How Long Does a Manicure Take?

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hands and feet with manicure and pedicure

Manicures and pedicures have a number of benefits, aside from just making your nails look amazing. They are restorative and relaxing and are essential for the health of your nails.

Furthermore, the processes are relatively quick—the answer to “How long does a manicure and pedicure take?” is less than an hour and usually between 30 and 60 minutes. However, it depends on what type of manicure you get.

Here, we break down the different types of manicures and pedicures and discuss how long each one takes.

Types of Manicures and Pedicures


This is the most basic option available at a nail salon and popular with first time users. First your feet or hands are soaked which softens dead skin cells and soothes cuticles. Fingernails are then cleaned, clipped and filed before the technician applies a moisturizer as well as polish for the nails. For a pedicure the technician will soak your feet and then scrub them of dead skin. Toenails are then clipped and filed before the technician applies moisturizer and massages the legs. Nails are then polished in a similar way to fingernails.

How long does a Basic Manicure take?  Up to 30 minutes.


Probably the most widely known manicure and pedicure treatment is the French treatment. This method includes the soaks, scrubs and moisturizers of the basic treatment, however, in a French manicure the technician will add the iconic white tips to the ends of nails, which are shaped to have more square edges.

How long does a French Manicure take?  Up to 45 minutes.

Reverse French

Similar to the basic and French treatments, the Reverse French will have the white or other light color applied to the cuticle instead of the tips.

How long does a Reverse French Manicure take?  Up to 45 minutes to 1 hour.


Once again, very similar to the basic and French methods, the American method will usually have more rounded edges and more neutral colors added to the tips.

How long does an American Manicure take?  Up to 45 minutes to 1 hour.


The difference in this treatment is in the type of polish. A gel manicure or pedicure uses gel or shellac which are cured with UV light across multiple coats to give a more chip resistant finish to nails. There is some debate as to whether this causes stronger nails or increases stiffness that can cause fracturing so it’s suggested you do prior research before deciding this is the best method for you.

How long does a Gel Manicure take?  Up to 45 minutes.


For those with dry hands, a paraffin treatment can offer relief by infusing the skin with paraffin wax to leave hands or feet feelings softer and smoother. This treatment is generally followed by a basic massage and polish job.

How long does a Paraffin Manicure take?  Usually 50 minutes.

Maintaining the Salon Look

As with any beauty treatment, the benefits of these treatments are immediate. However, long-term care and other simple steps before and after receiving a manicure or pedicure are essential for keeping hands and feet looking healthy.

Among tips from the American Academy of Dermatology are:

  • Moisturize your nails after using nail polish removers as most removers contain chemicals
  • Never push back cuticles as it can cause infection
  • Make sure your nail salon has the proper licensing and cleanliness standards—look specifically for handwashing, dirty tools lying around and whether or not the station is clean, whether soaking tubs for hands and feet are clean
  • Don’t shave your legs for at least 24 hours before an appointment. A small cut can lead to infection.
  • Don’t use artificial nails if you’re prone to fungal infections or have brittle nails. It’s also good to educate yourself on what substances are used in artificial nails as some can cause allergic reactions.

Now that you have a basic understanding of the different types of manicures and pedicures and how long each one takes, it is time to schedule yours.

Learn more about the nail services we offer. Then, call (402) 384-8400 or book an appointment online today!

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