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Dr. Umar Johnson audaciously claims that Black nail techs are “lazy” and lack humility for not offering pedicure services. In response, disagreeable nail techs and customers on social media jumped in to point out justifiable reasons against the psychologist’s argument.

On April 27, Chicago-based Tre’Bella Nail Spa, owned by CEO Melinda Price or “Mel,” posted an Instagram clip of Dr. Johnson alongside an agreeable and championing message about serving pedicures. 

“I never understood how you could do nails and not feet,” the post began. “They just go together like peanut butter and jelly. We do pedicures! Who with me? Watch till the end. He states great facts about desegregation and how it ruined the Black economy.”

The clip shows Dr. Johnson engaging in controversial discourse with Aristotle of Aristotle Investments about Black nail techs and pedicure services. Aristotle cites Black nail techs who prefer to perform as many manicures as possible rather than work on feet. He also reveals a consensus of nail techs who refuse to do feet because of customers’ “nasty”  hygiene. 


The two men agreed that Black nail techs squander away more growth opportunities for Asians, the most common ethnicity among nail artists.

“You just gave them control of the entire foot market,” Dr. Johnson belted out, adding that the Black nail techs are  “lazy” and “selfish” and aren’t “humble enough to serve another sister that looks just like you.”

In other words, Dr. Johnson insinuates that a Black nail tech would rather eat a white woman’s toe jam than do a pedicure on a fellow Black woman. He said decisions like these sabotage the “economic growth as a people.”

To be more specific, the Pan-African expert recalled a time during desegregation when Black people transitioned from being plumbers, mechanics, and architects to enlisting in a white man’s university.

Instagram users defended reasons why Black women would rather not have a Black woman do their pedicure.

I would never let a BLACK WOMAN sit lower than me washing my feet. Hear me out. I turn down those services when they say they have it,” one customer argued.

“I worked in a nail salon about eight years ago, and surprisingly, the Black customers did not prefer the person doing their feet to be Black. In fact, they were very loud about it,” another user chimed in. 

Other comments gave a shoutout to their current Black nail tech for providing both nail and feet services. 

“I have a Black nail tech who does both, and she is the truth! And I tip her top $ too, just because!” a user wrote.

“My nail tech is Black. I only go to Black nail techs. Being in the beauty industry, I know a lot of Black nail techs. Literally, EVERY BLACK NAIL TECH THAT I KNOW DOES BOTH NAILS AND TOES! I CAN’T STAND INSECURE MISINFORMED black men whose only purpose in life is to belittle black women,” a bellowing user wrote against Dr. Johnson and Aristotle’s claims. 

The nail industry reportedly makes up only 2.4% of the Black community.

Though Tre’Bella Nail Spa regularly posts dynamic nail designs on Instagram, the Black woman-owned business also shares announcements inviting beauty professionals to learn how to master money.

Have y’all had a customer experience with a “lazy” nail tech? Do y’all agree with Dr. Johnson?

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