The Nail Industry: A Look into the Past, Present, and Future
The nail salon has become a common feature in American towns, cities, neighborhoods, and shopping malls throughout the United States. The nail industry has grown substantially in the USA in the last two decades, with the major factor of growth being Vietnamese immigrants who transformed the beauty industry and implemented the market for affordable pedicures, manicures, and artificial nails.
According to research, there are more than 2000 businesses licensed to do manicures and pedicures in New York City alone. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated there were around 86,900 manicurists and pedicurists in the US in 2012, with a projected growth to around 100,400 by 2022. However, this count is believed to be low in comparison to the current number as of 2015. In California, there are currently more than 97,000 manicurists, with 80% of these technicians being Vietnamese immigrants.
The popularity and prevalence of the nail industry today has led to a lack of understanding about its origins and history. But where did it all begin? The nail industry can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where nail care was seen as a symbol of wealth and status. In ancient Egypt, for example, the rich and powerful would have their nails painted with henna, while in China, nail care was seen as a symbol of femininity and elegance.
Over time, the industry has evolved and adapted to changing trends and technologies. In the early 20th century, for example, the invention of the electric nail file revolutionized the industry, making it possible to shape and polish nails with greater precision and speed. The invention of acrylic nails in the 1950s also had a significant impact on the industry, as it allowed for the creation of longer and more durable nails.
In the last few decades, the nail business ownership and workforce have tripled in size; and dramatically to accounts and includes large numbers of immigrated workers. The estimated Vietnamese licensed nail technicians increase 10 times between 1987 and 2002 (Federman, Harrington, and Kryns
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