How Long Does It Take to Get Nails Done in 2024: Experts Explain

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Pressed for time but in need of a quick beauty solution? Wondering, “How much time does it take to have nails done?”

Let our experts explain the latest time-saving techniques for a quick yet perfect manicure.

How Long Does It Take to Get Nails Done?

Types of Nail Services

Dive into nail services and discover various options to beautify your nails. Starting with a basic manicure, it’s your gateway to well-maintained and polished fingernails.

But if you’re looking for something more durable, gel manicures are a fantastic choice with a glossy finish that lasts weeks.

Would you prefer something bold? Acrylic nails can craft the length and shape you’ve always wanted, allowing for nail art that captures your personality. And let’s not overlook the soothing pedicure, focusing on not just your toenails but also providing relaxation through foot massages.

  • Polish Change: Quick refresh of nail color.
  • Gel Manicure/Pedicure: Longer-lasting, requires curing under UV light.
  • Acrylic/Fiberglass Nails: Extensions for strength and length.
  • Nail Art: Custom designs to express your unique style.

Nail Health and Maintenance

Your nails reflect your overall health, and keeping them in top shape is crucial. At every nail appointment, a good nail salon will ensure that your cuticles are cared for and your nail bed is protected. Infuse life into your natural nails with hydration—moisturize them regularly, especially after using harsh polish removers. Trim your nails regularly to prevent breakage and maintain shape.

If you’re a fan of home care, a basic nail kit for maintenance between salon visits is your best buddy. Remember, no matter the age, taking the time for nail health and maintenance is a self-care act that revitalizes your hands and feet.

  • Keep nails clean and dry to prevent bacteria from growing.
  • Moisturize your nails and cuticles to keep them flexible.
  • Trim nails regularly and file them in one direction for a smooth edge.

The Nail Salon Experience

Customers sit in massage chairs, while technicians meticulously paint and shape their nails. Soft music plays in the background, creating a relaxing atmosphere

Choosing Your Nail Treatment

Before you book, get clear on what you want and need. Love a natural look? A basic manicure with regular polish might be up your alley, wrapping up in about 45 minutes. If durability and shine are what you’re after, gel nails or a gel polish applied under UV light may be your pick, extending your visit to possibly over an hour. Are you into artificial nails, like a full set of extensions or hard gel? P

lan for upwards of two hours at the salon. Costs vary, with more complex treatments and designs nudging the price higher.

What to Expect During Your Appointment

Once you’re seated, the staff will help you select a nail color and nail shape. They cater to your personal preference, ensuring you’re thrilled with the results. A routine appointment might go like this:

  1. Cleanup: Your nails are shaped, and cuticles tended to.
  2. Application: Your choice of polish or gel is meticulously applied.
  3. Curing: If you go for gel, each coat will need time under a UV light.
  4. Massage & Moisturize: Often, a hand massage is part of the experience.
  5. Drying: Lastly, time is set aside for the polish to dry.

Aftercare and Longevity

A nail salon with a clock showing time passing, various nail polish bottles, and a sign indicating "Aftercare and Longevity" as the focus

Maintaining Your Manicure

Strut your stunning nails with confidence by following these essential upkeep tips! First, use cuticle oil daily; this will keep your cuticles hydrated and help maintain the durability of your manicure.

Be sure to avoid harsh products like acetone which can strip the nails of their glossy finish and weaken the nail glue or liquid monomer bonding. To prevent your nails from thinning and reduce the risk of bacteria, wear gloves when doing tasks that involve chemicals or excessive water exposure.

If you’ve opted for a French manicure or any intricate design, consider a nail fill every two weeks to keep the look fresh.

  • Daily Routine: Apply cuticle oil; avoid harsh chemicals.
  • Regular Upkeep: Schedule fills; use hand lotion to moisturize.

Remember, patience is a virtue when it comes to drying time—rush it, and you might do more harm than good!

Safety and Nail Health Post-Appointment

Your nails are a reflection of your health, so it’s vital that safety considerations remain at the top of your mind. Post-manicure, occasionally give your nails a break from heavy products to allow the natural nail bed to breathe. This prevents moisture from becoming trapped, which can lead to nail damage.

Should you see signs of distress or damage to your nails, don’t hesitate to consult a dermatologist—they’re your best ally in addressing any concerns. For those with a budget, approaching acrylic nails at home can be tempting, but be wary; improper application can lead to problems down the line. Use trusted products to minimize risks, like high-quality powder and liquid monomer for a dip powder manicure that’s as safe as it is long-lasting. And never underestimate the power of a well-performed hand massage to increase circulation and promote nail health!

  • Nail Health: Allow time for your natural nails to recover.
  • Product Choice: Opt for quality over quantity to protect your investment.

Frequently Asked Questions

A nail salon with a busy atmosphere, multiple technicians working on clients, and a sign displaying "Frequently Asked Questions: how long does it take to get nails done."

What’s the usual waiting period for a stunning new set of acrylic nails at my favorite salon?

Your transformation to sleek acrylic nails typically involves a session lasting between 1 to 2 hours. During this time, your nails will be meticulously sculpted to your desired shape and length.

How many minutes should I reserve for a fab full set of gel nails to grace my fingertips?

For a full set of gel nails that shine and dazzle, block off approximately 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. This includes the application and curing time for each gel layer.

Can you tell me the delightful duration of a professional and pampering pedicure session?

Indulge in a thorough pedicure that can last from 30 minutes to a full hour. This session will have your toes looking and feeling their absolute best.

What’s the swift timeline for waving goodbye to my acrylic nails during removal?

Acrylic nail removal is swift, generally taking 30 to 45 minutes. This includes the safe and gentle process of soaking off your acrylics.

How quickly can I pop into the salon for a snappy fill-in appointment for my nails?

A fill-in for your nails is a quick fix and usually wraps up within an hour. This touch-up will keep your nails looking fresh and immaculate.

What’s the estimated time I’ll spend at home crafting those perfect gel nails on my own?

Creating gel nails at home can be an enjoyable venture, typically taking upwards of an hour. Remember to factor in the time needed for curing each coat with your UV lamp.

How long does it take to get a set of nails done?

Getting a full set of nails done typically takes about 1 to 2 hours depending on the complexity of the design.

How long does it take to get good at acrylic nails?

Becoming proficient at doing acrylic nails can take several months to a year of consistent practice and learning.

How long does it take to do gel nails?

Applying gel nails can take about 45 minutes to an hour, not including any nail art or design work.

How long does it take to get a fill on acrylic nails?

Getting a fill on acrylic nails usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the amount of maintenance needed. 

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Elisa Steffes is author and blogger of Nailsslay who loves to write about beauty and fashion such as nail trends, designs and styles.
She has almost three years of SEO experience and writes on these topics for sites like
She has been very interested in nail design since a young age and also does her nails professionally when she doesn't go to the nail salon.

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