Nail Polish Scandal: Is Bringing Your Own to the Salon a TABOO?

So, you have the perfect nail polish in a color and/or brand that you love. You wanna take it to your next nail appointment, but is it rude to bring your own nail polish to a salon?

Let’s find out.

In this post, we’ll go over the pros and cons of taking your own polish to the salon with you.

We’ll discuss what salons care about, why some nail salons will honor your request to use your own polish, and why others may have a problem with it.

We’ll also give you some tips on how to ask to use your own polish without it coming across as rude.

Sound good?

Let’s get into it.

Is it rude to bring your own nail polish to a salon?

No, it isn’t rude to bring your own nail polish to a salon if you go about it the right way. Politely ask if it’s ok when you book your appointment. That way, they can check with the nail technician to see if the polish is compatible with the products they are using.

The reality is that some salons are totally okay with you bringing your own nail polish.

Others are not.

Here’s why some salons might be hesitant or outright refuse.

Why some salons might tell you you can’t bring your own polish

do not bring your own polish

Your nail tech may have some legitimate concerns about you bringing your own polish.

Firstly, the nail tech is going to be thinking about the quality of the product you will bring.

Nail technicians have access to high-quality nail polishes.

Professional-grade nail products are often easier to apply and last longer than the stuff you can buy on the high street.

The nail artists’ reputation is at stake and they don’t want you complaining when your dollar store polish doesn’t stay on long enough!

High-end polishes from brands with good reputations should be welcomed 90 percent of the time.

Another issue they may have is the compatibility of your nail polish with the products they are using.

Nail polishes (especially those from the same brand) have complex chemical formulas that are designed to work well together.

When you mix brands this can cause problems like peeling, chipping, splitting, streaking, and bubbles.

You could also get refused because of the salon’s policy.

This is especially true in chain nail salons, where they have a “no outside products” policy for legal reasons.

If you are refused for any reason, you can always keep trying until you find a nail salon that’s happy to accommodate you.

Is it cheaper to bring your own nail polish to the salon?

No, it’s not cheaper to bring your own nail polish. Most nail salons do not offer a discount. The amount of labor and the time the appointment takes are the same. The amount of money saved on polish is negligible so it is not appropriate for them to charge less.

Technically, you are saving the salon a little money by supplying one of the nail products for your manicure.

But do they take this into account and give a discount?

Well, there are some salons out there that might knock you some money off if you ask nicely.

But they are not saving much at all and so it isn’t really worth it for them to knock money off for you.

In fact, there are some salons that charge more (around $5) because of the inconvenience of having to use a product that they are unfamiliar with and that could cause problems with the quality of the service.

Can you bring your own polish for a pedicure?

Yes, many nail salons will allow you to bring your own polish for a pedicure. But some will not. You should ask first because many nail technicians prefer to use their own high-quality polishes and some salons have a no-outside products policy.

The same rules apply here.

Whether you want to bring your own color for your hands or your feet, the quality of the product matters most.

pedicure bring your own polish

If you want to take a high-quality nail polish from a reputable brand like OPI or Zoya, you should be fine.

But you will likely get stank eye if you turn up to your appointment with poor quality or old nail polish!

Cheap high street and drug store polishes don’t last as long and they can affect the overall quality of your manicure, so think carefully before you take your own.

Bringing your own polish in for a pedicure could be a good idea, especially if you have a fungal infection.

As this will be far more hygienic.

You may need to bring a top coat and a base coat too if you have a nail infection.

Can I bring my own nail stickers to the salon?

Yes, you can take your own nail stickers to some salons. You should always ask first and explain exactly what you want. The nail tech needs to know the type of stickers so that they can allow enough time to complete your appointment without rushing.

Most nail salons should be fine with applying nail stickers for you.

bring nail stickers to salon

You should ask them in advance and be clear about the type of nail stickers you have and how many you want them to apply.

