Can the cuticle cover the whole nail?
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The cuticle, as it is shed by the eponychium, sticks to the nail plate and grows along with it. In theory, it could cover the whole nail plate. However, in reality, a lot of it is lost in daily life. Rubbed off just by using your hands and fingers; softened when hand washing, bathing, showering.
But, what is important to remember when preparing the nail plate during any service, is to check the whole nail plate during your cuticle removal process. The cuticle feels different from the nail plate and it can be felt and gently removed once it is softened. It is possible for some to have grown further than you think and it is essential for this to be removed. Any left on the nail plate will prevent adhesion of any coating, even nail polish.