Book that nail appointment — it’s your time to shine.
Getting a manicure, especially at a salon, is a known pick-me-up. Now researchers are sharing a new benefit of visiting a nail salon: “Superficial self-disclosure.”
Chit-chat about hobbies and daily life with nail technicians is being linked to increased positive emotions, relaxation, and vitalization, according to research published in September in Frontiers in Psychology.
Deeper discussions, especially about negative personality traits and personal struggles, had a negative result.
“Our research suggests that engaging in salon nail care, coupled with light self-disclosure, can provide a positive boost to one’s psychological state,” study author Atsushi Kawakubo, an associate professor at Saitama Gakuen University in Japan, told PsyPost last week.
“This practice offers a tangible way for individuals to promote their mental well-being, emphasizing the importance of self-care and the potential benefits of sharing personal thoughts in a comfortable setting,” Kawakubo added.
Researchers from two universities in Japan conducted an online survey of approximately 500 women from their early 20s to late 30s.
Participants rated their emotions and attitudes during a nail care session using a four-point scale that ranged from “not at all” to “a great deal.”
They also shared how much they discussed various topics — such as hobbies, daily life, difficult experiences, personal obstacles, and negative personality traits — with the manicurist. Answers were scored on a seven-point scale.
“I became interested in this topic due to the growing body of research on the intersection of self-care practices and their impact on mental well-being,” Kawakubo told PsyPost.
“The idea that something as seemingly simple as salon nail care, combined with self-disclosure, could have a meaningful psychological effect intrigued me. I wanted to explore the potential of this understudied area.”
Kawakubo noted limitations to the research, including a narrow sample size and self-reported data, but hopes the findings “emphasize the importance of self-care practices in our fast-paced world.”
“Engaging in activities that allow individuals to relax, reflect, and self-disclose can be a valuable component of maintaining good mental health,” Kawakubo explained.