LaRue Drummond, whose longest nails measure 14 inches, demonstrates how she washes the dishes at home in Perth Amboy, New Jersey
A mother-of-four says she has spent an astonishing £10,000 in keeping her 14-inch nails in tip-top shape and has not cut them for over eight years.
Larue Drummond, 54, started growing her nails out at age 13 as a cure for compulsive nail biting.
Now she says her extreme talons are like her babies and she can spend up to 12 hours at a
time getting them pampered.
LaRue has not cut her fingernails for eight years and they cost her more than £10,000 in upkeep
LaRue shells out hundreds having her nails coloured and adorned with rhinestones.
The grandmother-of-eight says she attracts attention wherever she goes from people curious about her extreme nails.
And while her look is shocking to many, LaRue says she wants to grow them even bigger.
She said: 'People stop me wherever I go and want to ask me about me nails and I'm always happy to tap about them.
'I like to look after them and the money I have spent I could have bought a car with - but this is what I want to spend my money on.
LaRue gets her nails decorated with long nail technician Maria Ortiz at Maria's Nails in Newark, New Jersey
'The most frequently asked question is how do I go to the bathroom.
'I tell them, "the same way as you do. If you know of another way, let me know.'"
As a child LaRue used to bite her nails until they bled, but that all changed after a chance encounter.
She explained: 'I was thirteen and in the supermarket with my mum when I saw a woman with 12-inch nails.
'I plucked up the courage to speak to her and she told me if you look after your nails, they will look after you.
Getting her nails shaped and painted each month costs £100 and can last up to 12 hours
'From then on I let me nails grow and became obsessed with pampering them.'
Up until eight years ago LaRue, from New Jersey, USA, kept her nails at a 'sensible' three inches, but then decided to grow them as long as possible.
LaRue, a part-time child-minder, said: 'I'd always wanted really long nails and it felt that the time was right.
The children aren't scared by my nails - they're fascinated. I know their parents because they're all family friends but I'm always extra careful not to scratch them.'
Long nail technician Maria Ortiz poses with some of her clients, including Larue, at her salon
And since reaching 14 inches LaRue has worked out new ways of working with her hands.
She said: 'I just have to learn new ways to do things. For example when I'm using my phone I push the buttons with my knuckles.
'But there is not a lot I can't do myself. My daughters sometimes help me with tying my shoelaces or fastening jewellery.
'There has been the odd breakage over the years, so they're not all the same length, but that gives them more character.
'I named the longest one on my index finger Miss Attitude because she's the only one that twists.
'In the future I would like to get to 21 inches and then see if I can go longer.'
The mum-of-four says her 14-inch talons are like her babies and is happy to spend money on their upkeep
LaRue spends 30 minutes cleaning her nails every day and gets her nails shaped and painted each month, costing £100 for a session, which can last up to 12 hours.
She visits long nail specialist Maria Ortiz who creates colourful and eye-catching designs for women with long nails.
And her children, Terrance, 40, Kahlilah, 34, Tashana, 32, and Venitta, 28, fully support their mother in her unique style.
Venitta said: 'I tried to grow my nails out once but once I realised the time you have to put in I got bored.
LaRue poses with her daughters, Venitta (L) and Khalilah (R) who fully support their mother in her unique style
'I didn't have the patience to sit in the salon for hours. My mum has such dedication.
'Mum definitely has a nail obsession - now her babies are grown, those are her babies.'
But not everyone is as comfortable with LaRue's unique look.
LaRue said: 'I've seen people snigger at my nails.
'Once a woman wouldn't even sit next to me as if I had a disease or something. It really hurt my feelings.
'But it's who I am so I am not ashamed. If I broke a nail that couldn't be fixed I'd feel bereaved. My nails are my babies.'