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Nail Care Essentials For Men | A Question of Cuticles

Updated on October 13, 2009

Want nails like this?

You'll need these...

Cuticle Sticks
Cuticle Sticks

And this...

Cuticle Remover
Cuticle Remover

And plenty of this....

Cuticle Cream
Cuticle Cream

My last article, a basic guide to nail polish for men got a good reaction, but I realized shortly after publishing it that I had somewhat jumped the gun. If you're new to nail care and nail polish, then odds are, your fingernails simply aren't ready for nail polish yet.

If it has been several years since you did anything but wash your hands with soap and water and occasionally nibble at a hangnail, odds are that your fingernails are ill shaped for nail polish, jagged around the edges and have cuticles raging across them like Mongolian hordes across China.

What are cuticles?

You may never have heard of cuticles before, but they are the sliver thin pieces of skin which can creep up to cover the bottom of your fingernail. Men (and women) who have not attended to their nails in some time will probably end up with a few unwanted millimeters of cuticle which will impede further manicuring. Cuticles can be rough and even jagged, and they certainly don't look good if you just try to paint over them with nail polish.

No, cuticles must be tended to before further manicuring can take place. Fortunately, they are not too hard to deal with if you are willing to put a little time into rehabilitating them.

You will need:

  • Cuticle Cream
  • Manicure Set
  • Cuticle Sticks

If your cuticles are not too long, then simply gently massage them daily after you have a bath or a shower (when they will be the softest) with oil, or preferably, cuticle cream. You can then use a cuticle stick to push the cuticles back, making your nails look longer and prettier.

If your cuticles have run amok, you might want to try using cuticle remover. Cuticle remover is a product which when applied to the cuticles softens them and readies them for removal. Usually your cuticles will be stuck down hard to your nail, which is the point, as they were designed by nature to seal your nail bed against bacteria, fungi and other nasties. Cuticle remover will soften the excess cuticle and allow you to use cuticle clippers, or a cuticle stick to gently clip the excess cuticle tissue away. This can be something of a painstaking process, but it is essential if you want nice nails. If you don't feel comfortable doing this yourself, it's not a bad idea to go along to a manicurist and get them to do it the first time. They can give you further hints and tips which will help your grow your nails to the point where they will look good when polished and may be able to recommend products to help you on your way.

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    • Hope Alexander profile image
      Author

      Hope Alexander 8 years ago

      Hey, thank you for the advice, Nail Technician! :)

    • Nail Technician profile image

      Nail Technician 8 years ago

      I would really recommend being very careful when it comes to cuticle clippers. When you see people with ridges in their nails, that comes from damaging the cuticle at one point. Constant damage causes the nail to be very bumpy and not at all attractive. (before i knew anything about nails, i didn't know how to properly prep my cuticles before trimming or pushing them back, and had some pretty bumpy nails myself :0!)

      Great hub, Hope :)

    • Hope Alexander profile image
      Author

      Hope Alexander 8 years ago

      LOL! I'd love to Satin Jenni, but I doubt we are in the same continent, let alone the same zip code, and that could make things tricky...

    • profile image

      Nanciboy 8 years ago

      Actually, I have nails like that. Or at least I did last week. (Well, not that much color. Just Orly Sheer Nude) One of the women at the salon I go to likes to leave my nails longer and more feminine. Sadly, it makes it more difficult to type efficiently for a week. So this week they are a bit shorter but still colored. I have the other, pinker, Orly sheer colors but they pop a bit too much in the summer when my hands are tanned.

    • SatinJenni profile image

      SatinJenni 8 years ago from Burlington Ontario Canada

      Will you do my nails for me Hope? I haven't a clue....

      If not, maybe you can come to the shop with me if only for some moral support. Ill be more than glad to get you a manicure and pedicure while there :)

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