Walk into a nail salon in Green Valley and Sahuarita, and the majority of people getting manicures and pedicures are women. Yet more and more men are treating themselves to nail care, too.
For men in Southern Arizona who wear open-toe sandals for the long, hot summers, grooming toenails with a pedicure is a step to smart, healthy personal care. Plus, it feels good.
From ingrown toenails to fungus, callouses, bunions and dryness, the look of unkempt feet can be greatly improved with a relaxing and pampering pedicure.
Nail technicians at LaBelle Nail Salon in Green Valley Village are seeing more men coming in for regular pedicures. Some also get a manicure, said owner Bruce Trinh. His wife and salon co-owner, Lily Le, estimates they have about one man a day coming in for nail care.
For Alan Blecker, 67, manicures have been part of his professional life. When greeting people and shaking hands, it was important that his hands looked good, he said.
As a new resident to Green Valley and Sahuarita for about a year, Blecker said he went to two other nail salons before finding La Belle. He likes Lily to do his manicures and pedicures, and he’s recommended pedicures to his pickleball buddies.
“ I think it’s healthy. I’m here every two weeks. I could go another week or two for the toenails, but I love how Lily does the leg massage. And she’s sweet,” Blecker said.
Ten years ago, Dave Sproul, 81, had an ingrown toe nail and his wife forced him to get a pedicure. He went to a nail salon in Green Valley, which since has closed, where he met Julie Trinh and followed her to La Belle, where she’s been giving him a monthly pedicure ever since.
“The pedicure takes about 45 minutes and I love how Julie does my leg massage,” Sproul said, as he relaxes and enjoys the luxury.
Jon Fitch, 86, said he’s been getting monthly pedicures for about two years.
“It’s one thing I don’t have to do myself. And I can’t bend over any more,” he commented with a grin.
Across from Circle K on the South I-19 Frontage Road, Expert Nails has its share of men coming in for pedicures, too. Joe Alvarado, 38, said he likes the feel of his feet after a pedicure.
“My feet needed this. They were dry. Now my feet feel smooth. And it’s refreshing,” he said, adding he gets a pedicure along with his wife, Valerie.
Owner Mae Su at Blossom Nails at the northwest corner of Continental Plaza said some men come in with their wife for pedicures; others come by themselves.
John Colip, 70, has been getting pedicures since his mother gave him a gift certificate four years ago.
“I’m on my feet a lot; I do a lot of walking. Now I get a pedicure five or six times a year. It was very ticklish the first time. I especially like the way Cat Martin does the leg massage,” he said of his pedicures at Blossom Nails.
What’s included in a pedicure? Your feet soak in a warm foot bath. Then your toenails are clipped and shaped, and any gunk under your nails will be removed. All the dead skin on the bottom of the feet will be smoothed away, and you’ll relax with a comforting leg massage.
On the health-benefit side, having callouses removed can prevent the formation of pressure points. Having toenails cared for by a professional can help to prevent hangnails and ingrown toenails.