Having gross, dirty and unkempt fingernails (and toenails) is not only a huge turn-off, but it’s also quite possibly a health hazard.

Women are perceptive creatures.

As a man, when you first meet any woman, she will almost instinctively check out things such as your posture, build, height, hair, teeth and…at some point…your nails.

Unfortunately, most men simply do not properly care for their fingernails, and it shows.

Luckily, that’s what this article is for,

Let’s begin.

You are going to learn how to trim your nails perfectly.

Let’s begin.

Step-by-Step

  1. Soften up your hands by rinsing them with warm water
  2. Choose the correct tool; use a medium-sized clipper for your fingernails and a bigger-sized clipper for your toenails. Keep them separate.
  3. Place the clipper over the nail you want trimmed, apply pressure and clip it. Ensure that you do not trim them too short.
  4. Step 4 (optional) Use a cuticle pusher to push back any frayed or elongated cuticles you may have. Be careful here.
  5. Use an emery board to shape your nails aligned with your fingertips; rounded.
  6. Moisturize your hands to prevent excessive drying

When and How Should You Cut Your Nails?

Here’s a simple rule to follow.

As a man, your nails should never extend beyond your fingers. Ever. Unless you are a rockstar who sports black painted nails, this rule will apply to the vast majority of you.

That being said, even that will be considered too long for most men.

Ideally, you only want a little bit of ‘white’ showing. By the way, the end of your nails turn white (or sometimes yellow, yeck!) because they are drying out. The whiter, the drier they are.

And when it comes to trimming your nails?

You should apply something of the same rule stated above. Cut your nails either leaving a very small bit of white left, or right at the division between the pink and white portions of your nail.

However, where you cut your nails is almost always going to be a lot less important than the tool you are doing it with, which leads us to our second question.

What Tools Should You Use?

Changes are, if you are anything like the vast majority of men, you are probably using the wrong ones.

The first tool that most men used to clip their finger and toenails was called a compound-lever clipper, and it was invented way back in 1947 by William E. Bassett, which was itself an improvement upon older style clippers. The great thing about Bassett’s device was that it was cheap, convenient and easy to produce en masse.

It also was and is very easy to use. Just place your nail between the two edges, press down and bam! Your nail has been cleaved in two!

Unfortunately, that is terrible for your nails.

Here’s the problem with most of the manicure tools that you’ll find in your local pharmacy or store.

They are often made from low-quality steel that dulls quickly and are not stainless, which means they get will soon become rusty.

Clippers’ steel needs to have a high-carbon content for strength, and they also need to be sharp. However, these tools are almost never sharpened after they are bought.

This means that after a few months or so your nail clipper will dull and lose its sharpness, and instead of quickly slicing your nail you will be effectively smashing two dull pieces of steel down onto it.

And then there is rust.

Most of the cheaply-made nail clippers that you find everywhere will not have high-carbon content steel, nor will they be rust-free.

And as most nail clippers and trimmers lay around in bathrooms, rust tends to accumulate quickly.

You don’t want to use a dull, rusty nail trimmer. It’s terrible for your nails and could cause all sorts of complications such as finger and toenail infections.

Here is how you solve this problem.

Invest in a high-carbon, stainless-steel nail trimmer.

Yes, it will run you a little bit of money but…they are much healthier for your nails and you will probably make up the difference in the long-run as these high-quality tools last a long time, whereas your typical store-bought clippers will barely last half a year before accumulating rust and going dull.

The Seki Edge is a good option.

Lastly, I want to make one more point about proper nail tools.

Keep your fingernail and toenail clippers completely separate.

If you can’t do this, thoroughly disinfect your clipper before switching to use them on your toenails or fingernails, as different types of bacteria grow there.

Nasty fungal infections can occur when you transplant the bacteria from your toenails to your fingernails, so keep your tools separate.

How to Cut Your Cuticles? 

Look at the base of your fingernails. Do you see that thin layer of skin that covers the bottom of your nail and your finger?

That’s your cuticle.

Don’t cut that, even if it looks frayed or is too long.

What manicurists do is push that bit of skin back closer to your finger with a specially-designed tool called a ‘cuticle pusher’ (no ambiguity there right?).

All you do to do this properly is soak your hands in some warm water for a good five minutes or so to soften the cuticle skin, and then use the tool to gently push back the skin.

That’s it. If you push back too hard you will irritate your fingernails and it will drive you crazy over the next few days.

Or, simply don’t bother with your cuticles at all. Most men don’t. But, now you know that you at least have that option, and how to do it.

Should You Use a Nail Filer?

Here’s the short answer…

Yes.

But before we talk about this, we have to point out that that little tool is supposed to be called an emery board.

And so from now on, that’s what we are going to call it.

There’s good reason manicurists give your fingernails a quick file when they are done.

Clipping your nails cuts them along a straight-edge. However, as you must have noticed decades ago, your finger and toenails are not square-shaped.

Thus, when you file your fingernails you are rounding them back to their natural-shape. Not only does this look and feel better, but it’s also better for your nails as they will be less likely to grow underneath your skin at weird-angles and cause all sorts of headaches.

To properly file your nails, simply flip your board to what looks like the ‘rougher and grainier’ side and file your nails so that they mirror the roundness of your fingertips. Filing nails is a lot like using sandpaper, in that just as too much sanding can ruin your work, too much filing can be a bit too much.

You can stop filing when they look ‘good enough’, and then switch over to the other (smoother) side of the board to work out any kinks or jagged edges in your nails.

It’s not rocket-science when it comes to learning how to trim your nails perfectly, but we threw a lot at you in this post, so to make things easier on the eyes, just follow the steps below.

About the Author

Hi, I’m M and I’m the owner of Manscipated. I created this website for one reason and one reason only; to dispense clear, straight-forward men’s hygiene tips. No fluff. No BS. If you like what I have to say (or if you disagree), feel free to drop a line. I will respond (and play nice!).

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