Nail care is an integral part of most people’s wellness routine, and more than 20 million Americans get four professional manicures every year. And even when going to a nail salon isn’t an option, people are still finding ways to keep their nails looking good at home: a recent survey has shown that people spent $35 million on nail polish on the first half of 2020. For some pole dancing enthusiasts, nail care may be at the bottom of the priority list, way behind training and practice, gear, makeup, and hair care and styling. However, as with any fitness or dance discipline, it’s important to groom your nails and keep them at a manageable length in order to prevent injuries and keep your nails and hands in good condition. As such, here is the pole dancer’s guide to proper nail care.
Those who want to have longer and stronger nails often look to vitamins and cuticle oils, and apply gel nail strengthener under conventional gel or nail polish to keep their nails healthy as they grow. Meanwhile, others who have weak, brittle or damaged nails opt to have acrylics or nail extensions, as they can help conceal broken or short nails. Acrylic nails may make your digits look more attractive, but they can hinder your pole dancing practice, as having them can make it more awkward to grip a pole, especially if you practice on a thinner pole. Moreover, there’s a possibility of your nails banging on the pole and catching on accessories or clothing and getting ripped off, so it may be safer to avoid acrylics if you pole dance regularly. Stick with natural nails for now, especially if you’re a beginner pole dancer.
Keep them short and bare
Having long nails can hinder your performance, as they can dig into your palm while you’re on the pole. They can also get in the way while you’re doing spins, and there’s a possibility of nicking yourself with your nails while doing advanced moves. Your nail beds can also sustain injuries, and the tips of your nails can get accidentally ripped off while dancing. To lessen the risks of getting injured, keep your nails short, and clip them before they grow past your fingertips. You should also keep them bare during practice, or consider using a clear polish during workouts and practice. Keep in mind that there’s a huge possibility of ruining a nice manicure job while you’re pole dancing, so reserve the nail art and bold colors for performances. The same goes for toenails—if you regularly wear platforms for pole dancing, cut your toenails straight across to prevent ingrowns, and only paint them for events, as there’s a chance of scraping off your polish when you’re doing spins on the floor.
Apart from avoiding acrylic nails and keeping your nails short, another way to care for your nails is to take biotin supplements to keep them strong and in good condition. On days when you don’t dance, treat your nails to an olive oil or coconut oil soak, then massage the oil in to strengthen nails naturally. Try these tips to keep your nails healthy and avoid injuries while pole dancing, and see how proper nail care can help your pole progress.
When in doubt, do what works for you
Of course, there are plenty of pole dancers with long, acrylic and/or gel nails who love them—find what works best for you!