Acrylic Nails And Your Wallet: Is It A Pricy Affair?

Key Takeaways
  • Acrylic nails are a popular choice for enhancing the appearance of natural nails and are known for their durability and strength.
  • The cost of acrylic nails can vary depending on factors such as location, salon quality, and additional services like nail art or designs.
  • Inexpensive options for acrylic nails can be found, making them accessible to a wide range of budgets.
  • High-end salons may charge more for acrylic nail services due to the use of premium products and skilled nail technicians.

If you want to understand acrylic nails a little more and learn why they cost the amount that they do, this guide will cover some of the skills involved with the application and maintenance process.

There are a lot of factors that can affect the cost of acrylic nails, which is why we have covered some of the main influencing factors and what effect they can have on the total price.

Are Acrylic Nails Expensive

Whether you want to try building an acrylic base on your own nails from home, or if you want to learn more about why salon prices can vary so much, this guide is a great starting point to improve your knowledge of acrylic nails. 

Before You Get Started

  • Choose a Reputable Salon: Select a well-established and reputable nail salon with experienced nail technicians who are skilled in acrylic nail application.
  • Consultation: Have a consultation with your nail technician to discuss your preferences, the desired length and shape, and any concerns you may have.
  •  Nail Health: Assess the condition of your natural nails. If they are damaged, weak, or infected, it’s advisable to allow them time to recover before getting acrylic nails.
  •  Understand the Process: Familiarize yourself with the acrylic nail application process. Ask questions and ensure you know what to expect during the procedure.
  • Select the Right Length and Shape: Choose a nail length and shape that complements your lifestyle and personal style.

What Are Acrylic Nails?

What Are Acrylic Nails?

Acrylic nails are a type of false nail, known as nail enhancements, that are created using powdered acrylic product.

This is usually made from a polymer base that is combined with liquid acrylic to create a soft dough.

Nail artists use this to shape a strong false nail on top of the client’s natural one.

These can be used to create different lengths and shapes, and allow people creative freedom to express themselves and add their personality to any look.

Compared with other methods of building up nails, acrylic nails are one of the most affordable options. 

Acrylic nails can help to cover damaged nails underneath, encourage growth, and even help those who have a habit for nail-biting.

They can be a more affordable option for people wanting to add a touch of style and elegance to their manicure.

While the price for these can vary, it is worth considering that different locations tend to use different prices for a similar experience.

This is because of the difference in overall quality and the strength of your nails.

Try to compare a few places and see which has the highest quality service without breaking the bank. 

The price of acrylic nails mostly depends on what route you choose to take, because there are a few options that vary in price as well as overall quality.

Applying your own acrylic nails can save costs, but it often takes a lot more time and focus to get it right.

This is especially true if you have less experience with nail care, and are unsure about how to correctly apply acrylic nails.

Try to shop around, compare prices, and invest in appropriate nail care before attempting your own methods if you can. 

Gel nail method vs acrylic nail technique

The gel nail treatment is the newest method for having long-lasting nails.

Gel nail polish is a form of nail polish put over your natural nails. It is then treated with UV radiation and will last for around 2-3 weeks.

This method of putting gel nails does not necessitate professional removal and does not harm your natural nails as much.

Acrylic nails are more popular than gel nails because they are more resilient, last longer, and are less expensive.

Gel nail techs and salon owners will occasionally try to pass off acrylic nails as gel nails, and the consumer will be unable to tell the difference.

A Quick Guide to Benefits of Acrylic Nails

  • Enhanced Aesthetics: Acrylic nails are commonly used to enhance the appearance of natural nails, giving them a polished and manicured look.
  • Versatility: Acrylic nails can be customized in terms of length, shape, and design. You can achieve a variety of looks, from short and natural to long and dramatic.
  • Quick Application: Acrylic nails can be applied relatively quickly, making them a time-efficient option for those looking for an instant nail makeover.
  • Durability: Acrylic nails are known for their strength and durability. They can withstand daily activities and are less prone to chipping or breaking.
  • Curing: Acrylic nails air dry and do not require UV or LED light for curing.

Is gel more expensive or cheaper than Acrylic Nails?

The cost of gel nails compared to acrylic nails can vary depending on various factors, including location, salon, and specific services. In general, gel nails are often slightly more expensive than acrylic nails.

Gel nails typically cost more because the materials used, such as gel polish and UV or LED curing lamps, are pricier than acrylic products. 

