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What Is A Japanese Manicure? [All You Need To Know]

Have you heard about Japanese manicures? They are actually a very old form of manicure that has been made popular in recent years, and chances are you’ve come across them somewhere–be it a pin on Pinterest, an item on a menu in a salon, or an ad on Facebook. Chances are, though, you’re not quite sure what they entail, whether you would want to get one, and where you even can. Well, I’ll be answering all these questions and more here today.

So, what is a Japanese manicure? A Japanese manicure is a 400-year-old nail treatment using all-natural products. A paste is applied to your nail bed; then it is sealed with powder; this turns your nails nice and shiny with a slight shimmer and glow to them. It’s a calm and relaxing beauty ritual that does wonders for your nails. It’s great for fragile, brittle, and splitting nails. 

Think of it as a face mask for your nails though it’s perhaps more accurate to say you buff nutrients into your nail bed!

So with this in mind, let’s find out more about what a Japanese mani consists of, what it costs if you can do one at home, and what salons offer one!

What Does A Japanese Manicure Consist Of?

A Japanese manicure is both very similar to and very different from a traditional Western manicure.

First of all, a person performing a Japanese manicure is called a master if they have been trained in the traditional art of Japanese manicures. 

And as with Japanese tea, it’s a slow and calming ritual if performed in the traditional manner. Modern spas may offer more Westernized approaches, however. 

The master starts by removing your nail polish if you have any. Then they disinfect your hands using an all-natural liquid–it’s got a beeswax base, so it’s warmed up before being applied.  

After that, your nails are filed. And here’s the other thing–all tools used are natural, too. So the file is a ceramic file. 

Your cuticles are then pushed back (after applying oil to soften them) using ceramic sticks. 

Then it’s time to buff your nails. To do this, a cream is applied, and then the nails are buffed using calf skin. 

After that, it’s time for the interesting part. This is when the paste is applied over the nail and pushed into your nail bed (gently). 

This paste is made from various natural ingredients and often includes seaweed, beeswax, and several natural oils. It’s green and solid (thanks to the beeswax). 

After that, a powder is applied that seals the paste. It usually contains diatomaceous earth and pearl powder or silica, making it shimmer. It will leave your nails with a pink shine to them. 

This process of applying the products may be repeated.

Japanese manicures are known for restoring damaged nails. However, while one treatment makes a difference, several treatments are needed for your nails to heal properly. 

You’ll likely be surprised that natural ingredients can make your nails look just as if you’ve applied a polish, even though you haven’t!

Though, I guess, in a sense, you have. It’s just a very natural version, sealed with natural powder. 

Of course, a Japanese manicure may also include a hand massage or even a hand soak–check with your spa/salon when making a booking!

How Long Do Japanese Manicures Last?

A Japanese manicure lasts up to three weeks. In most instances, however, two weeks is a more realistic timeframe for the average person. 

As we use our nails daily and our nails grow out, expecting a manicure to last forever is unrealistic. 

And as the Japanese manicure comes with added health benefits for your nails, it’s nice to top up the nutrients regularly. 

What’s more, by caring for your nails often, they’re less likely to become brittle and break. 

In other words, schedule your Japanese manicures about two weeks apart, if at all possible. At least when time allows for you to take time out for pampering! 

Where To Get A Japanese Manicure

You’ll get a Japanese manicure in a nail salon, beauty parlor, or spa. If you’re lucky, you might even find a Japanese salon near you. 

As it’s a specialized product, you don’t find this service everywhere. You have to go to a salon that offers it as a special treatment. 

The best way to locate a salon near you that offers a Japanese manicure is Google. 

If you allow Google to detect your location, it will bring up local results. However, if there are no salons near you, you may find results in other cities. 

If you can’t find a salon near you offering a Japanese manicure, Google a salon in a larger city that you tend to visit regularly or that you’re going to visit when next on vacation. 

If you aren’t planning a visit to a city that offers Japanese manicures, don’t panic. You can buy a DIY kit. See below for more information!

Can You DIY A Japanese Manicure?

You can DIY a Japanese manicure.

P. Shine is the company that brought Japanese manicures to the market. A quick search on Google will reveal if you can buy it somewhere near you (or on Amazon). You’ll see that P. Shine offers full Japanese manicure kits, as well as the various products (the paste and powder) on their own. 

P. Shine doesn’t own the Japanese manicure, though, and other producers have taken to producing the paste and the powder. 

Note that if you are to do a real Japanese manicure, you need the ceramic nail file, the calf skin, and so forth. 

That said, you can do it with whatever tools you have at home or that can be found at the local pharmacy!  

While it may not be as relaxing as someone else doing the Japanese manicure for you, it’s nice that you can do it all by yourself and achieve great results!

How Much Is A Japanese Manicure?

If you buy the P. Shine kit and perform a Japanese manicure on yourself, it’s about $30. If you book a manicure at a salon or spa, Your Japanese manicure will typically cost significantly more – usually in the $50 and up range.  

Consider that a regular manicure sets you back about $25-40 (unless it’s a very luxurious spa or nail salon, in which case it costs more).

As a Japanese manicure is a specialized treatment, it normally costs significantly more. 

It’s a slow and gentle treatment, so it also takes a bit more time than your average manicure (unless you consider manicures when you get nail extensions!). 

Expect to pay a minimum of $50 and likely more! 

The price will also be dependent on where you are–bigger cities often come with higher prices. 

And the highest prices of all tend to be in hotels and airports when you’re on vacation. 

And that’s another point–hotels often have high-end salons, and you may very well find Japanese manicures offered there!