How Long Does a Mani Pedi Take?

We all look forward to a chatty mani-pedi session on the weekend. It’s one of the most therapeutic moments in a woman’s life unless you’re under the weather. 

Unfortunately, sometimes a mani-pedi takes forever, which can be problematic if you’re chasing time. 

How long does a mani-pedi take?

A standard mani-pedi takes 30 to 60 minutes. However, more elaborate treatments take at least 45 minutes, with a few lasting up to 90 minutes. Besides the type of mani-pedi, how long you’ll stay at the nail salon depends on the queue and the nail tech’s experience and expertise. More experienced techs finish up much faster than rookies.

Factors Affecting Duration of Mani Pedis

The duration of a mani-pedi depends on many factors, some of which are out of your control. They include;

The type and condition of the nails

The nails’ size, cleanliness, and health are the most important factors. For instance, wider nails take slightly longer to complete. Similarly, it takes more time to prepare dirty and poorly kept nails.

Finally, the nail tech must be more cautious if you have injuries, such as swollen cuticles or a cracked nail plate.

Nail tech expertise and experience

Experienced nail techs are super fast. Moreover, they can multi-task to finish the job faster. For instance, we regularly encounter techs who can apply polish evenly without looking. Also, some are so experienced they can maneuver the edges with few or no mistakes.

Beginners typically take their time and must rectify numerous mistakes at the end of the procedure.

Waiting time. How long’s the queue?

Established nail salons have long queues. Indeed, some now schedule appointments, so customers only queue briefly. Otherwise, you may wait a few hours for your turn.

Contrastingly, smaller or newer salons have fewer loyal customers. So, the queues are shorter, meaning you’ll get in and out within minutes rather than hours.

The type of mani-pedi

Not all mani-pedis are the same. As we’ll see shortly, some are straightforward, while others are extremely detailed. For instance, a deluxe pedicure treatment takes a long time because it’s more about skincare than painting the nails. So, it can take two full hours.

Regular or express pedicures take 30 minutes at most. Also, the time depends on the drying/curing process and whether you’re getting a full-package mani-pedi or just one procedure, a manicure or pedicure.

Types of Mani Pedis and How Long they TakeĀ 

Let’s look at the main mani-pedi procedures, what they involve, and how long each takes on average.

1. Basic Mani-Pedi

The basic option, or express session, is the most basic treatment available at a professional nail salon. It’s popular with first-timers and mainly involves cleaning the nails, trimming, and a polish job.

What does the Package Include?

Expect the nail tech to proceed as follows;

  1. Soak your feet and hands to soothe the cuticles
  2. Scrub the feet using a foot file or pumice stone to remove dead skin cells
  3. Clean, clip, file, and shape the nails
  4. Apply moisturizer to soothe the cuticles
  5. Apply nail polish of the client’s choice
  6. Provide a basic massage

How Long does a Basic Mani-Pedi Take?

Basic mani-pedis take 30 minutes, on average. , This includes a basic manicure and a basic pedicure. The treatment stays in place for seven days before you need a touch-up.  

2. French Mani-Pedi

The French pedicure-manicure is one of the most popular nail treatments because it’s cost-effective. It’s an “enhanced” basic treatment, offering clean, sleek, professional-looking nails at a fraction of the cost.

However, unlike the basic mani-pedi, the nail tech applies long-lasting nail varnish and beautiful white tips instead of nail polish.

What does it Entail?

A step-by-step French treatment is as follows;

  1. Remove dead skin cells by soaking and scrubbing the hands and feet
  2. Apply a base coat and allow it to dry for 1-2 minutes
  3. Lay the hands and feet flat to apply a square white strip at the nail tips, following the nail’s natural crescent.
  4. Allow the white strip to dry for 1-2 minutes
  5. Apply pink nail varnish at the base of the nail
  6. Apply a top coat
  7. Massage the hands and nails

How Long does a French Manicure Take?

A French manicure-pedicure takes 45 minutes. Again, you can wear the treatment for seven days before a touch-up. 

3. Gel Mani Pedis

A gel manicure is slightly different from regular acrylic nails. First, the gel is a one-part product, unlike acrylics which are two-part products comprising a monomer and polymer.

