A Beginner’s Guide to Nail Salons: What You Should vs. Shouldn’t Do

So you wanna get your nails done. I don’t blame you, since nail culture is very persuasive yet complex. When I say nail culture, I’m referring to those group of people who you see with these impeccable nails with all sorts of funky designs and colors. Sometimes with long, coffin shapes, sometimes with a shape that resembles the claw of a tiger. The people who are always ask the one major question: “How do you wipe when going to the bathroom?” It’s just so hard to imagine someone with long, pink acrylics with bedazzles on them successfully complete daily human tasks, but somehow they manage. Does this give the nail culture some sort of supremacy over the rest? When you see someone on your social media feed with a freshly done nails, a beginner like yourself, who’s probably never worn nails but are dying to become a nail person might find that even more persuasive to finally take the leap and get a glamorous pair of nails done yourself.

Okay, you’ve decided that you want to get a taste of having a glamorous pair of faux nails on your fingers that have been bare for too long. Or maybe you’re tired of the chipped nail polish look. Whatever the case is, your next step is a glorious place with a scent of acrylic liquid and the sound of endless gossip: the nail salon. But you’re not quite ready to step into the salon until you understand what TO DO and what NOT TO DO. Take notes accordingly.


What you should do:

  • Make an appointment your first time. You don’t know how busy the nail salon is going to be during your first visit, so walking-in may cost you the big mistake of having to wait awhile to receive service.
  • Research research research! Before you even step foot in the nail salon, make sure you know enough about the place beforehand. Reading reviews help you have an idea on what kind of establishment you’re getting yourself into. You can also call the salon sometimes and ask for prices and other info.
  • Make sure you can afford it! A good idea is to wait till payday and put aside the money you’ll need to get whatever you want done at the salon.
  • Have patience and don’t give the nail tech a hard time. Keep in mind that getting your nails, feet, eyebrows or eyelashes done is not an in-and-out thing. It’s going to take time so if patience isn’t your thing then this is not for you my dear.
  • Get a nail size you can handle or work with. If this is your first time getting faux nails, I wouldn’t go for long or extra long if I were you. This especially goes for if you have a job that requires computer work/typing or lifting and stocking things, short nails are your best friend.
  • Check out the prices as soon as you walk in, as they’re usually posted on the wall somewhere. If you checked beforehand on the salon’s website, make sure they’re the same. You should definitely know the price of something before you get it done.
  • Make sure the tools being used on you are clean and safe. The smart thing to do is to respectfully let the worker know if their tools need washing or to be replaced. Don’t jeopardize you body or health, even if it means re-scheduling for another time.
  • And lastly… TIP! If your nail tech did a wonderful job, show them that you appreciate their hard work by tipping them at least 15%.

What you shouldn’t do:

  • Walk-in your first time. Like said before, it would be a big mistake to walk right into a busy salon just to wait longer than you thought you would to get a service done.
  • Get something done that’s out of your price range. This is common sense, but still needs to be reiterated. Don’t be a fool and get a $40 manicure done when you only have $22 in your pocket. Know what things cost and ASK beforehand!
  • Let a worker talk you into spending more many than you planned. Nail techs can be sweet and respectful, but some often pressure customers into adding on extra nail features or getting longer lengths. Stand your ground, speak in a clear and loud enough voice and let them know what you really want. All while being respectful, of course.
  • Act hostile or impatient towards any workers. Nail techs work hard at what they do, and as long as they are showing you respect, you need to give them the same treatment. Patience is key for visiting the nail salon.
  • Leave your valuables such as your phone, wallet or purse unattended. Stolen items at nail salons are more common than you think, and most salons have disclaimers that they aren’t responsible for your stolen items.
  • Walk in right before closing time. You need to get a clear understanding of when the salon opens and when it closes. Most of all you need to respect when it closes and don’t go walking in at 7:45 if the salon closes at 8:00. It’s such a bummer to workers who have to spend those last 15 minutes of the day cleaning up and closing. Just don’t do it.

If you have anymore important nail salon guidelines that should be added to either list, comment below or tweet me @itscryslynn!