A close-up shot capturing a woman's hands adorned with beautifully manicured acrylic nails, showcasing intricate designs and vibrant colors, representing the average cost of acrylic nails.

What Is The Average Cost Of Acrylic Nails?

Getting your nails done can be an enjoyable self-care activity, but the costs can add up quickly. If you’re wondering what to budget for a new set of acrylic nails, read on to learn the average prices and what impacts the total cost.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: the average cost of a basic acrylic nail fill is $30, with a full set costing $50 or more depending on extras like art and length.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the typical pricing for acrylic nails and what goes into that price tag. You’ll learn about one-time new set costs compared to upkeep fill prices, standard pricing factors, ways to save money, and average costs based on your location.

Initial Full Set vs. Fill-In Appointments

Full set application

Getting a full set of acrylic nails applied for the first time is more expensive than fill-in appointments. This is because the technician has to prep the natural nail, apply tips if needed, shape the nails, and apply multiple coats of acrylic to build out and extend the nail length.

The process takes more products, time, and expertise compared to a simple fill-in appointment. On average, a full set might cost $50-$85 for acrylics on natural nails without any elaborate nail art or designs.

Here are some of the factors that determine full set pricing:

  • Salon’s service menu prices
  • Technician’s experience level
  • Geographic location – higher in metro areas
  • Enhancements like tips, wraps, gel polish – $5-$15 extra per service
  • Length and thickness of extensions – longer equals higher price
  • Elaborate art like 3D designs, rhinestones, airbrushing – $5-$20+ extra

Maintenance fill cost

After the initial full set application, clients need to come in every 2-3 weeks for a maintenance fill appointment. This allows the technician to fill in any grown out areas near the cuticle, trim and shape the free edge, and replace any lifted or broken nails.

Fills take less time and product compared to full sets. The national average for an acrylic fill-in is $30-$45.

Factors that influence the fill-in cost include:

  • Regular salon pricing for fills
  • Less work required than full set
  • Geographic region
  • Extra repair work needed – may increase price
  • Any add-on services like polish change or nail art

Clients can maintain their acrylics for 2-3 months with regular fill appointments before needing a new full set. Getting fills every 2-3 weeks helps the nails stay strong and prevents lifting or damage that would require removal.

Proper fill maintenance keeps acrylics looking fresh and well-cared for.

What Impacts the Price of Acrylics

Salon Rates

The base price for a set of acrylic nails can vary widely depending on the rates charged at different salons. High-end salons in expensive urban areas typically charge higher prices, while more budget-friendly suburban and small-town salons may offer lower rates.

On average, a basic set of acrylic nails costs $30-$80 before extras like designs or embellishments are added.

Nail Tech Experience Level

The skill level and years of experience a nail technician has can also impact pricing. Generally, seasoned techs with 10+ years under their belt command higher prices for their work. Newbie techs straight out of school often charge less as they build up their portfolio and expertise.

Expect to pay around $20 more on average for an expert nail tech versus a beginner.

Nail Length and Shape

Longer nail lengths require more product and time to apply, increasing the cost of acrylic services. Shorter, natural looking nails are the least expensive. Nail shape also plays a role, with coffin and ballerina styles requiring more finesse and additional product due to their tapered tips versus square or oval shapes.

Design Complexity

Plain acrylic nails start at the base price, while intricate airbrush designs, hand-painted art, rhinestones, foils, and glitter can raise the price significantly. Simple polish upgrades or French tips add a smaller upcharge. In general:

  • Solid color/French: +$5-$10
  • Basic art (single color): +$5-$15
  • Complex art (multi-color): +$15-$30
  • Airbrush design: +$10-$20
  • Rhinestones: +$5-$20
  • Foil: +$10-$15

So while a basic set may run $50 on average, a sculpted coffin shape with hand-painted art and Swarovski crystals could cost upwards of $150.

