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Could Manicures Really Be The Secret of Perfect Hands?

Aug 17, 2007
Although many of us do not constantly think about our hands, they are permanently on show and everyone can see their condition. Usually one of the most neglected parts of the body, the nails often suffer from being bitten, ripped off and they are rarely cleaned out.

So it is no wonder that they can often cause problems. So what is it that we should be doing? Besides a little general hygiene, there is something else we can do to keep our hands and nails spotless, and that is to have a manicure.

Why Manicures Are Not Just For the Rich and Famous:

When you mention the word manicure, often we think of rich, famous, fake or spoilt women. However, a manicure can really help to keep our hands clean and healthy.

Techniques which are used vary from salon to salon and a manicure can either treat your nails, your hands, or both together. A standard manicure generally consists of the nails being filed, shaped and colored. A French manicure may also be offered, and if you choose to treat your hands they will usually be soaked in a softening substance, followed by an application of hand lotion.

You can even have more luxurious hand manicures known as Paraffin Treatments. This includes dipping your hand into either melted paraffin or wax. The heat is supposed to relax the skin and make it easier for hand lotion to absorb into the skin which is sometimes applied before the hand is dipped into the paraffin. Often the hand is dipped into the melted substance more than once in order to build up a thicker layer of wax which makes coating stay warmer for longer and less likely to tear or break. After the manicurist has finished dipping your hands into the melted substance, they will wrap your hand in either tin foil or plastic and then they are covered in cloth in order to keep the warmth in.

Manicures are not just for women either and many men get a hot oil manicure. This involves cleaning and neatening the cuticles, and softening them with oil.
Whilst manicures might be good for the hands, there is a chance that you could get an infection from the equipment used. This only usually happen if you have not had the treatment done at a professional salon by a qualified person. All manicurists have to be licensed as they are manipulating the hands and trimming them and the risk of infection is recognized.

So, in order to receive the best possible manicure, it is important that you choose a manicurist who is relevantly qualified.

How to Give Yourself a Home Manicure:

Giving yourself a manicure at home is fairly easy once you know how. However, you should ideally make sure that you give yourself plenty of time for one as the average manicure lasts around 45 minutes. If you have ensured that you have got enough time, here are some tips which will help you to give yourself the perfect home manicure:

First Prepare the Hands and Nails

It is essential that you prepare and clean the hands and nails before the manicure. To do this you should wash them thoroughly and then use a double sided emery board to file the nails down in gentle strokes. Try and avoid the corners of the nails as you could weaken them, and then once finished start on shaping them. The most common shape used is the oval but you should choose whichever shape suits your hands better. Once you have finished that, to see how effectively you have done it try and run your nail over something such as pantyhose, and see if the nail snags. If not, you have done a good job!

Now Move to The Cuticles

After preparing the hands, you should now be ready to make a start on the cuticles. First, apply some softener to the cuticles and allow it to absorb for a couple of minutes. Next, place your hands in a bowl of warm water and soak them for another few minutes. Now it is time to push back the cuticles.

When you are pushing back the cuticles it should not hurt. If it does, try and soak them for a little while longer. If there are any hangnails visible, be sure to clip them off. Next it is time to apply hand lotion and start to massage the palm of your hand with your thumb on your opposite hand. This really does help to circulate the blood. Be sure to continue doing this around the rest of the hand and then switch hands, making sure that you use the same amount of time on the opposite hand.

Clean and Polish the Nail

Before any color is applied to the nails, they first need to be cleaned. The easiest way to do this is to use an orange stick wrapped with cotton and dip it into nail polish remover before rubbing it over the surface of the nails.

Next use only a little color on the end of your brush, and paint one stroke down the centre of the nail. If done properly, the brush should have just had enough color to do this. Next brush the other two sides of the nail and you should be finished. It should never take more than three strokes to finish the nail. Now make sure that the polish has a few minutes to set before applying a second coat. After the second coat has dried, apply a top coat which will help to seal the color and keep it looking good for longer.

After you have finished, it is important to sanitize all of the equipment to minimize the risk of infection the next time you use them.

Overall a manicure really can help you to relax, as well as keeping your hands really clean and healthy. Anybody can give themselves one at home as long as they follow the above steps.
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