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What Is A Russian Manicure? [You’ll Be Pleased You Read This]

With celebrities like Kendall Jenner using it, this new manicure option is quickly taking nail-fanatics by storm: The Russian manicure. It’s still relatively obscure but quickly growing in popularity. But what is it exactly? What’s included, and what’s involved with getting one? Here is all you will want to know.

So, what is a Russian Manicure? A Russian Manicure involves using an electric file to grind and cut away the living skin around your nail plate, as well as the dead cuticle skin. From there, you can have your nails painted in a color of your choice if you so wish. Alternatively, extensions may be offered to be applied.

While other manicures are often a gentle process, a Russian manicure takes a much more hands-on approach to maintain beautiful-looking nails. 

This is a very debated topic, with many saying that it is dangerous to do.

But there are, without a doubt, results – the Russian manicure can result in a beautiful set of nails afterward. 

But is it worth it in the long run?

We’re going to find out – well if you keep reading!

What Does A Russian Manicure Consist Of?

A Russian, also known as an “equipment manicure” or “e-manicure,” involves using an electric file with a fine bit to file away the living skin around the nail plate, as well as any dead cuticle skin.

It sounds like no major problem. Manicures are soothing, right? 

But, even when called something that doesn’t sound scary, a Russian manicure is something that you want to think twice about getting. 

Because this isn’t your mother’s manicure, and you’re not going to be getting what you’re used to if you do choose to have one done. 

While you might think of relaxing soaks and careful pushing or even clipping of cuticles as part of a standard manicure, remember: This isn’t a standard manicure. 

A Russian manicure is a very different beast.

First, you likely won’t see any soaking. 

That’s a bad idea, with the file they’ll be using. 

And, since they’ll file away any gel polish or similar products, you won’t need to have some of them removed in a gentle way. 

It will come off with the file.

You also won’t be receiving necessarily gentle care. 

It shouldn’t be rough, but you’re going to be in for a lot of stimulation. Not a good choice for relaxing.

The main process is using the file with fine bits to file away the skin around your nail plate. 

This is problematic for one major reason: It’s living skin. 

Removing living skin around your nails is always a big risk, and that alone should make you cautious. 

From there, they will also remove any dead skin around your cuticle. 

Afterward, you will likely be allowed to choose whether or not you want your nails painted or done in any other way.

Is A Russian Manicure Dangerous?

Very likely, yes. Most doctors don’t agree that you should do it. Some nail artists disagree, and there are many trained in doing it in a way that is supposed to be safe.

This depends upon the person you ask. 

Many doctors are saying that, yes, a Russian manicure is dangerous. 

And, in a lot of ways, they’re right. 

Anytime that you cut or remove living skin from around your nails, you’re running a big risk. 

This is an invitation for infections, bad reactions to ingredients, injuries, damage to the area, and many other things that could go wrong. 

You may even experience permanent changes to the skin in the area. 

And there isn’t tons of evidence that those who are certified to give them can make them any safer.

Of course, there are nail artists who are trained to give them. 

They come in different levels, with some highly reputable people receiving professional training on how to properly administer a Russian manicure and those who take online “certification” classes and pass because of participation alone, sometimes with a small test. 

These people invariably see nothing wrong with them. 

The professionals often add the caveat that there’s nothing wrong only if the person is trained. 

There is some logic there. 

A trained nail technician knows about hygiene and knows how to prevent infections from occurring while giving the manicure. This makes a big difference.

In the end, it’s a mixed answer. There are some that are firmly for it, and some that are firmly against it.

If you’re not comfortable with taking the risk, then avoid this type of manicure.

Do Russian Manicures Hurt?

Russian manicures can hurt, depending on the state of your nails and tolerance to pain. Besides, any time an electric file is used, a technician is more likely to cause pain and injury.

Does a Russian manicure have to hurt? No. 

You can get your manicure done without any pain whatsoever, particularly if you have a good nail technician.

Can a Russian manicure hurt? Yes, it can. It very much can. And, in fact, it’s far more likely to hurt you than your standard manicure.

With an electric file being used, you’re already bumping up the risks of a nick or other injury doing damage that could be painful. 

However, that isn’t the only problem. Not by a long shot. 

See, a Russian manicure doesn’t just target the dead skin around your cuticle. 

In fact, it focuses mainly on the living skin around your nail plate. 

And this living skin can be a big problem. If they put too much force on it or spend too much time in one spot, you may feel some pain. 

Afterward, as any injuries heal, you may feel soreness.

You also run the risk of the file cutting or otherwise harming skin it shouldn’t be touching. 

The more a file like this is used, the more likely it is that you’re going to experience an injury. Russian manicures have a history of causing just these problems. 

If you do decide to get one, and notice any pain or bleeding, have your nail technician stop immediately.

There’s also a chance of pain and soreness afterward if you end up with an infection. 

This can take time to ease and will likely require some sort of medical treatment.

How Much Is A Russian Manicure?

The price of a Russian Manicure varies by location. In the United States, it will cost about $70, though the price can reach more than $100. In Europe, it’s cheaper, with a price equating to around $20 to $40.

