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Walking into the nail salon should be instant bliss—who doesn’t enjoy being pampered for an hour as you peruse your favorite magazines or enjoy a massage without any interruptions? Unfortunately, the same can’t always be said about walking out of the salon, as many clients leave annoyed, irritated and dissatisfied with their nails after their appointment. So, in addition to selecting the right shade and showing a picture of the design you want, how else can you ensure that you leave happy with your service? Read on to learn how to get exactly what you want in the salon.

Be specific

When it comes to getting your nails done, there is no detail too small. Before stepping foot into the salon, decide exactly how you want your nails to look: the length, the color, the shape, the design, matte or shiny finish, etc. Write down notes in your phone if you need to and show them to your tech before your appointment. Also, tell your tech what you don’t want. That way, there shouldn’t be any confusion when it comes to the finished look.

Be direct

Nail artistry is a business, which means professionals are doing whatever they can to make the most profit from each manicure. And while a good tech should only up-sell when it truly benefits the client, that isn’t always the case. Oftentimes, techs make clients feel obligated to get a certain design or add-on treatment that they didn’t actually want, which, in turn, causes the client to feel unhappy with the service. If you want a standard service, tell your tech in advance, and repeat yourself if necessary. Whatever you do, keep in mind that you’re the one that has to live with the end result—and the payment—so don’t feel pressured to buy something that you don’t want or need.

Be reasonable

Sometimes, clients walk into the salon with unrealistic nail expectations. For example, if your nail artist doesn’t do a lot of 3-D designs, don’t expect her to recreate the towering nail art you saw on Pinterest. Or, if you’re a nail-biter with super-short nails, don’t ask for an almond or coffin nail shape, which can only be created on a longer length.

Be meticulous

Examine your nails throughout the service to ensure that everything is up to par. Pay attention to minor details, such as nail length or stray polish on the skin and ask your tech to fix anything you don’t like. Again, don’t feel guilty for asking for what you want—you are paying the nail tech for a service, not the other way around.

Be forgiving—to an extent

Unfortunately, no matter how communicative you are, your tech may just not understand what you want. If he or she wants to fix your nails, let them. Techs are humans, and sometimes, they have an “off” moment. If your techs tries again and continues to miss the mark, talk to the manager and ask for another tech. The manager should be more than eager to fix the situation, and, if no one is available, he or she should discount your service. Remember that you are a paying customer—you deserve the right to get your money’s worth every time you leave the salon!

Stay tuned for even more nail inspiration and take a peek at these nail trends!