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Can You Bring Your Own Nail Polish to a Salon? [Is It Rude?]

If you will soon be visiting the salon, you may be wondering whether you can take your own nail polish. Besides, we all have our favorite colors and brands. But can you do this? Here is what you need to know.

So, can you bring your own nail polish to a salon? It is possible to take your own nail polish to a salon, and most technicians would be happy to provide a manicure with such products. Just consider that it is the more costly way of getting a manicure and it is best to arrange with a salon in advance of the appointment.

And it doesn’t have to stop at just nail polish either.

There is no reason why you cannot take your own files, buffs and orangewood sticks either.

In fact, it may even be preferable for hygiene purposes, or if you have brittle and weak nails that you want to protect.

Nevertheless, let us now take a closer look at taking items to the salon, particularly nail polish.

We’ll be covering the pros and cons of doing it too, so be sure to stick around.

Is It Rude To Bring Your Own Nail Polish To A Salon?

It is generally not considered rude to take your own nail polish to a salon for a manicure. That is if you let the salon know in advance, and perhaps explain your reasoning.

In fact, most salons should not be too concerned.

They will be saving their own product after all.

For them, its the cost-effective way of providing a manicure.

And chances are, they have seen this time and time again.

Its actually quite common among nail technicians for their clients to bring their own polish.

If you really are worried about it coming across as rude, then calling ahead of your appointment and telling them should settle any nerves.

That way they will be prepared and will be able to find products that work with what you may be bringing.

What Should You Bring To A Nail Salon?

For the most part, you do not need to take anything to a nail salon, other than your credit card, or a form of payment!

Although there are certain items you may want to take for hygiene purposes or to protect your nails. You know what may work best, after all.

So the following items can be taken:

  • Nail files,
  • Buffers,
  • Orangewood sticks,
  • Cuticle pusher,
  • Cuticle nipper

Of course, if you do decide to take such products to the salon, be sure to sterilize them first!

You can do this quite easily, all you need to do is use an antibacterial solution.

What Type Of Nail Polish Do Nail Salons Use?

Nail salons use a range of different nail polishes depending on the manicure, and the salon in question. That being said, standard polish, shellac, and gel are the main types of polish used.

Each will require different application techniques and will result in a different finish and wear time.

For instance, regular nail polish is applied by hand but is likely to chip after time, whereas gel polish requires a UV lamp to cure and lasts for up to two weeks.

Regarding the quality of the product, well that depends on the salon.

The better, more reputable salons will use higher-quality polishes from the better brands.

Other, cheaper and lower-end salons may not be using such quality products.

Generally, the more you pay for your manicure, the more likely the salon will be using better quality products.

This is not always the case as you have to factor in the salons location, (city salons will typically charge more than a town salon for instance) but better technicians do tend to work with better product.

Sometimes the nail products could be from wholesale suppliers, at other times it could be off-the-shelf supplies like Sally Hansen.

If you are particularly concerned about the nail polish a salon uses, if you have particular allergies, are vegan, or have any other concerns, be sure to call the salon ahead.

Benefits Of Taking Your Own Nail Polish To The Salon

If you are still on the fence about taking your own polish to a salon, consider the following benefits of doing so:

Get The Quality You Want

If you are looking for a longer lasting manicure, then you are going to need to work with higher quality products.

Perhaps you do not have the skill, knowledge or experience to apply it.

Perhaps the salon you frequent does not have the type or quality of product that you are looking for?

A happy medium is to purchase more expensive products and then get the expertise of a professional nail technician to apply them.

Get The Color You Want

Secondly, you will likely have a specific color in mind.

Unfortunately, most salons will have a limited range.

They may be out of stock of certain colors, or they may even try to influence you to give you a mani in a color you simply do not want.

I’ve been there, and I’ve been influenced to change my mind and color under pressure.

Not nice, and you walk away with a manicure in a color not of your own choosing.

Its not what you want. And you shouldn’t be paying for it.

So instead, by taking your own nail polish you can get exactly the color you want.

Besides, this is why you are getting a manicure in the first place, right.

You may even have an occasion coming up that requires them to look a certain way, or be a particular color.

Save Time, Prevent Frustration

Choosing a nail color in the salon can actually be quite a pressurized environment.

Especially if there are a long queue of people behind you waiting for their own manicure.

Sometimes we pick a color out of rushing.

Truth is, it can take some time to look through the options of nail polish.

Sometimes we want to take a closer look and compare.

And while we are paying for the service, it may be that we do not always have the time to do so. Or worse still, the nail technician does not have it either and puts the pressure on.

So, identifying the polish color you want ahead of time can ensure you get the color you want, and avoid any frustration.

Avoid Potential Allergens

Not everyone responds as well to all nail polish products and brands.

Some can be highly allergenic.

So, if you are aware if a particular compound or chemical in a specific brand causes you issues, then of course you will want to avoid it.

Unfortunately, the salon may be using products that contain said compound or chemical.

And there usually is not an easy way to ask the technician to check the ingredient list, or even test their knowledge on products without a full ingredient list on the bottle.

It can actually be quite a time extensive process to ask, especially if they have to research into it.

So, if you are particularly worried or aware of issues, its probably best to find out a polish that works for you, and take that.

To be sure.

Otherwise you may have an expensive, painful manicure to contend with!

Drawbacks Of Taking Your Own Nail Polish To The Salon

There are some downsides to taking your own polish, though.

Here they are:

Decreases Value

One of the reasons you’ll likely want to visit the salon is because you do not have the products at home to use.

So, you would need to buy them.

The truth is, if you take your own products to the salon, you’ll likely be increasing the cost of the manicure.

Most salons will not lower the price just because they used your products.

So, you’ll be effectively paying twice.

If you can afford it and this does not bother you, then it is nothing to be concerned with.

But, if your on a tight budget or you are using a particularly expensive nail polish, consider the overall price of the manicure.

Issues With Product

Certain nail polishes need to be kept at certain temperatures and at certain conditions to retain their quality and to work as intended.

Taking them with you in the car, on a hot summers day, may actually cause the product to break down or cease working properly.

So, you need to be particularly careful how you look after, and preserve your products.

If you take nail polish or product that has been damaged in transit, or when generally being kept, your manicure is not going to last or fair well.

Regardless of how good the technician is or how well they apply it.

Can Appear Rude

The important word here is can.

It shouldn’t be rude to take your own polish for the most part. But there is certainly a way to go about it.

You need to be careful in how and when you present the polish you would like to be used.

You do not want to be belittling or come across as insensitive, in any way.

Calling ahead or letting the nail technician know early is a much better way to go.


It is certainly possible to take your own nail polish to the salon, along with other tools you may want the technician to use, such as files and/or buffers for instance.

Its actually quite common, and many nail technicians will be aware of or have already encountered a client with such requirements.

That being said, there are certainly pros and cons to doing so.

You’ll want to consider the cost and the preservation of the product too.

Its also imperative that you are clear and courteous to the salon; calling ahead of time is generally advised.

Let them know and make them aware; besides they may need to check whether their own products will work in unison with your polish (such as a base/top coat for instance).

But, so long as you are aware of all that is involved. Do consider it.

It is something that can ensure you get the highest quality manicure, in exactly the color you desire.