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Manicured nails are often referred to as nail art. The culture of manicured nails sprung during the Greek times. Eros was even considered to be the first manicurist as it was mentioned in the Greek mythology archives that he cut Aphrodite’s fingernails while she was asleep.
Eros is said to have thrown these clippings in the beach where they turned into precious gems. The practice of manicuring is dated to be about 4,000 years old.
Manicures existed in southern Babylonia and manicure tools have been found in Egypt’s royal tombs. The Romans painted their nails with a mixture of sheep fat and blood.
Turkish women created a pink tint for the nails from boiled rose petals. Women in biblical times dyed their hair as well as fingernails and toenails with henna juice (mentioned in Song of Solomon), this practice still exists in parts of Middle Eastern culture today.
The custom of growing long nails had been related to status, since it can prevent certain forms of manual labor. Chinese noblemen and women of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) had been well known for their extraordinarily long fingernails which were sometimes protected with gold and jewel-encrusted nail guards.
They had servants who fed, dressed, and performed other personal chores for them so that they did not break their nails. The Chinese people also used nail polish made from egg whites, beeswax, vegetable dyes and Arabic gum.
In western history, colored nail polish became common in the 20th century. Before the 20th century, unstained hands with white and regularly formed nails were esteems as part of a dominant aesthetic linking physical hygiene and moral purity.
Etiquette guides from the 1800s recommended a little lemon juice or vinegar and water to whiten the nail tips. Commercial products such as nail polishers or buffers, crystal stones, emery boards, hand and cuticle creams, pearly white liquid and other bleaching powders for hands and nails were available at this time.
During the 1960s and 1970s, nail salons began to sprout everywhere. By this time, American women desired to look feminine and sexy.
Over $6 billion is spent on services in American nail salons each year and the art of the manicurist has become increasingly prized worldwide. Both men and women have become regular clients because well-kept nails are considered to be an important part of a professional image.
New technologies have also made nail extensions more realistic. At the fantasy end of the market, fingernails and toenails have become a canvas for the expression of creative imagination.
Hairstyles and Nails