Words by Kathy Iandoli
For men, the wild world of pedicures can be an incredibly scary place. The idea of sitting barefoot while someone fiddles with your feet and doesn’t explain what they’re doing is not the most enticing idea of an afternoon activity for some guys. However, pedicures are actually a great way to keep your feet happy and healthy. Yes, it’s important to have both. To be 100% clear: not all pedicures result in leaving a nail spa with painted toes. Because we believe pedicures are hugely important, Bevel Code has provided some basics for what to expect when you hop in that salon chair and put your feet out.
What exactly is a pedicure?
Per Google, a pedicure is defined as “a cosmetic treatment of the feet and toenails.” Much like manicure (for the hands), a pedicure is at face value just a process of making your feet look more aesthetically pleasing. However, you’ll find below that there is much more to a pedicure than a result of good looking feet.
The first step is getting in that chair.
It’s rather simple, really. Just visit your local salon (no, they won’t look at you like you’re crazy) and request a pedicure. You’ll get in a chair (most of the time it has a built-in massager), with shoes and socks removed. Your feet are placed into a warm whirlpool of water to soften your skin. Then the real fun begins.
The cuticle-nail connection.
See that hard-looking skin at the bed of each toenail? Those are your cuticles, and they protect your new toenails as they grow. They must be maintained for many reasons. One being, cuticle maintenance keeps your nails strong. Another, when cuticles build up, they sometimes tear and can oftentimes lead to infection. During a pedicure, your toenails are clipped and cuticles are trimmed, with protective oils added to your nail beds to prevent fungus. This keeps your toenails clean and tear-free.
Callused feet are not happy ones. With a pedicure, since your skin is softened in water, it’s easier to scrape away the dead skin on your feet, as well as remove the calluses. Depending upon the salon, scrapers, pumice stones, and bristled sponges are used. If you’re ticklish this can be the funniest moment of your pedicure, but one thing it won’t be is painful. Just a note to runners: a degree of callusing is necessary on your feet to absorb some of the shock when you run. If calluses grow too thick, they can crack and become infected, but no calluses at all can make for a painful next run. While you’re at your pedicure, just request a slight scraping of your calluses, but don’t request a complete removal. You’ll need them on the track. If you don’t run, then by all means, kiss those calluses goodbye.
Bonus: There’s a massage too.
Once the dead skin is removed and your feet and calves are cleaned and exfoliated, both your feet and calves get treated to a massage. Many salons offer extended massages (for an additional fee), but as part of the pedicure treatment, a short massage is included. This is typically done by hand with lotions, often finishing with hot stones. Any guys who are big on fitness and legwork will find this to be the best part of the pedicure.
No polish, and that’s fine
Pedicures do NOT require a nail polish finish. If you’re into that, go for it, but it’s not a necessary part of the pedicure. Some guys allow for a clear polish finish to strengthen their nails, but once again, the polish isn’t necessary.
A pedicure typically costs anywhere from $20-$25, depending on the salon. They can go much higher for more luxurious treatments, but two tens and a five will often get your feet pedicured. Don’t forget to tip your nail tech when it’s over, and feel free to make pedicures a monthly ritual or a few times a year when the occasion calls for it.
Pedicure courtesy of Ruby Nail, Forte Greene, Brooklyn.