We all know the scenario and have been there before. You’re sitting in a restaurant, have just finished a satisfying meal, and your plates are being cleared. You feel relaxed having just eaten a delicious dinner. The waitress offers you coffee, and then describes a tempting créme brulee and a triple layer chocolate fudge cake. Although you think you can’t eat another bite, the next thing you know you are sharing two desserts with your friend. The waitress has just made an effortless sale by simply offering and describing menu items to her customers.

Add-on services are the dessert of the nail industry: services that most customers want but may not realize it, and an add-on service means quick, easy money to salon owners and nail technicians. Nail art, waxing, paraffin, and hot oil treatments — to name a few—require little investment, but offer steady profits if marketed properly.

Get Her While She’s Down [in Her Chair]

Although most nail technicians don’t like to think of themselves as salespeople because they don’t want to pressure clients, nail salons have an advantage in that their customers are already at their station. It’s a perfect opportunity to mention the hot oil treatment or paraffin dip while holding your client’s hand or mention that you do nail art or have the latest toe rings for sale while giving her a pedicure.

“At first, most of my clients don’t think nail art is for them. So I break them in gently and offer a few rhinestones or a decal and this usually gets them hooked,” says Jai Harvey-Yin of Jai’s Beauty Therapy in Melbourne, Australia. “Either way, I’m making a few extra dollars per client with minimal time outlay.”

Use the time when you are working on her nails to make your observations and then while you’re buffing or polishing, ask if she’d like an arm wax or some nail charms. Or while giving her a pedicure, offer to wax the tops of her toes and feet, or remove the hair on her legs.

In today’s competitive market, being at the top of your game is key. By offering a plethora of add-on services, you won’t even realize how fast you’re turning a profit since most services are done within minutes.


$1 to $5 per nail

Suggest airbrush designs to spruce up your clients’ nails. You can complete a simple design in as little as five minutes,

Alpha-Hydroxy Age Defying Treatment


Appeal to clients with age spots or those seeking younger-looking skin with products that contain AHAs. Add this to manicures or pedicures — it only takes a few minutes.

Anti-Aging Hand Mask


Apply a mask to hands during manicure service, leave on while working on nails, then wash off at the end of service Leave on for five to ten minutes.

Aromatherapy Oils

$5 to $15

Add essential oils such as lavender and jasmine to manicures or pedicures. It only takes three minutes!



This can add about 15 minutes to your fill time, but no polish is necessary — all you have to do is apply top coat

Body Jewelry

$2 to $10

In just a few minutes, you can apply a rhinestone or gem designs to clients back, shoulders, or ankles for that big night out on the town

Callus Treatment


In under 30 minutes, you can give your pedicure clients a callus treatment Be sure to check with your state board for guidelines

Dry Skin Sloughing Treatment


Use exfoliating products to treat not only hands and feet, but arms and legs, too. It takes five minutes.

Ear Piercing


With the average service time being 10 minutes ear piercing can be one of your most profitable add-on services. Be sure to check with your state board for rules and regulations.

French Manicure

$3 to $5

In five minutes, you can make a few extra dollars by doing a French manicure on her fingernails or toenails.

Gift Wrap

$3 to $5

Offer to wrap those retail items that clients plan on giving as gifts, especially during the holiday season.

Hot Oil Manicure


Work hot oils into the hands and arms for about (0 minutes after the client’s manicure service.

Jewelry Box Nails

$5 per nail

Add rhinestones and other nail Jewelry to an airbrush design to create Jewelry Box Nails. It only takes 15 minutes.


$5 to $20

Add a spa lunch menu for clients who come in during their lunch hour;

Makeup Application

$20 to $50

Makeup can be an easy sell for brides and bridal parties and can take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes


$5 to $20

For an additional five to 10 minutes during a manicure or pedicure, offer to massage her hands and forearms or feet and legs.


$10 to $100

Mehndi, the art of applying henna to the human body as decoration, can last for weeks without rubbing or washing off. It takes up to 30 minutes for simple designs or up to an hour for ornate ones

Nail Art

$1 to $30

Dress up clients fingernails and toenails with small designs or detailed creations Depending on your level of expertise, it should take between one and 30 minutes

Nail Charms & Jewelry

$5 to $150

Suggest ornaments for the nails such as charms and jewelery. You can charge up to $150 for solid gold designs. It only takes Ave minutes to place on the nail once polish has dried.

Paraffin Wax Treatment

$8 to $12

Most clients can’t resist the smooth and soft results of a paraffin treatment Add it to manicures and pedicures — it takes five to 10 minutes.

Polish Change

$8 to $11

For clients who- only get a manicure, suggest a toe polish change while their nails dry. It takes fee minutes.

Polish Dry Pamper

$5 to $ 10

While clients wait for their polish to dry have them relax in their seat with a pillow behind their back. Turn on relaxing music and perform a neck and shoulder massage You can charge $1 per minute for five to 10 minutes.

Professional Toenail Trim & Paint

$ 12 to $ 15

During the summer months, offer this service to clients for in-between pedicure appointments. In 15 minutes, you can sanitize, remove polish, trim and file toe nails, then apply polish


$30 to $60

While reflexology technically is not a massage technique, it uses pressure, stretch, and movement at specific points on the hands and feet to affect corresponding parts of the body One-hour sessions go for $60.


$1 to $5

Try adding rhinestones individually or get creative and use them to make designs. It only takes from one to five minutes.

Salt Glow Skin Polishing


There are myriad of exfoliating products that use salt and essential oils. Use them for add-on services to manicures and pedicures It takes about 10 minutes

Skin Bleaching Serum Treatment for Age Spots


In as little as 10 minutes, you can apply a professional skin-lightening product to treat sun or age spots.


$5 to $10 per session

If you don’t already offer tanning, start small by adding, one or two units. Tanning sessions last, anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.

Temporary Tattoos

$5 to $ 10

Temporary tattoos have the authenticity of a real tattoo. They are transferred to the skin with alcohol and then hand-painted. Individual ones can take up to 10 minutes to apply.

Toe Rings

$5 to $35

Finish off a pedicure by offering her a toe ring to complement her freshly painted toes it takes less than a minute!


$10 to $55

A leg wax from the knee down takes about five minutes to do and salons are charging upwards of $35.

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