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Manicures for Men: Characteristics, Types, 2023 Nail Art Trends


More and more men choose to go to a salon to get their nails done. According to nail technicians, manicure services for men have their own peculiarities. Let’s talk about them in this article.

Why Do Men Need Manicures?

Most often, men who get manicures are self-confident managers and leaders who are free from outdated stereotypes. They want to look neat and to leave a good impression. Neat, well-groomed hands and nails are an important part of this look.

мужской маникюр

However, it’s not just about how your hands look — health is what’s most important. Regular manicures help prevent hangnails and fungal diseases and keep your hands clean.

5 Interesting Facts about Men’s Manicures

  1. Warriors of Babylon painted their nails before battles: commanders in black and other soldiers in green.
  2. In Ancient China, long nails signified greatness and wisdom of a man. People also believed that the longer your nails — the longer your life.
  3. In Ancient India, men painted their nails with a paste from felt scales and mealybugs. It took so many insects to make this substance that it came to be called ‘lakh/lac’ — ‘a hundred thousand’.
  4. In the early Middle Ages, men painted their nails with henna, animal blood, amber, and vegetable oils.
  5. The taboo on men’s manicures was introduced in the 20th century. It was ignored only by fans of some music genres and certain subcultures.

Peculiarities of Men’s Manicures

The procedure of manicures for men and women doesn’t differ. However, there are some nuances men should take into account before getting a manicure.

  • Сapillaries are located close to the skin surface, especially in nail folds. A classic manicure should be performed with great care.
  • Men have a low pain threshold, which means that any careless move will be painful — another reason to be extra careful.
  • Men’s nails are stronger, thicker, and less elastic than women’s, which is why they break more often and should be treated with a coarse, low-grit file.
  • When filing your nails, the free edge should mirror the outline of the tip of the finger.
  • Men’s cuticles grow faster than women’s, so it’s important to treat them and nail folds more often.
  • The skin on men’s hands is drier and more prone to cracking, so using a moisturizing cream is a must. A paraffin manicure is also good for men’s hands and nails.

мужской маникюр

Types of Manicures for Men

There are three key manicure types:

  • classic, or basic
  • European
  • Russian, or e-file.

All other types are combinations or subtypes of these ones. They include such manicures as:

  • acid
  • spa
  • Brazilian
  • medical
  • fish, etc.

What manicure type is the best for men? Due to capillaries that are located close to the skin surface and a low pain threshold, men are advised to opt for a European manicure that doesn’t involve the use of cutting tools, which helps to avoid injuries and pain.

All manicure types include the following steps:

  1. cleansing
  2. treating the skin
  3. treating the nails
  4. applying protective or gel nail polish
  5. moisturizing.

Depending on the type, a manicure can include certain other steps.

Tools and products for men’s manicures:

  • a 150-180 grit nail file
  • a buffer
  • remover (for a European manicure)
  • orange wood sticks
  • nail clippers (for a classic manicure)
  • nail strengthening polish
  • gel polish (optional)
  • nourishing oils for cuticles and nails
  • moisturizing serum and hand cream.

Classic Men’s Manicure

A classic manicure laid the basis for all other manicure types and subtypes. It’s gradually going out of date, because it entails a high risk of injuries and infection as a result.

Let’s look at a step-by-step tutorial:

  1. Disinfect your hands.
  2. Remove old polish, if needed.
  3. Adjust the length and shape of the nails. Make sure to leave the free edge 1-2mm long and don’t file off the corners to avoid ingrown nails.
  4. Use a buffer to make the nail plate even.
  5. Soak your hands in water with softening products. For a men’s manicure, you can additionally use a remover.
  6. Push the cuticles back with an orange wood stick.
  7. Cut the cuticles with nail scissors or clippers.
  8. Remove the pterigium with a spatula.
  9. Apply nail polish, if needed.
  10. Moisturize your cuticles with oil and hands with cream.

European Manicure for Men

The main differences between a European and classic manicure lie in the following:

  • no soaks (for this reason, it’s sometimes called a ‘dry’ manicure)
  • no cutting
  • treating cuticles with softening fruit acids and pushing them back with an orange wood stick.

If done regularly, a European manicure can help to slow down cuticle growth.

Russian Manicure for Men

In a Russian manicure, coarse areas of skin are treated with an e-file with special bits. Same as a European manicure, this type doesn’t involve soaks. A nail technician carefully removes dry cuticles, buffs and shapes the nails with an e-file. After that, they apply nourishing oils and hand cream.

An e-file manicure is a go-to option for men with misshapen nails. Men’s nails are strong, so it’s difficult to damage them with e-file bits, which sometimes happens with women.

Nail Art Trends for Men

In recent years, more and more men have decided in favor of gel nails. Nail artists usually offer men a matte finish, which makes nails look neat longer than without polish.

Men’s nail art trends are not as fast-changing as women’s. They are usually set by celebrities and fashion brands.

Here are the most popular nail art designs for men:

  • minimalism
  • letters and phrases, especially in the gothic scrypt
  • gemotetry
  • graffiti
  • black and white designs
  • several attention-grabbing elements
  • flames
  • nails in different bright colors.

An interesting fact. Creative people — musicians, actors, bloggers — often choose nail art with stickers and pictures. For example, Johnny Depp, Harry Styles, Brad Pitt, Jared Leto, David Bowie, Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, and other celebrities sport nails with various designs.

Summing Up

Men’s manicures are becoming a cultural norm and are done not just for the sake of beauty, but for the sake of health. A European manicure is the best option for men as it’s less likely to cause injuries and pain. Thanks to representatives of creative professions and celebrities, the fashion for men’s nail art is growing. No matter what option you choose, even the simplest manicure will complement your neat, well-groomed look and show that you care about what you look like.

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