Woman talking(L+r), Gloved hands filing nails of hand(c)

Cookie Studio/Shutterstock @aubreynails/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘They charged her $35 extra’: Expert exposes how nail salons rip you off—and what to do to prevent it

‘Don’t be afraid to speak up!!!’


Maya Wray


A viral video posted to TikTok is warning those wanting Gel-X nails to avoid getting them done at salons. 

Stitching a video from a nail salon customer who asked TikTok if she overpaid for a set of Gel-X nails with custom art, nail technician Aubrey Woodard (@aubreynails) ordered viewers to stop visiting walk-in salons.

“They’re ripping you off, and you’re letting them,” she matter-of-factly told over 995,200 viewers in the May 21 video. 

She explained that Gel-X nail tips are already shaped and made to a specific length, meaning any fees charged by salons for shaping or lengthening the nails are bogus. The $70 charge paid by the woman in the original video was more than Woodard charges herself, but she acknowledged that it depends on the area you’re in. 

“Your economic area dictates how much you can charge,” she explained.

The $35 added fee for nail art, which she described as well-done but simplistic, was also more than she would charge. 

Her solution? “Find an independent nail tech. Stop giving your money to thieves.”

Sharing her sister’s frustrations at being unreasonably charged for almond-shaped nails, Woodard took a tough-love approach to the situation. 

“I did not give her any sympathy,” she revealed. “I said, ‘I can’t keep telling you to stop going to these places.’” 

@aubreynails #stitch with @Pinky | Htx Content Creator educate yourself so you don’t get ripped off, and don’t be afraid to speak up!!!###nailtech##gelex##nails##nailsalons##naileducation ♬ original sound – Aubrey Woodard

Overcharging at nail salons is a common complaint on TikTok

Another customer recently shared that, after asking several times throughout her appointment what the final cost of her nails was going to be, she was forced to pay a shocking $270 for gel acrylic French tips on her fingers and toes. When she tried to dispute the charge, the salon’s manager called the police. 

“It crushes me that people will go to a walk-in salon and pay ridiculous amount of money before they give me the opportunity to provide a service for half the cost,” one independent nail technician shared in the comments section of Woodard’s video.

Viewers were quick to point out that these technicians often were booked solid for months in advance with no openings outside of work hours and that some charged extra fees for services like shaping, lengthening, and removing nails.

“The nail industry is extremely undercharged, but we’re expected to have more skill than the majority of cosmos,” another technician stated. 

Acknowledging those extra fees, Woodard explained that independent nail technicians would charge them upfront instead of adding them in later. 

Other viewers suggested simply asking for the total cost of a nail appointment ahead of time and leaving if it was an outrageous amount—but a cancellation fee may apply.

The Daily Dot reached out to Woodard via TikTok direct message.

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