How to Tell the Nail Tech What You Want

Published on: Oct 14, 2022 • 5 min read


Are you planning a trip to the nail salon to get your nails done? Then you need to have a plan. Better yet, you need to tell your nail technician about your plan.


Telling your nail technician precisely what you want is beneficial to you - and them.

For one, you can make sure you get what you want. (Have you ever left a nail appointment dissatisfied? It’s a nightmare!)

For two, your nail technician can get prepared before you arrive at your appointment.

They can also allow the necessary time to do your treatment, ensuring a gorgeous finish.

tell nail tech what you want

However, telling your nail technician what you want can be challenging - especially if you’re new to the world of getting a nail manicure.

Keep reading to find out how to tell the nail technician what you want!

How to Tell the Nail Tech What You Want

Thankfully, it is not difficult to tell your nail technician what you want. The key is coming up with a full-proof plan you can describe to the nail techs.

Here’s how:

1. Decide on the Type of Nail Service

Not all manicures are the same. Knowing which “type” of nails you want is critical, as some treatments take longer than others.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the most popular types of services at nail salons.

  • Gel nails. People love gel nails because of their beautiful, glossy finish. They require three steps and a UV light to get the job done.
  • Acrylic nails. Acrylic nails are the most popular type of nail enhancements. While the power and liquid combo can be applied to natural nails, it’s more common for a faux “acrylic nail” to be constructed for additional length (and unique shapes, if desired).
  • Polygel nails. Polygels are the up-and-coming manicure that combines the pros of gel and acrylics into one. They are typically made with artificial nails and gel polish for a long-lasting, lovely look.
  • Dip nails. For this manicure, nail artists will “build” your nails by prepping, applying a bonder, then dipping the nail into the dip powder. They’re relatively easy to apply with no UV exposure and last up to a month.
  • Basic manicure. A manicure doesn’t have to include fake nails or any building. A regular manicure will involve extensive work on the nail bed, cuticles, and hands, finishing with a hand massage, lotion, and possibly nail color.

2. Decide on the Length and Shape

Next, decide on the length and shape you desire.

This will be less important if you’re sticking with your natural nails, as there likely won’t be too much length to remove, and most of the time, people want to keep their natural nail shape.

However, if you’re getting a gel manicure, acrylics with acrylic tips, or another manicure that requires artificial enhancements, you will need to be more precise.

For example, some women may prefer an edgy stiletto, extra-long nail, while others want a shorter, squared-off style with classy white tips.

3. Choose a Color

There are so many colors to choose from at the nail salon. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming.

While you can decide on a color when you get to the nail salon, it’s best to have an idea before you arrive.

4. Consider Nail Art

Plenty of nail technicians are literal artists and can create the most gorgeous artistry on your fingernails (and toenails, if you’re getting an awesome mani-pedi).

Just like colors, there are so many different nail designs to choose from.

Many technicians have a book that showcases the nail art they are capable of doing.

If they don’t, you can always find your own designs or patterns and show them to the nail tech to see if they’re able to tackle the challenge.

Keep in mind that designs will require an additional cost. The price will depend on the salon and how extensive the artwork is.

5. Pick Extras

If a salon offers optional extras, such as paraffin wax, massages, or skin hydrating treatments. Look through the menu provided by your manicurist and decide which extras you want.

When Should You Tell the Nail Tech What You Want?

It is generally not the best idea to walk into your salon appointment and tell the tech what you want - even if you say it with a friendly tone.

You want to tell the salon worker what you want when you set the appointment.

That way, they can ensure they have the time and tools necessary for your manicure.

After all, not all manicures are the same.

A good nail technician won’t want to rush their work, so they will need to schedule you based on what you want.


Is It OK to Bring Your Own Nail Polish to a Salon?

With so many nail products at the nail salon, it can be overwhelming to find the right color. And if your heart is set on a color you have at home; you might wonder if it’s OK to bring your own polish.

Simply put, yes, you can bring your own polish to the nail salon.

However, you should call and ask ahead of time - just in case. This is especially important if it’s your first trip to a new salon. The last thing you want to do is offend the workers!

If you plan to bring your own product, make sure you make that clear when setting your appointment.

How Much Should You Tip Your Nail Tech?

The typical amount to tip nail technicians at nail salons is 15%.

A lot of people go up to 20%, though. This is especially true if the service is low-priced or they are highly satisfied with their work.

The price of the tip is figured before taxes, so keep that into consideration when deciding how much to tip your nail tech.

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