What Does Black Nail Polish Mean?



We all express ourselves through our use of fashion, cosmetics, and color, but what does black nail polish mean? Everything you choose to wear says something about your personality, including your choice of nail color.

Nail polish has come a long way since the 1920s when a French makeup artist named Michelle Menard developed the first commercial liquid nail polish. Today this cosmetic staple is found in the home of just about every woman, in a stunning array of colors and neutrals.

Black nail color is a very bold choice, and like all other color choices, will be making a statement about you without you even uttering a word. If you like to wear black nail polish, or are keen to try it, keep reading to discover what this nail color choice will tell others about you. 

What This Article Covers:

What Does Black Nail Polish Symbolize?

Have you ever wondered what your nail polish says about you? When it comes to the color black, the first thing to understand is that this is not a frivolous color choice. Women who choose to wear black, whether in clothing or in nail polish, do not do so on a whim.

Why Do Some People Choose To Wear Black Nail Polish?

Most women choose their nail color based on color preference, or fashion trends. Some like to coordinate their nail polish color with their clothing or accessories. But your choice of color could be speaking volumes about your personality.

What Does The Color Black Represent?

Black is associated with many different traits, such as strength, wealth, elegance, intelligence, seriousness to name just a few. But wearing this color has been taken to mean different things at different times in history, and can represent vastly different concepts in different cultures. 

According to color psychology, black represents the hidden, secretive, and unknown mysteries of life. 

What Does It Mean When A Girl Wears Black Nail Polish?

why do guys paint one nail black

The reasons for wearing black nail polish are as varied as the personalities of the women who wear it. But one thing is for certain, wearing black will never be seen as boring. In general, ladies who choose to wear a dramatic nail color like black are fashion-forward and daring.

What Does It Mean If Black Nail Polish Is Only Worn On One Finger?

Many celebrities love this trend, usually choosing their ring fingers to display that lone black-painted fingernail. 

If you wear black nail polish on one finger only,  this can be an exciting way to emphasize a statement ring or to inject a dramatic flair into an otherwise understated ensemble.

The History of Wearing Black Nail Polish

When Did Women First Start Wearing Black Nail Polish? 

What Was The Original Meaning Behind Black Polish?

In the early ’30s wearing black nail polish was a short-lived trend amongst women who were becoming more emancipated and outspoken, but this practice faded out as cosmetics advanced and a greater variety of fashion colors became available. 

In later years, black nail polish became popular as a symbol of defiance, rebellion, and non-conformity in the rock and roll and punk subcultures of the late ’70s and most of the ’80s. 

It also featured heavily in the “goth” subculture, an offshoot of the punk era where both women and men wore all black clothing along with heavy make-up and black nail polish.  

Black Nail Polish Today

In recent times, wearing black clothing or black nail polish is seen as less of a symbol of rebellion, and more of a representation of confidence and empowerment in women and of masculinity and strength in men. 

Do Guys Like Black Nail Polish?

Do Guys Like It When Women Wear Black Nail Polish?

Of course, today’s modern woman dresses in a way to make herself happy and to express herself. But it helps to know if guys find what you’re wearing attractive. 

What Colors Do Men Like On Women?

What black nails mean

So what color nails do guys like the most?” Most men claim to like women wearing feminine fashions and floral fragrances ( once again, a symbol of femininity), so it comes as no surprise that many men prefer women to wear traditionally feminine nail colors like lavender or pink.

What does black fingernail polish mean

But many modern men are attracted to bold and extroverted women, and nothing says bold like black. Therefore, black can be seen as an attractive color to wear on your nails.

Do Guys Wear Black Nail Polish?

You may be surprised to learn that the first people to wear color on their nails were men, and black was their color of choice. 

Men Started the Trend

For those of you who find it weird for men to paint their nails, here’s a fun fact. Babylonian soldiers circa 3200 B.C. wore black kohl on their nails to intimidate their opponents in battle, and it became a part of their “war paint” ritual.

As time went by this practice fell away, and painting nails a color became the domain of women, until the late 70’s mod rock and punk subcultures evolved. Black nail polish has resurfaced from time to time, but with each rebirth has come new symbolism.

In modern times, guys have learned to take pride in their appearance and keep their nails neat and clean, but some guys take it a step further and use nail products such as nail polish to express their personality. 

Why Do Modern Men Wear Black Nail Polish?

So why do guys wear black nail polish? Much like those ancient Babylonian soldiers, modern men want to project their confidence in their masculinity, and black is seen as a very bold and powerful color. But they are also expressing their more artistic side.

The metrosexual movement of the ’90s gave rise to a whole new area of men’s grooming; cosmetics for men. Nowadays it is no longer frowned upon for men to want to look more polished. Pun intended. 

Why Do Some Guys Wear Black On Only One Finger?

Wearing black nail polish on only one ring finger can also be a sign of activism. The Polished Man campaign is an organization whose goal is to raise awareness of sexually abused children. 

This worldwide activism campaign has taken off in the US, Australia, and many countries in Europe. To show their support for this worthy cause, men choose to wear black nail polish on their ring fingers.

Ways To Use Nail Color To Send out A Message

what does black nail polish symbolize

Black nail polish can symbolize different things depending on who’s wearing it. In men, it represents masculinity. On women, it is considered sexy and daring. The youth may see it as an expression of their individuality.

Black Nail Polish In The Workplace

In the workplace, wearing black can be seen to represent authority and assertiveness.  As an extension of your overall look, nail polish can also affect how your co-workers and employer perceive you. Black nail polish will tell them that you are confident and serious.

Black Nail Polish After Hours

What if you want to send out a certain message about yourself? For example, what color nails mean you’re single? What nail color is perceived as sexy?

While red will always be seen as a sexy color, thanks to the influence of the media; In a survey of nail colors and their meaning, more than 47 percent of the people surveyed believed that black nail polish wearers were more sexually dominant.

Is Black Nail Polish A Good Choice For Single Women?

Ladies who wear black are not shy wallflowers. They want to stand out in the crowd and be noticed. A great choice for single women who want to make a positive impact. 

Black painted fingernails on a woman could hint at a domineering personality, but oddly enough, this color is also often chosen by those with a sensitive side. However, the consensus seems to be that the wearer of black nail polish is wanting to be noticed, even if this is a subliminal wish. 

Is Black Nail Polish Sexy?

Just like bold red nails have come to symbolize sex appeal, with many movie stars of old choosing this color to represent their femme fatale persona, black has become synonymous with empowerment, strength, and sexual assertiveness. 

What can it mean when a girl wears black nail polish

Is Black Nail Polish Suitable For Mature Women?

Older women may choose to wear black nail polish in order to come across as more youthful. Many people feel that in women over the age of 50 dark colors can be aging, but black painted fingernails, if a medium-length and neatly groomed, can look very elegant.

In Conclusion

What black nail means

Wild, daring, sassy, sexy, dramatic, confident; wearing black nail polish can mean all of the above, and so much more. If you want to make a fashion statement, look no further than our stunning nail polishes available in creme (Liquid Vinyl) or glitter (In the Moonlight) variants.  

What does black fingernail mean

Because when it comes to nail polish, ORLY Black IS the new black.

Did you enjoy reading our blog? Then consider checking other guides: