Story by Abby Ray Thompson
School of Journalism and New Media Student
For many people getting your nails “done” was a luxury for special occasions only. But all that changed about a decade ago.
In fact, according to market research, global sales of nail services have increased from six to approximately $8 billion from 2007 to 2017. Women between the ages of 15-29 are the biggest customers and the average client spends $1,780 a year on nail services.
Mississippi is contributing to this growth. Looking at a Google Trends data comparison for nail salons and hair salons searches in the state for the past 10 years, you see can see how much searches for nail services appear to have increased.
Madison Sharp, a nail technician at The Nail Shop, says it makes sense that people are getting their nails done more frequently than their hair.
“You get your nails done more often and it’s cheaper for girls to get their nails done,” Sharp said. “If they have the option, they’re most likely going to choose nails.”
The Nail Shop is located off of Heritage Drive in Oxford and offers both hair and nail services. Sharp said that, on average, five people come into the shop for hair services, compared to 30 for nails.
“I think we are more known for nails,” Sharp said. “Most people don’t even know we have a hair shop in the back, too.”
Over the past decade, nail shops in Oxford have become more common, bringing the total in Oxford to roughly 35.
Sharp thinks that the rise in nail businesses is largely due to the growth of college students in Oxford.
“Lots of college girls, especially those in a sorority, want to get their nails done,” Sharp said.
Sarah Kate Purvis, an Oxford hairstylist of more than 13 years, says she thinks hair still matters most.
“Hair is something everyone sees,” Purvis said. “Nails are a small part of your look. Unless you get up close to someone, you don’t pay attention to their nails.”
Purvis owns The Studio, located off of University Avenue, where they also offer nail services. However, it is a smaller part of her business.
“People will spend more money on their hair,” Purvis said. “That’s just what we are more known for. It’s something needed by everyone.”