Average Cost to Get Your Nails Done (Manicures & Pedicures)

Are you someone who revels in the simple pleasure of getting your nails professionally done now and then?

Sometimes there are few experiences more relaxing than setting a few hours aside in a busy schedule to get a hand or foot massage and have your nails and skin looking nicer than usual for a few weeks.

If you frequently enjoy getting your nails done, you might have noticed that the cost can vary wildly depending on the establishment you visit and how elaborate the design is that you would like to have applied to your nails.

On average, manicures cost $20 to $25 and pedicures cost $35 to $40. Specialty manicures like acrylics cost $35 to $45, and gels cost around $45 to $55. Colors, finishes, designs, and types of salons can also be factors for the price differences.

Typically, French manicures are $10 extra. So if a nail salon charges $25 for a basic manicure, their French manicure is $35. If a nail salon charges $45 for acrylic nails, their French acrylic nails should be around $55.

The main difference between manicures and French manicures is the color on the tip of the nails. Regular manicure uses creamier colors, and French manicure uses a pink base with a white tip.

Let’s take a look at the detailed breakdown of the typical costs associated with nail care and design, an outline of the different types of manicures you can get, and what you should look for in a nail technician.

Related: What is the Average Cost of Haircut?

The cost of getting your nails done also varies depending on the city you visit, as major cities such as New York and Chicago tend to be more expensive than smaller cities such as Detroit. Below is a comparison of the average cost within the United States as well as specific cities.

AcrylicGel
The Entire USA$35$50
New York City$40$50
Detroit$25$35
Chicago$50$60
Los Angeles$35$45

Manicure Price Range

The average cost of getting your nails painted is between $25 and $35 at a standard salon, and $45 to $75 at a high-end spa. However, the price varies based on factors such as the type of salon that one visits, the additional services one purchases and whether one is getting a pedicure or a manicure.

Below is a full cost breakdown of getting your nails painted, according to Cost Helper.

Painted Nails at Budget Nail Shops:

 ManicuresPedicures
Standard$10 to $15$15 to $25
Deluxe$20 to $25$25 to $35

Painted Nails at Average Nail Salons:

 ManicuresPedicures
Standard$20 to $25$35 to $40
Deluxe$30 to $45$45 to $60

Painted Nails at Luxury Spa or Hotels:

 ManicuresPedicures
Standard$25 to $45$45 to $50
Deluxe$50 to $75$75 to $135

A standard manicure should include the cleaning and soaking of one’s fingers in moisturizer-infused water to soften the nails and skin. The nails should be cut and shaped, with the cuticles pushed back and the surface of the nail buffed by a file. A standard manicure should include a choice of polish color.

Deluxe manicures should include exfoliation of one’s hands with a sugar or salt scrub, then a soaking in aromatic oils. Deluxe manicures might also include a short hand massage and a dipping of one’s hands in paraffin wax for approximately 10 minutes to soften the hands.

Standard pedicures should include the soaking of one’s feet in warm water to soften the nail beds and skin. Many salon chairs also have the capacity to provide a back and neck massage.

Standard pedicures should also include the clipping and shaping of nails, as well as the sanding of dry skin or calluses with a pumice stone or other removal techniques.

Nails should be buffed before adding polish to even out the nail surface, and you should be able to choose your own polish color.

Deluxe pedicures usually include a sugar or salt scrub and a soaking in light oil or paraffin wax to make feet extra soft. Deluxe pedicures almost always include a short foot massage by the technician.

There are also additional services that will cause the price of a manicure or pedicure to increase, such as selecting French tips, which will add $5 to $10 extra. Sometimes paraffin wax treatments are a separate charge of approximately $8 to $15 each for feet and hands.

The price of polish changes is approximately $5 to $15 at most salons. People should also factor in a tip of 15 to 20 percent of their total bill.

Acrylics Price Range

manicure

Acrylic nails are made from a powder dipped in solvent that is combined into a blob of dough and then applied to your nails with a brush before being air-dried. People who wish to obtain a different nail shape or longer nails find acrylic nails especially appealing. The price of acrylics depends on factors such as the type of salon that one visits. Also, the materials for pink and white acrylics are more expensive; thus, that color choice costs more.

Below is a full cost breakdown of getting your nails done with acrylics.

Acrylics Nails at Budget Nail Shops:

  Acrylics
Standard$25 to $35
Pink and white$30 to $40

Acrylics Nails at Average Nail Salons:

  Acrylics
Standard$35 to $45
Pink and white$45 to $50

Acrylics Nails at Luxury Spa or Hotels:

  Acrylics
Standard$50 to $70
Pink and white$75 to $85

Acrylic manicures include most of the services as a standard manicure, but the difference is that you can choose the color, length and shape of the nails.

The nail technician will apply an adhesive before they attach the acrylic nail to your nail bed, then sand the nail and shape it before adding polish and accessories if you have selected them.

