Russian Manicure Also Known As a Dry Manicure
Russian manicures have grown increasingly popular due to their luxurious, professional-grade finish. Also referred to as dry or e-file manicures, the technique requires professional training and experience from nail technicians.
What Happens During a Russian Manicure?
The Russian manicure, popularized by models like Kendall Jenner and Jasmine Tookes, is an increasingly popular nail trend. But its use may cause controversy: cutting past the eponychium (where nail ends meet skin) involves cutting past an essential seal that seals nails to skin; doing it incorrectly could result in bleeding, infection and other serious consequences.
Russian manicures performed by trained nail technicians using sterilized tools are safe and beneficial to your nails, according to Kars. “First, the tech pushes back and cleans away dry cuticle growth from the lateral sinuses,” followed by using special tools to gently process and shape nail cuticles before finishing up by applying non-toxic polish.
The First Step
This technique was devised in the ’90s by nail technicians looking for a solution to endure harsh winter weather in their region, as well as one which would strengthen and lengthen nails for longer lasting beauty.
Step one of a Russian manicure involves opening up the eponychium – or seal between your nail ends and skin – using an electric file with an “e-file” head piece, according to Eskander. Step two entails gently opening up cuticles.
Step one of nail care requires professional training. Otherwise, the risk of infection and further cuticle damage increases significantly – hence why finding an uncontaminated salon is essential to your nail care journey.
The Second Step
Contrary to traditional manicures where nail technicians use files to cut or push back cuticles, with Russian Manicures the technician uses an electronic drill to extract any extra cuticle under each nail and give a neat trim. While many nail enthusiasts appreciate this step, critics note the increased risk for infection or bleeding associated with it.
Nail experts also warn that excessive clipping or abrading of nails can actually accelerate their growth and create the very issue manicures are intended to address.
At any salon or nail technician that offers this technique, make sure they have been professionally trained in this approach and their tools have been sterilized prior to beginning this trend. As with anything nail related, be sure to consult your physician first!
The Third Step
TikTok users have noticed an upsurge of so-called Russian manicures being offered by nail technicians who use electric files to clean up nails and create an ideal surface for polish. Unfortunately, however, this technique has caused much debate within the nail community because it cuts past eponychium, potentially leading to bleeding or serious infection if not handled appropriately.
Malikova claims her nail experts are trained to avoid damaging natural nails, having graduated from Profi Nails’ Russian Manicure school. But Malikova emphasizes that trying a new nail technique should always be undertaken with caution and research in order to make an informed decision for yourself and your nails’ wellbeing.
She recommends sticking with manicures that you enjoy and applying cuticle oil regularly to keep nails healthy and happy.
The Fourth Step
Based on their preference, nail technicians may use either a diamond bit or flame to trim away excess cuticle. Cuticles are natural layers of skin covering the base of your nails and need to be kept under control in order to look their best.
Use of an electric file to cut or abrade cuticles disrupts its natural seal, and exposes your nails to bacteria that could lead to infection of your nail bed.
If you’re considering getting a Russian manicure, be sure to locate a salon trained in this technique and using sterilized equipment. Although costly due to intricate cuticle work taking longer than a standard gel manicure treatment, Russian manicures may cost between $80 for single color treatments or more if adding art or extensions are included.