Running Athlete

The Evolution of Flo Jo Nails

Top 5 Flo Jo Nails Designs That Took the Fashion World by Storm


Florence Griffith Joyner, also known as “Flo Jo”, was an iconic track and field athlete in the 1980s. But she was more than just an athlete.

Her unique sense of style and fashion sense made her stand out from the crowd. One of her most notable fashion statements was her distinctive nail art, which became known as “Flo Jo nails”.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the history of Flo Jo nails, how to achieve the look, popular designs, and modern interpretations of this trend.

The History of Flo Jo Nails

Flo Jo’s impact on fashion and style was undeniable. She was known for her flamboyant and bold fashion choices, and her nails were no exception. 

Her signature nail art was first seen at the 1984 Olympics, where she sported a patriotic design featuring red, white, and blue stripes. Her nails quickly became a part of her iconic look and a topic of discussion in the media.

Over the course of her career, Flo Jo’s nail art became more elaborate and intricate. She experimented with different colors, shapes, and patterns, and her designs often reflected her personality and mood. Her nails became a symbol of her confidence, strength, and individuality.

Flo Jo’s influence on nail art continues to this day. Her designs have inspired many people to experiment with their own nail art, and her legacy lives on through the trend of “Flo Jo nails”.

Flo Jo Nails

How to Achieve Flo Jo Nails

Achieving the iconic look of Flo Jo nails is easier than you might think. Here are the steps to follow:

Choose Your Colors: Flo Jo nails are all about bold colors and vibrant patterns. Choose two or three colors that complement each other well. Bright shades of red, blue, and yellow are popular choices.

Prep Your Nails: Start with clean, dry nails. Remove any old polish and file your nails to your desired shape. Apply a base coat to protect your nails and make the polish last longer.

Apply Your Base Color: Choose one of your chosen colors to be the base color for your nails. Apply one or two coats of polish, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next.

Flo Jo Nails

Create Your Design: Using a small brush or a toothpick, create your chosen design on your nails. This can be stripes, dots, or any other pattern that you like. Be creative and have fun with it!

Seal Your Design: Once you are happy with your design, let it dry completely. Apply a clear topcoat to seal the design and make it last longer>

And there you have it – your very own Flo Jo nails!

Popular Flo Jo Nail Designs

Flo Jo nails are all about bold colors and creative designs. Here are some popular designs that you can try out for yourself:

1. Red, White, and Blue Stripes: This design pays homage to Flo Jo’s patriotic nails from the 1984 Olympics. Paint your nails with a red base color, and add white and blue stripes to create a classic American look.

2. Checkerboard Pattern: This design features alternating squares of two colors. Try black and white, or mix it up with brighter shades like pink and yellow.

3. Geometric Shapes: Experiment with triangles, squares, and circles in a variety of colors to create a playful and bold design.

4. Ombre Effect: Start with a light base color and gradually add a darker shade to the tips of your nails. This creates a beautiful gradient effect that is perfect for any occasion.

5. Polka Dots: Use a toothpick or a small brush to add colorful dots to your nails. This design is simple yet eye-catching.

Modern Interpretations of Flo Jo Nails

While Flo Jo’s original nail designs remain iconic, modern interpretations of Flo Jo nails have evolved over time. Here are some examples of how the trend has been adapted and reinvented:

  • 3D Designs: Some nail artists have taken Flo Jo nails to the next level by adding 3D elements like studs, gems, and even feathers.
  • Textured Nails: Using different nail art techniques, like marbling or stamping, you can create a textured effect on your nails that adds depth and interest to your design.
  • Negative Space: Rather than covering the entire nail with polish, negative space designs leave parts of the nail bare to create an edgy and modern look.
florence griffith joyner
  • Glitter and Metallics: Adding glitter or metallic accents to your Flo Jo nails can take your design to the next level, giving it a glam and luxurious feel.
  • Custom Shapes: Some people have taken Flo Jo nails to a new level by experimenting with different nail shapes, like stiletto or almond nails, to create unique and statement-making designs.

These modern interpretations of Flo Jo nails show how the trend has evolved and inspired new variations over the years. Whether you stick with the classic designs or try out a new interpretation, Flo Jo nails are a bold and creative way to express your personal style.

The Science behind Nails and Athletics

How nails affect athletic performance:

Nails can actually have a significant impact on athletic performance. For example, long nails can interfere with grip strength and dexterity, making it harder to perform certain movements or hold onto equipment. 

On the other hand, well-maintained and strong nails can provide additional support and stability, especially in activities that require gripping or pushing.

The relationship between nails and grip strength:

Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between nail strength and grip strength. Stronger nails can help improve grip and overall hand function, which can be especially important for athletes in sports like gymnastics, pole vaulting, or weightlifting.

Flo Jo Nails

The importance of nail health for athletes:

Nail health is an often overlooked aspect of overall physical health, but it can have important implications for athletes. In addition to affecting grip strength and performance, poor nail health can also lead to pain, infection, or even injury. 

Regular maintenance and care of nails is therefore an important part of overall athletic training and preparation.


In conclusion, Flo Jo nails are an iconic and timeless trend that continue to inspire nail artists and fashion lovers today. Flo Jo’s bold and creative approach to nail art was an extension of her larger-than-life personality and fashion sense. Her patriotic stripes and intricate designs have become synonymous with her name, and have inspired countless people to experiment with their own nail art.

While the original Flo Jo nails remain popular, the trend has evolved over time to include modern interpretations that reflect current fashion trends and individual creativity. From textured nails to 3D designs, there are countless ways to express yourself through Flo Jo nails.

So whether you’re a fan of classic or modern interpretations, one thing is for sure – Flo Jo nails are a fun and colorful way to express your personal style and pay homage to one of the greatest athletes and fashion icons of all time.


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