Hey, men: I’m looking at you and your hands. If you think manicures and pedicures are just for women, well—think again.
Going one step further, if you’re a professional—in any job from a bartender to a financial planner—your hands are front and center in your work and with your clients. Clean, manicured hands are a detail that doesn’t go unnoticed.
So, look down at your hands right this moment. If you find yourself pulling at hangnails, your nails are misshapen and your cuticles are cracking, read on. I caught up with Melissa DeLuca Rivera, co-owner of Mel’s Old City Barbershop in Gulf Gate, where the shop's motto is "hot shaves and fresh fades" and men’s manicures and pedicures are a popular service. Here are her tips for keeping hands at their best.
Why is men’s nail care important?
"It’s important for both men and women, but I believe it’s equally important for men to take care of their nails because many men are rougher with their hands, which can result in dry hands and calluses," DeLuca Rivera explains. "Plus, don't overlook that your partner will appreciate the upkeep."
What's involved in a man's manicure?
A basic manicure includes soaking the hands, scrubbing the nails with a brush, cleaning under the nails, clipping the nails, pushing back the cuticles, buffing the nails and, finally, massaging the hands with a hydrating hand cream to moisturize and to boost circulation.
How about a pedicure?
"First, we soak your feet, remove the dead and unsightly skin on your heels, then clip and file toenails," DeLuca Rivera says. That's followed by a foot massage and moisturizer. For extra-pampering, add on a hot stone service.
What are some misconceptions about men’s manicures/pedicures?
"Men get manicures and pedicures, but in my opinion, not enough of them do because they feel it's more for women," DeLuca Rivera says. "Maybe they aren’t comfortable in that environment. That's why we created men’s manicures and pedicures at our barber shop."
How about best practices for keeping your nails healthy at home?
"When you get a professional manicure/pedicure, it’s not just about clipping nails, it’s about the experience and treating yourself to self-care service that every man deserves," DeLuca Rivera says. That said, there are tips for keeping your hands looking great in between appointments.
Clip your nails with a dedicated nail clipper (not scissors!) and file with an emery boaard
Push back your cuticles using a cuticle pusher or an orange stick. Be gentle!
Use cuticle oil to moisturize your cuticles and keep hangnails at bay—a little goes a long way.
Use a scrub to remove dead skin. Follow up with a moisturizer to keep hands soft.