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How Long Does A Manicure Take?

How Long Does A Manicure Take?

We all love our nails looking great! It boosts our confidence and allows us to express ourselves and our sense of style!

It’s not all about the looks, though. Manicures have a plethora of benefits; they do not serve only to make your nails look pretty.  

Besides making you feel relaxed during the process, manicures are also good for the health of your nails. They are restorative and affordable, so why not indulge yourself?

There is one more thing that goes in favor of manicures- they do not take long! So, even if you are a busy working mum or a dedicated workaholic, you can always squeeze in a manicure session into your schedule. 

So, how long does a manicure take?

It is an important question for all those of you who need to plan their day ahead for whatever reason. The good news is that we have the answer, or better to say the answers. Namely, there are different types of manicures, and each of them takes somewhere from half an hour to an hour to complete. 

The following guide will help you decide which type of manicure to choose when in a hurry and which is your best option when you want to take things easy and relax! Stay tuned!

How Long Will A Manicure Take? A Detailed Guide For Every Type of Manicure

As we have already explained, the answer to the question “How long does a manicure take?” is not an easy one since there are different types of manicures that you can choose to do at a beauty salon. On the bright side, no matter what type you decide on, the process will be relatively quick – usually somewhere between 30 and 60 minutes. 

We always strive to make things as easy as they can be for you, so we will keep up with that tradition and try to break down all the different types of manicures and tell you how long each one takes.

In case you are wondering whether to match your manicure and pedicure, check out the following chart:

Should Your Manicure And Pedicure Match

Types Of Manicures And How Long They Take

1. Basic Manicure

  • If you are a first time user or you are visiting a nail salon for the first time ever, it would be best to opt for the most basic option they offer. The most popular basic treatment usually includes:
    • Soaking your hands in warm water for about 10 minutes or so in order to soften dead skin cells and soothe your cuticles. 
    • Cleaning and clipping the fingernails 
    • Filing nails to the desired shape
    • Applying moisturizer (sometimes this part includes a soothing massage)
    • Polishing the nails into the color of your choice
  • How long does a Basic Manicure take? It will usually take about half an hour.

2. French Manicure

  • French manicure is definitely one of the most popular types of manicure. It used to be a synonym for a manicure in the late nineties. The French treatment, as it is also called, will start the same as the basic treatment and include the following steps:
    • Soaking your hands in warm water
    • Scrubbing the fingernails and clipping them to the desired length
    • Filing nails, shaping them to appear a bit square
    • Applying a moisturizer
    • Adding the iconic white tips to the ends of nails
  • How long does a French Manicure take?  It will take a bit longer than a basic treatment but should still last less than an hour. It will usually take up to 45 minutes.

3. Reverse French Manicure

  • A reverse French manicure is a modern twist of classic French treatment. Instead of applying the white or light color to the end of your nails, the technician will apply it next to the cuticle. The procedure is not much different, though, and thus the steps are more-less the same:
    • Soaking hands
    • Cleaning and clipping nails
    • Filing nails to a square shape
    • Moisturizing (sometimes a massage too)
    • Applying nail polish in the described manner
  • How long does a Reverse French Manicure take?  It should take as long as a classic French manicure does – about 45 minutes. 

4. American Manicure

  • American manicure is yet another version of the original French method. This time around, the difference is in the more rounded edges and choice of colors. Namely, American manicure usually implies more neutral colors that are applied to the tips of your nails. Once again, the procedure is the same:
    • Soaking
    • Cleaning, clipping, & filing
    • Moisturizing
    • Applying neutral nail polish to the tip of your nails
  • How long does an American Manicure take?  Being so similar to the French methods, the American manicure takes the same amount of time – usually up to 45 minutes.
how to give yourself a manicure

5. Gel Manicure

  • Gel manicure is quite different from all the listed types of manicure. However, the difference is not so much in the procedure but rather in the type of polish used. If you opt for this manicure method, the technician will apply gel or shellac and cure your nails with UV light. You will need to be patient since there will be multiple coats to dry. 
  • The good news is that even though a bit longer, the gel manicure has far more long-lasting effects than other methods listed so far. Your nails will be more chip-resistant too. 
  • On the downside, the gel takes more time to take off as well. Moreover, if you are not lucky, and you end up with an inexperienced technician, your nails can get seriously damaged during the removal procedure. 
  • This is what you will go through if you opt for this type of manicure:
    • The beginning is the same- soaking, cleaning, trimming and filing nails to the desired shape
    • Using a nail cleanser to clean the surface of the nails more thoroughly so that the gel can stick better
    • Pushing back the cuticles (pay special attention to this step since your gel polish can chip and get ruined rather quickly if it sticks to cuticles while you apply it)
    • Buffing the surface of your nails to increase gel adhesion
    • Applying the gel base coat and curing it under the UV/LED lamp 
    • Applying two layers of gel color and curing each coat
    • Applying a thin layer of the gel top coat for a long-lasting manicure and curing it
    • Wiping your nails with 99% Isopropyl Alcohol
  • How long does a Gel Manicure take?  It usually takes about an hour or an hour and a half, but if you have to take off the previous gel manicure, it can take a bit longer than that (about 15 minutes). 

6. Paraffin Manicure

  • If your primary goal is not to beautify your nails but rather make your hands softer and smoother, you can opt for a paraffin manicure. It is especially beneficial for people with excessively dry hands. Paraffin treatment offers relief since it infuses your skin with paraffin wax and makes it softer. 
  • The procedure is as follows:
    • The nail technician will soak your hands, clean and dry them thoroughly, and then probably apply some moisturizer
    • The next step is dipping your hands into the heated wax (sometimes the technician uses a brush to apply the wax onto your skin) 
    • After applying several layers of wax, plastic gloves will be put over your hands (hot towels are often used to boost the positive effects of the treatment as well)
    • Once the wax is cool, it is peeled 
    • Your nails are clipped and shaped
    • Hands are massaged to lock in the hydration and softness
    • Some choose to apply nail polish right after the paraffin treatment, but we do not recommend that since paraffin residue can hinder adhesion
  • How long does a Paraffin Manicure take?  Paraffin manicure is the longest option and will take at least an hour.

The Final Words

No matter what type of manicure you choose, the benefits will be immediate. Your hands will look healthy and beautiful. You can always spare one hour every week, or at least twice a month, and maintain the salon look.

Choose the beauty salon wisely! Ask around, or even better, visit the salon before you make an appointment. You want a clean and safe environment and experienced technicians.

After all, a lot depends on your technician and their level of experience and expertise. The more experienced the technician, the less time the manicure will take.

You now have a decent understanding of all the different types of manicures and how long each of them takes. All that is left for you to do is choose one and schedule it. 

They say hands say a lot about a person- try to get yours to speak in your favor!