How Long Do Pedicures Take? An In-Depth Look at the Luxurious Foot Treatment

Pondering the duration of a pedicure, especially for first-timers, is quite common. This spa indulgence, encompassing a calming foot soak, delicate callus elimination, and the precise application of nail polish, is a supreme self-care delight. So, how long do pedicures take?

Pedicure duration can vary significantly based on the services included and other factors. A quick basic pedicure may clock in around 30 minutes. In comparison, an indulgent spa pedicure with all the extras could take 90 minutes or more from start to finish.

Understanding the typical timing for different types of pedicures will allow you to set proper expectations and get the most out of the relaxing treatment. We'll examine all the elements that impact pedicure duration so you can plan and prepare for the optimal experience.

What is a Pedicure?

Before getting into the timing, let's review what this popular salon service entails. A pedicure is a therapeutic, cosmetic treatment for your feet that includes the following:

  • Soaking in a warm foot bath
  • Gentle scrubbing and removal of dead, calloused skin
  • Trimming, shaping, and cleaning toenails
  • Cuticle grooming
  • Smoothing of rough spots with a foot file
  • Relaxing foot and calf massage
  • Moisturizing foot cream application
  • Regular lacquer or gel polish for toenails

Pedicures improve the appearance of the feet, removing dry skin and beautifying the nails. But they also have health benefits beyond just looking great. The massage stimulates circulation, while the exfoliating scrub reveals soft, smooth skin.

Regular pedicures can help prevent issues like ingrown nails, toenail fungus, and painful calluses on the feet. Now that you know what the luxurious treatment entails, let's look at how long you can expect to spend at the salon.

Average Pedicure Duration: How Long

A standard pedicure session takes approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour from beginning to end. This allows enough time for thorough nail trimming and shaping, callus removal, cuticle cleaning, extended foot massage, and regular nail polish application.

Deluxe spa pedicures with extras like paraffin wax treatment or gel polish can take 60 to 90 minutes for the whole experience. First-time pedicures also often run longer as technicians care extra for grooming and pampering feet that may have been neglected.

Here's a breakdown of the average pedicure duration:

  • Basic pedicure - 45 mins to 1 hour
  • Deluxe pedicure - 60 to 90 minutes
  • Gel polish pedicure - 60 to 75 minutes
  • Paraffin wax pedicure - 60 to 90 minutes
  • First-time pedicure - Up to 75 minutes

Calloused or overgrown feet and nails require additional soaking or smoothing time. Communicating any time constraints to your technician before beginning can help them structure the session efficiently.

Allowing ample time ensures you don't feel rushed. This allows you to relax, sink into the massage, and enjoy the entire pedicure journey.

how much does a pedicure cost

Along with pedicure duration, the cost of the service can also vary. An introductory 30-minute pedicure may run just $20 to $30. More extensive spa pedicures with extras generally cost $50 to $80, based on the services included.

Here are the average costs for different popular pedicure options to help budget for the treatments:

  • Introductory 30-minute pedicure - $20 to $30
  • Signature pedicure - $35 to $50
  • Deluxe spa pedicure - $50 to $65
  • Gel polish pedicure - $50 to $80
  • Paraffin wax pedicure - $55 to $80
  • French tip pedicure - $35 to $55

Packages and membership plans at some salons can reduce the per-pedicure cost. Providing your own polish can also deduct $5 to $10 from the price. Tipping 15 to 20% on top of the base cost is customary.

While not cheap, professional pedicures provide tremendous value, keeping your feet looking flawless and feeling pampered for weeks at a time.

Step By Step Pedicure Process

Now, let's look at what actually happens during a standard pedicure session from start to finish. Understanding the process will give you a better idea of the timeline and what to expect.

Pedicure Prep

Pedicures start with some initial preparation to get your feet ready for treatment:

  • Removal of any existing nail polish (the salon can remove it for a fee)
  • Washing your feet before arrival
  • Sitting in a massage pedicure chair and soaking feet in a warm water basin for 5 to 10 minutes to soften skin and nails. Technicians may scrub your feet with soap during this time.

Cuticle Care

Next comes caring for the cuticles:

  • Cuticles are gently pushed back using an orangewood stick or other tool.
  • Excess cuticle material is nipped away and removed.
  • Cuticles may be cleaned further with a cotton-tipped cuticle remover solution.

Callus and Dead Skin Removal

Getting rid of rough calluses and dry skin on the feet is next:

  • A foot file is used to buff away thickened areas on heels and other parts of the feet.
  • A foot scrub tool helps slough off additional dead skin.
  • An exfoliating foot scrub cream may be massaged to further soften and smooth skin.

