The next time you spot well-painted glossy nails on a hand, don’t be surprised if it’s a man’s. There’s a new breed of men in town for whom nail polish is now de rigueur.
Recently, international skincare brand EvolutionMan launched a range of everyday nail polish for men, offering shades of white, dark purple and grey. Huffington Post started a poll on what readers think of the concept and the result is almost an even split — 45.28% say it looks sexy and 54.72% vetoed the idea.
Grooming experts in the Capital say almost 70% of the men who get manicures opt for nail polish at the end of the treatment. “About 20% of our manicure customers are men, and seven out of 10 men get their nails painted. Earlier they chose transparent nail paint but now they’re experimenting with shades such as light cream and pink,” says Simmi Ghai of salon chain Expressions.
“There’s a French stylist who visits us often and always tries new colours. Besides him, a lot of artists, socialists and industrialists get some colour on,” says Yashin Priye of Looks, Khan Market. “It’s still a very new concept in India, but there is a section of men who get their nails glossed regularly, some male models even try darker shades,” says Geetu Israni of Geetanjali Salon.
“I’m very particular about my wardrobe, and to be perfectly attired but to have dull, yellowed nails ruins the effect. So, I always get a pale white nail paint put after my manicure,” says a 29-year-old corporate professional, refusing to be named. “Why not? It’s not about fashion for me, so much as hygiene. I just feel my nails look healthier with a tinge of colour,” says Puneet Arora, 26.
In response to our queries, the makers of the male polish said they launched the product as studies showed that men already use colours such as white and that the market is ripe for male paint.
The French did it in the 18th century!
French lords in the 18th century had courtiers to get their nails polished. That is why the manicure is called the French manicure. It’s purpose was to make the male hands look soft and well-groomed, as rough hands with ragged nails was a mark of coming from a lower class. Nowadays, nail polish for men is also very popular in the gay communities in Europe and North America, who see groomed nails as a fashion accessory.
About 20% of our manicure customers are men, and seven out of 10 men get their nails painted
Simmi Ghai, Expressions salon
It’s still a new concept in India, but there are men who get their nails glossed regularly; some even try darker shades.