Top Nail Salon Services: What to Expect and Try

Nail salons offer a wide array of services designed to enhance the beauty and health of your nails. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a regular client, understanding the various services available can help you make the most of your nail salon experience. This article explores the top nail salon services, detailing what you can expect and recommending some must-try treatments.

1. Basic Manicure and Pedicure


  • Cuticle Care: Your technician will trim and push back your cuticles to promote nail growth and create a clean look.
  • Nail Shaping: Nails are trimmed and shaped to your desired style (square, round, almond, etc.).
  • Hand Massage: A relaxing massage with lotion or oil to moisturize your hands.
  • Polish Application: The service typically ends with the application of nail polish, including a base coat, two coats of color, and a top coat for shine and protection.


  • Foot Soak: Your feet are soaked in warm water to soften the skin and nails.
  • Exfoliation: Dead skin cells are removed using a scrub or pumice stone.
  • Cuticle and Nail Care: Similar to a manicure, with trimming, shaping, and cuticle care.
  • Foot Massage: Often includes a more extensive massage with moisturizing creams.
  • Polish Application: Finishes with nail polish, just like a manicure.

2. Gel Manicure

A gel manicure uses a special polish that is cured under a UV or LED light for a long-lasting, glossy finish. The process includes:

  • Base Coat Application: To protect the natural nail.
  • Gel Polish Application: Multiple coats of gel polish are applied and cured under the light.
  • Top Coat Application: Seals the color and adds shine, also cured under the light.
  • Long-Lasting Results: Gel manicures can last up to two weeks without chipping.

3. Acrylic Nails

Acrylic nails are perfect for those looking to add length and durability to their natural nails. The process involves:

  • Nail Preparation: The natural nail is buffed to remove shine and improve adhesion.
  • Application of Acrylics: A mixture of liquid monomer and powder polymer is applied to the nails, forming a hard protective layer.
  • Shaping and Buffing: The acrylics are shaped and buffed to the desired look.
  • Polish or Nail Art: Can be left natural or painted with regular or gel polish.

4. Dip Powder Nails

Dip powder nails offer a durable and long-lasting alternative to gel and acrylics. The process includes:

  • Base Coat Application: To protect the natural nail.
  • Dipping Nails in Powder: Nails are dipped into colored powder multiple times, with a base coat applied between dips.
  • Sealing and Shaping: Excess powder is brushed off, and nails are shaped.
  • Top Coat Application: A glossy top coat is applied for shine and protection.

5. Nail Art

Nail art allows for personal expression and creativity. Techniques and styles include:

  • Freehand Designs: Hand-painted patterns, flowers, abstract designs, etc.
  • Stamping: Pre-made designs are stamped onto the nails.
  • Decals and Stickers: Ready-made designs are applied to the nails.
  • 3D Art: Embellishments like rhinestones, studs, and charms are added to create a three-dimensional effect.

6. Paraffin Wax Treatments

Paraffin wax treatments are a luxurious addition to manicures and pedicures, offering deep hydration and relaxation. The process involves:

  • Wax Application: Hands or feet are dipped in warm paraffin wax.
  • Wrap and Soak: The wax is wrapped around the hands or feet and left to sit for several minutes.
  • Removal: The wax is peeled off, leaving the skin soft and moisturized.

7. Spa Manicure and Pedicure

Spa services offer a more indulgent experience with additional pampering elements, such as:

  • Extended Massage: Includes the hands, arms, feet, and calves with luxurious lotions and oils.
  • Exfoliation: A thorough exfoliation with scrubs to remove dead skin cells.
  • Mask Treatment: Application of hydrating masks to rejuvenate the skin.
  • Hot Towel Wraps: Enhances relaxation and helps with the absorption of moisturizing products.

8. Shellac Manicure

Shellac manicures combine the benefits of gel and regular polish, offering a durable and glossy finish. The process includes:

  • Base Coat Application: To protect the natural nail.
  • Shellac Polish Application: Multiple coats of Shellac polish are applied and cured under UV light.
  • Top Coat Application: Adds shine and durability, also cured under UV light.
  • Easy Removal: Can be removed without damaging the natural nail.

9. Silk Wrap Nails

Silk wrap nails are used to strengthen natural nails or repair broken nails. The process involves:

  • Silk Application: Silk or fiberglass wraps are applied to the nail.
  • Sealing and Shaping: The wraps are sealed with resin and shaped.
  • Polish Application: Nails can be left natural or painted with polish.

10. Nail Extensions

Nail extensions are ideal for adding length and can be made from various materials like acrylic, gel, or fiberglass. The process includes:

  • Application of Tips or Forms: Extensions are attached to the natural nail or sculpted.
  • Building and Shaping: The material is applied over the tips or forms, then shaped and buffed.
  • Polish or Nail Art: Extensions can be left natural or adorned with polish and nail art.


Exploring the diverse range of services offered by nail salons can elevate your nail care routine and provide an enjoyable and personalized experience. Whether you prefer a simple manicure or an elaborate nail art design, understanding what each service entails helps you make informed choices and discover new favorites. Treat yourself to a visit to a reputable nail salon and indulge in the myriad of services designed to beautify and pamper your nails.