Courtesy of Shine Nails Chicago

It only takes a few days of sunshine and temps above 60 degrees for Chicagoans to shift into full summertime mode – dusting off the BBQ grill and retrieving the shorts and sandals stored away in the back of the closet. 

For the ladies, however, this glimpse of summertime Chi only means one thing – tis the season to get our nails in order.

Before you run to the nearest nail shop, here are four nail salons on the South, West and North sides with Black owners and nail technicians. 


Shine Nails Chicago
2251 S. Michigan Avenue (South Loop)
Open since 2004

Owner Ericka Johnson aims to please. That’s why Johnson and her staff treats everyone who enters Shine Nails Chicago like family. “Everyone knows each other and we always have engaging converations,” Johnson adds. “We also serve spirits and celebrate life quite often.” Taraji P. Henson, Grace Byers and more from the FOX hit TV show, Empire, are among Shine’s celebrity clientele.

Appointments & Walk-Ins based on availability

Empire star Taraji P. Henson shouts out Shine Nails Chicago on her Instagram account for giving her this glamorous purple set of nails.
A Polished Work Nail Spa Lounge
1000 E. 76th Street (Grand Crossing)
Open since 2013

Featured on Chicago’s Windy City Live in March, the nail technicians at A Polished Work Nail Spa Lounge are concerned with more than just nail design and polish color. It’s all about individualized nail care at this shop. “At the drop-in shops, they’ll put whatever on your nails and are not concerned about the impact,” owner Monica Abernathy says.”If it’s not going to be right for the client’s lifestyle or nail health, then we’re not going to do it.” 

Appointments & Walk-Ins based on availability


Glitter Nail Salon
912 Madison Street (Oak Park)
Open since 2012

Glitter Nail Salon is well worth the drive to their location at the Chicago-Oak Park border. Just ask the owner, Tisa Durham, a celebrity nail artist who’s done nail work for Black Ink Crew Chicago and more. “We treat anyone who walks through the door like old girl friends,” Durham says. “We try to be free and liberal. You can let your hair down. It’s not a stuffy place.”

Durham is appointment only. Walk-Ins based on availability.

Courtesy of Glitter Nail Salon


Naughty Nail’z
3634 W. Fullerton Avenue (Logan Square)
Open since 2010

Though owned by two Puerto Rican sisters, their Black nail techs do “some really dope work.” Check the shop’s Instagram page if you need proof, owner Alexis N. says. “We keep up with all the trends. We’ve got the hottest nails in Chicago,” she adds. Naughty Nail’z doesn’t offer any services outside of manis and pedis. “Women come to us because our nail shaping is the best. Our ombre acrylic is the best. And we only use Swarovski crystals,” Alexis N. says. “We’re like the Gucci and Louis Vuitton of nails.”

Appointments only.

Courtesy of Naughty Nail'z
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