Do You Believe?

Those nails you’re working on today may bring you more than your weekly wages. In cultures around the world, there are (or were) superstitions about the good, the bad, and the ugly those nails can bring a person. Here is a sampling of some global nail superstitions and beliefs.


Athletes are some of the most superstitious people in today’s society. Although rarely rooted in culture or long-standing stories, athletes’ superstitions are found everywhere from high schoolers to professionals. Here are some top-level athletes’ nail hang-ups.

Atlanta Hawks star Mike Bibby used to have a nail-biting habit during games. The NBA star’s solution — constantly trimming nails with fingernail clippers while on the bench — is reportedly one of his superstitions nowadays, according to Mental Floss.

Cleveland Browns punter Scott Player told his former team, the Arizona Cardinals, that he clips his fingernails and toenails every game day.

Former MLB pitcher Greg Swindell used to bite the tip off one of his nails before his start and hold it in his mouth the entire game for good luck, according to The Sports Pulse.



Here are some ways to convince young ones not to nibble on their nails.

In Greece, it is believed that if you bite your nails, you will argue with someone.

In Russia, it is believed a nail biter will be unhappy all his/her life.


So just how much do these superstitions affect people?

Although superstitions may seem outdated and old-fashioned, a 2007 article by the Independent-Mail News (South Carolina) says that American businesses lose an estimated $750 million on every Friday the 13th because of fears of shopping, traveling, and simple risk-taking on that day.

And as one Indian woman told me, “I know it’s silly, but I still can’t cut my nails at night!”



In Kuwait, nail polish is to be worn on the nails only on days when one is not praying. It is believed that if nails are covered with polish or anything artificial, water will not enter the nails, and water must penetrate the whole body during this time.

In the Philippines, people are told to never cut nails when the wake for a relative is still happening; otherwise someone else in the family will pass.

Thanks to the following nail techs, salon owners, manufacturers, and colleagues for providing or collecting information about superstitions from their country or culture:  Marta Baran, Fides Callanta, Simone Donati, Marieshel Guevarra, Myung Hee Park, Olga Palylyk, Kristina Stavron, Sayoko Takahashi, Sandra Vrdoljak, and Pattie Yankee Williams.

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