TIMING on full sets and rebalances


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Anna from Toronto

Well-Known Member
Jan 11, 2003
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Toronto, Canada
I'm curious how long is "should" take ma to do a good quality full set and rebalance....I know everyone is different...but I look for something to aim for.
I have been doing nails for about 8 years and I'm a perfectionist...and I use gel.
It takes me 1:30 for a full set of sculpts (active, normal lenght)
1:15 for clear gel fill (every 3-4 weeks)
1:30 for permanent french rebalance (every 3-4 weeks).

It 's funny how it takes me the same amount of time to do a full set and rebalance (french). It's because it takes me about 30-35 minuts for the prep when I do rebalance and only 10 min for the full set.

What is your average??????????
I was just thinking about this. It takes me 1 1/2 hr for full set (acrylic/gel/fiber) and 1 hr for fill. I take about 30 min prep time. I think that I am wasting some time somewhere, but where is the question? I was also wondering about filing when someone has either not been in for a while or has a break, I think I'm exhausting myself, filing myself silly!! And I still don't feel that smooooothness that I want. Any hints? :D

I used to do something cool!! :fro: If my clients came back every 2 weeks for their re-balance (fill), then the R/B would be £20.00 - For every week extra that they left it (ie they came back after 3 weeks - not 2), I would charge an extra £5.00 - I also told them this: Out come - they would all come for a 2 week R/B - that meant less work for me and their nails were generally perfect - no breakages etc! 8) It's when they leave it and leave it that problems start to happen! Why should I charge the same price for a 3 week R/B when I have a hell-of-a-lot more work to do?? :?: :freak:
I am new on this list...doing acrylics(CND) and Gel...To tell you the truth, I don't know what gel. The distributor in South Africa do not want to tell me the name, just call it their own name. I am however satified with it. It is not a soak off gel and I use three layers. Here in Namibia they are actually very fond of the colored gel, but because I don't like the idea (scared of greenies) to much, the demand for it on toe nails is groing.
So if anybody can help me on this topic I would be very glad.
Thanking you
AdriNails said:
I don't like the idea (scared of greenies) to much, the demand for it on toe nails is groing. So if anybody can help me on this topic I would be very glad.Thanking youAdri

Hi Adri - am not really sure what help your are asking for?? Is it info on coloured Gels or opinions on what we think of them over here?? :?
Hiya Anna :D

90% of my clients are french or glitter rebalances. They take me generally 1.5 hrs with art. Probably 1hr 15 for the rebalance. I spend up to 45 minutes on prep, but I aim for 30 minutes. I spend a long time applying the acrylic, the quickest part for me is finishing.

Full sets, natural or french I can have finished in an hour. I love full sets. Don't get enough of them though!!!

So... the answer is 1 hr 15 rebalance, 1 hr full set 8)
To be honest with you guys it doesn't really matter to me how long it has been since their last visit. I still remove the white almost all the way to the natural nail and reduce the clear gel.
I charge the same price ($40 CAD)because it takes me the same time for 3 or 4 weeks rebalance.
I just can't see my clients coming every 2 weeks....

What really slows me down is longer nails (to me more then 30% extention ;))or clients that have to go to the bathroom 50 times LOL (too much coffee ;) )...or chatting (them, not me!) on the cell phone...anyway.....to the point...

Actually I have those 2 or 3 clients that insist on the white gel being redone every just over 2 weeks...I swear they see things because at 2 weeks the white is not grown out....oh well.....it almost feels like there is even more work to do then.
I've tried filling in the clear only, but by then the nails have to be shortened a bit, so the free edge becomes too thick...when I try to thin it down, I file through the white sometimes especially in the corners (the "ends" of the smile :rolleyes: :rolleyes: ).....................

But what IS YOUR timing on full set s and rebalancing...????
I know isn't it strange...???
Full set is quicker then rebalance?
I can do full set in 1:15 or quicker, but rebalance- good 1:30 min!

So why do we charge less for rebalances..what's wrong with us LOL LOL???

PS. I guess I'm 15 minutes behind you ;)
How long have you been doing nails?
Hi Anna

I have been doing nails since 1999. I used to take 2 hours for a full set or rebalance but have really got my time down in the last year. I guess someone else booking 8 french infills on the hour, every hour really helps!!! :D

My main problem is talking too much!!!! I can't help looking at people when I talk to them and this really messes up my times :)
I have been an active Nail Tech since late 1984. I had my Full Sets at 1 hour and my rebalances/fills at 40-45 minutes. That was with chit chat going on. ;) Of course I was also an Educator and had really trimmed my time with all my shop work & my class/show experience. In May 1997 I retired from Educating & my shop due to a problem pregnancy that put me at bedrest. During my time off, I decided to be a stay at home Mom and then had my second child. I just returned back to Salon last August. All during the time off, I still did mine & my families nails. Upon returning to a schedual, I found I had really slowed down. New set French was at 1:30 and rebalance
was 1:15. Plain fill was 45-55 minutes. I guess I got "too" relaxed with not being on a schedual for my family. I am now back to 45-55 fills & 1:15 New Set. Still trying to trim that time back to 1Hr. What is also slowing me down is that I have covered for two other Techs that went on Maturnity leave and when you are doing someone elses work for fills & it's your first appointment with them, it seems to take longer. Plus I don't want to step on either of these Tech's toes by doing a complete redo (which if customer was from somewhere else & wanting to stay with me, I wouldn't mind) and hurting their feelings when they return, that I thought their work was not adequate.
I can usually do a full set in a little over an hr, but it takes 1.5 to do a fill. Why? :?: I use my little cone bit and clean up the underside of the nail. I will never have to worry about free edge curling because I clean that sucker out! LOL Does anyone else do this? :huh:
The reason that you are all taking a bit more time on the rebalance is because you are all doing it RIGHT :!: :!:

By this I mean ... you are all being very observant and working to prevent future problems rather than just to correct lots of problems or only to 'fill in' a space... this is how it should be. :thumbsup:

Sometimes I think we forget how much we ask these nails to do. These are a permanent fixture that must be maintained clean and problem free.