Also, gel nail treatments cure under UV light, unlike acrylics which cure naturally.

What does it Entail?

A gel mani-pedi procedure involves the following steps;

  1. Clean, clip, and file the nails to the desired shape.
  2. Clean the cuticle area and side walls and exfoliate the cuticles
  3. Apply a base coat and cure it under UV light for 30 seconds
  4. Apply two coats of gel polish and remove the excess polish using cotton balls.
  5. Cure the polish under UV light for 45 seconds
  6. Apply a top coat and add nail art (optional)
  7. Apply cuticle oil to soothe the nails

How Long does a Gel Mani-Pedi Take?

A gel pedicure-manicure takes 45-60 minutes and stays in place for 2-3 weeks without chipping or peeling. The tech may or may not use nail and toe separators.

4. Half Moon Mani-Pedis

Also known as the reverse French mani-pedi, a half-moon treatment includes a solid top coat and layered shades of nail polish for a more durable manicure. Therefore, you may spend more time in the nail salon.

What’s the Procedure?

A reverse French manicure involves the following;

  1. Soak the nails in warm water and scrub them with a pumice stone. Adding Epsom salt to the water removes dead skin cells faster. Some salons also add essential oils like lavender or rosehip to moisturize the nails.
  2. Dry the nails with a towel while gently massaging the skin
  3. Apply two coats of colored nail polish and allow them to dry for 2-3 minutes
  4. Make a half-moon shape at the tip of your nails with a Band-aid. This is a technical step best left to the experts.
  5. Apply two coats of polish at the nail tip
  6. Half-dry the second color
  7. Peel off the Band-aid

How Long does a Half-Moon Mani-Pedi Take?

Half-moon manicures and pedicures take 45-60 minutes and last one to three weeks with good maintenance.

5. American Mani Pedis

The American mani-pedi is another variation of the French manicure. It’s a more polished, shinier option, characterized by muted nail colors, like flesh-toned polish. Also, it’s characterized by rounded nails taking the shape of natural nail tips.

The base of the nail is painted pink or nude, which gradually intensifies as you approach the nail tip. Red is another popular color.

The American Mani-Pedi Process

A regular American mani-pedi involves the following;

  1. Trim the nails to the desired length, rounding the shapes neatly
  2. File the nails, then spray softener and cuticle oil to soften the cuticles
  3. Wait a minute for the softener to soak into the nails. Then push back the cuticles while massaging the fingers.
  4. Apply a clear base coat and let it dry for 2-3 minutes
  5. Apply pink, beige, or nude nail polish
  6. Apply neutral-colored polish to the nail tips. Off-white and ivory are excellent choices.
  7. Allow the manicure to dry. Then apply nail art or add rhinestones (optional).

How Long does an American Mani Pedi Take?

Like a regular French manicure, American manicures take 45-60 minutes. You can wear the nails for up to two weeks without a touch-up.

6. Paraffin Mani-Pedis

Parrafin mani-pedis are ideal for clients with dry nails. The procedure infuses the skin with warm paraffin wax, leaving the hands and feet silky and soft.

Moreover, most salons mix the wax with essential oils, such as tea tree oil and aloe vera, for greater skin benefits. A thorough massage typically accompanies the process.

How’s a Parrfin Mani-Pedi Performed?

Parrafin manicure-pedicure processes involve the following;

  1. Heat paraffin wax to a liquid state. Then allow it to cool down.
  2. Meanwhile, wash your hands and feet with soap. Then rinse and dry them.
  3. Moisturize the skin by applying hand lotion.
  4. Once the wax has cooled, wear gloves and dip the first hand to the wrist line. Let it soak for 5-7 minutes, then remove it.
  5. Cover the waxed hand with a towel to keep it warm.
  6. Wait 15-20 minutes. Then peel off the wax.
  7. Clean, shape, and buff the nails.
  8. Repeat steps #1 to #6 for the remaining hand and feet.
  9. Apply nail polish

How Long does a Paraffin Mani-Pedi Take?

