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What Is A No Chip Manicure? [Everything You’ll Want To Know]

If you’re the kind of person that just can’t keep nail polish for more than a few hours, much less a few days, two weeks with no chipping seems like a pipe dream. How, exactly, are you supposed to keep your polish from chipping? Well, there is such a thing as a no chip manicure. But what does this involve exactly? Let’s find out!

So, what is a no chip manicure? A no-chip manicure is a type of manicure that involves using two coats of gel polish, along with a base coat and a sealer, then hardening it under UV lights. Because of how it’s applied, it’s ultra-durable and very tough. This means no chipping! 

But what goes into a no chip manicure, exactly?

Let us now take a much closer look at everything you need to know about this particular manicure option.

That way, you’ll know if it’s for you!

What Does A No Chip Manicure Include?

A no chip manicure will always include the gel paint itself. Most manicures will also include nail shaping and perhaps even cuticle-pushing. This will vary from salon to salon.

The main takeaway from this should be that when you get a no chip manicure, the no chip nail polish is the main attraction. 

This isn’t really a spa treatment and probably won’t be as relaxing as a standard manicure. 

But, for those looking for a nail look that will last, even with wear and tear, this is the choice for you!

Most salons will include nail shaping as a part of your no chip manicure. 

This is because the shape of your nail will be very important to the final look. 

You’re likely not going to be getting any type of extension, so your natural nails will need to look as good as possible before the polish is even applied. 

Some salons might even offer cuticle-pushing for even better nails. 

Reminder: just say no to cuticle cutting!

Your polish is where things really begin to shine. With a no chip manicure, your salon tech will be using gel polish. 

They will begin by roughing up your nail so that the polish can stick. After a base coat, color coats will be applied. 

It will finally be topped off with a top coat to help seal things in and give it shine.

Then comes the miracle worker: UV light. 

Your salon tech will place your nails beneath a device that produces UV light for a short amount of time. 

When you pull back your hand, your nails are set and finished! No sitting around waiting for them to dry. 

They’re done and tough as steel! This manicure should last at least two weeks, if not more. 

When it’s time to take it off, you’ll probably want to head back to the salon.

How Long Does A No Chip Manicure Last?

Your no chip manicure should last at least two weeks. It’s possible for it to last up to three weeks.

So, how long is “no chip”? After all, if it’s only chip-free for the first few hours, it’s not much to write home about. 

But a no chip manicure really is something special. 

When you get one of these, you’ll normally have at least two weeks of chip-free bliss. 

If you take care of them, you can even push it to three weeks!

The secret is in the gel polish. 

It’s applied in a way that makes it extremely tough and resistant to any chipping. 

Roughing up the nail before applying means that it has a more solid hold on your natural nail, so the polish won’t just flake off so easily. 

Likewise, the top coat seals everything in place so that the top isn’t damaged from normal use. 

Drying with UV light means that there’s no chance for small imperfections to occur while the polish is drying. 

All of this combines to make a manicure that isn’t going anywhere!

Of course, you’ll need to take care of your nails. While you’re not likely to see a lot of wear and tear from normal use, you should avoid submerging your hands in very hot water for long periods of time. 

This can cause the polish to weaken and begin to chip. You should also do your best to avoid harsh chemicals, including cleaners, which might cause weakening or discoloration.

One thing in particular that you should avoid like the plague: Acetone and other nail polish removers. 

Because this is what’s used to help remove the no chip manicure when its time is up, the gel will be particularly susceptible to chipping and peeling if exposed to these chemicals. 

If you must handle acetone, make sure that you’re wearing gloves!

How Much Does A No Chip Manicure Cost?

You can expect to pay about $20-$50 for a no chip manicure, although it does vary by salon. It’s possible to buy equipment to do your own nails, but it isn’t a great choice for most people.

As with anything, this depends on the salon that you go to. More expensive ones will charge more for a no chip manicure, while less expensive ones might be more affordable. 

If money is an issue, it helps to call around and get the prices from all of your local salons. 

You might even try some private nail artists, who can sometimes be more affordable than someone working in a salon.

In general, the price of a no chip manicure will be anywhere from $20 all the way to $50. 

For a cheaper choice, you should go as simple as possible on the look. Choosing what your salon already has in stock will always be cheaper than being picky about the color. However, if it’s a special occasion, it might be worth the extra money to get exactly what you were looking for.

It is possible to buy the equipment to do your own no chip manicure. 

Everything you could need is available online and in stores, including instructions on how to actually do the manicure in the first place. 

But this is probably the most expensive option available. 

You will need to buy many different products, including your own UV light, for curing the gel once it’s applied. 

You’ll also have to learn the basics of applying and removing gel from your natural nails.

If you’re a nail artist, or someone with experience doing nails, this might not seem like a bad idea for you. 

However, if you’re a novice that just wants a manicure that won’t disappear after a week, you should probably stick to salons. 

