Having a manicure is a great way to relax and look your best.
It’s a bit of self-love that can make you feel confident and good about yourself.
Because there are so many different aspects of a manicure, you may wonder what the average cost of one is.
From nail color to art to simple cleaning, manicures have several different price points.
Here’s what you need to know about manicures and how much they cost.
How Much Is A Manicure?
The average price of a manicure is between $20 to $50 depending on the service you’re receiving.
You may find yourself adding on several different services at $10 or even $20 each.
As such, a manicure that started at $20 may suddenly balloon into a $40 or $50 service.
If you need help removing your nail polish, then you can expect to pay even more.
Because manicures are part of a service, it’s also a good idea to tip your manicurist.
Most expect a tipping percentage between 5% and 20%.
That can add another $5 to $10 to most manicure services.
Here are some of the factors that can influence the price of a manicure.
The salon you attend can influence the price of your manicure.
For example, if you go to a chain salon known for affordable prices, then you’re likely going to have services on the cheaper side.
Independent salons may have slightly higher prices, but they also tend to keep their prices lower, too.
One of the biggest expenses is going to a salon that sees a specific type of clientele.
For example, if you have local celebrities around your area, then there’s a chance that they might inflate their prices for them.
A salon that caters to celebrities can use that to make itself stand out from other salons.
Because they’re endorsed by celebrities, that means many other people want to get the same quality of service.
That comes with a price.
The same goes for a salon that has a famous nail technician.
While salons tend to carry the same price for their services regardless of who is performing them, there are some special cases.
For example, some people tend to be willing to pay more to have their nails done by a specific famous nail technician.
As a result, that tech can set their own prices, which might mean that they’re more expensive than the salon’s prices.
Depending on where you go and who the technicians are, you may have expensive or affordable manicure services.
2. Shellac And Gel Manicures
The type of manicure that you receive can also influence the price.
For example, if you want your nails to last for a long time, then you might consider a manicure with either shellac or gel.
These types of manicures are more expensive because they use more expensive materials.
They also require more experience on behalf of the nail tech.
They’re not as simple to get right as a standard acrylic manicure.
Since the salon has to buy products at a higher price because shellac and gel cost more, they need to make up for those costs through their pricing.
If they need an experienced technician with experience in handling those materials, then they may need to entice someone with higher pay.
Since it costs more to operate the business, their prices end up being impacted.
Finally, gel and shellac manicures tend to last longer.
Salons know that customers who choose that service are going to come in less frequently for touch-ups.
As a result, they need to make their dollars stretch over that extended time.
A higher price lets them do that.
If you’re getting either a gel or shellac manicure, then you can expect higher prices.
3. Nail Color
Not every manicure has to include a nail color.
Some clients prefer just to have their nails trimmed and cleaned.
Those who do want color, however, tend to have a more expensive manicure.
That’s because color requires the use of nail polish.
The bottles can be inexpensive or expensive, depending on quality and shade.
High-quality nail polish tends to last longer.
It also has an incredible shade.
Some colors are also rarer than others which means they might cost more.
If you want standard colors, then it’s usually pretty cheap.
Rarer colors can add a few dollars to the service.
That’s because the store may have to spend a bit more money on these rarer shades.
Higher operating costs mean higher pricing.
Choosing to have your nails painted in certain colors can increase the price of your manicure.
4. Glitter Nail Polish
Some might prefer the use of glitter rather than a specific color.
Some might want glitter on top of a color.
Glitter nail polish adds to the price of a manicure because it’s one more step in the service.
It also means that the tech is using yet another bottle on you.
If your manicure requires more materials, it becomes more expensive.
Depending on how much you’re doing to your nails, you may need to wait a bit before you receive your final glitter coat.
Since you’re taking more time, it means the nail tech may not be able to service other clients.
That means they’re not able to make more money in that time.
As a result, they have to make up for the money that they’re losing by charging you more.
Glitter is also an expensive nail polish because it has to go in a solution that allows it to spread and stick.
Otherwise, the glitter would just stick to the bottle or refuse to stay on your nails.
Since there’s a bit more processing involved, it becomes more of an expensive product.
To cover their operating costs, salons have to raise prices on glitter nail polish.
If you plan on getting glitter nail polish, then you can expect slightly higher prices.
5. Nail Polish Removal
Sometimes you may be looking to get a manicure that includes removing your old nail polish.
You may not have an interest in getting more color on your nails, but your old paint may be chipping or just looking battered.
Removing nail polish can be difficult, especially if the polish was high-quality.
It can take some time for the nail polish remover to eat away at the paint.
The manicurist will also need to scrub your fingers to remove the polish.
Since this service uses a lot of manual labor and time, you can expect it to be slightly more expensive than other standard services.
That expense can grow if you decide that you want to have your nails painted a new color, too.
6. Nail Shaping
Another service that can add to your total is nail shaping.
Whether you have long nails that you want to be cut or nails that have grown oddly, you may be looking for a nail shaping service.
Another common reason for this service is individuals who want their nails shaped in certain ways.
Maybe you want your nails to look more rounded or sharp.
Whatever your preference, you can expect the price of your manicure to increase.
That’s especially true if you’re looking to add extra services like painting and sealing to your manicure.
Shaping a nail requires time and expertise.
Since it takes more time to shape a nail, the nail technician needs enough pay to make their effort worth it.
The same goes for expertise.
