Hands-On Advice for Taking Care of Your Hands. Ladies should welcome your touch, not recoil from it. But if you have long nails, frayed cuticles, or gnarly hang nails, that’s exactly what could happen. “A guy’s hands don’t have to be perfectly smooth, but they should be clean and well kept,” says manicurist Angel Williams. “It shows he cares about all aspects of his hygiene.” But you don’t need to accompany your gal to the nail salon, as long as you have the right equipment—and these experts tips—to make your hands as presentable as they are strong.
1. Don’t Clip Too Low
Start by resting the clippers—don’t push inward—on your nail and clip no more than three to four times per nail following its natural curve, says Williams. This model from Tweezerman has guards on the sides so you won’t have to chase after clippings. But don’t bother trying to make them perfectly round, she says. The next step will take care of that.
2. Smooth The Edge
Next, smooth out your nail with a file. No, not that big pink thing your girl uses. Use this metal version to even out the edges until you have a slightly rounded shape—keep it squared off near the edges if you get ingrown nails easily. That same tool is handy for cleaning under your nails and pushing back your cuticles.
3. Push Your Cuticles
The tissue at the back of your nails, or cuticles, connects it to your skin. But when they creep out too far, they can fray and become scratchy to the touch. Dry cuticles are also more apt to get caught on clothing and bleed—something she also won’t find cute. Soften the tissue for a few minutes with a dab of oil—your pre-shave oil works just fine —and use the multitool to push back the tissue toward your nail bed, says Williams.
4. Don’t Play Hangman
That annoying piece of skin that sticks out between your nail and skin near the tip of your finger is a dreaded hang nail. And the reason they hurt like hell and bleed when you pull them out is because they’re still attached to the thin skin around your nail. Instead of yanking them, use a hangnail clipper to remove excess skin at the base right after a shower when they’re still soft, says Williams.
5. Buff Those Cracks
Your nails are resilient—they completely regrow every four to six months—so you don’t have to live with bumps or cracks in your fingernails. After you’ve used oil on your nails, rub a buffer flat across the inconsistency until it feels smooth to the touch. Over the course of months, your nails will become perfectly smooth and your hands will become her new favorite toy.