How Much Is A Fill-In For Nails?

The best part of a gel or acrylic manicure is that you can fill it and spend less time and money on that appointment. But how much should you budget to maintain your nails, and how much is a fill-in for nails?

How Much Is A Fill-In For Nails?

A nail fill-in can cost you anything from $10 to $60, depending on the type of nail polish. Gel manicure fill-ins are cheaper at around $10 to $30. Acrylic fill-ins are in the top range at about $50 to $60. Fill-in costs depend on the product, the salon, and the art the nail technician has to do.

If you are in this long-term and want to dedicate your time and money to having perfect nails, you must ensure you know the costs of maintaining your set. Scheduling fill-ins between complete sets can save money while keeping your nails happy and healthy.

grown gel nails that require a fill-in

Gel Polish Fill-In Time And Costs

A full gel polish set can cost around $35 to $50 in the USA. However, some salons sell it at an extreme cost of $75 to $80. This is usually the case in popular branded salons in prime locations. But don’t be fooled; there is no guarantee that an expensive set will last longer.

How Long Before A Gel Fill-In?

A gel set needs a refill every 2 to 2,5 weeks. After two weeks, the nail regrowth is sufficient to fill in the gap and refresh your gel polish set. A gel set can last 3 to 4 weeks if you maintain it correctly and have strong nails.

Thus, you can refill twice before getting a new set. Refills are sometimes done according to the nail tech’s preference; some do a new set every two weeks. This is optional and will only cost you more money and time because the removal costs extra and take up an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

Gel Polish Fill-In Costs

Gel polish is flexible, and some wearers believe it can last longer than the recommended 2 weeks before a fill is necessary. Some might be able to go for three or four weeks, but there is a reason behind the recommended time. We will get to that later.

A fill-in requires almost the same steps as a complete set. Thus, the cost isn’t much lower. But, considering the fee of removing a set, you save in the long run. A straightforward gel polish fill can cost you $10 to $20. This, however, does not include any added nail art, tips, or color changes. These will be added according to the nail technician’s prices. 

Nail art can increase the cost of your fill-in to $30 or $35, equaling the price of an average new gel set. Thus, consider if the bling is worth the money you are spending.

Acrylic Nail Polish Fill-In Time And Costs

Acrylic nails are popular amongst women who want their nails to be stronger and use their hands a lot. Acrylics are rigid and don’t move with the nail. Thus, perfect for typing work or people working with their hands.

Acrylic nails are expensive. The price for a complete set can start at $50 and shoot up to a whopping $120 if you want to go all out. However, if you wish to use acrylics, fill-ins can save you a lot of money.

How Long Before An Acrylic Fill-In?

Something lovely about acrylics is that you can do endless fill-ins if your nail tech is good with acrylics and allows it. Unfortunately, many nail techs limit fill-ins to one or two before they require that you get a new set again.

If you like the set you have and are okay with keeping the color you have, you can fill it to your heart’s content. Stick to the recommended 2 to 2,5 weeks to get a refill. Do this, and your set can last up to 6 months.

Acrylic Nails Fill-In Costs

An average cost for a general fill is around $15 to $20 for acrylic short nails. Some set their price to the extent of the regrowth and if you want to add nail art or a specialized shape. For example, if you wish for a stiletto or almond-shaped nail, be prepared to pay $5 to $10 extra. An acrylic fill can add up quickly to around $55, which is still better than $100 for a full set at some top salons.

Why Is A Nail Fill-In Important?

You might look at all the prices and costs, but why even go for a fill-in? I don’t mind a little regrowth, so why can’t I go for a complete set every 6 to 8 weeks?

Here the quality and health of your nails come into play. Those of you who had an acrylic set for a little longer before getting a refill will testify to this.

First, a longer, grown-out nail and the gap between the acrylic and cuticle is the perfect opportunity for the set to start lifting. Not because of a weak application but because everyday chores begin to impact the nail.

Every time you get pressure on the acrylics, it pulls on the natural nail without your knowledge. Then, the set can lift, letting in particles which in turn lead to infections, bubbling of nails (especially gel), and finally lead to a removal and rest period.

Keeping the nail set filled in will keep your set looking great for longer, keep your nails healthy and strong, and save your budget in the long run.

Things That Influence A Nail Fill-In

Finding an honest, reputable nail tech that won’t lie to you to make more money and take the best care of your nails is essential. This way, you won’t hesitate when they propose you remove a set, fill it one more time, or take a rest period from any polish.

A few things can influence your fill-in, and a trustworthy nail tech will tell you:

  • Suppose your regrowth is too much, and the chances of contamination under the nail are significant. In that case, they will recommend that you skip the nail fill-in, remove the entire set, and either add a new set from scratch or rest the nail for a few weeks if there is any damage.
  • A break – If a nail breaks, most nail techs prefer to do a new set from scratch.
  •  Wanting a fill-in on an old gel set – The adhesive of gel to the nail reduces over time. Thus, waiting too long for a fill-in will require a new set or wasting money as the fill-in will start to lift sooner than you anticipated.


Fill-ins can be good if you are ready to pay for them, maintain your nails in between, and take advice from a trusted, reputable nail tech. Then, choose your nail polish type, and remember to budget a few dollars extra for the bling and funky nail shapes.