A paraffin treatment takes 50-90 minutes. A manicure alone takes at least 50 minutes, while a full mani-pedi takes almost twice as long. Fortunately, you can wear the nails for 1-2 weeks.

7. Spa Mani Pedis

A spa mani-pedi is the pinnacle of manicure procedures. It’s a white-glove procedure that involves lots of pampering and delicate skin care. For instance, an intensive foot massage is routine. Masks are also common. Above all, most salons infuse the skin with special ingredients for tender, silky nails.

But the most important difference between deluxe and basic mani-pedis is that spa treatment is highly personalized. Basic manicures involve the same routine practices, whether they suit the individual or not. For instance, nail polishes are standard. The nail files and exfoliation tools are also the same.

In contrast, deluxe procedures utilize specialized tools minding the individual’s health, age, cultural preferences, etc. That’s why the process takes so long. Typically, the salon serves fruits and other refreshments to keep you energized.

The procedure has many names, depending on where you live. For instance, some call it a deluxe treatment, while others call it a luxury pedicure.

How’s a Spa Treatment Performed?

The exact steps vary widely depending on the salon, location, and client’s preferences. However, you can expect the nail tech to cover the following;

  1. Assess your hands and feet to determine the best therapy. They’ll also ask you a few questions to understand your preferences.
  2. Soak the feet and hands to loosen dirt and debris.
  3. Apply a moisturizing mask to hydrate the nails. They may also apply cream or cuticle oil.
  4. Shape the nails and push back the cuticles to rejuvenate growth. A cuticle gel or oil may or may not be used.
  5. Heat the hands (and feet) in mittens to allow the creams and oils to soak into the skin and nails.
  6. A thorough massage follows, stretching from the forearm to the fingernails and the knees to the toes. A full massage is optional.
  7. Apply the nail polish you choose, often with a natural oil to soften the skin tone. The polish color is a personal choice too.

How Long does a Spa Mani-Pedi Take?

A deluxe mani-pedi takes two hours on average. But it’s well worth it. It’s a great mani-pedi experience you will remember for a while. Moreover, the manicure lasts 1-2 weeks.

Factors that Affect How Long Mani-Pedi Lasts

A professional mani-ped lasts at least a week, after which it begins to wear. So, the 30 minutes to two hours spent at the nail salon is often worth it.

Unfortunately, the mani-pedi may start coming off sooner for various reasons, necessitating an expensive reapplication. The following are the main factors affecting the durability of a manicure, so you’re well prepared.

  1. The quality of the products: Not all manicure products, including acrylic and gel polishes, are the same. While some are of exceptional quality, others are knock-offs that begin to wear off within days.
  2. The use of perfumes and hair sprays: Perfumes and hair sprays contain the same ingredients in nail polish removers. So, a few days of exposure can weaken your manicures. The same applies to sunscreen.
  3. Water contact and damp conditions: Water is the biggest enemy of mani-pedis. It dissolves the adhesives, weakening the product. Therefore, washing the dishes, cleaning the household, and showering accelerate the downgrade of a manicure.
  4. Nail biting and picking: If you’re a nailbiter, prepare to replace your manicure sooner. Your teeth ultimately cause chipping while the saliva weakens the adhesive bonds, destroying the manicure in days. 

Tips to Make your Mani-Pedi Last Longer

Fortunately, you can prolong the life of your mani-pedis. The following are a few tips to make your manicures last longer.

  1. Use a fresh bottle of nail polish: A fresh bottle contains more active ingredients, forming stronger bonds for longer-lasting nails. 
  2. Apply cuticle oil regularly: Cuticle oil contains many ingredients in nail polish. So, regularly massaging your nails with the oil rejuvenates the manicure.
  3. Touch up the top coat: Did you know that top coats wear off after 48 hours? It’s sad but true. Touch it up every two days to maintain a salon look.
  4. Avoid heat and water: Heat and damp conditions weaken manicures. So, wear gloves when using water and avoid hot conditions. 


A regular mani-pedi takes 30-60 minutes. However, some procedures take shorter or longer depending on the type of manicure, the nail tech’s experience, and the condition of your nails.

Speak with your nail technician in advance if you’re worried about missing an important appointment.

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