Our guide to manicures
Hotcourses Editor

Our guide to manicures

First published date November 01 2013 Amended date July 14 2015

We use our hands every day, from when we wake up in the morning and brush our teeth, to typing at work, to eating our food – they are without doubt one of the most frequently used and active parts of the human body. Much like our feet, it is vital that our hands are not neglected and that they are in fact cared for regularly and correctly.

Whether you wish to specialise in hand treatments or simply wish to broaden your knowledge of nail care, a manicure course will help you to do so. Just like a standalone pedicure qualification the good news is that there are generally no formal entry requirements required in order to get yourself onto a manicure course, just enthusiasm for the treatment.


Very hands on

Typical course content will include everything you will need to know in order to safely and efficiently carry out manicure treatments on people. Key aspects will include hygiene, sterilisation and professionalism, consultation and aftercare, identifying nail types and conditions, practical skills to carry out a manicure treatment; to include; shaping, cuticle work, massage and polishing.

Nails could be an area you wish to focus on alone and if this is the case, there are courses that will delve even further into this area e.g. nail extensions, nail art and much more.  This is worth bearing in mind when choosing your course to ensure the content is tailored specifically to your interests and future plans.

There are many courses widely available in this area tailored to fit around your current lifestyle. You can complete a part time course over a longer period, a full time course faster, or even take evening classes to fit around your weekly schedules of work or study.



You might want to learn manicure skills as an extra addition to your current/future work plans at a beauty salon or spa, or you may wish to work at a nail salon specifically and focus on hand care alone. A manicure qualification is a perfect start for any aspiring beauty therapist or nail artist looking for employment at any level of the industry. You could start your own nail salon, work for a high profile nail care business, work from home or even be styling the nails of the rich and famous – the possibilities are endless.

It might be though that you’re just after the skills and knowledge in order to treat your friends and family (or even yourself!) to thorough and professional hand and nail care, as well as being more aware of the theory surrounding the importance of caring for your hands regularly and adequately. If that’s the case, there are plenty of short fun courses where you can learn the basics.


‘Handy’ facts

  • The hand has been used as a symbol of protection since ancient times.
  • Your fingernails grow about the same amount as the continents move every year.
  • It takes 6 months for your fingernails to grow all the way from the root to the tip.
  • The longest fingernails ever belonged to Shidhar Chillal. They were 20 feet, 2.25 inches and it took 48 years to grow them.
  • 12.6% of all men are left-handed, while only 9.9% of all women are.
  • One fourth of athletic injuries involve the hand and wrist.
  • When the hand is kept wet, the skin of the palm wrinkles and the exact reason as to why this happens is not known, except that nerves control it. When the nerve, which supplies feeling to an area of skin on the palm, is cut, that area of skin not only becomes numb, but also loses its ability to wrinkle when wet.
  • The thumb is controlled by 9 individual muscles, which are controlled by all 3 major hand nerves.
  • Each hand contains: 29 major and minor bones, 29 major joints, at least 123 named ligaments, 34 muscles which move the fingers and thumb, 48 nerves and 30 named arteries.
  • Fingers are never perfectly straight. Usually, the index, ring and small finger each curve sideways slightly toward the middle finger, and the middle finger may curve toward either side.
  • During the Gallic wars, Julius Caesar ordered the thumbs of captured warriors be amputated so that when they returned to their country, they would serve as examples and be unable to bear arms again. This practice was later used in a number of wars and in the slave trade.


By Telsha Arora

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