The Vietnamese Influence: A Deep Dive into the U.S. Nail Salon Industry

The American nail salon industry, with its glitz and glamour, boasts a rich tapestry interwoven with the Vietnamese immigrant story. The rise of Vietnamese Americans in the nail industry illuminates a narrative of economic opportunity, community resilience, and the power of entrepreneurship.

From Hollywood to Main Street The link between Vietnamese immigrants and nail salons in America begins, surprisingly, with Hollywood. In 1975, actress Tippi Hedren, most celebrated for her iconic role in Hitchcock’s “The Birds”, visited a Vietnamese refugee camp in California. Moved by their plight, Hedren introduced several women to the nail artistry profession, even sponsoring their training at a local beauty school1.

An Opportunity Beckons The nail salon industry provided an appealing prospect for many Vietnamese immigrants, especially those grappling with language barriers and limited professional avenues. With the need for minimal startup costs and the ability to learn the craft swiftly, it became an attractive proposition for newcomers seeking economic stability2.

The Power of Networking The initial group of trained manicurists found success and, in turn, became local pioneers. Many ventured into their own businesses and brought in relatives and acquaintances from their community. This ripple effect, a combination of entrepreneurial spirit and community networking, significantly bolstered the growth of Vietnamese-owned nail salons3.

Revolutionizing Accessibility The influx of Vietnamese nail salons in America led to a transformative shift in the perception of nail care. Historically regarded as a luxury, Vietnamese-owned establishments made these services affordable for a broader segment of the population4, turning nail care into a routine self-care experience for many.

Today’s Landscape Presently, Vietnamese Americans play a dominant role in the nail salon industry. Some studies estimate that they own and operate up to half of all nail salons in the U.S5, a testament to their impactful and enduring legacy in this niche.

In essence, the trajectory of Vietnamese Americans in the nail industry is a vibrant testament to determination, community collaboration, and the quintessential American dream.


  1. Robinson, M. (2016). “How Vietnamese Americans Took Over The Nails Business: A Documentary”. NPR. Retrieved from NPR website.
  2. Vo, L. T., & Nguyen, T. T. (2012). “The Vietnamese American 1.5 Generation: Stories of War, Revolution, Flight and New Beginnings”. Temple University Press.
  3. Tran, M. (2015). “How did Vietnamese nails salon owners come to dominate the beauty industry?”. The Guardian. Retrieved from The Guardian website.
  4. Elias, M. (2009). “Vietnamese immigrants nail the American dream”. USA Today. Retrieved from USA Today website.
  5. Nguyen, M. T. (2018). “The rise and dominance of Vietnamese nail salons in America”. Journal of American Ethnic History.
Louisville Beauty Academy - Nail Technology Program

The History of Manicure and Pedicure: From Ancient Times to Modern Day

Manicure and pedicure have a long history that dates back thousands of years. Ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Babylonia, and China recognized the importance of grooming and maintained their nails as a symbol of cleanliness and beauty. Over time, the art of nail care evolved and became more sophisticated, eventually leading to the modern-day manicure and pedicure.

In the 20th century, nail care became more accessible to the general public with the introduction of nail salons and nail polish. Today, manicures and pedicures are a staple of beauty regimes for many people. Not only do they keep nails looking healthy and attractive, but they also provide a moment of relaxation and pampering.

One reason for the popularity of manicure and pedicure is the range of services offered. From basic nail care to nail art and intricate designs, there is something for everyone. The use of technology and advanced techniques, such as UV gel polish and acrylic nails, have also contributed to the popularity of nail care.

In Kentucky, manicurists and pedicurists must be licensed by the state to practice. The Louisville Beauty Academy offers a Nail Technology program that prepares individuals for the Kentucky licensing exam and provides the skills necessary to work in the field.

For those interested in becoming a licensed Nail Technician in Kentucky, we encourage you to enroll in the Nail Technology program at Louisville Beauty Academy. With experienced faculty and a comprehensive curriculum, you will receive the education and training needed to start a successful career in the nail care industry.

The history of manicure and pedicure has come a long way from ancient times. Today, it is a popular form of self-care and a necessary service for many people. For those interested in becoming a licensed Nail Technician in Kentucky, the Louisville Beauty Academy offers a top-notch Nail Technology program. Enroll today and start your journey towards a fulfilling career in the beauty industry.