the person. Also, a statement of wealth.

So, these were some of the examples. And as you can see-

Almost every one of the cultures indicates a similar meaning for the long pinky nail. But even if the long pinky nail has a meaning. Is it okay to grow out your pinky nail?

Should I Grow Out My Pinky Fingernail? 

Now, you know why people grow out their pinky nails. You might relate to some of the reasons and think about growing your own pinky nail. 

Well, it’s totally up to you what you want to do. But there are few reasons why it’s better not to grow your little fingernail. 

Firstly, keeping long nails, in general, can be quite unhygienic. Only if you don’t take care of them properly. Therefore, people often prefer short nails over long nails

Then if you’re into sports,  it’s best to keep your pinky nail short along with other ones. Because having long nails when you’re playing sports is quite dangerous. For example, they can break and cause bleeding. 

After that, people assume bad things about a person with a long pinky nail. For example, they might think you’re into drugs and involved with a gang. So yeah that can definitely get you in trouble if you are innocent. 

Next, you can face problems while designing your nails too. For example, if your pinky nail is longer than your other nails-

You’ll go through difficulties when curing gel polish

Lastly, the long pinky fingernail is dangerous for you and the people around you. How? 

Well, long nails in general are pretty sharp. Thus, you can hurt yourself and other people with it. Furthermore, it’s more dangerous if you’re around kids and babies. 

However, as we’ve mentioned it’s totally up to you! Because it’s your fingernail! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why do guys grow their pinky nail long?

Well, long pinky nails are quite visible among men. It can be because they’re addicted to drugs and use the nail to snort cocaine. Or they might be showing their cultural significance. Some men keep their pinky nail long for playing guitar and gardening. While some use it to clean their ear and pick their nose.

Is long pinky fingernail related to drugs?

Yes, sometimes people grow out their pinky nails for snorting coke. Therefore, this fingernail is also known as coke nail. Mostly, people involved in gang and pimp culture have this type of nail. So, some people call the long pinky nail pimp nail too.

What does a long pinky nail mean?

Well, first of all, it can be related to a person’s culture. Because in some cultures, having a long pinky fingernail means the person is wealthy and lucky. And isn’t involved in manual labor. But if that’s not it, the common reasons we’ve mentioned can be behind the long nail.

Take Away

Now, it’s time to wrap up. Because we’ve provided everything we knew about why do people grow out their pinky nail. 

So, were you able to determine what’s the reason in your case? 

Well, if you have, share your answer with us! Lastly, have a nice day ahead!!

Katharyn Riedel

Leave a Comment