Uh, yeah. At least, I think of myself as a real man, and I get manicures and pedicures.
Guys tend to do dirtier things and get stuff stuck under their nails, so if you get them done, you don’t look like a slob. And don’t think people in business meetings aren’t looking at your hands. They judge you by how you present yourself—including your nails.
How to know if you need one? If your nails look like shit or are so damn long you leave claw marks in your jacket when you put it on, it’s time for a manicure. And if your feet are so disgusting you don’t want to be seen in flip-flops, or your toenails are so long and thick they’re poking through your socks, it’s time for a pedicure.
I mean, you’re not a troll!
So ask a female friend to recommend a good place. If they cut you, that’s bad. And make sure they’re clean, that they have equipment sanitizers and disinfectants to kill bacteria. This is important—I’ve gotten a cuticle infection, and it’s not fun.
Once you’re there, they’ll know what to do. They’ll push back/cut down the cuticle (the skin around the white half-moon). You want that exposed. They’ll cut your nails down, too.
If you want a coat of glossy polish on your nails, I guess that’s cool, but I think it’s a little ridiculous. I have mine buffed a bit—it helps keep them from getting stained. Feet are a little weird. Everybody has different foot problems.
Mostly they’ll clean the nails, do the cuticles, then rub off dead skin with a pumice stone. If it’s a reputable shop, they’ll know what other corns or callouses to shave off, too. Then they’ll rub lotion on any dry patches. After the nails, all the other stuff is a luxury—enjoy it.
Trust me, it’s going to feel really nice when you put your socks back on and walk out of that place.
Shorty Maniace is the proprietor of J.P. Kempt Barber & Social in San Francisco. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.