Foot Filing

More detailed smoothing and shaping comes from filing the feet:

  • The edges of the feet are filed to remove dry, rough skin
  • The bottoms of the feet are also filed to remove additional calluses
  • A buffer shapes and evens out the skin across the whole foot.

Toenail Trimming

Next, the nails are meticulously groomed:

  • Toenails are trimmed and shaped evenly using nail clippers and a file.
  • Nails are rounded at the tips, and edges smoothed.
  • Overgrown cuticles may be further gently pushed back.

Relaxing Foot Massage

A soothing, lengthy foot massage helps you fully relax:

  • A hydrating foot cream or oil is massaged all over the feet and lower legs.
  • Kneading and compression techniques relax muscles and stimulate circulation.
  • The message may use reflexology-based techniques to target pressure points.
  • Hot stones or heated booties might be used to ease tension (deluxe pedicures)

Paraffin Wax Treatment

Some deluxe spa pedicures include a paraffin wax treatment:

  • Feet are dipped in melted paraffin wax to deeply moisturize the skin.
  • Hot towels may wrap the feet to allow the wax to penetrate
  • The wax is removed and leaves feet incredibly soft and supple.


The finishing touch is painting the nails:

  • Toenails are meticulously polished in your choice of color.
  • Gel polish or acrylics may be applied for more extended wear.
  • Metallic, glitter, or French tips can be added.
  • Nail art like flowers or decals may be incorporated.

End of Pedicure

To complete the pedicure:

  • Toenails are meticulously polished in your choice of color.
  • The feet are massaged with lotion to ensure they are soft, smooth, and hydrated.
  • Instructions are provided on caring for the pedicure at home.

And relax! The pedicure is complete, and you can now show off beautiful feet!

Types of Pedicures

Not all pedicures are the same. Treatment duration, services, and cost can vary based on the type of pedicure you select. Being familiar with the options will help you choose the right fit:

Basic Pedicure

A simple basic pedicure includes:

  • Foot soak
  • Removing dead skin and calluses
  • Toenail trimming
  • Foot lotion application
  • Regular nail polish

It provides an express beautifying treatment for feet and costs less than deluxe versions. Takes 30 to 45 minutes.

Signature Pedicure

This popular mid-range treatment includes all the basics plus:

  • Exfoliating scrub
  • Extended foot massage
  • Specialty pedicure products
  • Hand and arm massage

Takes 45 to 60 minutes and leaves you completely relaxed and refreshed.

Deluxe Spa Pedicure

The ultimate indulgent pedicure includes:

  • All the regular steps
  • Paraffin wax treatment
  • Extra massage time with hot stones
  • Aromatherapy soak
  • Gel or acrylic nails
  • Special callus removers

Depending on the addons selected, it takes 60 to 90 minutes. Provides the whole luxury spa experience.

Gel Polish Pedicure

Includes gel or shellac polish on the toes:

  • More prep work is required
  • Nails are cured under UV or LED lights
  • Polish lasts 2 to 3 weeks
  • Costs slightly more than regular polish

Takes 60 to 75 minutes but extends the life of your pedicure.

Paraffin Wax Pedicure

Paraffin wax is applied for super-hydrated skin:

  • Feet are dipped in warm wax
  • Wrapped in plastic and towels to allow penetration
  • Locks in moisture smoothes calluses, softens skin
  • It is incredibly soothing for arthritis or joint pain

The wax treatment adds 15 to 30 minutes to the pedicure duration.

French Tip Pedicure

White nail tips are applied for a classic polished look:

  • Toenails are painted with white tips
  • Clear polish coats the nail base
  • Extra careful painting is required
  • Easy way to add flair without bold colors

Adding the detailed tips takes up to 15 additional minutes.

Pedicure Benefits

While pedicures take time and effort, they deliver many benefits that make them a vital self-care ritual for foot health and appearance. Here are some of the top reasons to treat yourself to regular pedicures:

Smooth, Attractive Feet

  • Removes thick, unsightly calluses and dry skin
  • Keeps toenails trim, clean, and evenly shaped
  • Applies flawless regular or gel polish
  • Leaves you with sandal-worthy feet!

