what to say when making a nail appointment

What to say when making a nail appointment may look pretty straightforward, but it’s trickier than you might think.

It can be intimidating to call a nail shop for your first appointment.

To schedule the right services for your needs, it helps to get familiar with the industry jargon associated with the nail industry.

Booking the wrong services can confuse you and make you waste money. So, what to say and how to make a nail appointment?

Before confirming the appointment, you should ask about available dates and say what nail treatment you’re looking for.

Tip: Simply wipe your nails with acetone to save them from looking dirty after applying makeup or sunscreen.

Should you Make an Appointment or Walk-In?

make appointment or walk in

Many women think there’s no need to make a nail appointment, but that could hurt if you pick a salon for the first time.

So, how do you decide between walk-in and making an appointment? 

Walk-In without an Appointment

Imagine You need to go home quickly, so you stop for a pedicure at the nail shop on the way.

Will they be able to take you in? Just how long will you be kept waiting? And of course, who will be the one to provide the service you require?

When you stroll in unannounced, the management has to consider several factors.

Availability of Technicians

They need to ensure that they have enough technicians on hand to accommodate walk-ins like yourself while keeping all booked appointments.

In most cases, an appointment at a salon will be prioritized over a walk-in customer. 

Availability of Service

They also need to consider if they have the type of service you want.

Any technician should be able to give you a basic pedicure or manicure, so you can probably just go in and get one.

the availability of service

However, how to ask for acrylic nails at the salon or ask for other specialty services if they weren’t expecting you?

Gel manicures and acrylics, for example, may be performed only by specially trained technicians at some salons.

In this case, it’s best to call ahead and schedule an appointment. 

Availability of Technician

The manager also needs to consider the next technician in line.

Most nail salons use the “rotation” system, whereby customers get a different set of services each day.

Salons will typically assign technicians in a specific order of arrival, with seniority and other factors also playing a role.

Therefore, the manager will go down the list, one by one, and assign walk-in clients to technicians based on the daily rotation when they arrive at the salon.

It means if you have a preference for a technician, they may not be available if you walk in without an appointment. 

Making an Appointment

As was just discussed, appointments are often given priority over walk-in customers in most salons.

So don’t take it as a personal slight if they seat someone else before you. And to avoid any confusion, you’ll be much better off making an appointment first.

Selecting the Technician

selecting the technician

If you schedule a visit, you can pick the exact service technician you want to attend to your needs.

Do your homework before making that appointment call, as it will save you time and frustration in the long run.

If you’re unfamiliar with the region or don’t have a go-to technician yet, you can ask for recommendations from friends and family or read reviews on sites to find someone reliable.

Tip: Do some research to ensure you have a visual image to show your nail tech, whether you want a stiletto nail, a Kylie nail, or a coffin shape. 

Learn the Basics of What to Say When Making a Nail Appointment?

As you may have gathered, there are benefits to making an appointment. Here are the steps to follow:

Step #1: Make a Call

make call first

Calling ahead to a nail salon to see if the date and time you want to visit is available is the easiest approach to booking an appointment. 

Step #2: Explain Your Needs

Then, describe in detail the work you need done. You may need help with acrylic nails, or you may require basic waxing. Be clear about it. 

Step #3: Ask about the Technician

Nail services can be performed by whatever technician you choose, but you can specify who you’d like to see if you’re a regular client. 

Remember the Other Alternative

The good news is that most nail salons have a presence on social media platforms.

So, you can just send them a message to schedule an appointment if you’d rather avoid picking up the phone.

You can send them a photo of the nail design you have in mind and give them a lot more detail this way. 


The success rate of this strategy isn’t guaranteed because some nail salons have a long lag between when you leave a message and when they read it.

If you want to get in touch with them via social media, make sure to send a message at least two to three days in advance. 

Tip: Try to show the nail technician a photograph of the manicure you want done on your nails if you have one for the best results. 

How Do You Tell Your Technician What You Want?

how tell nail tech what to do

Unless you have a regular nail technician you trust implicitly, you should be upfront with your questions, preferences, and concerns.

Because of this, your nail technician will be prepared to give you the requested service.

You should be able to politely explain your needs to your nail technician. The thing is that your nail technician may be like most others in that she hates being told what to do.

In that way, they become defensive and stop thinking creatively.

Remember, creative ability and technical competence are both required for a successful nail treatment.

Therefore, use a pleasant tone when communicating with your nail tech. It will make your nail technician want to go above and beyond in her service to you. 

How to Get the Best Service

how to get best service

Nail technicians appreciate it when clients come prepared. Therefore, if you find it difficult to remember all you need to tell them, write it down and bring it to your appointment.

Don’t be so dismissive of what she’s doing. Tell her if she’s headed in the wrong direction and if you want her to halt before anything bad happens.

Don’t make her wait until she’s finished everything before telling her you don’t like them.

If you don’t react quickly, it will be too late to redo; even if she does, you’ll be stuck there for twice as long. 

What to Say When You Want Acrylic Nails?

Acrylics are durable and adaptable and can be polished just like natural nails or gel.

Acrylics are used frequently to create a wide variety of nail art patterns. Acrylics are the most reliable material to achieve longer nails with artificial extensions.

Make sure you specify that you want a full set when you call to schedule your appointment.

It's important to distinguish between this and manicures, as they are often used interchangeably.

Finally, a cuticle clean-up is not automatically included with acrylics; if you want it done, let them know before they polish your nails.

Identifying Different Services

identifying the different services

At a nail salon, you’ll find many different services available, other than acrylics.

Learning about what’s included in each service will help you decide how to talk to your technician. For instance:


Here, they’ll use a special tool called a cuticle nipper to remove any overgrown cuticles from your hands.

You can also get your nails trimmed, filed, and polished.

After the manicure is complete, they will apply the nail polish of your choice and give your hands a relaxing lotion massage.


You’ll get to sit in a soothing massage chair while they work on your feet. 

As with manicures, they’ll trim your cuticles and give you a thorough cleaning before cutting, filing, buffing, and polishing your toenails.  


If your nails have grown out since you last had acrylics, the acrylic nail will show through the cuticle. In this case, a filler made of acrylic is required.

If you ask, they will also remove any remaining nail polish and trim your nails to your desired length.

Gel Polish

the gel polish

 Gel polish is the way to go if you want a product that dries quickly and lasts much longer than regular nail polish.

When compared to conventional polish, the color options for gel polish at most salons are practically endless.

This nail polish is a little more expensive, but it dries quickly under UV light, saving you time.  

Tip: Talk to your tech to not file off the nail underneath acrylics if you want to grow them.


While you don’t have to complicate things, learning what to say when making a nail appointment is still a good idea.

It avoids confusion and helps you get the results you truly desire.

Remember, making an appointment by phone is a good idea but it’s even better to visit the salon and get everything sorted personally.

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