How Often Should You *Really* Get a Manicure?
Main image – French Girl Organics
Getting a manicure has got to be one of *the* best ways to feel pampered. Fringe benefit – you’re also bound to get loads of positive attention and compliments about your perfectly polished nails.
But did you know a regular manicure is also pretty important for keeping your nails strong and healthy?
Even if you’re not keen on extravagant designs, or even wearing nail polish at all, a trip to the salon can provide a little special treatment and time to yourself, as well as keeping check of your nail health.
So how often exactly should you be getting a manicure?
That’s why we asked Kayla Bramlet, Director of Education and Training for Frenchies Modern Nail Care, all about the importance of healthy nails, how often we should have a manicure, the benefits of regular manis, and how we can prolong the life of our polished nails.
The short answer
How often you should get a manicure will depend on the type of polish you go for (regular nail polish chips pretty quickly), and how quickly your nails grow.
There are varying lengths of time between manis for gel nails, acrylics, shellac, and regular polish.
Kayla told us that, in general, “When it comes to having polish or enhancements on our nails – the manicure timeline becomes even more important. With a regular lacquer manicure, the polish will likely chip within 4-5 days.”
That means it’s a good idea to book a weekly touch up for any nail art, French manicure or plain manis done with regular polish.
Acrylic and gel nails
But what about gel polishes or acrylics?
“With gel polish or other enhancements, the manicure will last longer. At Frenchies Modern Nail Care, we do not recommend guests go longer than 3 weeks with any type of gel or enhancement on the nail,” says Kayla.
Even if you are planning on going totally polish-free though Kayla says a regular mani is important for things like cuticle care and healthy nails. “Generally, it is advisable to schedule a professional manicure every 2 to 3 weeks to maintain nail health and aesthetics,” she explains.
Can a regular manicure benefit your skin and nails?
Getting a manicure regularly is not only a great way to feel pampered and for your nails to look aesthetically pleasing, but it’s also important for keeping your nails and nail bed healthy and free from infection, preventing hangnails, and reducing the risk of ingrown nails.
Regular maintenance “can contribute to overall nail health and prevent various issues. While the frequency of manicures may vary based on personal preference and lifestyle, there are certain guidelines that can promote nail health,” Kayla tells us.
“From a health perspective, proper nail maintenance helps prevent painful hangnails that can lead to more severe issues like infections.
“Professional manicures often include cuticle work, which helps to minimise hangnails and keep the nails well-groomed. This attention to the cuticles improves the nails’ appearance and reduces the risk of painful and potentially harmful conditions,” she adds.
Even worse, not getting your acrylics or nail enhancements done regularly, could actually harm you.
Kayla tells us: As the enhancement grows out, the weight on your nail bed transfers toward the edge of the nail.
“This is now weighing the nail “down” and pulling away from the nail matrix (which is where our nail grows from).
This does cause damage to your nail matrix and can lead to damaged nails long term.
“In addition to any damage to the nail plate, regular maintenance of any enhancement (gel/acrylic) is critical to ensure there is no bacteria growing underneath the enhancement.
“Over time, the enhancement could lift, which can allow moisture to be trapped underneath which leads to mould and fungus.”
In terms of how your fresh nails look, Kayla explains “well-maintained nails contribute to a polished and put-together appearance. Whether your occupation demands clean and presentable hands, or you simply value a neat appearance, manicures can play a crucial role.”
As anyone who has ever had a manicure will tell you, apart from the benefits they’re just, well… relaxing.
That in itself is enough of a reason to book a regular beauty appointment.
As well as exfoliating and pampering your paws, your nail artist will often include a hand massage which not only encourages blood flow for healthy skin but feels great, releases muscle tension and encourages joint mobility.
Ask aesthetician to throw in a hot stone treatment with your massage for an extra treat next time.
Ok, but does any of this benefit your toes too?
Regular pedicures from a professional nail technician at a beauty salon can similarly help with health issues like ingrown toenails, early diagnosis of any potential medical issues, and infection prevention.
We suggest getting a monthly pedicure if you want your toes to stay gleaming – and who doesn’t love a foot massage?!
Can you have too many manicures?
Too many manicures can actually weaken your nails.
Although getting a manicure on a regular basis is beneficial and gives a well-groomed appearance, it’s important to remember that “excessive or improper nail care can lead to damage and weaken the nails. It’s crucial to strike a balance between maintaining nail health and avoiding over-manicuring,” Kayla explains.
How often is right for you depending on your lifestyle?
For the best results, it’s important to take your lifestyle into account as well as the cost. You should consider “individual factors such as nail growth rate, personal style, and lifestyle choices. Generally, it is advisable to schedule a professional manicure every two to three weeks to maintain nail health and aesthetics,” Kayla advises.
The life of your manicure will depend on:
- Your daily activities like your job (lady commandos are more likely to need a regular mani than office workers for example)
- Household chores
- How quickly your nails grow
- The type of manicure you prefer (ie, regular polish chips quicker than gel nails)
- The style of manicure that you like
- The cost of each manicure and the budget you have
- Whether you have any special occasions coming up
You may not need to get a full manicure each time, and might just require a touch-up to any nail art or to repair any nails that may have chipped or broken.
If a regular manicure isn’t something you can commit to because of time constraints or your budget, it’s still worth treating yourself for any special occasions!
Tips for maintaining nails between manicures
There are also some things you can do to keep your manicure in tip-top condition.
Kayla tells us “practising good nail hygiene, such as keeping nails clean, avoiding excessive use of harsh chemicals, and moisturising the cuticles,” are essential.
Avoid harsh chemicals
Avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach and, if you need to use them, be sure to wear gloves to protect your manicure and prevent breakages and weakening. Regularly wash your hands and clean under your nails with a soft brush to remove dirt and bacteria, and apply a moisturiser or cuticle oil daily to keep them hydrated and prevent them from becoming dry and brittle.
You can gently exfoliate nails using a mixture of three parts baking soda and one part water, which will buff away any dead skin cells, and smooth out damaged cells that cause roughness, lifting and detaching. This will also help with brittleness, splitting, peeling, ridging and discolouration.
Regularly moisturise hands and nails with a body oil and cuticle oil like this cute one from French Girl Organics to keep nails strong and cuticles healthy.
It’s important to keep your nails healthy from within. Eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins is essential for healthy nails, including foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and biotin-rich foods.
Your manicure will look good for anywhere from 5 days for regular polish to 3 weeks for gel or acrylic nails.
A regular mani can actually help nail health though, and for nail enhancements it’s a must to keep them clean.
Remember to practice great nail hygiene at home too. Make sure to clean underneath your nails regularly, look out for any signs of infections if you often wear acrylic nails, avoid your cuticles from growing up your nail, and you can also use products to strengthen your nails in between manicures.
Now, to the salon!
Meet the experts
Kayla Bramlet is the Director of Education and Training for Frenchies Modern Nail Care, a fast-growing national non-toxic nail salon franchise.