Out of Africa

Nail care is growing increasingly popular in South Africa, with artificial nails topping the request list for young women and professionals. 

Pretoria, South Africa (near Johannesburg) —Nail care is growing increasingly popular, with artificial nails topping the request list for young women and professionals, says Jana Peenze, owner of Nail and Body Image. She recently took a rare break between clients at her home-based salon to give NAILS a quick view of the South African nail market

“Artificial nails must look natural,” says Peenze, “but clients want the strength. Acrylic overlays are very popular.” Most clients keep their nails an active length of about 3 millimeters, she says.

Pink-and-white acrylics haven’t caught on in her area yet, she says. Peenze uses clear acrylic, which all of her clients coat with color — with professionals opting for brown-reds while teens lean toward purples, greens, and blues.

According to Peenze, the going rate for a manicure is about $4 (U.S.); full sets range from $15-$29 (U.S.), and fills are $8-$15 (U.S.). While these rates may seem reminiscent of discount salons in the United States, Peenze says nail services are actually quite pricey. To put it all in perspective, she tells us that a loaf of bread costs about 38 cents (U.S.) while a “nice” pair of jeans cost $15-$29 (U.S.).

Peenze holds both a three-year Beauty Technology diploma from the Pretoria Technikon as well as a CIDESCO diploma. Clients of Nail and Body Image can choose from manicures, pedicures, facials, and a full complement of artificial nail services, as well as slimming treatments, waxing, massage, and aromatherapy Like most nail techs in die States, Peenze works long hours—usually 7:30 am to 8:30 pm

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