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Q: Why should a man take good care of his hands?
A: Hands say a lot about a man. Sure they might not be the primary thing folks notice, but they’re usually the first part people come into contact with. And whether shaking, high-fiving or caressing, it’s beyond important they communicate the right message about a guy’s grooming standards.

Q: What should a gentlemanly pair of hands look like?
A: Clean (no dirt or grime), moisturized (no flakes or alligator skin) and with trimmed and well-manicured nails (rounded edges with a thin strip of white at the end).

Q: How can a man achieve solid-looking hands?
A: A regular schedule of professional or at-home manicures will usually do the trick. However, either route requires some in-between maintenance, including ongoing cleansing and moisturizing.

Q: When trimming nails, how much white should be left on the ends?
A: An extra-thin white strip is ideal. Not much more we can say about that.

Q: What is a cuticle and how should it be cared for?
A: The cuticle is a thin strip of skin at the base of each nail which serves as a barrier to prevent bacteria from entering the finger. Cuticles should only be cut by professionals or with targeted cuticle trimmers and should otherwise be pushed back utilizing cuticle oil and a cuticle-type stick.

Q: What is a hang nail and how can it be eliminated?
A: That annoying piece of skin/nail sticking out to the side of your finger that catches on everything -- that’s a hang nail. While very tempting to bite off, it’s not a good idea as excess skin could come off with it and lead to more pain and an infection. Instead, hang nails should be banished via a pair of clean nail scissors or cuticle clippers.

Q: Does it make a man a wuss to get a professional manicure?
A: We sure as hell hope not and certainly don’t think so. It’s a fact that Al Capone and John Wayne used to get regular hand treatments. If those guys were wusses, count us as the same.

Q: How do I stop biting my nails?
A: Nail biting is a common oral compulsive habit. Aside from leaving nails looking and feeling ravaged, it can lead to infection on both the nails and in your mouth (think of all the things hands touch during the day). To curb this nasty routine…

  • Look for and utilize hand creams or liquid treatments containing denatonium benzoate, brand names Bitrex or Aversion. It’s a bitter tasting ingredient that is meant to discourage nail biting.
  • Make a point to take care of your nails. Once nails are looking good, it’s much easier and more motivating to keep them looking that way.

Q: Should a man’s nails be shiny?
A: Touch of shine = OK. Lots of shine = Creepy. The best way to get that touch o’ shine is a combination of a quality hand and nail cream and the use of a “buffing block,” which are standard for any professional manicurist and can be picked up for at-home use at pretty much any drug store. As with select other items, this isn’t one to “chat up” with the fellas.