How Much Does It Cost To Maintain A Gel Manicure?

Despite the high cost of maintenance, that glossy coat could be worth it.

Gel manicures have become part of many beauty lovers' routines thanks to their incredible durability, glossiness, and speedy application process. But before you hop on this nail trend, it's important to know what the upkeep will cost you. Here's how much it costs to maintain a gel manicure.

What Is a Gel Manicure?

This type of manicure is similar to a classic manicure but uses UV light to harden and cure a specially formulated gel polish instead of air drying. The curing process makes the manicure last a lot longer than a regular manicure, often up to three times longer. Even though it costs more than a regular manicure, its durability makes it a good value, particularly for those who get regular manicures.

gel manicure

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How Much Does a Gel Manicure Cost?

The price for a gel manicure can vary depending on where you live and the caliber of the salon you're visiting. Typically, a gel manicure can cost $5-$10 more than a regular manicure, with a starting price of $35. For example, at Bliss Nail Lounge in Dallas, the cost of a gel manicure starts at $37 and goes up depending on the polish, service, and design. At Millennium Nail & Day Spa in Tallahassee, Florida, prices start at $45. At Genesis Nail Spa Homewood in Birmingham, Alabama, the cost of the standard gel manicure is $42, plus gratuity.

The removal process is just as important as the manicure itself. Simply scraping or peeling the polish off can ruin your nail beds and cuticles. And those bad habits have consequences—it could actually make it harder for future gel polish to stay on. To keep your nails healthy, it's safest to have your gels removed at the salon. Removal fees can cost anywhere between $10-$20.

Why Gel Manicures Are Popular

One of the biggest draws of gel manicures is how long they last. Depending on how well you treat your nails, a gel mani can have a lifespan of about two to three weeks. Once your nails start chipping or growing out, it's time for a fresh manicure. But when each session costs around $35, expect to pay $70 a month for continuous maintenance. Over the course of a year, your gel manicure habit could set you back at least $840.

Other Costs To Consider

Don't forget to factor in bonus costs that contribute to your nail maintenance. Adding extra flair to your manicure, such as nail art, could cost $3 and up. That extra detail would total $30 or more for a full set of nails. Finally, tipping your manicurist approximately 20 percent is an industry standard, which could add anywhere between $7-$15 to your bill. In total, the basic cost for a gel manicure, plus removal fees, nail art, treatments, and tips, could range from $35 to $100 for a single session. And if you plan to opt for a mani every two weeks, you're looking at an $840 to $2,400 cost annually.

How To Maintain Your Manicure

To keep your gel mani looking good, it's also important to maintain your nail health in-between manicures with treatments like Nail Inc's Overnight Detox Nail Mask to hydrate the surrounding skin, cuticles, and nail beds. Use cuticle oil and hand cream on your hands and nails daily. Cuticle oil has the benefits of not only softening cuticles, but also strengthening nails, which can keep them from breaking and chipping. Add an extra layer of top coat to help keep the polish from chipping, and gently file any rough edges that form. Protect your nails from harsh chemicals and hot water by wearing gloves for chores like dishes or cleaning.

What To Know About Gel Manicures

There are a few things to consider when getting gel manicures. Make sure the salon tech removes the gel gently. The polish should come off rather easily after soaking. Don't let the nail tech scrape, buff, or file them down roughly, or use a drill. This can damage the nail bed. Alternatively, you can try removing gel polish yourself at home, which can also save you money.

Also, the polish is cured with UV light which is harmful to the skin, and you should use caution during UV exposure by applying sunscreen to your hands. Some salons use LED lights, which are a safer alternative.

Despite the high cost of maintenance, a glossy, long-lasting coat that adds flair to your look could be worth it.

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  1. American Academy of Dermatology Association. Gel manicures: Tips for healthy nails.

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