A manicure is a beauty treatment specifically designed for the hands. It involves a series of steps that aim to improve the appearance and health of the hands and nails.
This treatment not only enhances the beauty of the hands but also provides numerous benefits, such as promoting nail growth, improving nail health, and preventing nail disorders.
History of Manicures
Manicures have a rich history that dates back thousands of years.
They originated in ancient civilizations and have evolved over time, adapting to the cultural and fashion trends of different eras.
Origins and Evolution: The practice of manicures can be traced back to ancient Egypt and China, where it was a symbol of status and wealth.
Over time, the techniques and products used have evolved, leading to the diverse range of manicure styles we see today.
Cultural Significance: In various societies, manicures have held different meanings.
For instance, in ancient Egypt, the color of one’s nails signified social status, with deeper shades being reserved for the elite.
What Does a Manicure Include?
1. Pre-Manicure Preparations
Cleaning the Hands
Before starting the manicure process, it’s essential to ensure that the hands are clean.
This step ensures that any dirt, impurities, or bacteria are removed, providing a clean slate for the manicure.
Clean hands also prevent potential infections and ensure that the nail polish adheres better.
Removing Old Nail Polish
Old nail polish can interfere with the new application. Thus, it’s crucial to remove any remnants of old polish.
This not only prepares the nails for a fresh coat but also ensures a smoother and more even application.
Soaking the Hands in Warm Water
Soaking the hands in warm water serves multiple purposes. It softens the skin, making it easier to work with, especially when dealing with cuticles.
Additionally, it helps in relaxing the hands and improving blood circulation1.
2. Nail Shaping and Cuticle Care
Cutting the Nails
Nails should be trimmed to the desired length using sanitized nail clippers.
It’s essential to cut the nails straight across and then round the tips in a gentle curve, aligning with the shape of the fingertip.
Filing and Shaping
After cutting, nails are shaped using a nail file.
This step achieves a uniform and appealing look, eliminating any sharp or uneven edges.
Softening and Pushing Back the Cuticles
Cuticles are the thin skin at the base of the nails.
They can sometimes overgrow onto the nail plate. Softening them makes it easier to push them back, ensuring that the nail bed is clean and ready for polish.
However, it’s crucial to avoid cutting the cuticles too deep, as this can lead to infections.
Several tools are using to deal with nails and cuticles easily in saloons. Those tools has shown in the below image.
3. Application of Treatments
Exfoliating the Hands
Exfoliation removes dead skin cells, revealing smoother and rejuvenated skin.
This step is essential for maintaining the health and appearance of the hands.
Applying Cuticle Oil
Cuticle oil is applied to nourish the cuticles, promoting healthier nails and preventing dryness and splitting.
Hand Massage with Moisturizing Lotion
A hand massage not only relaxes the hands but also improves blood circulation to the extremities.
Using a moisturizing lotion ensures that the skin remains hydrated and soft.
4. Nail Polish Application
Base Coat Application
A base coat is applied to protect the nails from potential staining from colored nail polishes.
It also provides a smooth surface for the nail polish, ensuring better adherence.
Choosing the Right Color and Type of Nail Polish
The choice of nail polish color and type depends on the client’s preference, the occasion, and current fashion trends.
Applying the Nail Polish
Typically, two coats of nail polish are applied to achieve a richer and more vibrant color.
Top Coat Application
A top coat adds shine to the nails and protects the color from chipping, ensuring that the manicure lasts longer.
5. Drying and Setting
Using Nail Drying Machines or Sprays
These tools speed up the drying process, reducing the waiting time and the risk of smudging the polish.
Allowing Time for the Polish to Set
It’s crucial to allow sufficient time for the polish to dry completely to ensure a smudge-free finish.
The below infographics shows the mentioned steps of a manicure treatment.
Different Types of Manicures
- Basic or Regular Manicure: This is the standard manicure procedure that includes all the steps mentioned above.
- French Manicure: A classic style that features white tips with a sheer nude or pink base.
- Gel Manicure: This type uses a gel-based polish that requires UV light to set. It’s known for its long-lasting finish.
- Acrylic Manicure: Here, a mixture of liquid and powder is applied to extend the nails, providing a canvas for various nail art designs.
- Paraffin Wax Manicure: This manicure includes a paraffin wax treatment that deeply moisturizes the skin, leaving it soft and supple.
- Hot Stone Manicure: This luxurious treatment incorporates a hot stone massage, which relaxes the hands and improves blood circulation.
- Spa Manicure: A more indulgent version of the regular manicure, it often includes additional pampering services like masks and extended massages.
Best Practices for a Perfect Manicure
Choosing Quality Products
Importance of Non-Toxic Nail Polishes
Using non-toxic nail polishes is safer for the nails and overall health. They are free from harmful chemicals that can damage the nails and the surrounding skin.
Benefits of Organic Lotions and Treatments
Organic products nourish the skin without the inclusion of harmful chemicals, ensuring that the hands remain healthy and hydrated during manicure.
Maintaining Nail Health
Avoiding Excessive Use of Nail Hardeners
While nail hardeners can strengthen the nails, excessive use can make them brittle and prone to breakage.
Keeping Nails Hydrated
Hydrated nails are less likely to become dry and brittle. Using moisturizers and cuticle oils can help in maintaining nail hydration.
Protecting Nails from Harsh Chemicals
It’s essential to wear gloves when dealing with cleaning agents or harsh chemicals to protect the manicure and prevent any damage to the nails.
Keeping the hands and nails moisturized ensures that they remain healthy and the manicure lasts longer.
Touch-Ups and When to Redo a Manicure
You can do Touch-ups to fix minor chips or wear. However, if the manicure starts showing significant wear or the nails have grown out, it’s time for a fresh manicure.
Safety and Hygiene
Ensuring Tools are Sanitized
Using sanitized tools is crucial to prevent infections during your manicure. It’s essential to ensure that the manicurist is cleaning and disinfecting tools after every client.
Avoiding Cutting Cuticles Too Deep
Cutting the cuticles too deep can lead to infections and inflammation. It’s best to push them back gently after softening.
DIY vs. Professional Manicures
Benefits of Doing It at Home
Doing manicures at home can be cost-effective and convenient. It also allows individuals to customize the process according to their preferences.
Advantages of Professional Services
Professional manicures ensure expertise and access to professional-grade products. The experience is also more relaxing and pampering.
Tips for Choosing a Good Nail Salon
When choosing a nail salon, it’s essential to look for cleanliness, check reviews, and consider the range of services offered to ensure a satisfactory experience.
Manicures are more than just a beauty treatment; they are a way to pamper oneself, express individuality, and maintain good nail health.
Whether you opt for a DIY approach or visit a professional salon, regular nail care is essential for keeping your hands looking and feeling their best.
Indulge in this self-care ritual and enjoy the myriad benefits it offers.
Was this helpful?
Andriya Ruth, is a beauty specialist with more than 10 years of experiences. She loves to test new beauty products and techniques to innovate novel beauty procedures for her clients and knowledge. Further, she contributes to several beauty magazines and blogs as a leading author/reviewer.