Not every nail tech has experience in cutting or shaping nails in certain patterns or styles.
As such, a salon may need to hire some form of artist.
Since they have specialized skills, they tend to be paid more.
As a result, the operating cost of the salon increases.
The price for nail shaping also increases.
If you need your nails shaped along with any other service, then you can expect your manicure price to be high.
7. Luxury Manicure
Some salons also offer luxury manicures.
These are different than standard manicures because they usually include several services in a bundle.
For example, the manicurist might put your hands in a special water bin that cleans and massages them.
It might mean that they use expensive materials to color your nails.
It might even mean that they add things to your nails like diamonds or liquid gold.
Services can quickly become expensive when they include luxury.
Other salons might be a bit more affordable with their luxury services.
It might mean that they offer you free tea with your manicure.
You could go home with a free bag.
It might even mean that they give you a pedicure as well or a massage.
Whatever the luxury service entails, you can expect it to increase the price of your manicure by a significant amount.
That’s because luxury services and products are inherently more expensive.
8. Nail Art
Another major expense that you may have with your manicure is nail art.
Long gone are the days when manicures only used basic colors.
These days, people can get manicures with incredible works of art on their fingers.
It makes their fingers look wholly unique from someone else’s.
They act as conversation starters and can make an individual feel good about themselves because they’re attracting so much attention.
That said, nail art is usually an expensive add-on that guests can receive at a salon.
They’re expensive for a few reasons.
The first is time.
Nail art, especially in-depth pieces that require a lot of concentration and color changes, takes time to create.
The artist has to ensure that the nail polish doesn’t smudge while they create their art.
If it does, then they have to start over.
They also can’t mess up because, in most cases, the nail art is the same for each finger.
If one finger has a mistake, then it can throw off the entire look.
Since it takes more time, it costs more.
Another reason is the artist, themself.
While some manicurists may have a handle on color and shaping, they may not be artists.
As a result, the salon has to hire actual nail artists.
They know that if their artist can start making their art trend, then they’ll see more business.
However, to attract an artist to a salon, they need to offer them decent pay.
To keep up with operation costs, the price for that artist’s services is usually high.
This is especially true of artists who have a solid reputation in their area.
A salon can attract a ton of people to its doors if it has an artist that everyone wants.
Finally, nail art usually includes several different colors.
At the very least, it includes more than one color.
As a result, the manicure as a whole becomes more expensive because there are more materials used on the guest’s fingers.
Since it uses more materials, the salon has to buy more, which drives up operating costs.
Manicures that include nail art tend to be more expensive than manicures without nail art.
9. 3D Design
Some salons also specialize in providing three-dimensional designs for their guests.
You can get beads, diamonds, and other design elements attached to your nails.
The idea is to have 3D nail art that stuns visually.
The application of 3D objects can take some time.
Some artists even just paint on the nail directly to make something that looks 3D.
Because this is a specialized service, you can expect it to cost more.
One reason for this is the time it takes to perform this service.
If you’re having diamonds or beads attached to your nail, then the nail tech has to carefully attach each one in a design that looks pleasing.
This takes time because the objects have to stick before they can apply the next.
It all happens one by one.
Artists who create 3D designs from 2D art also spend a lot of time painting their art.
It takes time for the paint to dry, so they can apply a new layer.
These artists usually also get paid a bit more since they’re the only ones who know how to do this kind of art.
If you want 3D art on your nails, then you can expect to pay a good amount for your manicure.
10. Manicure And Pedicure
A final way your manicure might become expensive is if you include a pedicure.
While a manicure focuses on the nails of your hand, a pedicure focuses on the nails of your feet.
Both require time to clean, trim, and paint.
If you want different services for both, then you can expect the price of the total service to be quite high.
You’re taking up more of the technician’s time, so they’ll need to charge you more.
You’ll also require more materials for all your nails.
Since you’re costing the business more money, you have to pay those costs back and then some to help them generate a profit.
Manicures can become more expensive when you include pedicures with them.
What Is Manicure Etiquette?
When receiving a manicure, there are a few unwritten rules that you should adhere to.
Failure to do so can result in unhappy manicurists.
The quality of your next manicure might be lower as a result.
Here are a few rules of etiquette you should follow when getting a manicure.
1. Always Tip
If you want to foster a positive relationship with your nail tech, then you should always tip them.
That said, the amount of the tip depends on how well they served you.
If you received stellar service, then consider tipping them above 20%.
Tipping not only helps them feed their families, but it also demonstrates your gratitude towards their service.
If you can create a strong relationship with your manicurist, then they’ll work harder in the future and maybe even give you a few free things in the future.
2. Don’t Play With Your Phone
When you’re getting a manicure, the nail technician needs access to your hands.
This isn’t the time to scroll through Instagram or post on your socials.
Put down the phone and let them do their job.
You can take a photo of your nails later.
3. Pay Beforehand
Most salons will allow you to pay before the service or after.
While some may choose to wait until after the service, it’s usually a better idea to pay beforehand.
That’s because it’s possible to ruin your new nails by reaching into your purse or pocket for your wallet.
If you pay beforehand, then you don’t have to worry about accidentally ruining your brand new nails.
Manicures are a relatively affordable service.
However, if you choose to have several add-on services, then the total cost of your manicure could become pricey.
To ensure your manicure looks great and lasts a long time, you should follow the etiquette rules listed above the next time you visit a salon.