Men Do Nails Too! Celebrity Gents Leading The Nail Trend

Traditionally, manicures and polished nails have been seen as a feminine practice. However, in recent years there has been an increasing trend of men embracing nail care and nail polish. Male celebrities like Harry Styles, Bad Bunny, and Lil Yachty have helped lead this trend by proudly sporting colorful nails. According to research by Statista, the percentage of men who view clear nail polish on men favorably has risen to 63% as of 2019. The stigma around men having nice nails is decreasing, and more and more men are partaking in manicures, nail art, and polish. This trend speaks to a rejection of traditional gender norms and embracing forms of self-expression that were previously discouraged for men.


The origins of nail polish date back thousands of years. Archaeological evidence shows that early civilizations like Babylonians, Egyptians, and Chinese decorated their nails as far back as 3000 BC. Both men and women used nail colors made from kohl, henna, beeswax, egg whites, blood, and vegetable dyes to signify social status and rank (

In the early 20th century, clear or pale pink nail polish became fashionable for women in Parisian salons. By the 1920s, bold red nail polish was associated with flappers and Hollywood starlets. Using nail polish shifted from being about status to fashion and femininity. Nail polish became primarily a women’s practice, especially in the conservative 1950s (

In recent years, views on gender norms and masculinity have expanded. More men are challenging traditional ideas by embracing creative self-expression through nail art. Celebrities like Harry Styles, Bad Bunny, and others have made polished nails more socially acceptable and mainstream for men.


Men paint their nails for various motivations, including self-expression, making a fashion statement, and challenging traditional gender stereotypes.

Nail polish provides a means of self-expression for men who want to showcase their unique style and personality. According to one article, “A man can paint his nails if he wants to make a statement. If a guy’s views of what’s gender-appropriate are unconventional and his ideas of beauty are expansive, he can wear nail polish to manifest that” (Source). It allows them to creatively express themselves through color, design, and aesthetic.

Wearing polished nails has also become an emerging fashion trend for men seeking to stand out. As conventions around masculinity evolve, nail art offers men a fashion-forward way to accessorize their look. Painted nails can serve as the perfect finishing touch to an outfit.

Additionally, some men use nail polish to challenge traditional notions of masculinity and redefine gender norms. An increasing rejection of rigid gender stereotypes has led more men to embrace practices historically considered “feminine,” including painted nails. As more men sport nail polish unapologetically, they help normalize it as gender-neutral. Their bold personal style statements open minds and “disrupt the status quo” around masculinity (Source).

Manicure Basics

the most popular nail shapes for men are square and round for a clean look

For men considering a manicure treatment, there are some key basics to understand in order to get the ideal nail shape and polish.

The most popular nail shapes for men are square and round, as they provide a clean masculine look. Square nails have straight edges and right angle corners, while round nails are filed into a rounded squoval or oval shape. Recommended nail lengths for men range from short to medium, typically 1/16 to 1/8 inches over the fingertips. Going too long may look unprofessional in many settings.

As for nail polish, neutral and earth tone colors tend to work well on men’s nails, such as beige, black, gray, brown, and nude shades. Some men opt for clear polish or matte finishes for a more understated look. Darker colors like navy blue, forest green, burgundy, and charcoal are also great options. Metallic textures add flair. Overall, the polish options are expansive, allowing men to show some personality on their nails.

According to A Comprehensive Guide to the Male Manicure – Jontomas, the shape and length should align with the individual’s comfort and lifestyle. With nail polish, it comes down to personal preference and style.

Nail Art for Men

When it comes to nail art for men, the designs tend to be more subtle and masculine compared to nail art typically seen on women. Simple, minimalistic designs using geometric shapes, lines, and patterns are a popular choice over complex nail art with lots of colors and details.

Sticking to traditionally masculine colors like black, gray, navy, dark red, and metallics help keep the look understated. Matte finishes and nude/neutral tones also work well. Textures like a matte top coat or sand effects add visual interest while remaining low-key.

