How fast should I be doing gel nails?
I definitely think it all depends on your skill level.
When I first started doing gel nails, a full set would take me close to four hours!!! Lol I certainly wasn’t seeing any clients at this point. This was just me practicing on friends and family. But a daunting task non the less.
The most important thing to remember when you are first starting out, is to be patient with yourself. A job well done is way better than a rush job because you are worried about time. Likely, your guests will understand. I recommend offering a beginners special, at first. This gets them in the door, while also letting them know that you are not a pro, just yet.
We should also break this down into a few different categories.
- Gel Polish
- Full Set Of Gel Nails (starting from scratch)
- Gel Fill
Gel polish is a great place to start when you are new to the business. Relatively simple, with very little room for complications. Such as lifting or breaking. Your gel polish may chip, but this will also get better with the more applications that you do. I’d say and hour and a half is a safe place, time wise, when you are learning. Right now, after 10+ years in the biz, I can knock out a gel polish in about 45 minutes, if I am removing the old polish first. 30 minutes if it is just application and no nail art.
A full set of gel nails is definitely more complicated and needs more patience when first getting going. I remember thinking it was going to be so easy. Just like nail polish! Lol I couldn’t have been more wrong. Today I can do a Full set of gel nails, safely, within an hour and a half. This will usually include nail art of some kind. But don’t forget my previous story of this taking me FOUR HOURS when I first started. #patience
Gel fill is the most common application that I do. I have all my regulars now so they are on a great schedule of every 2-3 weeks. This is optimal. Any longer and the gel will start to “fail”. I’d say that when you are just learning a gel fill will probably take you 2 to 2.5 hours. Today my fills are 1 to 1.5 hours depending on the nail art.
Like I said before, patience is key. And practice will get you everywhere! Be patient with yourself and practice as much as humanly possible. It really is the only way to get your speed up.
Whenever I get back from a vacation or extended time off, I am always a little slower to start. By the end of the week, I am back to my regular speed.
By this stage you know what you are doing. Your time should be down and your clientele built. This is a very exciting time. Things are running like a well oiled machine! Yay!
So what is my advice for the novice time wise? Well, speaking from experience, I would have to suggest not taking on more than you can handle. Early on in my career I was trying to make everyone happy. Taking on all the clients I could and cramming as many in my day that would possibly fit!
So then what happens? One of your clients is late. Putting you behind. One of your clients comes in with a broken nail. This will take extra time to fix. Sadly by the end of the day this could snowball and you could find yourself 45 minutes behind! This is incredibly stressful for me. I hate watching a client sit and wait while I finish up my last. Ugh, I feel pressure. I start rushing and things just don’t come out the way I want them to. This is also when mistakes or accidents start to happen. Gel running into the cuticle area or polish not curing properly.
Try your best no to cram them all in. Put a little space between clients so you can grab a glass of water or have a pee break, without stressing. Your guests will feel the pressure too if you are over booking. If you aren’t relaxed, then either are they. And word will spread.
Also, this is just better for your mental and physical health going forward. You really don’t want to burn yourself out. This is an amazing career as long as you don’t overdo it.
So, how fast should I be doing gel nails? You should do, whatever you are comfortable with! Take your time, pace yourself and the rest will fall into place. We all have to start somewhere. Be true to you and your clients and give yourself the space needed to create beautiful works of art!
Hit me up below this article, if you have any comments or questions about how fast you should be doing nails. Or if you ever have any questions at all! I am always here for you guys.
Love you to the Moon!
Cheyanne– The Nail Lamp Tramp
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