Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Nail polish

2 February, 2009


Hi, I was wondering if there was any leniency regarding nail polish. I do not enjoy going to the mikvah for various reasons and it is something that I have to push myself to do. One of the things that makes it hard is having to remove nail polish. I recently had a baby, have not lost the weight, have terrible stretch marks, and generally do not feel attractive. Having a manicure/pedicure is one of the few things that makes me feel pretty, and knowing I have to remove it before mikvah makes it even harder for me to go. Is there any leniency regarding immersing with a clean/fresh manicure? nails are trimmed, cuticles cut, etc but there is polish on? (does it help if it is a nude color?)…..Thank you so much for your response…


Mazal tov on the birth of your baby!

We are sorry to hear that going to the mikveh has become so difficult for you, and that having to remove nail polish has added to this difficulty.

Based on the parameters for chatzitzah, there is a basis for permitting mikveh immersion with items intended for beautification that are not meant to be removed. Color makes no difference in this regard. However, as you are aware, it is not the general custom to immerse with nail polish. (Learn more here.)

Would it be possible to schedule your manicures for the day after mikveh, so that, in practice, it would only be a few hours that you would go without polish (and you would be removing polish you had in mind to remove shortly anyhow)? If so, that would be a preferable resolution.

But if, right now, it is critically important to you and your mikveh observance to keep your manicure, you may immerse with the polish. You should take care to clean your nails very well and to make sure the manicure is fresh and in good condition, and you should inform the local mikveh attendant that this practice was permitted in this case.

We hope that, with time, your feelings about yourself and about mikveh improve. Please feel free to be in back in touch with any issues that you’d like to raise.

This response was updated on 15 January, 2024.

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