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Every two weeks, I go to the nail salon like clockwork. And just like you might have a regular order at your local coffee shop, I have a “usual order” at my salon: a spa pedicure, a powder gel mani, and a 10-minute massage (20 minutes if I’ve slept weirdly on my neck the night before). The bill usually costs between $90 and $110, and I usually tip $3 for the massage, $5 for the pedi, and $15 for the mani. I’m pretty much a nail salon snob, so you can imagine my skepticism and — truly — my panic when I decided to try somewhere new: Regal Nails, the nail salon at Walmart.
Beyond the privilege and other factors that allow me to put so much money (and time) into my nails — something I am in no way ignorant of — I only say all of this to show why you can trust me. I am, above all else, a nail salon snob. So when it came to my attention that I could get my nails done at Walmart, I was hesitant, skeptical, and slightly panicked. But I decided to try Regal Nails anyway.
Could it really be cheaper to get your nails done at Walmart? I wanted to know. Could a Walmart manicure even compare to what I get every two weeks? I needed to know.
Of course, the information included in this post is subject to change and was informed by online data and prices I found at a suburban Walmart in New York.
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1. About one in five Walmart locations has a Walmart nail salon.
Yes, you can actually get your nails done at Walmart — and no, I’m not talking about buying press-on nails in the beauty aisle. You can buy DIY manicure items at Walmart, too, but as of 2020, more than 940 Walmart locations feature an in-house nail salon.
Like at any other salon, the Walmart nail salon offers manicures, pedicures, massages, waxing treatments, and more. The salons are usually located in Super Walmarts or Walmart locations with high traffic. Most will require a reservation depending on the treatment, but if you’re lucky enough to catch the employees at a convenient time, you might be able to just walk in.
Related: Outside of Walmart, we found a few tricks for getting discounted or even free manicures.
2. Walmart doesn’t actually run the nail salon — it’s the Regal Nails franchise.
Walmart has a partnership with a nail salon franchise called Regal Nails. Regal rents out the space inside Walmart stores. Some locations can be as small as 280 square feet, while others are up to 2,000 square feet. But no matter the size, all Regal Nails locations in Walmart pretty much offer the same consistent prices across the board.
TIP: You can also find Regal Nails in retail locations like H-E-B, Meijer, and The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES).
3. The Walmart nail salon usually opens at 10 a.m., but closing times vary.
Walmart nail salon hours may vary by location. However, for the most part, the nail salons follow these business hours:
- Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- Sunday: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Some locations may shift their weekend hours, with a Saturday schedule of 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. and a Sunday schedule of noon – 5 p.m.
It’s best to check your local Walmart’s nail salon hours by calling ahead first. You should also plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before the salon closes for the day.
4. Expect to pay $15 for a manicure at Walmart, $30 for a pedicure, and $30 for a full set of acrylics.
It should go without saying that just like their business hours, prices at the Walmart nail salon may vary by location. But most Regal Nails salons have pretty standard pricing, with a variation of maybe a few bucks in either direction.
At my location, I got a spa pedicure for $38 and a dip powder gel manicure for $40. I tipped $10, which brought my total to $88.
But when I compared the prices of my local Regal Nails to the others online, I noticed that my local prices were a few bucks higher.
How much is a set of acrylic nails at Walmart?
Prices may vary slightly depending on location, but for the most part, a set of acrylic nails at a Walmart Regal Nails Salon typically costs $30 for a full set. A refill should only set you back $20.
Walmart Nail Salon Prices
As a general standard, here’s what you should expect to pay for nail services at the Walmart nail salon:
- Nail repair: $5
- Callus removal: $7
- Regular manicure: $15
- Acrylic nails refill: $20
- Pink fill only: $20
- Powder gel fill: $20
- Spa French pedicure: $22
- Pedicure: $30
- Acrylic nails: $30
- Gel manicure: $30
- White tips refill: $32
- Pink and white refill: $35
- Gel pedicure: $38
- Dip powder gel: $40
- Spa mani/pedi: $42
- Solar color nails: $42
- Pink and white backfill: $50
- Pink and white: $60
- UV gel nails: $60
TIP: The sign at my Regal Nails location also had this note: “We charge extra for long nails.”
Walmart Waxing Prices
- Lip: $6
- Chin: $9
- Eyebrow: $10
5. Gels and acrylics are priced the same at the Walmart nail salon — $30.
Ah, the age-old question: which type of manicure is cheaper? Between gel and acrylic nails, the gel is usually more expensive. While it dries quickly and feels (and looks) more natural than acrylics, gel manis and pedis usually don’t last as long as acrylics do.
Comparatively, acrylic nail sets are usually cheaper. They also tend to last longer as long as you fill them in, but they’re more difficult to remove, as they require a longer acetone soak and filing.
At my local Regal Nails, acrylics and gel manicures were the same price, both at $30. The sign also said UV gel nails were $60, which refers to a sturdier, light-cured gel that will last a bit longer than typical, non-cured gel polish.
Related: We can point you to the best nail polish deals happening now.
6. You can even use a Walmart gift card at Regal Nails locations.
Walmart gift card owners will be happy to know that yes, you can use your Walmart gift card at Regal Nails. Word on the street is that you can also use a Walmart gift card at Walmart hair salons, too.
7. Ask the nail salon manager if they’ll accept your Walmart employee discount.
If you’re employed by Walmart, you may be wondering if that employee discount — usually 10% — can also be applied to the nail salon. The truth is, it depends on the location; some will allow it, while others won’t. So ask a manager if they’ll honor your employee discount.
Related: Here are 60+ of the absolute best employee discounts — and Walmart made our list.
8. Is the Walmart nail salon cheaper than other salons? It depends.
If you’re wondering how much you’d save by choosing the Walmart nail salon over other locations, it’ll depend on what you get.
All in all, I found my trip to Regal Nails to net out pretty much the same as my usual place. My dip powder gel manicure cost $40, and it was a solar pink-then-purple color that I actually wasn’t charged extra for.
I didn’t get a pedicure, but if I had, a regular pedicure would have cost me $30, while a spa pedi would be $45. If I go by the price of dip powder and a spa pedi, which is what I normally get, that comes out to $85. I tipped $10, so we’ll call it $95.
Combine that with the fact that there’s no back massage option and the manicurist didn’t lotion up my hands (let alone massage them), and I still think I’d pick my regular place. Very similar prices, yes, but much less of a spa experience at Regal. As long as you’re fine with a pared-down service, there’s nothing even remotely wrong with getting your nails done at Walmart.
I will say this though: in terms of quality, my initial skepticism wasn’t warranted. The quality of the dip powder mani was extremely impressive — very on par with my normal place. The manicurist did an awesome job on my solar color manicure (which doesn’t cost extra at my Regal), and it was cool to see the colors change in the sun from pink to purple. I was beyond happy with the result, and it lasted two and a half weeks without chipping, breaking, cracking, or peeling.