How Much Do Acrylic Nails Cost?

How much do acrylic nails cost at a salon? On average, expect to pay between $35 to $45 for a mid-range set. Of course, prices can vary dramatically!

Average pricing is a topic that many ask me about. As a manicure connoisseur and beauty junkie, I’ve seen the gamut in terms of quality and price! Through my many years of indulging in nail art, I’ve paid a wide range of prices.

Believe it or not, the artificial nail market booming! It’s expected to reach $1.2 billion by 2024. Getting a full set of acrylics is a treat, but it’s not cheap by any means!

In this post, I’m going to break down the factors that impact the costs of acrylic nails so that you have a better idea of what to expect when you visit the salon.

What Are Acrylic Nails?

First things first, let’s go over what acrylic nails are. When many people hear the term “acrylics,” they picture those cheap press-on packs! True acrylics are of a much higher quality!

As the name would suggest, these nails are made out of acrylic polymers. Typically, nail technicians will use two components. These include a monomer liquid and a polymer powder. Combining the two elements results in a moldable gel-like substance.

Cosmetologists can shape the acrylic into the nail shape you’re looking for. After drying and hardening, it becomes tough enough to last! A professionally done set will last up to eight weeks with proper care. Though, they do require bi-weekly touchups. More on that later!

Acrylic nails are one of the many modern manicure options. They’ve been around since the 1950s. But, they continue to be the go-to for those looking to get long and pristine nails that last!

Why Are They So Pricey?

Acrylics nails come at a premium price. The material alone is quite expensive. Acrylic is similar in appearance to traditional glass. But, it can withstand more wear and tear, which is why you see it on things like aquariums and windows. In nail form, you can’t beat it!

Materials aside, the biggest thing you’re paying for is the cosmetologist’s time and experience. In most states, nail technicians have to hold a license or certificate to do nails.

They’ve spent many hours learning the craft! Most cosmetology schools take well over a year to complete. Combine that with the cost of tuition and practice gear, and you’re looking at someone who has invested a lot into the craft.

They make it look easy! But in reality, creating acrylic nails is a difficult and time-consuming task. Nail techs have worked hard to get the job done efficiently while providing you with professional results. That’s what you’re paying for!

Price Range of Acrylic Nails

As mentioned earlier, the average price for a mid-range set will run you between $35 and $45. If you look hard enough, you’ll find sets that run as low as $10! But, you get what you pay for! These sets typically utilize cheaper materials. Plus, you might work with a tech who doesn’t have a ton of experience.

On the opposite side of the price spectrum, a full set of acrylic nails can cost $120 or more! Premium salons and resort spas charge a much higher price for the work. However, you can expect to get top-notch work and some truly inspiring designs.

Factors That Impact Price

Figuring out the price of acrylic nails is not as cut and dry as you would think. Salons and independent nail technicians are free to charge whatever they feel is fair. There are so many factors that impact price.

Here are some of the biggest.

Experience and Reputation of Salon

You will see prices increase the more popular a salon gets. Again, it all comes down to paying for a skill.

More established salons and techs have tons of experience. They’re in high demand, so prices will reflect that!

Generally, local salons and novice cosmetologists will be the cheapest of the bunch. The most expensive is from hotels, spa resorts, and big-name salons. Getting into the door of these establishments is tough, so prices are going to much higher.

Set Sizes

The next factor to consider is the type of set you get. Are you looking for a full set of acrylic nails or just tips?

Tips are a bit cheaper. They still require coats of acrylic. But, most of the shape work is already done. Tips are nothing more than an extension of your natural nail. Prices will vary based on the length of the tip. However, you can expect to pay a little less than full acrylics.

Speaking of which, you should also think about size and shape! Acrylic nail lengths are measured in millimeters. The longer and more involved the nail is, the more product it’ll require. Thus, the price of your set will go up. 

Colors and Styles

Any nail lacquer will work just fine on acrylics. You can get just about any color imaginable! Whimsical designs will cost extra, but standard polish manicures should impact price too much.

Now, built-in color is another story. Acrylic powders come in a spectrum of fun colors! The hue is integrated into the polymers, so it lasts longer with no worry of chipping.

The most expensive colors are typically white and pink. Also known as French Tips, this style is tough to create! It requires more product and tons of skill. French Tips are difficult to master, so they usually cost more than other colors and styles.

Pricey Extras

Looking to invest in decked-out nails will all the bells and whistles? Those come at a premium price!

The world of nail art is quite vast. Cosmetologists are getting more creative with their work, so the possibilities are endless! The complexity of your design will affect the price. The same goes for any extras like crystals, jewelry pieces, and unique shapes.

Ongoing Cost Considerations

There are some maintenance costs involved with acrylics. Your nails continue to grow beneath the fake nail. Over time, you’ll start to notice a bit of natural nail showing on the bed!

Nail technicians recommend getting touch-ups every two or three weeks. During the touch-up appointment, the tech will fill that growth gap and keep your nails looking professionally done.

Touch-ups are much cheaper. But, the ongoing costs add up over time! Usually, these quick appointments cost about a third of what you paid for the full set. 

If you got moderately priced acrylics, expect to pay $10 to $15 a couple of times a month. Of course, the price will go up exponentially with pricier acrylic sets.

Bottom Line

Acrylic nails are a great way to tap into the latest style trends! You can get wild colors and unique designs that reflect your individuality.

But, getting your nails done by a professional doesn’t come cheap. Everything from the reputation of the salon to the quality of your desired design will affect the costs.

Shop around to find a salon that meets your budget. Ask about prices and take a look at the work they do! With a bit of shopping around, you can find a top-notch salon that fits within your price range.

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