Soft, Hydrated Skin

  • Soaking and scrubbing remove layers of dead skin
  • Paraffin wax and moisturizing creams deeply condition
  • Gentle exfoliation reveals fresh new skin
  • Preventing cracks and roughness in the feet

Improved Circulation

  • Foot baths stimulate blood flow
  • Massage techniques enhance blood flow
  • Reduces muscle soreness and swelling
  • Warms up cold feet

Reduced Stress

  • Pedicure chairs specially designed for relaxation
  • Foot massages alleviate tension
  • Peaceful ambiance lowers stress levels
  • Provides "me time" away from daily stresses

Healthier Feet

  • Catching nail issues early prevents infections
  • Identifying problems like corn, ingrown nails, etc.
  • Keeping feet flexible through massage
  • Regular exfoliation prevents fungus/odor-causing buildup

Convenience factor

  • Hard to properly trim your own toenails
  • Difficult to remove calluses on one's own feet
  • Techs have the right tools and products to do it quickly
  • Clean and sanitize all instruments

A professional pedicure delivers these many benefits you can't obtain at home. Making the time investment pays off both for your health and beauty.

How Long Do Pedicure Results Last?

Of course, the fresh pedicure look doesn't last forever. But taking good care of your feet will help you extend that pristine polish and silky soft skin between treatments.

On average, a professional pedicure will last:

  • Toenail polish: 2 to 3 weeks for regular polish, up to 4 weeks for gel
  • Smooth, soft skin: 3 to 4 weeks
  • Exfoliation results: Depends on how quickly dead skin builds up again

Exfoliation results: Depends on how quickly dead skin builds up again Results also depend heavily on your at-home pedicure care between salon visits.

Here are tips for making your pedicure last longer:

  • Use cuticle oil daily to moisturize nails
  • Apply thick moisturizing cream to feet every night
  • Gently scrub feet 2-3 times per week with a pumice stone or exfoliating scrub to maintain softness
  • Avoid picking at nails or peeling polish to prevent chipping
  • Reapply polish when it begins showing wear or growth
  • Only clip nails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails
  • Wear shower shoes in public showers/locker rooms

Getting a pedicure every 3 to 5 weeks will keep your feet looking great year-round. Schedule your next appointment once the polish begins chipping or looks imperfect.

At-Home Pedicure Tips

Stretching time between pedicures isn't just about preserving the pristine look - costs quickly add up for regular salon treatments. You can maintain your feet nicely at home with professional pedicures.

Here are some do-it-yourself pedicure tips:

  • Soak feet - Soak feet in warm water with Epsom salts or essential oils to soften skin and nails once weekly. Scrub with a pumice stone while soaking to slough off dead skin.
  • Use specialized tools - Invest in tools like a high-quality nail clipper, cuticle pusher and trimmer, foot file, and callus remover.
  • DIY foot scrub - Mix coarse salt or sugar with olive oil and essential oils like peppermint or eucalyptus for an invigorating homemade scrub.
  • Moisturize - Apply thick foot cream like the ones used at nail salons and put on cotton socks overnight to deeply hydrate.
  • Trim nails properly - Trim nails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails. Never round off the edges.
  • Apply lotion daily - Keep feet soft in between pedicures by moisturizing daily. Focus on calloused heels and balls of feet.
  • Exfoliate regularly - Use your foot file or pumice stone 2-3 times per week to prevent buildup of dead skin.
  • Use cuticle oil - Keep cuticles healthy and encourage nail growth with vitamin E oil around the nails.
  • Paint your nails - Painting at home can tide you over for special occasions when a salon pedicure isn't possible.

While DIY maintenance helps, remember that pedicure experts have specialized tools and techniques that give superior results. Combine professional treatments with at-home care for picture-perfect feet.

Professional Pedicure Tips

Now that you know the basics of pedicure timing and costs, check out these pro tips for making the most of your salon foot pampering sessions:

  • Book in advance - Schedule your pedicure to ensure you get the exact service and time you want. Last-minute walk-ins mean taking what's available.
  • Avoid overgrown nails - Overgrown toenails take longer to trim and shape. Book pedicures frequently enough to avoid significant nail growth.
  • Bring your nail polish - Most salons charge $5 to $10. Bring your own favorite shade to save money.
  • Exfoliate before arrival - Use a foot scrub the day before your pedicure to allow fresh skin to be revealed.
  • Clip nails short - Trim nails before your appointment to keep technicians from having to cut off excess length.
  • Wear open shoes - Bring flip-flops home after a pedicure to avoid smudging wet polish.
  • Ask about addons - See what premium services like paraffin wax or gel polish are available and how much extra time they'll add.
  • Specify a time limit - If you're in a rush, inform the technician upfront so they can tailor the treatment efficiently.
  • Be thorough on prep - Properly wash and dry feet, remove old polish, trim nails - don't make the tech do extra pre-work.
  • Tip for excellent service - Technicians appreciate 15-20% tips. Regular, generous tippers often get VIP treatment.

