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The men’s pedicure trend: Why all men should indulge in a mani/pedi

Manicures for men are on the rise, and here's why you should schedule one now

Man getting a manicure
Maybe you got your significant other a gift card for a birthday, the holidays, or Valentine’s Day. It’s an easy way to make a woman happy. The idea of getting 45 minutes or more to herself to have someone else soak, massage, and polish her fingernails and toenails as she tunes out the rest of the world is pure bliss. The result — her nails are perfectly trimmed and shaped, and her toes are flip-flop ready — even if it’s not hot outside.

Who said women are the only ones who can enjoy that luxury, though? We could get into a long-winded rant about society and gender stereotypes, but for now, let’s get something straight: Women aren’t the only ones who can enjoy and benefit from a good manicure and pedicure.

Do men’s pedicures differ from women’s ones? Nope. There’s no difference in how the procedures are performed for men or women. Ditto for men’s manicures. It’s all the same, and it’s all blissful. Here’s what to know about manicures for men.

A man getting a manicure
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Benefits of pedicures and manicures for men

There’s not much hard data showing more men with pedicures walking around. However, salon owners have anecdotally seen an uptick in pedicures and manicures for men. One even started a “Menicure Monday” campaign to move the needle on manicures for men.

Can you blame men for being interested? Men who indulge in pedicures and manicures enjoy numerous benefits, including:

A more groomed and polished look

Your trusty nail clippers are fine, but they cannot compete with a manicurist or nail technician who has been trained to get everything just right. Imagine this: smooth, perfectly shaped nails that are all the same length without a rough edge in sight. It’s a subtle change, but one that will leave you looking and feeling more polished in the office, on a job interview, and during your next date night.

Healthier nails, hands, and feet

A regular manicure with standard polish (or no polish, your choice) and a pedicure can help keep your nails healthy and strong. Clipping can help prevent pesky ingrown nails or hangnails, and the moisturizing and exfoliating included helps hydrate your skin and get rid of dead skin cells, leaving you with smoother, brighter hands and feet. The tech also often massages your hands and feet, thus improving blood circulation. Men with pedicures often enjoy callus removal, making walking and standing easier for more extended periods.

Pedicures and manicures for men are self-care

Self-care has been at the forefront of conversations since the pandemic turned everything upside down. Even with life more normal now, taking time to care for yourself is important. Soaking your feet, getting your hands massaged, and just having some downtime for yourself while someone else pampers you is the definition of self-care.

A long shot of a salon
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What to expect from a manicure and pedicure

New to the whole mani/pedi experience? As we said, there’s not really a difference between men’s manicures and pedicures and those for women. Here’s what to expect and how to enhance your experience.

Feet first

Typically, you’ll get your feet done first. The person doing your nails runs a warm footbath. You’ll sit in a chair — sometimes it’s a massage chair — and soak for a bit. After that, they’ll likely use a stone to remove calluses, clip and file your nails, and add any desired polish. Pedicures cost about $36.

Next are the hands

Your tech will ask you how you want your nails shaped and how long you want to keep them. Remember to ask about your choices, which are typically “square,” “rounded,” or “square with rounded edges.” However, other, more adventurous options include “lipstick” and “stiletto.” (Some salons may charge you extra for those options.)

The tech clips and cuts your nails and then soaks your hands. They then moisturize and massage your hands and forearms. If you’re not getting polish, you’ll pay, and that may be it for you. If you’re getting polish (usually a clear coat), the tech will apply it after the massage. (They take the money before this step so you won’t chip your polish while digging through your wallet post-manicure).

If the polish isn’t gel, it’ll need to dry for about 15 to 20 minutes. Leave a tip (20% or more for good service), and you’re on your way. Expect to pay about $23 for a manicure.

What can I add to a manicure and pedicure?

Up the ante on your pampering session with add-ons like:

  • Pumice stone. Pumice stones help smooth your feet and remove calluses.
  • Longer massages. Some salons let you tack on a longer foot massage or even a short back massage for an extra fee.
  • Scrubs/masks. Nope, they’re not just for faces. Some foot scrubs and masks have exfoliators and ingredients like vitamin C that can leave your feet feeling extra smooth.

Three manicure and pedicure categories

In addition to getting a la carte add-ons to your manicure or pedicure service, you can also choose from a variety of different types of services. Most nail salons have three types of mani/pedi services that fall under these three categories — although they vary by salon.

Basic: This option, also called the “express” option, is ideal for men who are short on time and just want the basic trim and cleanup. It’s usually a 30-minute service or less.

Spa: This is a level-up service that includes all the basic clean-up work, plus some upgrades like callus removal, salt scrubs, or a longer massage.

Deluxe: These manicures and pedicures for men are the top-shelf services. You’ll get everything included in a spa service plus more luxurious selections, such as moisturizing masques, hot towels, hot stones, or paraffin treatments.

All you have to do is decide how much time you have and how much you want to relax.

Manicures and pedicures are no longer a “woman’s thing” and never should have been in the first place. Grooming pros and nail technicians say they’re seeing an increase in men getting nail care services. Good manicures and pedicures can leave nails looking stronger and healthier while providing much-needed self-care.

No matter what your gender, you can get your nails polished — with or without color. It’s up to you. The point is to relax and enjoy the experience. Turn your phone off. Bring a book to lose yourself in during your personal pampering session.

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BethAnn Mayer
Beth Ann's work has appeared on healthline.com and parents.com. In her spare time, you can find her running (either marathons…
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