Nails have come a long way in the past few years. There are so many choices available today, from basic manicures and acrylic nails to gel nails and various other designs.
However, with all of these options comes a higher price tag. Do you want your nails done at a salon, or can you do them at home?
If you’re looking to save some money, be sure to check out the various price of nails in our guide below.
What is the price of nails?
The price of nails varies depending on the salon and the type of nail service being provided.
In 2019, the average price of nails for a basic manicure was $22.75, $46.01 for acrylics, and $51.29 for gel nails.
However, these are just averages, and many of the following elements can impact the final price of nails:
- City of residence
- Type of salon (budget/small, average salon, luxury hotels, and spas)
- Type of nails (simple manicure, acrylic sets, gel)
- Extras: french tip, nail art, jewels, glitter, fancy shape, complex design
We can’t underestimate the cost of extras because they can quickly add up.
- Adding a french tip can cost between $5 to $10
- Nail art prices vary between $1 to $5+ per nail
- Jewels typically cost $3 to $5 per nail
While not technically an add-on, we also need to account for a tip that generally amounts to 15% to 20% of your bill’s total.
As per the table below, the average price of nails can vary quite a bit from city to city.
How much do manicures cost?
A standard manicure will usually cost between $20 to $25. If you decide to enjoy a luxury spa day or get your nails done while staying at a hotel, the cost will be more, from $25 to $45.
As we mentioned earlier, a french tip will generally include an additional fee of $5 to $10. The price will also increase should you choose any other add-ons.
Let’s review some average prices according to Cost Helper. These prices are based on the type of nail salon you choose to visit.
Price of painted nails at budget or small private shops
|Standard||$10 to $15|
|Deluxe||$20 to $25|
Price of painted nails at the average nail salon
|Standard||$20 to $25|
|Deluxe||$30 to $45|
Price of painted nails at luxury hotels or spas
|Standard||$25 to $45|
|Deluxe||$50 to $75|
So what exactly constitutes a manicure?
A standard manicure typically consists of:
- A brief soaking of the nails
- Filing, shaping, and buffing of the nails
- Some salons may include some form of cuticle care
- Application of the nail polish
While a standard manicure is great for your monthly manicures, indulging in a deluxe manicure can be nice when the budget permits.
Deluxe manicures provide extra services. They are not only centered on achieving great nails but also on relaxation and the care of your hands and nails.
A deluxe manicure commonly consists of:
- An exfoliating hand scrub to clear away dead skin
- Longer nail soaks
- Evaluating the nails for any issues
- Thorough nail and cuticle care
- A hydrating hand and arm massage
- A nourishing paraffin wax mask for your hands
- Application of the nail polish
How much do acrylic sets cost?
Acrylic nails are made from a mixture of acrylic powder and liquid.
Acrylic nails are formed over the natural nails and the nail tip extensions, which have already been glued on.
The acrylic powder can be applied as clear, or your technician can use a colored powder.
A longtime favorite is French acrylic nails. You get an elegant light pink base with a delicate white tip.
The extra step of creating the French tip justifies the add-on cost this work entails.
Acrylic nails can start at $25 in privately owned shops and go up to $70 in luxury hotels.
If you want deluxe French tips, you can expect prices to range from $30 to $85, depending on your choice of nail salons.
Price of acrylic nails at budget or small private shops
|Standard||$25 to $35|
|Pink & white combo||$30 to $40|
Price of acrylic nails at the average nail salon
|Standard||$35 to $45|
|Pink & white combo||$45 to $50|
Price of acrylic nails at luxury hotels and spas
|Standard||$50 to $70|
|Pink & white combo||$75 to $85|
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Price of acrylic refills?
Unlike manicures and gel nails, acrylics offer the option of refills. Acrylic refills typically cost $20 to $40, the average refill costing $30.
Depending on the speed your nails grow, every 2-3 weeks, your nail technician would need to apply additional acrylic.
They will start by removing the old polish and address any minor nail lifting issues.
The acrylic will be added to the space near your cuticle area. You can opt for a new color for your fresh polish.
Many people can stick to refills for months without needing a completely fresh set of acrylic nails.
The most common reason for replacement is the lifting of acrylic nails.
How much do gel nails cost?
