How Manicures Got Cool For Men

Just a few years ago, it wasn’t really considered manly for a guy to paint his nails, even though rebellious rock stars like Lou Reed, David Bowie and Kurt Cobain had been doing it for decades.

Modeling their fashion tips (left to right): rapper Ty Dolla $ign, former basketball player Dennis Rodman and rapper Machine Gun Kelly.Credit:Getty Images

The era of metrosexual (doesn’t that word sound rather twee now?) has seen Johnny Depp, Seal, Brad Pitt and, more recently, Harry Styles sporting colored nails, reinforcing his image of non-gender nonconformity. . Then last year, a number of male red carpets, including Zac Efron and Chris Hemsworth, chose to paint their fingernails – or rather a single fingernail – blue, in the name of a good cause, the Polished Man campaign. 2021, which aims to end violence against children.

But judging by the latest wave of male nail polish, colorful talons have become a sign of machismo. Rappers A$AP Rocky, Bad Bunny, Lil Yachty and Ty Dolla $ign have all decorated their nails with designs incorporating lettering, eyeballs and logos, while Machine Gun Kelly has even launched its own brand of nail polish. nails, UN/DN LAQR. Several UFC fighters, including Andrei Arlovski, Israel Adesanya and Bryan Barberena, also paint their fingernails and toenails. Real men, it seems, paint their nails.

But does the trend carry over to the average young man on the street? Silky Kastia, manager of Manhor Men’s Grooming in Melbourne’s CBD, acknowledged an increase in the number of men getting manicures, part of a big upsurge in interest in men’s beauty services since the lockdowns ended. “Clients’ feelings have definitely shifted towards their self-care and well-being,” the 34-year-old says.


Although she doesn’t yet offer full painting services – the manicure ends with the application of clear polish – Kastia has noticed a “growing trend” of nail painting among young men (“mostly black or red, which most clients do at home, or their girlfriends do for them”).

Meanwhile, Gaetana Trapani, director of Male Grooming Co in Melbourne, says she ‘definitely gets more requests’ about painting nails, although most choose to do it themselves after a professional manicure without varnish.

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