What Is a Russian Manicure?

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Occasionally in the media, we hear about Russian manicures gone wrong. This has led many people to wonder what is a Russian manicure actually. Is it dangerous? And what are the benefits of a Russian manicure? In this article, we will answer all of these questions.

hand holding a nail drill on a pink background

What Is a Russian Manicure?

Russian manicure stands out vastly from your regular manicures since these don’t comply with the traditional techniques, but use the ‘e-file’ technique instead. This type of manicure focuses on the cuticle area and stands out by its clean and aesthetic results.

That is exactly why the Russian manicure is also called an e-file manicure and a dry manicure since it does not evolve soaking your hands in water as other manicures do.

The name “Russian manicure” may come from the fact that smooth, clean, polished e-file manicures tend to be done by Russian technicians.

The process involves the usage of different types of special nail drill bits and an electronic file or the e-file.

The fine Russian bit is attached to the electric nail drill, which then files off the living skin around your nail plate called the cuticle.

Here’s how it’s done:

russian manicure

  1. First, your cuticles are treated by using a needle-shaped bit that pushes them up.
  2. Next, a bit with a flat edge is used to open your cuticle. The e-file goes around your cuticles, covering the edges. The bit first runs along one edge, followed by the opposite.
  3. It is now time to cut off the dry cuticles. This is done by using small and large-sized bits consecutively for pushing the cuticles higher up, removing the dry cuticles in the process.
  4. After taking off the dry cuticles, your nails now need polishing which is done using the ‘polisher’ bits.
  5. Your nails are then filed for the final touchups. With your nails perfectly filed and smooth, they are cleaned with disinfectant alcohol.
  6. Although the Russian manicure might sound interestingly new, unusual, and hence, scary, it’s actually not. Once you try it, you’ll realize that it’s far more convenient to trim your cuticle without having to deal with a clipper. Bonus points, your cuticles don’t grow back the same way but stay clean for a very long time.

What’s the Difference Between a Russian Manicure and a Regular Manicure?

We all have our preferences and form habits around them. However, trying something new once in a while opens more doors for exploration and better comparison. Here’s how a Russian manicure is different from a regular manicure:

Regular Manicure

A regular manicure makes use of a cuticle pusher and a pair of clippers. The cuticle pusher is a flat-surfaced simple nail tool used to push the skin from your cuticles away from your nails and the nipper plucks out the extra skin around your cuticle.

Also called a traditional manicure, this method starts with soaking your hand in a warm manicure shampoo, followed by pushing the skin around your cuticle and taking off the extra skin.

It is the most common practice in the manicure industry, although the end product doesn’t attain the perfection of a Russian manicure.

Russian Manicure

A Russian manicure is a process that uses an electronic file to get rid of the excessive skin lying around the edges of your nail bed. This technique doesn’t require the use of nippers but makes use of different kinds of Russian bits along with the e-file.

The cuticles are pushed up and the extra skin around them is taken off with the help of the bits.

The polisher bit is then used to polish the nail surface. There’s more room for control for the nail expert here as the Russian bits used are more precise and work better with the e-file.

Russian manicure leaves your nails looking perfectly trimmed, smooth and polished, with very clean nails, the cuticles of which do not sprout up very soon.

After the Russian manicure procedure, you can apply nail polish, gel polish, dip powders, or even acrylics.

What Are the Benefits of Russian Manicures?

Nail technician with a nail drill doing a Russian manicure procedure on a woman

Now that we know what Russian manicures are and how they differ from regular manicures, it’s time to take a look at the benefits.

No More Clipping of Cuticles

The major benefit of a Russian manicure is that there’s no need to clip your cuticles. This means that you do not have to worry about accidentally cutting yourself. All you need to do is sit back and relax while your nails are being trimmed and polished perfectly.

No more soaking

As I mentioned before, Russian manicures are also known as dry manicures. This means the client does not soak his hands in water at all during the manicure. 

Longer Lasting Manicure

Personally, one of the main reasons I prefer getting Russian manicures is that the manicures last longer on my nails. For me, regular manicures usually last anywhere between 9-14 days, while Russian manicures usually last on my nails about 21 days.

Also, ecstatically, Russian manicures give you a “cleaner” look which I absolutely love.

What Are the Disadvantages of Russian Manicures?

Russian manicure on nails in yellow, gray and silver shades

Although there are several advantages of Russian manicures, there are a few disadvantages as well.

The main disadvantage of a Russian manicure is that it can be quite expensive. This is because it is a relatively new technique and not many salons offer this service. However, the cost is worth it considering the benefits of a Russian manicure.

Another disadvantage of a Russian manicure is that it can be quite time-consuming. This is because the process is quite intricate and requires precision. However, the end result is definitely worth the wait.

So, if you are looking for a perfect manicure that will last longer and leave your nails looking fabulous, then a Russian manicure is definitely the way to go!

Are Russian Manicures Dangerous?

As a nail tech, I have tried and tested this technique. There have been a lot of rumors and myths about the Russian manicure being unsafe, but you won’t say the same once you’ve actually tried it yourself.

Since it’s necessary to cut and trim your cuticles from time to time, a Russian manicure has the perfect solution to keeping your nails healthy and free from any infection, apart from the very obvious output on the overall aesthetics of your nails.

Once you get a Russian manicure, the cuticles don’t grow back the same way but remain clean and healthy for quite a long time.

So, chuck the rumors and get that manicure done already because your nails need pampering too and why not go for the best when you have the option of retaining the beautiful output for a long time?

How Long Does a Russian Manicure Take?

A Russian manicure usually takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour. This includes the time taken for the trimming and filing of your nails, as well as the application of gel nail polish.

However, the duration may vary depending on the complexity of the design and the number of nails being worked on.

How Much Does a Russian Manicure Cost?

Multicolor nail Russian manicure on yellow background

The cost of a Russian manicure varies depending on the salon you go to and the country you’re living in.

For example, on average, high-quality Russian manicures with gel or acrylic overlay cost in USA and Israel about 40$-50$ However, in places like Cyprus or Greece you’ll pay about 25 euros for the same manicure.

Also, it’s important you’ll know the price may vary depending on the design (adding some bling, or other time-consuming designs), the number of nails being worked on, and the location of the salon.

How Long Does a Russian Manicure Last

A Russian manicure usually will last anywhere from 2-4 weeks depending on your nail growth. On my nails, Russian manicures with gel overlay usually last about 3-4 weeks (with regular growth)

How Often Should You Get a Russian Manicure?

Usually, most nail techs suggest getting your Russian manicure redone every 3 weeks. That being said, If you have really slow nail growth, you can wait a bit longer with your manicure.

Is a Russian Manicure Painful?

No, If done by a trained pro, a Russian Manicure is not painful, I will describe the feeling as a bit tickly, but not painful. In fact, many people find it to be more gentle than regular manicures.

However, it is important to choose a clean and proffesional salon that uses high-quality products and has experienced nail techs.

That being said, make sure you go to a licensed and professional nail technician for the best results.

You Should Only Get a Russian Manicure From a Trained Professional!

Personally, I only get Russian manicures from trained nail techs. Russian manicures require precision, which only experienced and well-trained nail techs have.

Final Thoughts On The Russian Manicure

A Russian manicure is also known as a dry manicure or an E-file manicure. Getting this manicure is a great way to achieve a fabulous look that will last for a long time.

Although it may be slightly more expensive than regular manicures, the cost is definitely worth it considering the outcome.

So, if you are looking for a perfect manicure that will leave your nails looking fabulous, then a Russian manicure is definitely the way to go!

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