You’ll save money, effort, and, quite possibly, your own nails.

Where To Get A No Chip Manicure

You can get a no chip manicure at many different salons. Independent nail artists can also help. It’s possible to do it yourself, but difficult, and you should probably get it done professionally.

The best place to get a no chip manicure? 

Without any doubt, it’s in a salon. When you go to a salon for a no chip manicure, you can be sure that a professional is working on your nails. 

They’ll know what they’re doing and know what to avoid. 

Salons make it easy to get in-depth manicures such as this done, with no headaches or fuss.

Finding a salon that offers this particular manicure can be done by just flipping open the phone book. 

Calling the salons in the area can give you an idea of who offers no chip manicures and who doesn’t. 

Even if one salon doesn’t offer it, they might know of another that does. Still not sure where to turn? 

You can use any search engine to look for salons that offer this service.

There are also independent nail artists who can help. 

These are often people who are trained and certified to work in a salon but prefer to work outside of one. 

They’re usually the go-to for events such as weddings. But that doesn’t mean you can’t hire one just because you want to!

If you can afford it, an independent artist can be great because you can get exactly what you want with no distractions. 

Many will offer no chip manicures.

The last option is the most difficult and least recommended: Do it yourself. 

It’s possible to do your own no chip manicure with supplies purchased online. 

But it’s a difficult, tedious process that can cause problems if not done correctly. 

Unless you’re already very comfortable doing your own nails in a variety of ways, stick to professionals here.

How Do You Take Off A No Chip Manicure?

The safest way to remove your no chip polish is to return to the salon that did the manicure. They will be able to safely remove it. That said, it is possible to remove it at home with some simple equipment, including acetone, foil, and cotton balls.

When it’s time for your polish to finally come off, you’ll find that “no chip” can also mean “stuck like super glue.” 

Getting the gel polish off of your nails without doing any damage can be difficult, to say the least. 

Any mistake, any force, and you risk damage and injury to your natural nail. So, what’s a girl to do? How do you get it off?

If you get it done at a salon, you should head back there when it’s time to take off the polish. 

They’ll be able to get it off without doing damage to your nail and without any frustration. 

This is often a service that is offered either free of charge or for a very low cost. 

For most of the people reading this, this is the choice you should be making. Go back to the salon. Let them be the ones to remove it.

That said, there are ways that you can get them off on your own. To do so, you’ll need some equipment. 

This includes ten squares of aluminum foil, ten cotton balls, and acetone nail polish remover. 

Soak the cotton balls in the polish remover, place it over your nail, and then wrap with the foil. 

Repeat for all of your nails. Let them sit like this for about fifteen minutes, then unwrap. 

Try to push off the polish if it comes off without much struggle; great! If not, repeat the soaking process for a while.

When you’re done, and the polish is gone, make sure to apply cuticle oil to your nail. 

It will probably be dry after a no chip manicure and could use a bit of TLC.

Are No Chip Manicures Bad For You?

If not done carefully, they can be. UV light can be dangerous to your skin. Peeling off gel polish can harm your nail. Having a no chip manicure tends to dry your nails out too unless you apply a hydrating product such as cuticle oil.

Here’s the bad news: if you’re not careful, a no chip manicure can be bad for you. 

It can cause everything from dry, brittle nails (not great) to actual cancer (suddenly very serious). 

You need to have these things in mind before you get your manicure because you have to be aware of something to guard against it.

The good news? If you’re careful, none of this is likely to actually occur.

If you’re responsible with your manicures, you shouldn’t have to worry about dry nails, much less cancer.

First, the big one. UV lights also produce UVA, which is what tends to cause skin cancer. 

It has been known cause the big C, but this is following a lot of or too much exposure to UVA rays. 

So, in order to keep yourself safe, try to limit how often you’re getting manicures that use light to cure the polish. 

And, no, LED lights aren’t safer. 

You should also always apply sunscreen of at least 30 SPF before your no chip manicure to maximize your protection.

It also means being sensible around such equipment.

Next, peeling. When you peel at your polish, you may be taking small layers of the nail with it. 

This can cause serious nail problems down the road, including brittle nails and infections. The solution is simple: don’t peel off the polish! 

No matter how much you might want to.

Lastly, we should talk about dry nails. 

It’s something you’re probably going to experience after a no chip manicure. 

All gel manicures tend to dry out natural nails. 

The best way to deal with that is to moisturize them frequently when they aren’t covered in gel. 

A good cuticle oil can work wonders here! This is the one I recommend to all my clients. It’s quite simply amazing.


Does a no chip manicure sound good?

It does to me.

And thankfully, there should be a lot of local salons that can offer this particular service.

Or you can do it at home, with some investment in the equipment required to set the gel polish.

Just be mindful of the potential dangers of working with or using such lamps. 

Interested in, or are looking to try other types of manicures? Then check out my following guides to learn all about them!