How Long Does It Take To Get Nails Done: Quick Guide

Dee Stevenson

How Long Does It Take To Get Nails Done

Getting your nails done can be a fun and relaxing experience. But with so many options for nail services these days, you may be wondering how long the process takes from start to finish. Here’s a breakdown of the average time it takes to get various nail services done at a salon.

Key Takeaways:

  • A basic manicure takes around 30 minutes.
  • Getting gel manicure can take 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Acrylic nails can take 60-90 minutes to apply and set.
  • Nail art and designs can add 15-30 minutes.
  • Pedicures take longer, around 45-60 minutes.
  • Factors like choice of service, nail length and technician speed can impact timing.

Getting regular manicures helps keep your nails looking neat and tidy. A basic manicure includes shaping the nails, cuticle care, a hand massage and polish application. This service usually takes around 30 minutes from start to finish. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Soaking and Shaping (10 minutes) – The nails are soaked in a bowl of warm water to soften the cuticles. Then the technician will clip and file the nails into the desired shape.
  • Cuticle Care (5 minutes) – The cuticles are pushed back and clipped if needed. This helps keep the nail bed looking healthy.
  • Hand Massage (5 minutes) – A massage with lotion helps relax the hands and arms. This can be done before or after polish is applied.
  • Polish (10 minutes) – The technician applies a base coat, two coats of colored polish and a top coat. Polish is left to dry between coats.

So with a soak, shaping, cuticle care, massage and polish you’re looking at a total service time of around 30 minutes for a basic manicure.

ServiceAverage Time
Basic Manicure30 minutes
Gel Manicure45-60 minutes
Acrylics Full Set60-90 minutes
Nail Art Designs+15-30 minutes
Pedicure45-60 minutes

Gel Manicures Can Take Longer

Gel manicures have grown popular for their extended wear and chip-resistant finish. The process is similar to a regular manicure, with the addition of gel polish that is cured under a UV or LED lamp. This drying time adds 15-30 minutes to the total service. You can expect a gel manicure to take:

  • Soaking and Shaping (10 minutes)
  • Cuticle Care (5 minutes)
  • Gel Polish Application (15 minutes) – The tech will apply a gel base coat, two coats of gel color and gel top coat, curing each layer under the lamp.
  • Hand Massage (5 minutes)
  • Final Cure (5 minutes) – The nails are cured once more at the end to ensure full setting.

The entire gel manicure process takes 45-60 minutes depending on the technician’s pace. Make sure to allow for at least 45 minutes if you have a gel appointment.

Acrylics Can Take 60-90 Minutes

Getting a full set of acrylic nails applied takes the most time out of basic nail services. Acrylic powder and liquid are used to build and sculpt extensions right on the natural nails. Here are the acrylic nail steps:

  • Prep (10 minutes) – The nails are filed, cleaned and primed to prepare for acrylic application.
  • Application (45-60 minutes) – The acrylic is applied and built out on each nail, then shaped and refined. More time is needed for longer nail lengths.
  • Final Finishing (10 minutes) – The nails are buffed and smoothed, then a polish or gel top coat is applied.

Due to the sculpting and drying time, a full acrylic set may take 60-90 minutes from start to finish. If you just need acrylic fills to refill grown out nails, those appointments take less time – similar to a gel manicure.

Nail Art Can Add More Time

If you want some dazzling designs or nail art with your manicure, plan for your appointment to take a bit longer. Simple polish designs may only add 5-10 extra minutes. More complex 3D art, rhinestones, chrome powder or hand-painted artwork can tack on 15-30 minutes depending on the intricacy. Share photos of your desired designs when booking so the technician can plan accordingly!

Pedicures Take Longer Than Manicures

Taking care of your feet is just as important as your manicure. A basic pedicure appointment will run you about 45-60 minutes. Here’s the typical pedicure breakdown:

  • Foot Soak (10 minutes) – To soften skin and cuticles, feet are soaked in a warm foot bath.
  • Nail & Callus Care (10-15 minutes) – Your technician will clip toenails, remove calluses and smooth rough skin.
  • Cuticle Care (5-10 minutes) – Cuticles are pushed back and clipped if needed.
  • Foot Massage (5-10 minutes) – A foot and lower leg massage helps relax the muscles.
  • Polish (10 minutes) – Toes are polished in your choice of color.

Since pedicures involve more callus removal and foot massaging, allot 45-60 minutes for your pedi appointment. Gel polish, acrylics or nail art will add time as well.

Factors That Impact Timing

When estimating your appointment times, keep these factors in mind that can impact the overall service duration:

  • Service Choice – Simpler services like manicures and pedicures take less time than gel, acrylic or nail art services.
  • Nail Length – Longer nail lengths take more time to shape, paint and design. Short nails are quicker.
  • Technician Speed – Some techs work faster than others. This can impact set times.
  • Salon Traffic – Appointments may start late at busy salons. Plan your schedule accordingly.

Leave a Comment