Sometimes, I find myself reading a news item about a solution to a problem I never knew existed and it opens my eyes to a facet of another culture that I haven't thought about before. Today was one of those moments and the news was about… nail polish.
While nail polish might seem like something that’s pretty cross-cultural, it turns out that a lot of Muslim folks don’t use it because it conflicts with important prayer practices. The polish creates a barrier over the nail, preventing water and air from touching the nail. This, in turn, conflicts with the Muslim practice of wudhu, the cleansing ritual used prior to prayer. During this ablution, water must be able to touch all parts of the hand, and the nail polish blocks that from happening.
As many people already know, Muslims traditionally pray five times a day, so this ritual is a daily practice. It’s not like if you go to weekly services and can just take the nail polish off before you show up.
So this is the problem I never knew about because I didn’t know about the ablutions required before prayer. But, fortunately, a combination of cosmetics executives and Muslim women have found a solution that will be pleasing to both fashionistas and the faithful!
Nail polish maker Orly has teamed up with Muslim Girl, a great lifestyle and current affairs website started by a young Muslim woman, to develop a line of breathable nail polishes that allow water and oxygen to penetrate the lacquer. The new line, called #HalalPaint, will debut this summer, and features colors with names like Haram-Bae, The Perfect Amani-Cure, What the Fatima?, and Ig-Noor the Haters.
The first set of six is a collection of on-trend colors including a dark purple, a metallic gold, and an eye-catching pink. The halal-certified ingredients are even good for nails — argan oil and vitamin C, anyone?
You can pre-order the set here. Happy hands and happy prayers!