Nail Service Average Price
Basic square set $30-$80
Natural/French tips +$5-$10
Simple art +$5-$15
Elaborate art +$15-$30
Airbrush design +$10-$20
Rhinestones +$5-$20
Foil +$10-$15

On average, most clients can expect to pay $55-$65 for a standard acrylic fill according to recent industry surveys (source). But salons in high-end areas like Los Angeles, New York City, or Miami tend to charge upwards of $85-$100+ per fill.

While rates in small rural towns can sometimes be as low as $35-$45 for a refill.

How Location Impacts Cost

Urban vs. rural pricing

The cost of acrylic nails can vary significantly depending on whether you live in an urban or rural area. In major cities and metropolitan areas, the average price of a basic acrylic nail set is around $45-$65.

However, in small towns and rural areas, the average cost is often $30-$50 for a basic set.

There are a few key reasons for this pricing difference:

  • Higher demand – Urban areas have a much higher population density, so there is greater demand for nail salons and nail tech services. This allows salons to charge slightly higher prices.
  • Higher rents – Nail salons in urban areas often pay higher rents and operating costs, which they pass onto customers through pricing.
  • More competition – While there is more demand in cities, there is also far more competition among nail salons. This drives prices down a bit.

In small towns and rural areas, there simply isn’t as much demand or competition. So nail techs can’t charge quite as much. Though rents and operating costs are lower as well, allowing them to keep prices reasonable.

Regional cost variation

There are also some regional differences in acrylic nail pricing across the United States:

  • Northeast – $55 average (high cost of living)
  • West Coast – $50 average (high cost of living)
  • South – $45 average
  • Midwest – $40 average (lower cost of living)

The cost of living in an area impacts salaries and business expenses for nail salons. So locations with a higher cost of living tend to have slightly higher acrylic nail prices. Additionally, some regions like the Northeast and West Coast have a greater focus on beauty services and trends – leading to more demand.

However, a basic set of acrylic nails costs $30-$65 nationwide. You can always find great deals if you shop around. Some salons offer discounts for first-time customers or weekday appointments too.

Saving Money on Acrylic Nails

New customer specials

One great way to save money on acrylic nails is to look for new customer specials at salons. Many places will offer discounts like your first set for half off or a free nail art design with your first fill to get new clients in the door.

First time deals like these allow you to test out a new technician’s skills at a lower price point.

Ask about sales

Don’t be shy about asking your nail salon if they have any current promotions or sales on acrylic services. Many salons will run periodic sales on fills oracrylicadd-ons like glitter, gel polish, or nail art designs.

Around major holidays like Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day, some salons will offer specials on gift certificates too. Calling around to a few nearby salons and asking what current deals they have is an easy way to score savings.

Book during slow times

If possible, try to book your nail appointments during slower times of the week at the salon. Mondays and Tuesdays are often less busy, along with weekday mornings and early afternoons. Busier times tend to be Fridays after work and weekends.

Some salons will offer discountsfor appointments booked during slow periods to incentivize customers to come in when the technician’sschedule has openings.

Opt for shorter nails

The length of your acrylic nails can impact the price of your service. Longer, more dramatic nails require more product and time to apply. Going for a shorter, more natural nail length can help reduce the cost of your set.

A good rule of thumb is eachadditional 1/4 inch of length adds $5-$10 to the price. For maximum savings, keep your nails at 1/2 inch long or shorter.

Learn DIY application

Doing your own acrylic nails at home can be a big money saver if you’re willing to invest some time in learning the techniques. DIY acrylic kits provide all the tools and products needed. Watching online tutorials to learn proper application is key.

While professional results take practice, doing your own nails can reduce the cost to $15 or less per set. Make sure to factor in the startup costs of supplies as well as time commitment for the best DIY value.


Now that you know what goes into acrylic nail pricing, you can better budget for your next appointment. While costs vary, expect to spend around $50 for a first-time full set with extras, then $30 or so per fill to maintain your manicure.

Use the tips above to save money without sacrificing quality and enjoy showing off beautiful nails!

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