Pedicures have been around since ancient times, but the foot care treatment has seen a huge boost in popularity over the past 20 years. Despite the explosion of nail salons and spas that have come along with the high demand for pedicures, you may still be asking yourself, “What is a pedicure?”. And you’re not alone. A lot of people don’t know what the foot treatment is or what a pedicure feels like — especially men, who often times wrongly assume pedicures are only for women. Luckily, Footfiles has compiled the ultimate guide to pedicures that helps beginners learn what a pedicure entails and what the indulgent foot treatment feels like.
What Is A Pedicure?
A pedicure is a cosmetic treatment of the feet and toenails. There are many types of pedicures that range in method, but a classic or regular pedicure generally takes place in a nail salon rather than a spa. As the customer, you will sit in a comfortable chair and likely receive the following:
- A warm foot soak to help soften and relax the skin and toenails
- A foot scrub to remove calluses and flaky, dry foot skin — usually done with a pumice stone, foot file or other tool
- Moisturizer applied via a short foot and lower leg massage
- A careful trim and file of the toenails
- A nail cuticle treatment that includes the cuticles being pushed back and the application of nourishing cuticle oil
- Optional: The application of a basecoat polish, toenail polish and top coat polish, followed by a quick session under a nail dryer
Classic pedicures typically last between 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the condition of your feet and whether or not you choose polish application.
Can Men Get Pedicures, Too?
Yes! Contrary to popular belief, pedicures aren’t just for women. In fact, many podiatrists and athletic coaches recommend men receive pedicures as part of a healthy foot care routine. The foot treatment is said to help maintain foot health and ward off many problematic and painful foot issues like calluses, heel fissures and ingrown toenails.
What Does A Pedicure Feel Like?
When you’ve never had a pedicure before, it’s easy to imagine a host of different tactile experiences. Especially because some people describe the foot treatment as relaxing, while others say it feels weird and even ticklish. Each person responds to pedicures in a different way, but here’s the typical rollercoaster most people experience during a classic pedicure:
- Warm and Welcome: Most salon professionals will greet you with a smile, ask you to choose a toenail polish color (if toenail painting is desired), escort you to your chair and offer you something to drink. This is the start of feeling pampered.
- Soothed With Possible Goosebumps: Once your feet are dipped into the warm water bath (the first step to any pedicure), you’ll most likely feel super relaxed and tingly all over. All of your stress and worries will probably flow out of your feet, leaving you almost sleepy.
- Alert And Tickle Tortured: Let’s face it — no matter how cool you are with people touching your feet, having dead skin and calluses scrubbed off with a pumice stone or foot file is going to be slightly ticklish. It feels good, of course. But that hint of ticklishness is always there.
- Unsure And Hesitant: When the pedicurist starts clipping away at your toenails and filing them into perfection, you might feel the urge to pull your foot back. But rest assured that whoever is responsible for your tootsies is a skilled professional who does this kind of hacking every day. Try to keep in mind that the finished result will be completely worth the odd discomfort now.
- Blissfully Relaxed: The foot and leg massage that comes along with the pedicure moisturizing step is to die for. THIS is why people put themselves through the earlier “torture” of callus removal and nail trimming. Aaaaahhhhhh …
- Insanely Impressed: Whether you’re done with your treatment or you decide to move on to toenail polishing, this is when you look down at your feet and feel like pedicures are completely worth it. Your feet are smooth, soft, clean, and feel better than they ever have.
What Should You Do After A Pedicure?
If you chose not to have your toenails painted, you can put your shoes back on post pedicure and resume life as normal. If you chose to get your nails painted, however, you’ll want to wear flip flops for at least a couple of hours to allow your perfectly painted toenails to fully dry.
As for tipping, no need to feel awkward about the amount you should give your pedicurist. Just follow this handy dandy pedicure tipping guide so you can feel good both inside and outside as you walk out of the salon.