Love Getting a Manicure? But Do You Know Its History?

Did you know that the history of manicure goes a long way back? Let us take a stroll back in time and learn more about the rich history of manicures.

History of Manicure

The Ancient Babylonian Manicure (3500 B.C. – 1781 B.C.)

Manicures may be more popular to women in these modern times, but back in the old old days, it was the men who wore them more often. In ancient Babylonia, the men manicured and colored their nails. They used kohl in different colors. Each color represents different classes. Those in the upper echelons wore a black manicure while those in the lower classes wore green manicure. It is also the ancient Babylonians who came up with the very first and most luxurious manicure set in the world. The tools in their set were made from…wait for it…solid gold.

The Ancient Egyptians’ Manicure (1300 B.C. – 1st Century B.C.)

If you were to look back in time and trace who popularized the many luxurious things that we enjoy today, you’ll run into two names. Cleopatra and Queen Nefertiti. They popularized the manicure by rubbing their hands in rich oils and then they use henna to stain their nails. Cleopatra and Queen Nefertiti believed that manicure signified their wealth and social status. During those times, the trend was the bolder the color, the more power one has. Cleopatra preferred the blood red hue tone while Nefertiti loved ruby.

The Ming Dynasty 1386-1644

Both male and female members of the royal family of the Ming Dynasty wore a set of perfectly manicured talon-like nails. They mixed egg whites, wax, vegetable dyes, and other materials to get various color varnishes ranging from dark red to black.

1920’s and 1930’s Manicure

In the 1920’s the automobile industry started flourishing. This is about the same time that women started coloring their nails using high gloss car paint. Revlon finally revolutionized the manicure world when they came out with a groundbreaking polish using pigments instead of dyes. These polishes were easily available at drug stores. The popular female actors of the silver screen at that time then popularized the half-moon as well as the French manicure.

1940’s and 1950’s Manicure

When the 1940’s hit, the average women started painting their nails at home. Nail salons also were becoming a huge hit for manicures and the latest trend in nails by then was the acrylic nails. The classic hot red nail color that is still stylish until today was immortalized by screen sirens like Elizabeth Taylor and Rita Hayworth when Hollywood moved from black and white to Technicolor.

Hope you had fun learning a little bit about the history of manicure.

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