“The Dutchess” had world’s longest nails for five years before cutting them

By Sanj Atwal
split image of the Dutchess

From 2011-2016, Christine Walton aka “The Dutchess”, a singer from Las Vegas, USA, had the world’s longest fingernails on a pair of hands (female), measuring a combined length of 731.4 cm (23 ft 11 in).

Aged 45 at the time, Christine claimed the title after former record holder Lee Redmond tragically lost her nails in a car crash.

Interestingly, Christine didn’t intentionally grow her nails to such record-breaking lengths.

She began growing them in the ‘90s, and due to being busy making music and taking care of her young daughters, she never found time to visit the nail salon.

“With all my children and the music commitments I guess it was easier to let the nails grow,” she explained. “Then one day I look down and they're like nine inches long!"

Despite having such long nails, Christine could still perform day-to-day tasks such as cooking, driving, and braiding her daughters’ hair.

However, she admitted to facing challenges when buying clothes and getting dressed: “I’ll see the cutest shirts, and they have skinny little arms and I’m like, ‘How am I gonna fit this through there?’

“I started buying those Roman dresses that just slide up because I didn’t have to have straps or anything.”

Christine’s nails also made it difficult to perform some household chores, such as using a washing machine. “The top washers, where you put the clothes in the top way – if it’s too deep, I just buy tongs, and I just get my tongs and pull the clothes out,” she said.

Christine Walton sitting on sofa

Christine also used “cabinet tongs” to grab cans and other objects from her kitchen cabinets. To open soda cans, she used a butter knife or a coin.

Her long nails occasionally came in handy though, as she could reach into places where people with average-sized nails could not. “I can reach behind a thing and hook it up like a fishing hook,” she said.

Christine revealed that her nail-care routine took up to two days to complete because she would get bored while doing it.

The first step was to apply a thin layer of acrylic on top and underneath each nail. She then poured nail polish into a bowl and used a paintbrush to paint each one. 

“My thing is I only use gold flakes, so it takes a while because you have to put the flakes on top, and then I put a clear coat,” she explained.

Christine Walton holding nails out

When out in public, Christine said she received “really positive” reactions towards her nails and was never made to feel “like a freak”.

“I think I’ve only had one kid who was actually scared,” she recalled. “That’s because his mom threatened to have me babysit him and told him I was a witch.”

As a singer, Christine wrote songs that “teach you about being different”.

“I want my grandkids to see that there are people who are beautiful no matter what,” she said.

“I like to see people who dare to be different, who take their differences and turn it into something positive.”

Christine Walton holding nails up

After holding the record for five years, Christine cut her nails down to a length of around one inch.

In comments posted on Instagram, she wrote that she wanted to "live to the fullest" and be able to "sing and travel without any worries about breaking them”.

The records for the longest fingernails on a pair of hands (female) and longest fingernails on a pair of hands ever (female) now belong to Diana Armstrong (USA), whose nails measure a combined 13.06 m (42 ft 10.4 in).

Melvin Boothe (USA) remains the record holder for the longest fingernails on a pair of hands ever (male).

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