Turns out, your man hands could be grossing her out. But, that’s not the only reason you should man up and manicure those nails. While you’re at it, your feet could probably benefit even more from a little grooming.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE EVERYTHING
Again, not to hone in too much on the fact first impressions are everything, but if you’re a businessman, grimy paws aren’t a great reflection on your professionalism. Your grooming reflects you as a person—your ability to take care of yourself and showcase the fact you have your s%&$ together.
Remember this: Your hands are always on display. Men and women don’t want to shake a claw or stare at filthy fingernails.
Also, hygiene is a huge reason to keep your nails clean, short, and trimmed. If your idea of trimming your nails is gnawing on them, you’re exposing yourself to a host of germs and bacteria. Your hands touch everything. Think about how the colonies of germs on public transportation systems are like a germy jungle and the fact not everyone washes their hands after going to the bathroom. If that doesn’t skeeve you out enough to stop the terrible habit, keep your nails short so you don’t have anything to gnaw on.
HOW TO GROOM YOUR NAILS YOURSELF
If you’d rather not ever set foot in a nail salon, we feel you. Follow these tips to perfect your at-home nail-grooming skills:
1. Once you’re out of the shower, use a pumice stone or other device to gently buff away calluses. “The thick skin on your feet will be softer immediately after a good soak making it easier to exfoliate,” Papantoniou says. “This should be done no more than once per week if needed, and shouldn’t be painful!” After exfoliating, apply a moisturizer that contains urea or salicylic acid to help prevent dry rough skin and calluses, she adds.
2. Cut. “Trim your nails in a straight line across the top-most part of your nail to help prevent ingrown nails from forming,” Papantoniou suggests. “It’s okay to trim your nails short, to the point where there’s no white of the nail remaining, but you want to make sure you don’t trim too much as this can be painful and lead to infection,” she explains. Essentially you don’t want to clip the nail bed; that’s what’s considered “too short.”
3. Shape and smooth. Go the extra step and file your nails to make smooth borders; this way you don’t have any sharp edges that’ll snag on clothing, making it prone to fissures and breaks. “The nail should be trimmed and shaped straight across and not have a rounded or triangular shape,” Papantoniou adds. This is the best shape to prevent breaks. “And if your cuticles tend to fray, try applying coconut oil to them after trimming—and avoid biting or picking!—so they can heal faster,” she says.
Sound like a lot of work? Just get a manicure or pedicure at a salon already. After all, you get a free massage and yes, there will probably be a lot of chicks there. But before you book, be picky about where you go. Do your homework! “If you go to any salon where they soak everyone’s feet in a communal tub of water, you’re probably gonna come home with something,” Papantoniou says. “Go to a place that prioritizes cleanliness and uses hygienic standards of care, meaning they sterilize their equipment and use tools that come from a sealed pack,” she adds. Tools should be treated with high heat and pressure, not just dunked in solution and reused.