Men’s Guide to Nail Grooming

Getting your nails groomed may not be the manliest activity in the world, but proper nail care isn’t for the ladies only. All people have nails – so all of us must take care of it.

Perhaps you don’t think about how your hands look while getting ready, you should. After all, long and dirty nails, fraying cuticles, and scratchy skin around your fingernails are a massive turn-off. Even if you’re already married or secured with your partner, you still need to keep it clean and well-groomed after all. It doesn’t mean you need to head off to the nail salon with your woman (unless you don’t mind), and besides, there are also men-friendly manicure parlors out there. But this guide is about how to take care of your nails yourself and put the “man” into manicure.

Importance of Nail Grooming for Men

A lot of men think, “Why bother? As long as I use the nail cutter every time my nails get long enough, I’m good.” But nail grooming is actually something that every man should learn.

First of all it’s for your own health and hygiene. Your hands touch everything, so you expose it to colonies of germs. It’s a good habit to always keep your nails short, most especially if you’re not the type of guy who washes hands after going to the bathroom or after reaching the office from a public transportation commute. Also, bacteria stuck inside the nails can be ingested by you, especially while eating finger foods, even if you washed your hands first.

Nails may be a small part of your body, but if you encounter a problem with it, it will hurt real bad. Anyone who has torn a nail or suffered from an infected hangnail knows how small injuries can ruin a day. You can put yourself in unnecessary pain and suffering if you don’t properly trim your nails and bite them, or let them tear.

Also, well-groomed nails, for both men and women, are part of a sexy look. For women, nails are obviously beauty symbols. Women have a lot of options – just check out the nails section of any beauty product store or drugstore and you’ll see pretty colors abounding. This isn’t interesting for a man though, and men’s nails aren’t highlighted most of the time. But remember, when you’re wooing a woman, you want them to take your hands and hold it. If the sight isn’t pretty, the woman may be turned off. If you’re a happily married dad or in a relationship, make your partner proud by showing her you can take care of yourself. She would love to caress your hands if your hands have clean and neatly trimmed nails, without any sharp and torn fingernails.

Keeping some good-looking nails doesn’t only impress women, though. First impressions do last for some people, so if your professional, grimy paws aren’t a good reflection of your professionalism and ethics. How well you groom reflects you as a person, and while your hands are always on display, keep it looking clean.

Lastly, getting a good fingernail trim is a pleasant experience. Getting it clean and well-trimmed can make you feel good.

How to Groom Your Nails

If you’d rather not set foot in a nail salon and prefer to groom your nails on your own, follow these nail grooming tips you can do at home (along with product suggestions):

1. Give your hands and feet a good scrub while in the shower

Before handling any nail business, one of the first steps to taking care of it is to give them a good scrub in the shower. Use a nail brush so any dirt and germs under your nails will be loosened up and easily removed. For a more intensive and exfoliating effect, take a pumice stone and scrub it to your feet remove as much hard and dead skin possible.

After some intensive dirt removal and dead skin removal, soften your skin using a rich moisturizer to keep your skin soft and supple.

2. Cut your nails.


Nail clippers are the most common of all manicure tools. It’s made of two jaw-like blades that close down by means of a lever. It originated back in the 1880s and has stayed with us until today.

The key to trimming your nails properly is to ensure that the nails are not cut too short. It’s fine to remove all of the white portions of the nail, but anything shorter than that is just too short and may cause a painful sensation in your fingers or toes, or worse, it can lead to infection. It is recommended to trim your nails in a straight line across the top-most part of your nail to help prevent ingrown nails. The key to doing it right is to use high-quality nail clippers and make sure it’s still sharp before each use.

3. Remove any excesses.

Sometimes dead skin or hangnails get in the way of a perfect trim, so you need to use a cuticle nipper or scissor. A nipper is especially designed to cut cuticles, hangnails or dead skin. But use it with caution so as not to cause injury. Trim only the protruding hangnails or skin. Cuticle scissors, meanwhile, has the same purpose, but it should only be used to cut dead skin, like those around the base of a nail.

Tweezers are always included in a manicure set, because it is used to pick up small objects. For women, it can be used for picking up small parts for completing a nail art. But for men, tweezers are primarily used to remove splinters or anything that has pricked your skin.

4. Smoothen nails with a nail file.

After cutting out your nails, it may feel sharp and rough. It may even snag on your clothes. So it becomes important to file your nails after you cut them, for it to have proper shape and texture. File the endings of nails, especially the corners, to even it out.

What about nail varnish?

Men don’t typically wear nail varnish but maybe its something to consider? Maybe men with rock and roll style can choose a black nail varnish. However, the recommendation is clear nail varnish that can make your nail looking glossy and healthy.

Our hands definitely get a work out, you may work construction, work with water or other harsh environment. Good nail grooming will definitely make a difference for your hands.

You may also read our post about the Essentials for An Effective Manicure to learn more nail grooming tips and recommendations.