A full set is very straight forward, whilst a rebalance is totally different. 1hr 15 to 1hr 30 is a perfectly acceptable industry timing. Put the price of your FS up a bit if you think you are loosing out. Bravo :D
My goodness Geeg I feel so much better now..still trying to improve but I don't feel like there is something 'wrong' with me LOL. Yes, my backfills are made to last and look good for 3-4 weeks sometimes 5 if clients nails don't grow too fast.

Hey take a look at my pictures:

Anna, your nails look really lovely. It sure makes a difference when a nail artist employs 'artistry'!! :D Sadly not all do and not all can but those who CAN and DO really shine : 8)

Remember that artistry is never accomplished under pressure!! I don't know why everyone always wants to be quicker all the time, as if there was some race involved ... do we not get paid good money for the time we spend? If not, our charges are not correct. If we do great work, do we not get repaid with client loyalty? Yes.

That's what it is all about. Doing the best you can do and never compromising on the quality of your work. again I say Bravo. :goal:
Okay guys, there's you quabbling over doing a fs in 1.15 and rebalance/fill in 1.00..........oh my god, do you want to feel real good? Do you really????

I'm into my 3rd year of nails, L&P. I work from home and moved last year so am having to rebuild my clientelle.

It takes me....................wait for it.........................

2 1/2 hrs for a full p&w set and 2 hrs for a rebalance :rolleyes:

How pee..ed off am I. Yes, I would say that I'm a bit of a perfectionist but then listening and seeing what you ladies can turn your hands to, so are you!

I do like the nails my clients walk out with and certainly do not want to compromise this, however, I don't think that that needs to happen.

Please, please, please (believe me I'm pleading) help me lose 1/2 an hour on both of these services. It would make soooooooo much difference. I also think it would make me appear more competent, although my clients don't seem to mind the time they spend with me (lovely lady that I am!)

Love ya very much if you can help me, Dellie
Peppercorn Nails said:
Please, please, please (believe me I'm pleading) help me lose 1/2 an hour on both of these services. It would make soooooooo much difference.

Look at my post underTopic - Set Time or Performance - A Systematic approach.

When you work form home (how I started out too) you often don't book your clients back to back so its easy to take all the time you have got to do your work 'cause you have no sense of URGENCY.

There is nothing like knowing you only have one and a half hours before the next client arrives ... you HAVE to get done. Start booking clients closer together and you'll speed up. :D
Dellie, one thing you have to remember is QUALITY. You may be able to shave time off your sets and fills, but are you going to sacrifice quality to do it? Personally, I would rather sit in a techs chair for two hrs. (pee break included LOL) to get a truly fantastic set of nails than be in and out in an hr. with a crappy set of nails. My average is 1:00 to 1:15 for a set or fill, but there are those special cases (nail biters...hard to fit nails..etc) that take me longer. I try to allow myself some space during the day to "catch up" if I get behind.
your nails look lovely - that extra time is sure worth it! :D
:oops: i am new to this as i keep writing but a full set tips or sculps takes me 1hr30min an infill 1hr15min and a rebalance 1hr30min.i have no problems with this , even though it's my salon.i know that my clients leave with the best nails that i can produce and that makes the client very happy and totaly in love with their nails and me even happier from seeing my work and their reaction.maybe i could do with droping off a little bit more time but then hey perfection isn't instant.i am not looking at making tones of money,by that i mean i want to make a nice living but the more you try to fit in i think the shoddier the work becomes because all you want to do is hurry to be in time for the next client and what happend then......you lose people because you'r work gets sloppy.us new ones will get better with time so just keep going at it and worry about getting the perfect smile line and design,i doxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx :shock: :) :shock:
Geeg I think you've got a point when you talk about urgency. I normally book my 1st appointment for 10am; 2nd for 12.30pm; 3rd for 4.00pm and if I do an evening, my last at 7.45pm (as I'm typing this I'm actually finding it quite laughable :D )

However, before you all call me an old slacker, I drop my eldest off to school for 9am, youngest off at 9.15. This then allows me time to get prepared for my first client. I pick my youngest up at 12.15 which allows me to start my 2nd client at 12.30 (at a push). I pick my eldest up at 3.15. Then later there's dinner and then bedtime for the babes.

Ok I rambled but my point being, that unless I can reach 1hr -1 1/2hrs I will never (not at the moment) be able fit in another client in that morning/afternoon slot, and therefore there's never the urgency (does that make any sense?). At this point I'm thinking....if only I could do nails as quickly as I can type :trashed: .

I do agree with Ange in 'Bama' that quality must rule but then again I must aspire to reach that god given :cus: time

Ps Geeg have taken a look at your previous posting and will take heed.

Many thanks,
Dizzy Dellie
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