You should be prepared to pay a little more for this service.

Not every salon will be willing to apply stickers for you, it all depends on how busy they are and on the expertise of the staff.

Some nail salons may not let you take your own stickers because they are not familiar with the brand or because they have a no-outside products policy.

Benefits of taking your own polish to the salon

Here are the key benefits of taking your own polish to the nail salon with you:

Cuts down on decision time.

Choosing colors on the spot is hard! It also takes up way too much of the nail techs’ valuable time.

Taking your own color helps to avoid bad decisions made under pressure.

Trust me I’ve been there!

You can be sure you’re happy with the color

Polishes look different in the bottle than they do on the nail.

Taking your own polish allows you to have the exact color you want.

You can have the type of polish you want

If you want to avoid unwanted chemicals or you’d like to support a vegan or cruelty-free brand, taking your own polish to your manicure appointment is a great way to do that.

You can have your favorite brand

If there’s a certain polish brand you love for whatever reason, you can take that with you and have it applied at the salon.

You can touch up your nails at home

Taking your own polish means that you can touch up and fix any chips without having to go back to the salon.

It’s more hygienic

There are contamination issues and bacterial infections you may have concerns about.

If someone with a fungal nail infection has chosen the color you pick, that can (in rare cases) be transferred to you.

Taking your own nail color decreases the risk of infections.

Cons of taking your own polish to the salon

There are a few potential drawbacks to taking your own polish to the salon:

You may offend the nail technician

Some nail technicians can get offended, though this is easily avoided.

If you just turn up at the salon, bottle in hand, and expect them to use your product without asking first, then chances are they are going to think you’re rude.

To avoid coming across as rude, make sure they know you are bringing your own polish in advance and remind the nail tech that you brought your own nail polish at the start of the appointment.

Your polish may not be compatible with the type of manicure you want

If you want a gel manicure but the polish you brought isn’t gel, this will be a problem.

It can happen easily too, as a lot of polishes say gel on the bottle but they aren’t actually true UV gel polishes.

The polish you bring may clash with other products

Be aware that the polish brand you chose may not be compatible with the base and topcoat they are using.

It’s always better to use the same brand of base, color, and topcoat for the best results.

Tips for taking your own nail polish to the salon

If you want to take your own nail polish into the salon with you, here are some tips on how to go about it:

Speak to them before your appointment

If you must take your own polish, it’s always best to check with the salon first.

Do this when you call to make the appointment.

The nail tech may want to know what brand and type of polish you want to bring so that they can check if it’s compatible.

This is a good time to ask about any price differences too.

Remind them that you brought your own polish when you start your appointment

This is important in case they want to change the products they use to better match your polish.

For example, they may switch to a different base or topcoat that works better with your polish.

Make sure that the polish you bring is in good condition

Frayed brushes, old polish with crusty bits all around the bottleneck, and super thick formulas are all big no-nos.

If there’s gunk around the screwcap, remove it with a cue tip soaked in nail polish remover.

If you get attitude, go elsewhere

Some salons are just against you bringing your own polish for one or more of the reasons we already discussed.

if the first few salons you try say no, don’t get disheartened.

Keep trying until you find one that will honor your request.

Quick recap

If you have your heart set on a particular color, you should be able to find a salon that will have no problems painting it on for you.

Taking your own nail polish to a salon can have benefits outside of the color choice, like being more hygienic and avoiding unwanted chemicals, but there are some drawbacks to consider as well.

If you’re polite about it and aware of potential compatibility issues, bringing your own polish is a great way to get the manicure you want without any fuss.

I hope that you liked my is it rude to bring your own nail polish to a salon post and that you found it useful.

Good luck at the salon!


  • Phoebe Meadows

    Phoebe Meadows is a self-proclaimed nail addict, always on the lookout for the latest trends and techniques. When she's not creating stunning nail designs, you can find her researching the latest nail care products or experimenting with new techniques.