Tri Ta during his first pedicure with nail technician Iris Ball

Tri Ta during his first pedicure with nail technician Iris Ball

Will he be man enough to hold still as I use a foot file? Tag along and learn as Tri Ta, managing editor of VietSALON (a NAILS sister magazine), gets his inaugural pedicure with nail tech Iris Ball at Hermosa Nail Company in Hermosa Beach, Calif.

It’s been a running joke at NAILS and VietSALON magazines that, despite his high stature as managing editor of VietSALON, Tri Ta has never gotten a pedicure. He’s been known to use any excuse available—and he’s probably like a lot of men out there.

For the Men’s Issue of NAILS, Tri finally took the dive—into the pedicure basin. Egged on by senior editor Sree Roy and graphic designer/photographer Kimberly Pham, he received his first-ever pedicure. Nail tech Iris Ball performed the service at Hermosa Beach Nail Company in Hermosa Beach, Calif. Tri was a good sport about it, even enjoying it when he got over the awkwardness. Read on to see a step-by-step of how Iris made him comfortable, and how you can do the same for your male clients.

Get in the (Comfort) Zone

Ball offers her tips for getting the nail tech and the male client over their first-time jitters.

IT’S NOT SO BAD. Men typically wear close-toed flat shoes (not torturous heels or open-toed sandals), so even a first-timer’s feet are usually easy to work with.

KNOW WHAT’S IMPORTANT. The highlight of the service is the massage and the nail clipping. For many men, the rest of the service is just gravy.

CREATE A DISTRACTION. Ask the client what TV show he’d like to watch—generally news, sports, or weather will be at the top of their list. Tri was content to watch an animal-focused episode of talk show “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” which featured tigers, snakes, and monkeys. Or, offer a selection of men’s magazines.

JUST ASK. Because men don’t have as much experience getting beauty services, ask before doing anything that might make them uneasy. Check in about water temperature (for Tri, it started out too hot), nail shape, doing a final buff (some decline, saying the shininess makes it look like they’re wearing polish), and about paraffin (Tri opted out, after dipping a toe in and deciding it was too hot).

TALK TO HIM. Like you do with your female clients, find something you have in common with the client to chat about during the service. Ball talks to one of her male doctor clients about Harleys.

YOUR WORK’S DONE FOR YOU. If the man walks in voluntarily with a positive attitude (and many do!), be thankful that most of the job of putting him at ease is already complete.

The Final Assessment

Tri says, “Despite my shyness at the beginning, I really enjoyed how the pedicure pampered my feet. I truly appreciate Iris’ kindness and professionalism. I’d go again.”