Need an excuse to take off work today? Just say you’re from one of these countries and don’t want to bring your clients bad luck by working on this day believed to bring misfortune to those who clip and cut their nails. 

Croatia Sunday (scissors or needles should not be used on anything on this day)
Greece Wednesday and Friday
Italy Friday
Philippines Friday
Russia Monday (for newborns)



And for those who need a good reason to get to work on time… there are days that are best for clipping, too.

Germany: Friday

Russia: Thursday

According to an article by Mary-Anne Alvaro at Global Psychics, there is also an old rhyme from England regarding the right days for cutting hair and nails:

“Cut them on Monday, you cut them for health;

Cut them on Tuesday, you cut them for wealth;

Cut them on Wednesday, you cut them for news;

Cut them on Thursday, a new pair of shoes;

Cut them on Friday, you cut them for sorrow;

Cut them on Saturday, see your true love tomorrow;

Cut them on Sunday, the devil will be with you all the week.”



In some countries, family elders passed down these superstitions as a guide to new parents to know about their newborn’s nails.

Croatia Only use nail scissors on a baby after it is one year old: otherwise the baby will not talk properly
Poland and Russia Only cut a child's nails after it is one year old (before that they should only be bitten); otherwise the baby may become a thief.
Philippines The first nail clippings of a baby should be placed in the stairs to prevent the baby from falling off the stairs when he starts walking.
Russia If you cut a newborn's nails outside on a street, he will be a good singer.


For expectant mothers:

Poland               If you're pregnant and stare at a very ugly person, your child will be the same. The solution? You must stare at your nails for a while.
Russia If you're pregnant, do not step on any nail clippings, which may cause a miscarriage.



Cultures throughout the world have believed that clipping nails was strictly a daytime affair and to do it at night was a definite no-no.

Who, for instance, thought so? People in…

Greece Japan
India Korea
Italy Philippines

Many modern nail techs and other people figure this belief about night-time clipping originated before electricity, meaning that the chance for cutting oneself was higher.



Have a client dying to get married or keep her husband faithful? Here are some tips you can give her from Russia:

If a woman wants to marry a man, she should cut her nails and keep the trimmings from the left hand and a piece of her hair, take nine drops of her own blood from the ring finger and put everything into a good vodka. Then if the man drinks it, he will want to marry her right away. Beware, though. The nail/ hair/blood/vodka effect doesn’t last forever; to keep the man by her side for eternity, the woman will have to use similar methods all her life.

And to keep a husband faithful, she should keep the trimmings of his nails and put them into wax behind an icon and read a special prayer.


Leaving nail clippings lying about isn’t just a nasty personal hygiene habit for these people.

There is a Jewish saying, according to, about nails that says “he who burns them is a pious one, he who buries them is a righteous one, and he who throws them away is a wicked one.”

In Korea during the Joseon Dynasty, people were not to throw away their nail clippings but keep them wrapped in cotton or silk cloths in order to respect their forefathers.

In Kuwait, nail clippings are wrapped in a piece of paper and kept in a safe place because it is believed that someone may do bad things to them through their nails.

In South Africa, many children are also taught never to leave clippings lying about but are to collect them and to make sure to dispose of them.



Your clients’ nails have good omens in them, too.

In Poland, every woman entering a ship should scratch the mast foundation in order for the ship to have a “good wind” during the journey.

In Russia, if the lunulas are short or missing, it is believed the person will have a short life. However, if the lunulas are visible and long, the person will have a long and wealthy life.

It is also believed that white spots on nails have differing meanings depending on which finger(s) they appear. On the thumb, they mean the person will get a gift. On the index finger, a friend will visit. On the middle finger, an enemy will visit. On the pinky finger, a trip is in the future.[PAGEBREAK]


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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