Famously known as the woman with the world’s longest fingernails, Guinness World Records title holder Ayanna Williams (USA) has officially parted with her grand manicure after cutting her nails this past weekend.
Dr. Allison Readinger of Trinity Vista Dermatology in Forth Worth, Texas (USA), used an electric rotary tool to cut the record holder’s lengthy nails after measuring them a final time.
As it turns out, Houston-local Ayanna broke her own record for the longest fingernails on a pair of hands (female) with a new length of 733.55 cm (24 ft 0.7 in), since letting them grow from their initial confirmation in 2017.
This is the first time the record holder has cut her nails since the early 90s, which meant it was an emotional, bitter-sweet goodbye when Ayanna finally had to part with them.
“I’ve been growing my nails for a few decades now. I’m so, so ready for a new life. I’m know I’m going to miss them, but it’s just about that time – it’s time for them to go.”
Ayanna has dedicated over 28 years to growing her nails. In a way, the feature has become a key part of who she is.
Even as a kid, the Texan always loved nails and nail art. She has fond memories of asking her mother to check how long her nails were and if she could paint them certain colors.
Since that early age, Ayanna has certainly made her childhood dreams come true.
Ayanna was first officially recognized for her tremendous talons in 2017 and was one of the record-breaking stars to feature in Guinness World Records 2018.
At that time her nails measured 576.4 cm (18 ft 10.9 in) and she needed over two bottles of nail polish and 20 hours to do her manicure.
More recently, it took about about 3 or 4 bottles of nail polish and Ayanna had to complete the task over a few days.
Ayanna faced day-to-day difficulties with her long nails, and was unable to do some activities like washing the dishes and putting sheets on the bed.
“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.”
But now with her shortened manicure she’ll be able to do a lot more with ease.
Before the final cut, Ayanna said that she received lots of different reactions from others who would see her nails in public, but most were positive and supportive – especially ones from kids.
“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!'”
While this entire journey has certainly been a memorable one for Ayanna, she is looking forward to the future and the legacy that her record will bring for generations to come, especially for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Her delicate fingernails will now be preserved and on display at the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum in Orlando, Florida, something Ayanna is very excited about.
“It’s gonna be awesome. It’s going to be a 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.”
Although Ayanna’s most recent measurement broke her former record, the record for the longest fingernails on a pair of hands ever (female) still stands with Lee Redmond (USA), who started to grow them in 1979 and carefully manicured them to reach a total length of 8.65 m (28 ft 4.5 in).
In the immediate future, Ayanna plans to grow her nails again, but not quite to the length she previously measured at.
However, regardless of her record title, they will always be one of her favorite accessories.
“With or without my nails, I will still be the queen. My nails don’t make me, I make my nails!”