Just For Men
Men's nails generally grow faster than women's nails and tend to be stronger. However, their increased surface area makes them prone to trauma from bumps and bangs. Wider nails often need more coats of polish and a longer time to dry as well as making it harder to keep the polish spread smoothly on the nail surface.
Should you go the route of nail salons, you may discover that they charge more for men. A non-gothic friend of mine who goes for manicures on a regular basis tells me he can often talk them down to the same price as women or find places that charge the same price for both genders. However, chances are the more complicated your needs the more likely they will charge more. It is always a good idea to find a salon you feel comfortable with and become a repeat customer. Keep in mind that you do not need to go to a nail salon if you follow my suggested weekly maintenance. If you are unsure of how to begin, you may want to go once to see how they prepare the nail, or do what I did and go with a friend who is getting a manicure and just watch.
Apart from a 20 minute weekly self-manicure, there is not much else needed apart from an almost daily application of clear polish to keep the nail protected. You may also want to use hand lotion once a day to help keep the cuticles soft and the nails flexible… of course most men use some sort of lotion or lubricant on a somewhat regular basis so that may not be a problem... at least for one hand. (What, you think the rest of the world doesn't know???)
As the subtitle "Isn't he Dainty" suggests, you need to relearn how to use your hands and fingers. The section entitled Nail Care Survival Guide covers this topic well, but I'll add that men tend to have more of a problem with long nails than women in this area because they are starting the practice so much later in life. Women have the advantage of starting younger and also learning from the experiences of their peers growing up. So be patient with yourself and accept your fate that you will break a few nails in the beginning. Stop whining about it and be a man! ;)
There are many brands out that have released polish specifically for men that come in a variety of colors. Apart from the nice non-gloss clear polish that is great for those who like the natural look, there is no reason to bother with these brands unless you like a particular shade they carry. These gender-specific polishes were intended for mundane males who are concerned about feeling effeminate while purchasing nail polish. Goths don't tend to be concerned about such gender issues. (Face it, you know you look great in a skirt!)
Finally, be realistic. If you are active in sports or other activities that are rough on the hands, long nails are probably not for you. This goes for women too, but they tend to be more aware of the limitations one's lifestyle has on nail length.
...one more thing. Toe nails. Guys, listen, women complain about our toe nails. Clip 'em once in a while!!
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