Q. I have an issue related to winter. I have been using my fireplace to keep warm, and my hands are covered in soot that I have difficulty removing from my nails and cuticles. Is there a simple way to get rid of this soot without a manicure
A. Grooming is a very important aspect of men’s appearance. It is important that you address it.
Your hands are always on show, and your fingernails speak volumes about you. You shouldn’t ignore them. Nails that look less than perfect are not acceptable for professionals or business men.
Nails look their best when kept all the same length – short – and scrubbed clean. You only need a pair of clippers, an emeryboard or nail file, and a manicure brush. It is surprising to me how few men have a nailbrush. These small brushes with soft, but stiff bristles clean the nails on fingers and toes and won’t hurt the skin. They are available at Walgreens and Walmart as well as online from Tweezerman, Amazon, and other dealers such Amazon. They usually cost between $4 and $10. A nail brush can be a great way of keeping your nails and cuticles pristine and smooth.
Unclean (or bitten) nails are guaranteed to detract from a man’s appearance. You should also know that women are particularly aware of, and notice, a man’s nails. I recommend a professional manicure every once in a while. This will allow you to see how long your nails should be clipped, how far you should push your cuticles, as well as how beautiful your hands can look. You should never allow anyone to polish your nails. Clear nail polish applied to a man’s nails can have a gangster connotation.
Nails that are poorly cared for are not only unattractive but reflect poorly on a man’s hygiene. Your fingernails are something people will notice. So whether you’re dating, interviewing for a new job, meeting prospective clients, or just going about your day-to-day business, it helps to have hands that look good.
Men should not be ashamed of their nails. A professional manicure is something that men should not be ashamed of. Man can be both masculine and take care of his body. Some barbershops have a nail station, so you can do all your grooming in one place.
Or, if you are taking care of your own nails, it really doesn’t require a lot of time. These tips will help improve your at-home nail-grooming skills.
First of all, cut your nails after a warm shower, when they are softer and easier to work with. My favorite clippers are Mr. Green and they cost $13.99 on the internet. They can be used to clip nails and hang nails. Don’t try to clip the whole nail in one or two motions. To create a smooth arch, clip slowly along the finger line. Be careful not to cut too short. You can cut off most of the white part, but don’t go deeper.
After clipping your nails they will look ragged and out of place. To smoothen the edges, a metal filing or an emeryboard is needed. I prefer to use an emeryboard as it is more user-friendly. If you haven’t used one in the past, start slowly. Be careful not to file too fast or too hard. This can lead to breaks. Start with the outside of the nail and work your ways to the center by using gentle strokes.
Trimming your toenails can be a different task than trimming your fingernails. First, your toenails will be thicker than your fingernails, so you may need to use a larger nail trimmer. Toenails should be cut straight and not in an oval shape. This will prevent painful, ingrown nails from becoming more common. To gently remove calluses, use a pumicestone or another abrasive tool. After the shower, your feet will feel smoother and more supple. Don’t do this more often than once a week. Use a moisturizing lotion or hand cream of your choice.
My strong belief is that men with little experience are more likely to be successful than those who have. “doing their nails” (that is to say, most men) should leave their cuticles to a professional manicurist, or just leave them alone. Too much trimming can cause infection and can be painful.
A side note: I use my fireplace to tend to my own fireplace
Tongs and the accompanying brush are all you need to use to remove the soot. If you need to get your hands in there and dirty, it might be worth throwing on some plastic gloves; it’s a good use for those that many of us bought at the beginning of Covid and now have in excess.
Please send your men’s dress and grooming questions and comments to MALE CALL: [email protected]