Additionally, gel nails may require more frequent maintenance, like bi-weekly fills, which can add to the overall cost.

However, the longevity and durability of gel nails may offset these costs for some individuals.

Ultimately, the price difference between gel and acrylic nails may be insignificant, and choosing the option that best suits your preferences and budget is essential.



Depending on what you would like done, and what type of salon you go to, the price for a full set of acrylic nails can start at around $35.

Some designs and colors add to the price tag, and they can cost as much as $60.

This is usually because of the extra time and precision that is needed to achieve a certain look. It is also worth noting that there is a lot of price variation between salons.

Across the country, it is widely recognized that hotels and spas provide some of the most expensive nail services.

However, you typically get what you pay for, which is why these places tend to have higher numbers of loyal customers. 

Additional factors that can affect the price of your acrylic nails include your current nail health, whether you want tips or a full set, and if you need to pay extra to have your current set properly removed.

A full set of acrylic tips, which are known as artificial nails that are a slightly cheaper alternative, often costs around $30.

While this is a slightly more affordable option, they tend not to last as long as a full set of acrylic nails would.

This is because they are not made to fit each individual nail like the polymer based powder of acrylic nails are. 

Of course, if your nails are not in the best of health, then any good salon will not apply an acrylic set as they need a secure, strong foundation in order to last the longest possible time.

Try to take regular care of your nails and encourage them to grow strong in order to provide a good base for an acrylic set. 



A lot of people are beginning to experiment with their own nail designs and techniques at home. However, it is important to acknowledge how easy these nails can be to apply incorrectly.

Technicians are trained to make the process seem effortless, but there is a great deal of skill involved with acrylic nails.

It is recommended that you practice before attempting to apply your own acrylic nails, because they can be easy to make them too thick.

This is the main reason why they might be uncomfortable, and be more likely to snap off with regular wear and tear. 

There are a lot of professional acrylic nail kits available online that are more affordable than a manicure, and can be cost-effective once you have had the time to practice.

This is because you will have the supplies to fix, reapply, and even remove your own acrylic nails at home without having to spend additional money.

Depending on whether you have the time, or motivation to learn a new skill, you could spend around $25 on an acrylic nail kit rather than on a salon experience. 

Keep In Mind

  • Choose Quality Products: Use high-quality acrylic products and ensure they are stored and used correctly.
  • Removal: It’s recommended to have acrylic nails professionally removed to prevent damage to your natural nails.
  • Avoid Overuse: Acrylic nails should not be worn continuously for extended periods. Give your natural nails time to breathe between applications to prevent damage and yellowing.
  • Moisturize: Keep your cuticles and the skin around your nails moisturized to maintain nail and skin health.
  • Aftercare: Follow the technician’s recommendations for aftercare, which may include using cuticle oil and avoiding harsh chemicals.



Taking care of your nails is another thing that can increase the overall cost, however it is necessary to make acrylic nails last as long as possible while maintaining strong, healthy nail growth underneath.

Repairs to damaged nails can prevent more significant structural damage, which will also ensure that your acrylic nails last as long as they possibly can.

It is definitely worth spending a little extra money on regular nail care in order to make the most out of your set of acrylics. 

It is definitely worth allowing the extra cost for repairs and maintenance, because you will not want to risk causing additional damage to your nails underneath.

While the price for acrylic nail repair can vary depending on the extent of the damage, regular nail care and maintenance usually starts at around $10 in most salons.

In addition to this, you should allow for the cost of getting your acrylic set removed in the right way.

This can prevent additional damage from happening, and allows your natural nails to stay as strong and intact as they possibly can be. 


There are a lot of factors to consider when determining the cost of acrylic nails. Salons in different locations tend to have a range of prices for a similar service, but this is often because of the overall quality of nail care and overall knowledge.

If you want an acrylic set, it often costs a little more than acrylic tips because they are custom shapes and will last longer than tips in general.

As long as you have strong nails that can act as a secure base, a full set of acrylic nails will cost between $35 and $45. It is definitely worth investing in your nail care, because they can last a lot longer when they have been kept strong.

This can also prevent more significant breakage and long-term damage to your nails. To summarize, there are a lot of factors that should be considered when choosing acrylic nails.

These include the cost of maintenance and correct removal, as well as the price variation that exist within different salons. 

Ariel Coleman

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