Some subtle ways men can incorporate nail art include:

  • A single accent nail on one finger
  • Geometric shapes on a nude background
  • Negative space designs
  • Black and white patterns
  • Metallic tones on matte nails
  • Minimal line work and simple shapes

Focusing on 1-2 fingers keeps it masculine without being too flashy. Sticking to monochromatic color schemes also keeps the look refined and polished. Overall, simplicity and minimalism are key for nail art ideas that work for men’s style.

Caring for Polished Nails

Properly caring for polished nails is crucial to prevent chipping and peeling. Using a fast-drying top coat is a must, as it creates a protective barrier over the polish. Top coats like Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat (source) dry quickly and help nail polish last longer without chips. Applying a fresh top coat every 2-3 days can also help maintain a flawless manicure.

When removing nail polish, avoid picking or peeling, as this can damage the nails. Instead, use a cotton pad soaked in acetone-free nail polish remover. Gently rub the cotton pad over each nail to dissolve the polish. Once removed, apply cuticle oil to condition the nails and skin. For a quick change of polish, applying a fast-drying base coat first can allow the new color to adhere better.

With regular top coat touch-ups and proper removal methods, men can keep their polished nails looking pristine.

Overcoming Stigma

Men who paint their nails have faced criticism and negative comments over the years. As nail polish has traditionally been seen as a feminine thing, some people react negatively when they see men with painted nails. According to an article on Allure, men report getting called names or being asked why they want to look like a woman (Source). However, attitudes have been changing over time as nail polish becomes more gender neutral. A Reddit thread shows many comments of support for guys painting their nails, indicating growing acceptance (Source). With more male celebrities painting their nails and positive role modeling, it is becoming more commonplace. As one man said in the Allure article, “To the boys out there that get crap for painting their nails, stay strong.” (Source). Continued advocacy and visibility will help overcome remaining stigma.

Celebrity Inspiration

Many male celebrities across the music, sports, and film industries have helped normalize painted nails for men by proudly sporting colorful manicures. Musicians like Bad Bunny, Harry Styles, and ASAP Rocky often perform with painted nails, showcasing unique designs and colors. Athletes such as Odell Beckham Jr. express themselves through nail art, even on the field during games. Actors like Brad Pitt have rocked dark polishes on red carpets. These influential men demonstrate that nail polish isn’t just for women – it’s a form of self-expression for anyone. Their high-profile manicures have helped shape nail polish as an emerging trend for men across the world.

Popular Nail Trends

Many of the most popular nail trends for men focus on darker, richer tones and minimalist designs. Darker colors like black, navy, and dark red are very on trend right now according to Pinterest. These darker shades give a sophisticated, polished look. Neutral, minimalist tones are also prevalent, providing a subdued but stylish accent.

Glitter and embellishments are beginning to gain traction as well. As reported by GQ, nail art for men is going big right now. Small touches of glitter or metallic details can add flair without going overboard into traditionally feminine territory. Tiny studs or geometric shapes work nicely as understated nail art for men looking to experiment.

Overall, the emphasis seems to be on embracing color and creativity while still maintaining a masculine aesthetic. Darker tones, minimalist polish, and small embellishments strike this balance well.


This article has explored many facets of the growing trend of men wearing nail polish. We began with a brief history, showing that men painting their nails is not actually new – royalty and warriors through the ages have adorned their nails. We examined some of the key motivations of modern men who paint their nails – creativity, self-expression, and challenging traditional gender norms. The basics of performing a manicure safely were covered, along with some exciting nail art options specifically for men.

Caring for polished nails requires some adjustments to grooming routines, but the stigma surrounding men with painted nails is gradually declining. Male celebrities are leading the way by proudly sporting creative manicures for the public eye. Vibrant colors, patterns, jewels, and glossy finishes are all popular nail trends we’re seeing on stylish gents lately.

Overall, it’s clear that polished nails are rising in popularity and acceptance among men. Nail art allows for self-expression and personal flair. So while manicures may have traditionally seemed like a feminine activity, modern gentlemen are proving they can rock a colorful mani just as well as the ladies.

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