There are a few benefits to getting gel nails. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that they look natural and can last for weeks without chipping or peeling.
Gel nails are also a good option if you have weak nails, as the gel coating can protect your natural nails from peeling, splitting, or breaking.
Depending on your selections, a gel manicure will run anywhere between $35 to $80+.
Small shops will typically charge $35 to $40, mid-range salons $45 to $55, and higher-end spas $60 to $80.
All extras you select will be added to these base nail prices.
Price of gel nails at budget or small private shops
|Standard gel||$35 to $40|
|Standard gel + art/jewels||$45 to $60|
Price of gel nails at the average nail salon
|Standard gel||$45 to $55|
|Standard gel + art/jewels||$60 to $75|
Price of gel nails at luxury hotels or spas
|Standard gel||$60 to $80|
|Standard gel + art/jewels||$85 to $100+|
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While gel manicures are less damaging to your nails than acrylics, both can equally do some harm to your natural nails if improperly removed.
Gel nails require a UV or LED lamp; these lamps harden the polish to help prevent smudges or chipping. This process is more commonly known as curing.
While gel nails aren’t as harsh, you don’t have the option of refills.
Once there is sufficient regrowth, you will need to remove the gel polish and start fresh.
Naturally, an entirely new set is more costly than an acrylic refill, so the price difference can add up if you get your nails done regularly.
If you also decide to have the nail technician remove the gel polish, you can expect another $10 to $20 per visit.
Like me, many prefer to remove gel polish at home. If you decide to go down this route, be extra careful with your nail beds.
Tips for removing gel polish at home:
- Start by buffing your nails using a high grit nail file
- Continue buffing with a medium grit and then light grit nail file
- Soak your nails for roughly 5 minutes in 100% pure Acetone.
- Gently scrape off your gel polish using a cuticle pusher or peeler tool
- Soak your nails again for about 1 minute if any polish is still hard
- Buff with a light grit nail file. Apply cuticle oil to nails and cuticles.
- If you prefer to use foil wraps with a preattached cotton pad, that’s also an option.
This handy video will show you the process if you are more visual.
How to save money on manicures?
With the average woman spending $1345 per year on nail care, those numbers can quickly add up over the years.
If you are interested in saving some cash and leaving salon visits for special occasions, there are many excellent products to help DIY your nails at home.
And no, that doesn’t mean you need to let go of your favorite long nails and fancy designs.
With the help of online tutorials and easy-to-use products, you can have stunning nails from the comfort of your home.
You can follow Michellekhxy on Youtube or Tik Tok; she started doing her nails at home after unsatisfactory salon results.
The Beetles brand is highly recommended. You can stick to the essentials, which are surprisingly affordable, or spend on some extras for your at-home set-up.
- Beetles nail tips and glue gel nail kit
- Beetles Top coat and base coat set
- Adjustable acrylic nail cutter
- Beetles romantic classic gel nail polish set
- White gel liner for french tip
- Anti UV gloves for gel nail lamp
These are just some suggestions, but there are honestly a ton of different size packages available on Amazon.
The nail tips kit above is great because you get 500 pieces of coffin nails, glue, and a mini lamp.
You will likely want a larger lamp for the final curing stage, and Beetles has some great kits which include the lamp, polish sets, and more like this one.
- Nail art brushes for art design
- Rhinestone easy application dotting tool
- 5600 pcs assorted size pearls nail art
Final thoughts on the price of nails
As we’ve seen, the price of nails is heavily influenced by a client’s final selections, from their choice of nails to add-ons.
If you opt for a basic manicure, you can expect to pay as little as $10 at a budget shop and up to $45 at luxury spas.
Want to change up the length of your nails? Acrylics are the way to go. An average full set of acrylic nails will cost you $35 to $45.
But if you prefer to stick to gel nails, the base price is a touch higher, with the average price being $45 to $55.
While you can opt for fancy designs and jewels, get pricing before you start, as these little extras can quickly increase your bill.
And if you need to save some money, look into DIY nails; you may be pleasantly surprised by how many affordable options exist.
About the author
Clara is the founder of Blue World Dreams, an entrepreneur & budget-savvy personal finance expert. She’s invested in helping others attain financial freedom using her knowledge from running a successful seven-figure corporation and building an extensive and diverse investment portfolio. Find out more.