Let’s Talk About the Red Nail Theory

Photo from distractify.com

The power is in the hand, or at least in the nails that is. When pampering themselves, people like to get a manicure to make themselves feel good. However, there has been a new trend and study that has everyone in a spin and rushing to their nearest nail salon — that is the red nail theory.

What is the Red Nail Theory?

The Red Nail theory is an idea that when a person wears red nail polish, it invokes attraction in men. This theory rose in prominence on TikTok in August 2022 by the user GirlBossTown. In her video, she theorized that by wearing red nail polish, men, or the people we like, will be more attracted to us or notice us more. This theory is also attached to the idea of the male gaze, which is the act of depicting women from a masculine point of view (seeing women as objects of pleasure for the male viewer). The red nail theory also would support this idea and has led to some controversy over why we should support the trend.  

Video from YouTube by Fantastic Visuals

Regardless, she explained that every time she wears red nail polish “every single f****** minute, a guy makes a comment.” Many other people on TikTok followed her lead — and all got surprisingly successful results. So if this theory is true, is there a science behind it?

The Science Behind the Color Red

There may be a scientific reason why the red nail polish theory works, and it is all based on color theory. According to VeryWellMind, the color red is associated with passion and desire. It is one of the most visible colors in the color spectrum, which means it has the ability to instantly grab people’s attention. This, in conjunction with the physical effects of being exposed to the color red, means that it can also invoke stimulating excitement and energy. When exposed to the color, it can lead to a person’s elevated blood pressure, increased heart rate and increased respiration rate. 

Photo from vanseodesign.com

So, it would make sense that a person would be attracted to or would more likely notice another person wearing red nail polish. Just this one color can invoke many physical and emotional effects within a person. Celebrities are taking note of this too and incorporating red nail polish into their lives.

Red Nail Polish in the Media

There are many examples of red nail theory in the media that not many people have noticed. 

The first example would be 1950s film legend, Marilyn Monroe, who wore red nail polish by Revlon, in the color “Cherries a la Mode.” This was rumored to be one of her favorite nail colors to wear.

Photo from allure.com

The second example would be in TV commercials or magazines. A lot of companies will include pictures of the models in wearing red nail polish to attract more attention and hopefully get more people to buy their products.

Photo from revlon.com

The final example would be celebrates themselves, specifically Hailey Bieber. We’ve been following her style, and specifically her nails, all summer long, so why stop now! She has been seen sporting red nail polish a lot lately, supporting the trend herself and making it that much more visible.

Photo from thezoereport.com

Tweet us your thoughts on the red nail polish theory @VALLEYmag on Twitter!


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