Being an informed and prepared customer will ensure your pedicure is relaxing, on schedule, and exceeds your expectations.

Avoiding Mishaps At Your Pedicure

While pedicures are generally safe when performed by reputable professionals using proper sanitization practices, some risks exist. Avoid these common pedicure problems:

  • Infections - Unclean foot tubs and unsterilized tools can spread infections. Look for vigorous cleaning protocols.
  • Nail or skin damage - Improper filing techniques can thin nails or remove too much skin. Speak up if you feel discomfort.
  • Allergic reactions - Acrylics, glues, and polishes can cause rashes or reactions in those sensitive to chemicals. Test any new products first.
  • Cuts and abrasions - Cuticle cutters, razors, and foot files can cause nicks, bleeding, and irritation if used too aggressively.
  • Ingrown toenails - Nails clipped too short or rounded off can lead to painful ingrown nails. Request straight across cuts.

Choose an upscale salon with stringent sanitation standards and experienced professional technicians to avoid these issues. Never get a pedicure if you have any injuries, infections, or open wounds on your feet.

Pedicure Tips for Health Conditions

Those with particular foot or skin conditions should take some special precautions and considerations with pedicures:

  • Diabetes - Ensure technicians check for any wounds to avoid infection risk. It may need physician approval first.
  • Eczema or psoriasis - Alert staff to be very gentle during exfoliation. Soaks and creams may further hydrate flaky skin.
  • Ingrown nails - Ask to avoid excessive cutting along nail edges

Specialty Pedicure Types

Beyond the standard pedicure offerings, many salons offer trendy specialty pedicures to give an extra luxurious experience:

Detox Pedicure

The detox pedicure cleanses and purifies tired feet. It includes:

  • Sea salt or detoxifying clay foot soak
  • Exfoliating mud scrub to draw out impurities
  • Stimulating essential oils like eucalyptus and peppermint
  • Optional detoxifying seaweed mask or algae masque
  • The extra massage focuses on lymph drainage

Chocolate Pedicure

This antioxidant-rich pedicure uses the benefits of cocoa. Services include:

  • Chocolate-infused foot soak
  • Chocolate body scrub exfoliation
  • Whipped cocoa shea butter foot mask
  • Chocolate pedicure oil foot massage
  • Chocolate moisturizing paraffin treatment

Left with soft, delectable-smelling skin!

Milk and Honey Pedicure

A milk and honey pedicure offers deep nourishment for dry, tired feet. It features:

  • Milk bath foot soak with moisturizing oils
  • Exfoliating honey scrub
  • A honey heel glaze treatment
  • Moisturizing milk and honey foot masque
  • Massage with milk and honey body cream

Leaves even the driest skin soft and supple.

Wine Pedicure

The wine pedicure utilizes the antioxidant benefits of grapes. It includes:

  • Relaxing red wine foot bath
  • Invigorating grape seed scrub exfoliation
  • Grape seed and aloe rejuvenating foot masque
  • Soothing massage with grape seed oil

Reduces swelling and smooths rough skin.

CBD Pedicure

CBD pedicures harness the calming benefits of cannabidiol. They incorporate:

  • CBD-infused foot soak
  • CBD body scrub exfoliation
  • CBD foot masque
  • CBD oil-enhanced foot and calf massage

Promotes relaxation and reduces inflammation naturally.

Pedicure Do's and Don'ts

Follow these do's and don'ts before, during, and after your pedicure for the best results:


  • Exfoliate and moisturize feet the day before
  • Trim and file nails before arriving at the salon
  • Bring open-toed shoes to wear afterward
  • Tell the technician immediately if you feel any discomfort
  • Ask for hot stones or paraffin wax if you want extra pampering


  • Shave your legs right before a pedicure to avoid cuts and nicks
  • Get a pedicure if you have any injuries, bleeding, or infections on your feet
  • Soak fresh nail polish - it can ruin the perfect pedicure!
  • Pick at your cuticles or peel off the polish - it causes chips and peeling
  • Get gel polish removed at home - go back to the salon for safe removal

Following these simple guidelines will leave you relaxing and enjoying the pedicure experience.

How Often Should You Get Pedicures?

Consistency is vital when it comes to pedicure schedules. Getting them frequently enough ensures your feet always look and feel their best.

