Just Why Are There So Many Vietnamese Women In The Nail Industry? Tippi Hedren!

Get a manicure in California and chances are the person pushing back your cuticles is of Vietnamese heritage. How so many came to choose the trade goes back 40 years and involves a Hollywood actress: Tippi Hedren (pictured). While helping at a refugee camp set up near Sacramento after the fall of Saigon in 1975, Hedren noticed the Vietnamese women admiring her nails. “They loved my fingernails. They were fascinated with my fingernails,” said Hedren, who starred in several Alfred Hitchcock movies in the 1960’s. Hedren saw it as a chance for the new immigrants to get a job. She invited her Sherman Oaks manicurist, Dusty, to teach a class of about 20 women at the refugee camp. “I like to call her the godmother of the Vietnamese nail industry, because that’s what she is,” said Tam Nguyen, president of Advance Beauty College in Garden Grove. From that class grew an industry that today draws in several billion dollars a year. According to the industry magazine, Nails, 80 percent of licensed manicurists in California are Vietnamese.

Leave a Comment