Heading to the local spa is as open, accessible, and welcoming as it has ever been. No longer is a spa day just for the opposite sex more men are heading to a place where they can be pampered well beyond a shave and a haircut. Recently men have accounted for half of the spa visitors (even more according to some estimates) with manicures for men being some of the most sought-after treatments.
What Is a Manicure?
In short, a manicure involves treating fingernails with cutting and shaping all aspects of the nail, cutting or pushing back the cuticle of the fingernail and then revitalizing it for better overall nail and hand health. A pedicure takes the same approach for feet with additional attention paid to rough heels and calluses.
“As men, we often overlook taking care of our body parts, particularly the hands and feet. Yet when it comes down to hard-working, they arguably put in the most effort every day,” says PROSE founder and CEO Dave Crisalli. ”Overworking these body parts without regular care can create exhaustion, dryness, scaling, ingrown nails and other health problems. Regular care can help with healthy nails and less ingrowns, smooth skin, better smelling feet and increased circulation, among other benefits.”
How Much Is a Manicure?
Manicure and pedicure pricing varies based on if the locale is either a standard salon, barbershop (many are adding the service) or a full-scale spa. Expect to pay between $20-$50 for each service.
Think about it. You use your hands and feet in just about every activity, every day, so maintenance is absolutely crucial to keep both sets in looking fine and working well.
Better Your Handshake
Eye contact and a firm grip aren’t the only things that make your handshake distinguishable these days. If your mitts feel like sandpaper or your nail beds are dry and cracked, expect the first meeting with your Bumble date or potential boss to be a short one.
“Think about how many hands you shake in a day,” says celebrity manicurist and essie Global Lead Educator Rita Remark. “Now, think about it from the other person’s perspective: Can they feel calluses? Are your nails sharp or dirty?” The clean look a manicure provides can elicit more positive responses from loved ones, co-workers and strangers.
Manicures for Your Health
“Men don’t have a clear vision of why taking care of their feet is a healthy way for living,” says Lolita Paschal, general manager of Hammer & Nails’ Portland, OR location and a 29-year veteran of the nail business.
For starters, manicures and pedicures can be a great way to relax muscles and reduce stress levels when life gets too intense. Beauty and skincare expert Alana Mitchell believes they are therapeutic and ideal for “me” time. “Besides promoting a sense of being pampered, they give you an opportunity to sit back, relax and think about nothing.”
Other research from the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine suggests that massaging body parts such as your hands and feet have “psychological benefits, such as reduction in levels of depression and anxiety,” as reported by Arthritis.org.
Preventing Ingrown Nails
Sometimes, your feet can offer bigger warning signs about your health than you might realize. According to the Mayo Clinic, an untreated ingrown nail can lead to a serious bone infection, which could require surgery, depending on its severity.
Mitchell shares that nail technicians can bring attention to such issues such as bunions, ingrown toenails and corns — all issues that can otherwise easily go unnoticed — so that clients can receive proper medical treatment.
How to Choose a Nail Salon
Now that we’ve outlined a few reasons why manicures and pedicures are so beneficial, the next step is to choose the right one.
“The first thing I notice in a salon is cleanliness and what it smells like,” Crisalli says. “A great salon will have a healthy smell and will be impeccably clean.”
“You want a safe, secure place where you can be yourself,” Paschal adds. She says that you should look for someone that knows what they’re looking at and can offer recommendations and education for care between visits. “It’s kind of like having a doctor — someone who can tell you what to and what not to do.”
Maintaining Soft Skin Between Visits
If you’re familiar with the manicure and pedicure process, then you know lotions and exfoliating scrubs are fairly standard. Mitchell states that moisturizing is vital for maintaining skin texture: “Moisturized feet and hands are less likely to blister, crack, peel or develop hangnails.”Exfoliating is just as important for smoothing skin, since it removes dead cells which helps keep rough spots such as heels and nail beds soft.
Much of this can — and should — also be applied between visits. A daily moisturizer can do wonders and for more rough areas such as heels, a nourishing cream applied at night should do the trick.
How to Give Yourself a Manicure
Achieving healthy hands and feet at home isn’t that difficult either, should you desire easing into the manicure game.
Start by soaking your hands in warm water. Following a hot shower is a great time to tackle trouble areas such as fingers and toes since all that water has helped soften your skin a lot. While soft, use the nail pushing tool in your manicure kit to push the cuticle back into a nice, even, rounded shape.
Next, trim both your fingernails and your toenails to the rough shape and length you want, without going too short. File the nail to perfect the shape — rounded for your fingers and square for your toes (to help avoid ingrowns). Finish off with a moisturizer and you’re good to go.