Do you ever think about how your hands look when you’re getting dressed each morning? Perhaps you should! Bitten nails, long nails, fraying cuticles and hard scratchy skin around your fingers are all a massive turn off.
Any woman you’re attempting to woo is likely to look at your hands to determine your potential as a mate, and an unkempt hand is likely to indicate a man that doesn’t take care of himself.
Let’s not forget that Patrick Bateman (of American Psycho fame) was a confirmed pyschopath, but his commitment to his appearance and habit of having weekly manicures means that he still got a lot of dates!
Showing your care about your nails shows you care about your appearance, you care about hygiene and grooming, and you want to make a good first impression. Now is the time to make your hands one of your best features!
That doesn’t mean you have to head off to the nail salon with your girl (unless you want to). If you don’t have time for regular manicures and pedicures then you can still put your nails through their paces from the comfort of your own home. We’ll show you how to take care of your nails and put the man into manicure!
Good Nail Care Starts in The Shower
One of the first steps to taking care of the nails on both your hands and feet is to give them a good scrub in the shower. Use a nail brush to loosen and remove any dirt under your nails; this will be much easier to do if your skin is soft and wet in the shower.
For more intensive care, you can also take a pumice stone to your feet and remove as much hard and dead skin as possible.
Almost all people will find that this forms on their heels, and if you regularly run, jog, or enjoy active contact sports then you may find that this hand skin also forms on the side of your feet and around your toes. Remove this as much as possible and as often as possible.
After intensive skin removal with a pumice stone, exfoliate both your hands and feet with a high quality exfoliater. Again, this is best applied to softened shower-fresh skin. You should then apply a thick and rich moisturiser, or moisturising hand cream, to lock in your shower-fresh moisture and ensure that the skin on your hands and feet is as soft and supple as possible.
Cutting the Nails
Now is the time to trim the nails. The key here is to ensure that the nails are not cut too short. This means that you should avoid cutting into the nail bed: it is OK to remove all of the white of the nail (if this is your preference) but any shorter than that is just too short.
Want to make cutting your nails as easy as possible with the minimal amount of effort? Take your nail clippers and cut your nails in a straight line across the top-most part of your nail to help prevent ingrown nails from forming.
If you trim your nail too much it can be very painful and could also lead to uncomfortable and unsightly nail infections.
Not sure how short to cut your nails? A good rule of thumb is to take your nail clippers and rest them against your nail, and the finger, without pushing down, and cut where the natural curve forms. Each nail shouldn’t take more than 3-4 cuts to complete.
The key to making this process as easy as possible is to invest in high quality nail clippers, and ensuring that they are still sharp before each use. We highly recommend Tweezerman nail clippers, which are strong, sharp, and designed to protect the nail bed.
Here are some of our favourite stainless steel nail clippers currently on the market:
Keep Things Smooth
Think your smooth? Well your nails should be as smooth as you are! Smooth out the edges of your nails using a metal nail file.
The shape your choose for your nails is a personal preference: traditionally, many men enjoy to slightly round their nails when filing them. If you are prone to developing ingrowing nails or nail infections, keeping your nails more square would be sensible.
Whatever shape you choose, you should always file your nails after you cut them. This is important to prevent any sharp edges or corners which may feel rough or even snag on your clothes. Nails that are sharp and haven’t been filed are also more prone to breakages.
Are you a habitual nail biter? Then it may also interest you to know that nails that have been filed are also harder to bite, so taking care of your nails and filing them regularly could actually help you to break the habit!
Break the habit as soon as you can: there is definitely nothing attractive about a man that bites his nails and the longer you continue to bite them, the weaker and more brittle your nails will be.
There are very few men who can pull off wearing nail varnish, although Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp are both notable famous exceptions.
We would certainly not recommend following their example, although if you have a rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic and want to opt for a colored nail then choose a black nail varnish then you should remove this as soon as it starts to chip or peel. Anything else will look cheap, untidy and decidedly dirty (shudder).
The only kind of nail varnish we would recommend is a coat of clear nail varnish to protect your manicure, keep your nail looking as healthy and glossy as possible, and ensure that your nail remains in good condition.
The beauty of a clear coat of nail varnish is that is has many protective benefits, but it is so subtle that no one would know that you are wearing it: this makes it 100% manly-man approved!
The Key to Cuticle Care
Finally, once your nails are looking smooth, it’s important to turn your attention to the skin that surrounds them and that means focusing on cuticle care. Good cuticle care is just as important as good nail care.
Pushing back your cuticles will make your nails look both longer and healthier. This skin can also tend to look discolored (especially if you smoke or use nicotine-based products) so removing the dead skin is essential for overall nail health.
If you are going to push your cuticles back then use a flat blunt tool to do this, to avoid causing an accidental damage to the nail or the skin surrounding it, and do this when the skin is soft. This can either be after you have had a shower, or after you have soaked the cuticles in a bowl of warm water.
You should also ensure that you don’t allow your cuticles to dry out. Applying moisturizer or hand cream after your shower is a great first step for this. However, if your cuticles still feel coarse then they may need a little more TLC.
Rubbing a drop of coconut oil into each nail bed will keep it soft and supple, and prevent this very delicate skin from drying out. Don’t have any coconut oil? Don’t worry. Although it won’t smell as nice, a drop of olive oil from the bottle on your kitchen counter will do the same job!
Some men mistakenly believe that enjoying a manicure, pedicure, or other forms of nail care isn’t very masculine. However in reality, there is nothing more masculine than having the confidence to take care of yourself and ensure that you always look your best.
If the process of taking care of your nails at home sounds too complicated or time-consuming then don’t be afraid to simply pop to your local salon and have someone else take care of them whilst you read a magazine or check out the latest football scores!
You’ll love the way your nails look and feel when you start taking care of them, and you’ll also love the reaction that the ladies will have to the change in your grooming routine. It’s a win-win situation, and one you should get on board with today!