The price of a Russian manicure varies from location to location. 

Depending on where you are, you can expect to see a major price difference. 

People in the United States, for example, might expect to pay around $70 for one, though the price can climb to more than $100 if you choose certain nail art options. 

Expensive things like extensions and similar styles, in particular, will boost the bill. 

Meanwhile, Europeans will likely find them cheaper, with basic Russian manicure prices starting at about $20 to $40. 

This often doesn’t include things other than basic clear polish and the manicure itself.

While it might be tempting to try to find ways to cut the costs, with this type of manicure, you probably shouldn’t. 

Avoid going to salons that have much lower prices because they’re more likely to cut corners than higher-charing salons. 

When it comes to something that, if done incorrectly, could cause you physical harm, it does not pay to bargain hunt.

On the same note, this isn’t something to do yourself. While DIY-ing your nail art might be a good, cost-effective option for many styles, this just isn’t one of them. 

Trying to do your own Russian manicure without professional certification and training, along with a license to do such work, is ill-advised. 

You’re more likely to hurt yourself when doing it. If you can’t get to a salon, skip it for now.

Where To Get A Russian Manicure 

Very few places offer a Russian Manicure. If you find one, ensure that they’re reputable and trained. Always be ready to walk out.

Finding a nail salon willing to do a Russian manicure probably won’t be easy. 

Because of their risk and reputation, many salons will not offer them. 

Even some that would can’t because they don’t have the training to do so. 

You may even need to travel to get to the closest salon that offers them, particularly if you’re living somewhere rural. 

Do searches online, such as “Russian Manicure Near Me,” to find the nearest place.

Then, you’ll want to double-check the salon you picked. 

Because not only do you need to be sure that the salon offers these manicures, you need to be sure that they’re the best place to give you this manicure. 

Not all salons are created equal. 

There are some that are fantastic, with top-tier hygiene and plenty of highly-trained technicians to choose from. 

Then, there are others. Those that jump on the latest craze, whether they know how to do it or not. 

Those who don’t put safety and hygiene first, but money. 

For the latter salons, you’ll want to skip them. They’re not the right choice for a Russian manicure.

Another bad place to get a Russian manicure? At home. If you want one, you need it done in a salon. 

Even if it’s a technician coming to you, your home isn’t likely sanitized enough to handle this procedure. 

If you’re doing it yourself? You’re definitely in for a bad time.

It’s a bad idea because you’re more likely to injure or infect yourself. Just skip it.

Does A Russian Manicure Cause Problems?

You may experience pain, itching, water blisters, redness, weeping, and infection from the Russian manicure. You may also experience permanent problems, including excessive damage to the skin around your nail plate, as well as regrowth of hardened, callus-like tissue.

There are many problems that can spring up from a Russian manicure. Most of them are relatively minor, though certainly worth worrying about. 

Pain, itching, water blisters, redness, weeping, and infection are all possible things you could walk away from your manicure from. 

Not great, when all you wanted was some pretty nails and to follow in Kendall Jenner’s footsteps.

But it can get worse. Much worse. As in, “permanent damage” worse.

Because when you cut away at the living skin around your nail plate, it can affect the way that the skin around your nail plate grows from now on. 

If you’re lucky, this won’t happen to you. It will grow back in just the way it was before you had it removed. 

If you’re not, this could lead to damaged skin around your nail plate. You might notice that it becomes different than before. It may even become harder and more callus-like than you were used to. 

This will mean you’ll need it removed more often and start a vicious cycle. Not exactly healthy.

Of course, infections are no joke, either. 

While you’re probably not going to get anything too bad from your manicure, the possibilities are there. If you have an immune system problem, this isn’t for you. You could lose a finger.

Can You DIY A Russian Manicure?

While you technically could DIY a Russian Manicure, it is strongly recommended that you do not even attempt it.

This is not something that you want to try to do yourself. 

While there are many nail art and manicure options you could feasibly and safely do at home, the Russian manicure is absolutely not one of them. 

It isn’t a safe environment for this type of procedure. You need to get to a reputable salon or choose another manicure instead.

Even if you’re a trained, licensed technician, and you’ve received training in giving a manicure, it’s not a good idea to do it yourself at home. 

The environment is more likely to leave you with infections and isn’t appropriate for this type of manicure at all. 

A nail salon is absolutely essential for this. If you can’t provide that, then you shouldn’t be doing one, even to yourself.

Not a trained technician? Then the answer is simply no. 

There’s no way for you to DIY a Russian manicure in a safe, healthy way. You’re far, far more likely to end up injured or infected than with beautiful new nails. This isn’t something that you want to attempt.

Of course, there is the matter of the online certification classes. They supposedly teach you how to do a Russian manicure yourself. You can even get a certification to put on your wall! Do those count?

Simply put: Best not. You’re not learning enough to realize that your home isn’t sanitized, and you’re not learning how to do it correctly. 

Salon or bust!

Interested in, or are looking to try other types of manicures? Then check out my following guides to learn all about them!