Men's Grooming

Real Men Who Manicure

Have you ever found yourself sitting out on a warm day thinking, “Hmm, the only thing missing here is a manicure?” Okay, admittedly we haven’t either but for some strange and even admirable reason Ian Somerhalder, star of The Vampire Diaries and Lost, was spotted at a hole-in-the-wall boutique in Santa Monica, CA enjoying a relaxed manicure on the sidewalk. Surprisingly, the cell phone seems to make this sneak-shot incriminating, not the fact he is completely at ease with handing over his talons to someone else’s magic.

Photo credit: KAMINSKI/SplashNews

Photo credit: KAMINSKI/SplashNews

Something tells us this shot wouldn’t be nearly as controversial if he was hiding his modesty under a hat or behind a widespread newspaper. There is something unnerving, and undeniably cool about a guy who can sit in public and get his nails done without caring what other people think.

Should Men Go to Nail Salons?

So what does this mean for us mere mortals? Can we go to salons and be accepted, even seem cool with getting our nails done in public? Unfortunately, the answer is a little less than straightforward. Yes, you should consider manicures for the health benefits. Yes, women will appreciate the cleanliness and the fact you maintain your personal hygiene (even if they can’t tell exactly what it is you are doing), but no, we do not recommend rushing the boutiques in a bid to let the world know what you should be doing behind closed doors.

There is such a thing as privacy. If you have the self-confidence to rock the camando-manciure, then by all means indulge and let everyone know that you are man enough for manicures. If however, you are like the rest of us, taking a more tactful approach is best. No one actually needs to know why you are so well kept, just that you are. Thankfully, we get more access to privacy than most celebs, so why not exercise that right, and consider these top tips to manicuring like a real man.

Putting the “Man” in Manicure

It is time to wake up to the fact that men are getting to grips with manicures. In cities like New York, it is not uncommon to see men making the most of their lunch hour (forget the Wall Street suits, everyday people from chefs to construction workers are lining up around the block). Many places now offer full services for both men and women, and are catering to the fact that nails are nails and require trimming and hedging.

Why manicure?

  • Sex Appeal: Think of how and where you want to use your hands, and imagine if the tables were reversed; keep them trim and let them speak for themselves.
  • Stress Release: There’s a reason why women schedule weekly appointments, having someone fuss over you for 30 minutes is a great way to relieve stress and feels great.
  • The Results: You might be surprised, but one of the top complaints from men is that they want softer hands. Work, age, genetics, it can all take its toll and manicures help restore hands to healthy.

So how can you go about getting cleaner, neater hands and feet without the fuss?

Here are our three top pro tips to avoiding embarrassing situations:

Diagnose Any Medical Existing Conditions Before Booking an Appointment:

You might think that going to a doctor, or speaking to someone in the prescription aisle of a local drug store embarrassing, but it will be one hundred times easier than listening to a nail technician explain that you have a fungal infection and need to rebook (and possibly return to the same location). Who wants to be known as “that guy,” when you’ve gone to the efforts of making a better impression? Make sure that your hands and feet are hygienic, medically sound and leave the rest of your worries at the door.

Arrive With Clean But Unfettered Hands And Feet:

Avoid covering up any embarrassing and non-medical symptoms before going to your appointment if you want smooth sailing. If you have longer nails, these will be much easier for your nail technician to work with than trying to rescue stumps that have been whittled away to the bone. If you are worried about dry skin, they will be able to get a better idea of the problem and advise you how to correct this if they can see if for themselves (and remember, they see this all day long). A quick shower, clean socks and a wash of the hands should be more than enough to prepare them for the task ahead.

Always Tip for Services Rendered (Not Service Expectations):

Typically, you will be expected to tip between $1-2 per person who assists, or between $3-15 for a full service Mani-Pedi (hands and feet). While this depends on the location and total cost of the service, do you and your nail technician a favor by adding a little extra (or pledging the full amount) in cases where you have let things go awry or during first time visits. It covers “the commitment” they make to your satisfaction. Next time you arrive, you’ll receive the star treatment!

Whatever your plans for this weekend are, we do not expect you to go running out to your nearest local boutique and request the Somerhalder-Manicure. While Ian seems to have swung the tables in his favor this time, you will probably want to keep things under wraps with some DIY at home treatments, or make use of a more private in-house location (especially where feet are concerned). Many nail bars and salons offer a degree of privacy and are there to help you feel at ease.

If in doubt, call in advance, ask if you have any questions about manicures for men, and always make sure the staff is qualified to assist before handing over your hard-earned cash!