Men’s interest in manicures seems to be steadily growing. And if rappers, singers and other famous actors have set the trend, it’s now a whole generation of men who are stepping up to show that coloured and manicured nails are no longer (only) a thing for women.

Self-expression and self-affirmation

Beauty, like fashion, is progressively becoming a new form of self-expression, which interests women as much as men. Despite the best efforts of pioneering artists and celebrities, from David Bowie to Johnny Depp, who dabbled with more androgynous looks, the 2020 decade might appear to be a true turning point, with a real blurring of the boundaries between genders, especially in the cosmetics industry.

Last March, European online beauty booking platform Treatwell unveiled a survey that reflected these changes. The survey showed that three in 10 French men, for instance, were willing to get a manicure and pedicure, and that manicures were one of the most popular services for men. The specialist site also noted a 23% increase in nail care before the holiday season. All in all, these figures suggest that such services are indeed meeting men’s new demands.

Harry Styles, Lil Nas X, and Co.

From the catwalks to the red carpets, via the music industry, or even street styles, men’s manicures have recently become part of the routine for some celebrities, helping to make male nail care more popular worldwide. And we’re not talking about black nails — often the standard of the punk or grunge look — but colored nails or nails decorated with patterns of all kinds. As often, Harry Styles appears as one of the leaders in this field, often posing or stepping out with perfectly groomed and painted nails.

But he is not alone. ASAP Rocky, Lil Nas X, J. Balvin, Bad Bunny, Pete Davidson, Jared Leto, Marc Jacobs and Machine Gun Kelly are among the many men who have taken the plunge, making numerous appearances with nails painted in various colours.

The latter has even launched his own brand of unisex nail polish, UN/DN LAQR, reflecting the popularity of this trend, which seems on its way to become a standard beyond social networks.