This woman holds the record for longest fingernails in the world

This woman holds the record for longest fingernails in the world

Anyone out there who cares even the slightest bit about their appearance will know how much effort it requires to stay looking good. Aside from the basic showering, hair-washing, and teeth-cleaning routine, you've also got to invest time and money into keeping your skin healthy, spend hours in front of the bathroom mirror preening unsightly hairs from your eyebrows and nose, and - if you're the sort of person who's into makeup - upgrade your natural look with a dash of eyeshadow or a spot of lipstick.

Those of us who fall into the highest tier of self-care might even splash out on the occasional spa treatment, or pay a visit to their local nail technician for a quick manicure or pedicure.

However, for Ayanna Williams - the woman with the longest nails in the world - all these tasks take a lot longer than average. And, as a nail technician herself, she can sometimes spend the best part of her day keeping her talons in check.

Williams, who is from Houston, Texas, has spent most of her adult life growing out her fingernails, with each one measuring just under two feet in length. In total, her nails have a cumulative length of 18 ft 10.9 in (576.4 cm), which is more than triple her height.

The nail technician says she doesn't actually know why she suddenly decided to grow her nails out, but that "one day some guy encouraged me 'cause I had let them grow maybe three inches, and he encouraged me to grow them longer" - and that was enough to start her on her journey.

Despite her unconventional appearance, however, Williams says that her friends and family are used to the way she looks by now. After all, she has been growing them out for 24 years.

But, as you can imagine, living with nearly 19 feet of excess material hanging off your hands isn't always easy.

Speaking about the difficulties of having such long nails, Williams said:

"It just takes me longer to do anything than it would take a normal human being to do because of the length of my nails. Doing household chores - I'm used to it, but a lot of them I don't do. I have [paid staff], so they just tell me, 'move', and they'll do it for me. And that's right up my alley."

And if that sounds like too much of an effort by itself, just wait until you hear about her nail care routine.

"To paint my nails, [it takes] maybe a whole week to do everything that's needed to be done," she said. "And I'm a perfectionist, so yeah, it takes some time."

Williams says that kids are often amazed by her looks; adults, on the other hand, tend to question her choices for growing out her nails. Her own granddaughter is a good example of this difference, as she said that she used to want to grow her own nails to that length, but later realized that it meant putting in so much more effort with basic tasks later on in life.

The previous record holder, Chris "The Dutchess" Walton, lost her title after cutting her 23 ft 11 in nails a few years back, and Williams was more than excited to take over as the reigning queen.

As crazy as it may seem to the rest of us, then, this woman seems to think it's worth the hassle.