Never pay less than $20 for your Manicure

NYC is the “Manicure Capital” with nearly 2,000 nail salons since 2012. The price of a NYC manicure is the lowest in the country with a medium average of $11 compared to $20 seen nationwide; so, the question is, how is this possible in NYC with such a high rent? Let me explain in more detail.


As of 2015 in my Upper West Side Manhattan salon, the price of a manicure is $20.  My boss actually loses money at this price.  The only reason we provide this service is for our clientele who wants manicures while having their hair done.  In order for a manicure to be profitable, it would have to be at least $35. I am heart broken every time a client tells me $20 is too much for a manicure when really it’s the opposite.


Employers are rarely punished for labor and other violations.  For example, an undocumented worker paid $10 a day is many times not even paid and only working for tips.  Lawsuits filed in NYC courts allege a long list of abuses.


Basic human rights, safety and cleanliness are completely ignored making it impossible for a fair and honest business owner to compete.


As aforementioned as of 2015, a fair price for a skilled worker of any type including the masseuse, hairstylist, or manicurist, the price of the service should follow a $1 to $2 per minute model creating a low-end to medium-end 35 minutes manicure $35.


This is a rough estimate where your money goes towards manicures in three such situations.

Mani business modelMy boss willingly gives up his profit in order to keep providing the manicure service to our clients at a competitive rate as compared to the other unfair competition.


When the NYTimes investigated salons in mid 2015, I hoped to see a change in business exploitation; unfortunately as of today nothing has changed.


Please shop responsibly; don’t contribute to the problem, instead,  incorporate the solution.  If you witness any of this happening the next time you visit your salon, contact the department of labor at


Here are some extra articles explaining this current situation: