National Public Radio (NRP) featured a story on a recent documentary about the nail salon industry.

Nailed It is a film by Free Pham, and many can probably relate. If you’ve had a recent manicure in Oceanside, chances are good that it was done at a nail salon owned and staffed by people of Vietnamese heritage.

Not just in Oceanside, but in almost every city, state and strip mall in the US, Vietnamese entrepreneurs dominate the multibillion-dollar nail industry. Nailed It takes a look at that, asking how it happened.

Growing up in Portland, Oregon, Pham, of Vietnamese descent, says she noticed that all the nail salons around her were Vietnamese-run.

“I just knew there was a whole other side to this industry, being Vietnamese, that the greater general public did not understand.”

Pham documents the beginning of the Vietnamese nail businesses in 1975, when actress Tippi Hedren, doing humanitarian work, introduced 20 Vietnamese refugees to her personal manicurist. Pham dives deeper by tracing the origins of nail salons in Black communities, and finds a surprising connection to a jointly owned Black-Vietnamesse salon that she sites as the spark for trendy nails.

Read the full article here: