15 Rude Things Your Manicurist Wishes You'd Stop Doing At The Nail Salon

Taking time for yourself is important, and one excellent way to do that is with a visit to the nail salon. A great manicure can make you feel confident and want to show off your hands. We understand why people look forward to these appointments — but does your manicurist feel the same way? They may be dreading every time you come in because there are rude things that you keep doing (and this could be without even realizing it).


A trip to the nail salon can be an excellent way to relax or zone out, but some people take this a little too far and start getting too familiar with the staff. Do you ask for discounts or request other services without booking the allotted time for them? What about skipping out on tipping?

Before you revisit your nail salon, it's time to familiarize yourself with what is considered appropriate nail salon etiquette and what behaviors your manicurist wishes you'd stop doing. Let's discuss how you can become a better client.

Stop asking them to perform other services

If you want your manicurist to look forward to your appointment instead of dreading it, there are some rules you should adhere to. An important one to remember is to stop asking them to perform services other than what you initially requested for your appointment.


We get it: You're there, and there are other nail-related things you want to be done because you feel it would save time. But unless you have booked it, don't ask. It's rude, inconsiderate, and puts your nail technician in an awkward position because they will have to decline or feel pressured to comply — which could make them late for other clients or take up their lunch break.

You also want to book the right amount of time to have your nails done, and if you are not sure how long you need, a quick call beforehand is always a good idea. What if your nail technician declines to do more than scheduled? Be polite and accept this answer.

You expect unrealistic results without taking their expert advice into consideration

Do you want to transform your natural nails into an extreme edge nail shape, but your real nails are super short? It's just not possible. Your manicurist may suggest other ways to achieve your ideal look, like acrylics. While you don't have to do what they say, completely disregarding their professional advice or not listening to their concerns may come across as rude.


They want you to leave happy but are also there to provide a realistic service. This extends to choosing nail art and asking them to replicate designs you have seen online. Some may be willing to do so, and others will ask you to choose something different that they have created themselves.

"I've been working as a nail artist for about seven years now," nail technician Miki Higuchi told HuffPost. "I love to talk with my clients and create designs together. Sometimes a cute design, a trendy design, might not match the client's style; my goal is to make their nails match their personality. In these cases, I use my own creativity to propose different colors and designs or add something — for example, like stones, metallic, chrome, anything! — to the client."  In other words, your nail tech will most likely work with you — you just have to make sure you work with them, too.


Nothing says inconsiderate like arriving at an appointment when you're sick

Do you feel a little sniffle coming on? Or perhaps you have a full-blown cough? Regardless if you feel like your cold is minor, it would be best to reschedule your appointment because coming to a nail salon when you're sick is a big no-no.


"Your manicurist will never be annoyed or angry if you cancel an appointment when you're very sick," pedicurist Alexandra Calle told Self. "Wiping your nose and coughing on your nail tech is a really good way to pass germs." Your nail technician works closely with their clients, making it easy for them to get sick. And when they cannot work, they will lose money, like valuable tips they may rely on. 

It might also be a good idea to wear a mask, regardless of whether you are sick. "Even before COVID, the nail dust is really bad for you, and I notice [that] when I don't wear a mask, I get really bad chest pains at the end of the day," nail technician Carmella Laporta said in a TikTok video.

Turning up late is a nail salon sin (so is being too early)

Things happen, and despite your best efforts, you may find you're going to be late for your long-waited nail appointment. If something has come up and you'll be late, then call ahead to tell the salon and update them on your new estimated arrival time. It's not always possible to be precisely on time, but calling shows consideration.


It will also allow the manicurist to tell you whether rescheduling is the best option or if you can still come in. If you need to book again, don't give them attitude. It's not their fault that you couldn't make it to your scheduled appointment — and why should it delay their day?

Okay, so being late is rude, but what about arriving early? Getting to the salon a few minutes before your appointment will be appreciated and will show that you value your manicurist's time. However, arriving too soon can put added pressure on them as they work with another client. Even worse is if you come hoping they can fit you in a few minutes ahead of schedule. While this could be possible, it should never be expected.


Changing your mind about the color after it's already on will ruin their day

Leaving your appointment with a fabulous manicure makes you feel great. So, choosing the right color to paint your fingernails is important — but what if you hate your choice? You may have selected a shade that you feel clashes with your skin tone or doesn't compliment that little black dress you plan to wear that evening. This happens, but the important thing is communication.


Let your manicurist know as soon as possible that you do not like your chosen color instead of waiting for them to finish painting your nails and informing them that you want a change. Waiting until the last minute will not go down well, and it is a great way to ensure you are remembered by the nail salon (and not for the right reasons). A helpful tip is always to arrive knowing exactly what color you want or ask the nail tech to swatch it before application, which will save time and is less likely to result in disappointment.

Keep off your phone and leave those texts for later

The great thing about getting a manicure is it's an opportunity to have your hands looking their best, and it provides a little escape from daily life. Having this time off may tempt you to catch up on emails or start texting your BFFs to make plans. But wait — before you do this, consider your nail technician and how annoying it is for them to work while you're asking them to wait until you finish texting. They need your hands! 


If you don't want to be branded rude or inconsiderate, leave your social media and texts for later. "We cleanse your hands and the nails for the polish/gel polish application by prepping the nail plates to be free of dust, lint and oil," nail technician Christa Cole told HuffPost. "When you use your hands to touch your phone or even anything on the nail desk, you have now made it harder for the tech to properly do the service. This is how smudges, lint, dust happen. Let's leave the phone alone until after the service is done."

Also, it's not just the phone that's the problem but the constant moving about. If you aren't doing your best to keep still while your manicurist is working on your fingers, it will make it a lot more challenging for you to walk away with the mani of your dreams (and it's just plain rude). 


Don't ask for a discount just because you think you deserve one (you probably don't)

Time is money, and your manicurist works hard to give you the best possible service. If there is a real problem and you communicate this openly and honestly with them, they may be inclined to provide you with a discount. But because it's a special occasion or you're feeling low on money are not good enough reasons to ask to reduce the cost of your manicure. There are plenty of ways to get freebies on your birthday — visiting the nail salon is not one of them.


Most people love a bargain, but the service is likely already a fair price, and asking your manicurist to go lower will be disrespectful. It makes it seem as though you do not value them at all, and it will put them in an awkward position as they try to decline your negotiation efforts politely. If you don't like the price, which you will be aware of beforehand, go somewhere else or try creating your manicure in the comfort of your home.

Not tipping for good service won't make you their favorite client

Not tipping for good service may disappoint your manicurist and is not the best way to show appreciation. This point will differ depending on the country you are in, but in some places, it is strongly recommended to tip for the service. Not doing so could be considered rude or inconsiderate because the sad reality is a lot of people rely on this money to make ends meet.


"I think you should tip for most services you receive," manicurist Whitney Gibson told Refinery29. "It doesn't have to be a lot, but for me, it's mandatory." It may be challenging to find the right amount to tip, and, again, it depends on the service you have had. In general, you could tip between 15% to 20% of the total cost. If you know your manicurist well and are a regular, you may be tempted to pay a little more.

Hygiene is not optional

Would you wash your hair before going to the hairdresser? Probably. Then why not approach hygiene in a similar way when visiting a nail salon? If someone is working on your hands and feet, you do not want to attend the appointment with super dirty hands (no oil changes beforehand, please) or gross, sweaty feet. Washing your hands and feet before you head to the nail salon won't take long, but it will ensure that your nail technician has a more pleasant experience.


It is also for your health and will result in a better manicure because products like oils, lotions, and even food can get stuck to the nail. This means that your manicure may be more challenging to perform. "You don't want any bacteria stuck underneath your acrylic nail ... Really sit there and really wash your nails," Alexa Acosta of The Sanctuary Beauty Bar in Oakland told Insider.

You're making rude comments about your technician or other staff

Common courtesy should be a given, but some people seem to forget this when someone is providing a service they are paying for. Just because you are paying for your nails does not give you the right to be rude. Have respect for your manicurist, and remember that showing kindness and gratitude will leave a lasting impression.


"Always say please and thank you when getting a manicure," the owner of As U Wish Nail Salon, Skyy Hadley, told Self. "It goes a long way. And if the technician does something during your service you don't like, rather than being rude or angry, politely speak up and we'll be more than happy to fix it."

Treat your manicurist and the other staff in the salon with the respect they deserve, or go somewhere else. This also means not speaking badly to them or about others working in the salon. 

Leave your toddler at home

Busy moms don't want to take their toddlers on their errands, but sometimes life gets in the way, and it's inevitable. It can be difficult to find childcare before attending an appointment, but it is better for everyone if you leave your very small children at home. Having a little child in the salon can be incredibly distracting, not just for your manicurist but for other clients using this time to relax and unwind.


Even if your child is a perfect angel, sitting still for a long time can be challenging, and you won't be able to supervise them properly. Plus, there may not be space for them because the only other available seats are being used by other clients. If your childcare plans fall through, call ahead and see what the salon policy is for children or if your chosen location is okay with this. This will give you a better understanding of what you should do.

Asking for unrealistic accommodations will leave them with a sour taste

Finding the time to make an appointment for your nails can be challenging, especially when you feel like you have a million and one things to try and fit into the day. But this is not your manicurist's problem, and asking them for favors or having unrealistic expectations of when they should come into work to accommodate you is not a good move.


Some people, especially when they have established a relationship with their nail technician, may be more inclined to make requests of them that are not considered professional. And sometimes, they're downright rude! These people are not your friends; they are professionals.

They are not expected to stay later than their opening hours just so you can come in, nor should you expect them to be available on a weekend or early morning because it suits you better or you have a big meeting to attend. The opening hours are clearly stated for a reason, and we must respect that, even if it inconveniences us.

Keep your hands away from your mouth

One of the grossest and most disrespectful things you can do during your manicure is to bite at or pick your nails or cuticles, either before or after you've got them freshly done. Some people have these habits and do it out of stress or simply without thinking, but try to be mindful of such behaviors or ask for a manicure that will help your bitten nails grow out so you're encouraged not to pick at them.


Nail technicians have seen almost everything, but they want what is best for your fingernails, not just in appearance but also in health. This is another reason you should not be picking at your cuticles (which could also lead to an increased risk of infection). 

"Just don't do it. Yes, I can work with it; no, I am not grossed out," lead manicurist Frances Liang told Self. "Instead, choose a cuticle nipper from your local drugstore to carry with you. I guarantee it can solve your cuticle issues better than your teeth! If you really want to let your skin heal, moisturize those cuticles religiously with cuticle oil."

No one likes a gossip

You may view your trip to the nail salon as the perfect opportunity to catch up on the latest gossip. Perhaps you think of your manicurist as a friend and want to tell her everything that has happened in your life. The great thing about most technicians is they are known for being friendly and approachable — and making small talk, sharing light-hearted tales, and engaging in polite conversation about your personal life is entirely normal. But there is a limit to how much you should say and the topics you cover.


The general rule is to treat people with kindness and respect; what comes out of your mouth should not be overly negative. Your nail appointment is not your opportunity to speak badly about everyone you know or ask about the latest salon gossip. This also extends to badmouthing other salons you have been to before. Would you talk like this in front of your work colleagues? If not, why is it different at the nail salon?

Don't assume they're talking about you

If you go to a nail salon and the staff speak a different language, don't let the first thing that comes to mind be that they are talking about you. They probably aren't and simply have a great rapport with their colleagues — after all, these folks work together most of the week for long hours, and having a good relationship with each other will make their day more enjoyable.


Assuming they are discussing you will make you resentful and ruin the whole experience. What can you do instead? Well, you can engage in the conversation yourself, and if you do not like talking, that is fine, too. Just be polite and communicate what you want from the appointment.

"You certainly don't have to hold a conversation the entire time you're in the chair, but it's simply rude not to acknowledge someone's presence," explained Betsy Cribb, Southern Living's senior homes and features editor (via Southern Living). So even if your nail tech enters a conversation with other staff members, don't be standoffish. Be polite, acknowledge them, and be kind. Your manicurist will thank you!