Why Women Who Have Tested The 'Red Nail Theory' Say They're Attracting More Men

Grab your favorite red nail polish.

woman with red nails baiajaku / Getty Images & Nakita Kobin via Canva

If you've ever strolled down the never-ending path of BeautyTok, you may have come across plenty of trends, like the ill-fated DIY freckle trend or the ethically questionable dark under eyes trend.

But there's a new trend TikTokers swear by, and it's called the "red nail theory." But what does that even mean? Is it a beauty trend? A life hack? A manifestation technique?

Here's what you need to know about the nostalgia-driven red manicure every woman is lining up to get.


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What is the 'red nail theory'?

The red nail theory didn't just pop up out of nowhere; in fact, it was actually a pretty popular trend back in January 2022. And now it's regaining momentum, especially on TikTok.


The red nail theory is a concept that has become popular thanks to a video posted by TikTok user Robyn Delmonte, better known as GirlBossTown.

In her video, Delmonte explains her theory about why red nails seem to gain more compliments from men — like, a lot more than usual.

"Every time I have red nails, men notice and compliment them. I always thought red was a grandma nail color, but then I started to wonder about it."



Delmonte believes this is because red nails remind men of their mothers who, in the 90s when we were growing up, seemed to always have red nails.


"When we were growing up, women had red nails a lot, especially our moms," she continues. "Guys are attracted to red nails because it reminds them of their moms when they were growing up, taking care of them." 

So by wearing this nail color, you, essentially, "Freudian" men into thinking you will take care of them and then, just like that, they are attracted to you.

TikTokers think red nails attract men because it reminds them of being cared for by their mothers and other female figures in their lives.

Delmonte went on to explain the theory on the podcast Mother Knows Best.

"Men's first relationship with women, like their teachers and their moms and just like women back in the 90s, all wore red nails," she says. "It was their first time being comforted by women or like female figures in their lives."


The viral TikToker then dives deeper into her theory, discussing how that is the whole point of how, when men see red nails now, they're attracted to it: "It was their first introduction to being around women who cared and comforted them."



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Women are putting the theory to the test, and many of them say it works. Even Hailey Bieber has hopped onto the viral trend.


Though some people think it's a silly theory, there's actually sound evidence to support it. 

The color red is often associated with passion, confidence, and love. It's a bold color that women wear and feel sexier as a result. This is called the red effect, and it can influence perceptions of attractiveness.

Some people even correlate the power of the color red with the planet Mars and its metaphysical effect.

The color red was even significant in Ancient Egypt, where only elites could wear the color on their nails, and regular citizens were restricted to pale tones.


Science has also shown that men are attracted to the color red, likely because red is the color of blood, "which is the easiest signal the body can produce to advertise fertility."

Back in 2008, two psychologists from the Unversity of Rochester actually determined that the color red makes men feel "more amorous toward women" through five conducted experiments.

The study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, stated, "Red leads men to view women as more attractive and more sexually desirable. Men seem unaware of this red effect, and red does not influence women’s perceptions of the attractiveness of other women, nor men’s perceptions of women’s overall likeability, kindness, or intelligence."

So, while red may not be your nail color of choice, know that wearing it may just get guys' heads turning.


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Deauna Nunes is an associate editor for YourTango who covers pop culture, lifestyle, astrology, and relationship topics. She's had bylines in Emerson College's literary magazine, Generic.