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What is a Russian manicure

Everyone needs a day of nail pampering once in a while. I mean who doesn’t love having nice and appealing nails, right? 

Nowadays, our nails have become a significant beauty focus. 

Most of us probably have tried regular manicures, gel polish, press-on nails and acrylic nails. Indeed, many options are available when it comes to nail beauty! 

But have you heard about Russian manicures? 

It turns out that this new nail trend is slowly taking nail enthusiasts by storm. 

But what is this technique exactly? And is it worth trying?

Follow along as we delve deeper into Russian manicure.


What is a Russian pedicure?

What is a Russian pedicure

A Russian manicure/pedicure has many names. Some people call it “dry” manicure, “e-file” manicure or “hardware” manicure. 

But what really is this technique and why are many people talking about it? 

What’s peculiar with Russian pedicure is that it does not only clean the nail surface, but it also thoroughly cleans the nail cuticle and the excess skin around the nail bed. This technique focuses on taking off the cuticle with an electronic file, leaving you with extremely clean cuticles. 

And since the process involves extensive cleaning, the duration would run from an hour or two. 

Also, only trained and experienced nail technicians with appropriate license should do this technique to ensure that it is done safely and meticulously and that only sterilized tools are used. 

So as a piece of advice, never do this technique on your own! Otherwise, you might end up with a damaged nail bed or worse, a nail or skin infection. 


Difference between a regular manicure and a Russian manicure 

The main difference between the two lies in the manner of removing the cuticle.

In regular manicure, the cuticle is soaked in a bowl of water for easy removal. Russian manicure, on the other hand, uses the dry manicure technique.

This dry manicure technique involves cleaning and removing the cuticle with an electric file. An alternative method is cleaning the cuticle with an electric file and removing them with nippers. 

Either way, these two methods require extreme care! 

Now, let’s talk about duration. 

As I’ve mentioned earlier, a Russian manicure extremely cleans the skin around the nail bed. Hence, the process would take a little longer compared to regular manicure. 

So if you’re planning on heading on to the nearest nail salon to try out this technique, allot at least 1-2 hours of your time. 

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Why is it called Russian manicure? 

I’m no mind reader but I know that you think Russian manicure, from the name itself, originated from Russia. 

Well, you’re kinda there.  

But let’s settle some little details first. There is nothing Russian in this technique. 

So why is it called a Russian manicure in the very first place? 

The procedure involves hardware. Hardware simply means mani-pedi tools such as nail file, nail cutter, nail buff, and cuticle nipper. 

Again, these mani-pedi tools are in no way associated with Russian culture or tradition. In fact, the person who invented these tools was a German national. 

But what makes “Russian manicure” Russian lies in hardware-usage. 

So to answer the question, the term “Russian manicure” arose because hardware has been widely and actively used in Russia. 

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Are Russian manicures safe?

The answers are mixed. 

Most doctors say that Russian manicures are dangerous.

This is because the technique is invasive. It entails intentional cutting and scraping off living skin around the nail bed. 

This abrasion reduces the ability of the skin to protect itself from germs and bacteria. And since the living skin is cut off, the damaged skin is at high risk of infection

It also becomes more prone to skin irritation because nail coating products are directly applied  onto the damaged area. 

However, the nail industry believes that the procedure is otherwise safe when done by trained nail technicians.

Since they are properly trained, they know better about hygiene and more so, infection prevention and proper measures.

So before trying out this technique, it’s best to weigh out the pros and cons. If you’re a risk taker, then go for it. Otherwise, stick with traditional manicures. 


Russian manicure benefits

We’ve already talked about the dangers of Russian manicure but there’s always something good in every bad, right?

So let’s flip the coin and talk about its benefits. 

Russian manicures are super long-lasting. It can last up to four weeks depending on the growth of the cuticle. So if you want to cut down your nail salon expenses, you might as well go for a Russian manicure. 

Also, the technique restores the nail bed. It makes the nails stronger and shinier while also promoting nail growth. 

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Why is Russian manicure illegal?

As stated earlier, Russian manicure is considered as an invasive procedure which is illegal and prohibited in many countries and states. It is illegal because it abrades the skin, making you susceptible to infection.

Most states in the United States of America limit the use of e-filers solely on the nail plate. Using it on the skin around the nail bed is therefore forbidden. 

Others require proper medical licenses while some completely prohibit nail technicians from doing the said procedure.


The takeaway

A lot of celebrities like Kendall Jenner have jumped onto the Russian manicure bandwagon. 

Who wouldn’t? It’s exceptionally picture-perfect!

But remember that our cuticles protect not only the nails but also the skin around them. Hence, intentionally cutting them makes it easier for bacterias to enter, thereby causing infection. 

And while most nail technicians are trained to do a Russian manicure, the risk of developing infection and irritation are just way too high. 

Even the use of sterile tools is not enough prevention. 

But above all, the decision is still up to you. 

No one is stopping you from trying out this new nail trend, unless of course if it’s illegal in your country. 

But in doing so, keep in mind the possible ‘disastrous’ consequences. 

Otherwise, on your next nail salon appointment, you can simply just have your cuticles pushed back, rather than having them removed. 

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