Adding specialty designs such as multiple colors and fake jewels might raise the price of acrylics by at least 20 percent, or $3 to $5 more per nail. The reparation of broken acrylics costs $5 to $10 per nail.

How to Care for Acrylic Nails

Group of girlfriends, manicure in beauty salon

Acrylic nails should be filled in once every two weeks at the most, a maximum of four times total.

Fill ins generally cost between $20 and $40. Gel refills for acrylics might cost $30 to $40.

Acrylic nails will last up to two months if one goes to get fill-ins every two weeks, or when nails begin to grow out noticeably.

It is also important to care for them correctly in order to increase their life. Avoid excessive contact between your hands and water, and make sure to keep your hands as clean as possible to reduce any damage from bacteria.

Applying oil to acrylic nails once or twice daily will keep them flexible and prevent breaking and chipping. If your acrylic nails do chip or split, do not try to glue the broken part—instead visit your nail technician for a reparation.

Gel Price Range

For many people, the longevity of a gel manicure is a major selling point, especially for people with time-consuming professions where their nails are always in the spotlight, such as teachers.

Gel nails usually last for about a month if they are applied correctly, and they cost approximately $40 to $60 depending on the level of complexity in the design.

A full set of gel nails costs on average $35 to $40 for small nail shops. At mid-range salons or spas, gel nails will cost approximately $45 to $55. Resort spas or high-end nail salons typically charge $60-$100 for gel nails.

Gel nail polish is hardened (or “cured”) by being placed under a UV or LED lamp. If you are worried about UV exposure, you can ask the salon to use an LED lamp, or apply sunscreen to your hands before your manicure, just in case.

Gel manicures also do not damage your nails if they are prepared and completed correctly, although the removal process can be quite harmful if it is not done professionally.

Gel nail polish must be removed with acetone, cotton balls, tin foil and a nail file. Sometimes it might even be necessary to place your nails back under the UV or LED lamp in order to remove the polish safely.

Nail beds and cuticles should especially be treated with care when removing gel polish. A nail salon will charge on average between $10 and $20 to remove gel for you.

If you want to remove the gel polish yourself, you will have to purchase a solution that is 100 percent acetone and soak your nails in it for at least three minutes after filing off the shiny top coat of your nail polish.

When the polish has changed to a jelly-like substance, use a wooden cuticle tool to push off the remaining residue. Make sure you moisturize with a cuticle oil and a nail or hand cream.

How to Find a Skilled Nail Technician

Nail treatment process at busy manicure salon.

One of the most important qualities to look for in the person you are planning to trust with your nails is patience.

A patient nail technician will pay impeccable attention to the smallest details, which will be better for the design of your nails as well as the health of your nails.

An impatient nail technician will be rough on your cuticles, which can cause bleeding and be painful for several days. You also will want to find a nail technician who does not cut your nails too short to the point of being painful.

The best nail artists will also be creative and passionate about what they do, which will be evident if all of their previous nail creations look like a work of art.

You can usually see pictures from a nail salon or specific nail artist on their website or social media pages such as Instagram or Facebook.If you like complex designs, it is important to find a nail artist whose previous work matches your style.

Finding a nail artist who keeps up with the latest techniques and trends is also beneficial, as you will always be confident that your nail technician is using the best materials (from moisturizers to polishes) to keep your nails healthy.

Although it is not essential, it is also pleasant to find a nail technician who is easy to talk to and whom you connect with on a more personal level.

Being able to converse easily with your nail technician and enjoying their company makes manicures more of something to look forward to, especially if you are used to lengthy gel manicures that can take three hours or more.

How Much Are People Spending on Nails

Although many people love the experience of getting their nails done, the enjoyable excursion comes at a cost.

Most people can save roughly $500 a year by doing their own finger nails at home—plus an additional $300 for doing their own toe nails, according to yahoo! Finance.

However, there is something to be said for the feeling of being pampered, and it sometimes cannot be perfectly replicated at home.

Key Takeaways:

  • Getting your nails painted professionally will cost anywhere from $15 to $75 depending on whether you are receiving a standard or deluxe manicure, what city you are in, the type the of salon or spa you are visiting and what kind of additional services you add on.
  • An expert manicure (with painted nails) should cost approximately $25.
  • Pedicures with painted nails should cost between $25 and $50 depending on the same factors as a manicure.
  • Acrylic nails last longer than painted nails, and they generally cost somewhere between $25 and $75, although elaborate acrylic designs at a high-end salon can cost $100.
  • Acrylic nails should be filled in once every two weeks at the most, up to four times total. Fill ins generally cost between $20 and $40.
  • Gel polish usually lasts for an entire month, and they cost about $40 to $60 depending on the level of complexity in the design.
  • A good nail technician should be patient, attentive to detail, skilled, creative and knowledgeable in their field.
  • If you typically get manicures and pedicures at a salon, you mostly likely could save an average of $800 a year by doing your nails at home, but sometimes small luxuries are worth the extra money.