Here are some tips on optimal pedicure frequency:

  • Every 3-4 weeks for essential maintenance
  • Every 2-3 weeks if you have fast-growing nails
  • Every 2 weeks before sandal season to keep feet flawless
  • As needed if nails are chipped or the polish looks dull

Some people can stretch professional pedicures to every 5-6 weeks with diligent at-home care between salon visits. Use visual cues like visible regrowth and chipped polish to gauge when you're due.

Getting pedicures consistently is better than letting feet go too long between treatments. Maintenance visits are quicker and easier than major restorative work on neglected feet. Aim to treat yourself to rejuvenating pedicures as often as your budget allows. It's one of the most rewarding investments in self-care.

Pedicure Do's and Don'ts

Follow these do's and don'ts before, during, and after your pedicure for the best results:


  • Exfoliate and moisturize feet the day before
  • Trim and file nails before arriving at the salon
  • Bring open-toed shoes to wear afterward
  • Tell the technician immediately if you feel any discomfort
  • Ask for hot stones or paraffin wax if you want extra pampering


  • Shave your legs right before a pedicure to avoid cuts
  • Get a pedicure if you have any injuries or infections on your feet
  • Soak fresh nail polish - it can ruin the perfect pedicure!
  • Pick at your cuticles or peel off the polish - it causes chips
  • Get gel polish removed at home - go back to the salon

Following these simple guidelines will leave you relaxing and enjoying the pedicure experience.

Pedicure Prep Tips

Some pre-pedicure preparation is required for the best experience:

Remove Old Nail Polish

It has a clean nail slate, so the new polish adheres and lasts well. Salon removal incurs a fee.

Trim Nails

Clip and file overgrown nails short before arriving to save time and avoid breakage during clipping.

Wash Feet

Clean feet thoroughly and dry well, especially between the toes. Nobody wants stinky feet!


The day before, apply thick foot cream and wear socks overnight to deeply hydrate.


Gently scrub heels and soles to buff away dead skin for smooth results.

Avoid Shaving Legs

Razor nicks can bleed and stain polish. Shave the morning before or after your pedicure instead.

Bring Open Shoes

Carry flip-flops or sandals to wear home to avoid smudging wet polish.

Following this pre-pedicure routine avoids excess work for technicians so they can focus on pampering your feet efficiently.

Summary of Pedicure Timing

Standard pedicure duration is:

  • Basic pedicure: 30 to 45 minutes
  • Signature pedicure: 45 to 60 minutes
  • Deluxe luxury pedicure: 60 to 90 minutes
  • Gel or acrylic polish pedicure: 60 to 75 minutes
  • Paraffin wax treatment pedicure: 60 to 90 minutes

The exact timing depends on specific services, extras added, nail condition, and technician pace. Allowing ample time ensures you don't feel rushed.

Regular pedicures provide tremendous benefits for foot health and beauty. Understanding the pedicure process, types of treatments, timing, and costs allows you to choose the suitable options for your needs.

Treat yourself to rejuvenating pedicures, and you'll have happy, beautiful feet ready to show off!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a basic pedicure take?

A basic pedicure that includes trimming, filing nails, removing dead skin, and painting nails takes 30 to 45 minutes on average.

How long does it take to get gel nails on your toes?

Application of gel or shellac polish adds 15 to 20 minutes to a standard pedicure. Total time for a gel pedicure is 60 to 75 minutes.

Should I arrive early for my first pedicure?

Yes, arriving 10 to 15 minutes early allows time to pick your polish color, fill out any paperwork, and ensure you start promptly at your scheduled appointment time.

Does a pedicure include foot and leg massage?

Yes, most pedicures include a 5 to 10-minute foot and lower leg massage. Request extended massage time if desired.

How long will my pedicure last?

On average, pedicures last 2 to 3 weeks for regular polish and 3 to 4 weeks for gel polish before needing to be redone. Proper at-home care can extend results.

Can I bring my own polish to save money?

Most salons allow you to bring your own nail polish and apply it for a small fee, typically $5 to $10 less than using their polish.

How soon after a pedicure can I shower or swim?

Wait at least one hour after your pedicure to shower or immerse your feet in water to allow the nail polish to fully dry and seal.

What if I'm ticklish - will it take longer?

Let your technician know you're ticklish so they can adjust as needed. It may only add a few extra minutes.

How early should I book my pedicure appointment?

Book your pedicure 2 to 3 weeks in advance if you want a specific time and technician. Last-minute bookings often have limited availability.

How can I save time at my appointment?

Removing old polish, trimming nails, and exfoliating feet before arriving saves prep time. Avoiding gel polish also shortens the service duration.



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