How Much Do Acrylic Nails Cost?

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How much do nails cost?

The question “how much do acrylic nails cost?” doesn’t have a simple answer. The cost of acrylic nails depends on what kind of place you go to, the type of service or customization you request, and how often you schedule maintenance appointments. Acrylic nails are appealing, but there’s quite a bit to know about them which we will discuss in depth here.

The Cost for Basic Clear Acrylics and Repairs

Like most businesses, nail salons vary in their levels of expertise.  You might find prices as low $10 for a full set of acrylic nails, but do not expect high quality service and results at a bargain price.  For clear and simple acrylics, $60 is the most you should pay for high quality.

Price also depends on the type of service you need for your nails.  The starting price for new, quality acrylics on bare nails costs roughly $35 for a full set and acrylic tips for $30. The price will continually increase based on the reputation of the salon and expert.

According to the health experts at Cost Helper, there are three main levels of price ranges. Small and local shops offer the lowest price level. Spas and salons have quality service for mid range pricing.  Hotels and resort spas have highest priced nail services.  

Your natural nail will continue growing beneath the artificial surface.  As the nail grows, a line forms between the acrylic finish and your cuticle. To limit the exposure of this gap, your acrylics require regular salon visits to fill in space with more acrylics.

How much does nails cost?To maintain your nails, you will need about two additional appointments per month for refills and repairs, costing about $10 to $15 each. According to the experts at the Acrylic Nails Guide, repairs typically cost about one-third of the initial price.

To prevent acrylic tips from breaking or splitting, try to keep your nails dry. Wear rubber gloves while doing chores around the house.  According to Beauty Heaven, lifted nails put you at risk for fungal infections. If you find that you have a few lifted nails, you should have them repaired as soon as possible.

The Price of Designs and High Quality Brands

If you are interested in acrylic nails that are beyond the simple, clear set, expect to pay more. Colors such as white or pink require extra time and materials that will cost roughly $50 to $80 for a full set.

For unique and creative designs such as holiday themed patterns, French tips, solar nails, and stiletto nails the price climbs upwards of $100 to $120. Remember to keep in mind the repair cost for these specialty nails are much higher than the standard $10 to $15 as well. 

Reputable salons stock high quality brands and normally will not give you an option. Small, local, bargain salons may give you a choice to pay an extra $10 or so for a better brand. We recommend that you always choose a high quality brand such as CND or OPI.

What if My Real Nails are Already Long?

If your actual nails are long, you have a couple of options. You can cut your nails and pay the standard rates for a full set of acrylics.  Keeping your long nails is another option, but it will take more time and materials and end up costing you an extra $10 or so. 

Another name for a full set of acrylic nails is known as “sculpted nails.” Applying sculpted nails is not your only option.  You can choose just to get the tips of your nails done, which will take less time and cost less money. However, you have to trim your real nails to apply acrylic tips.

What is the Process for Applying Acrylic Nails?

How much does acrylic nails cost?To properly apply acrylic nails, your natural nails must be clean and dry. Professional manicurists will file your nails and push your cuticles back. They remove any debris from dead cuticles, which makes your nails look longer and more appealing to the eye. 

Next, you need to decide if you want artificial tips of if you want the gel and powder directly over your natural nails. If you choose the option for artificial tips, you will then need to select your desired length. The manicurist will find a faux nail to match your width and shape.

Liquid and powder, more formally known as monomer and polymer in the cosmetics world, are the two main sources to glue the tips on the nail bed. The two ingredients are placed in separate jars, and your manicurist will dip a small brush into each.

Mixing the two formulas and carefully but quickly applying them will blend your artificial tips and natural nails together. According to cosmologist Jodie Michalak, this is the most difficult part of the process. 

Improper application of the monomer and polymer blend may cause your nails to look too thick, crooked, or lumpy. Choosing experienced manicurists from salons with well-known reputations limit your chances of receiving an improper application.   

Once the tip is applied, the nails are filed and buffed to achieve your requested shape and length. The buffing process also removes unwanted acrylic debris, which results in a smooth finish. 

The final step is painting and polishing. Popular choices include French manicures, shades of red, pink, or neutral colors. Nail polish stays on fake nails longer than your natural nails, according to skin and nail care expert Kalee Isabella.

If you want a visual representation of the application process, check out this video of the procedure from start to finish. 

Final Thoughts

So how much do acrylic nails cost?  It depends on how much you want to spend. Although it is not recommended, you can find a small cheap salon to do them for $10 to $20.  For high-end resorts, hotels, and spas, you will spend over $60 for basic nails.

The average person visiting a reputable salon should pay $30 to $60 for quality acrylics. Price increases based on colors, designs, brands, nail length and other factors.