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There is no doubt that getting a pedicure for the first time can be an awkward affair – particularly if you have no idea what is going to happen, or what you are expected to do.

If you are about to get your first pedicure, read on to know exactly what to expect. From the order of the process to what you can control (everything!), to what you should wear, everything is detailed in this article.

1. You are in control of the experience

One of the most important things to know about getting the best pedicure in Dubai (or wherever you are located) is that you are in control of the whole experience, and you can ask for or refuse whichever parts of the service that you want.

Generally, nail salons have a menu of services from which you can choose with each of the options including different add-ons such as callus treatments, paraffin wax treatments, and massages.

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When you first enter the salon, have a look at the menu and based on the prices and what is included, choose the service that you want. Also, keep in mind that it isn’t uncommon for technicians to ask you during the service if you want something extra – if this happens, always check with them whether it will cost extra (and if so, how much) before agreeing.

You will then decide which color polish you want before being led to your chair. Additionally, during the pedicure, you can choose whether or not you want your nails to be cut and, if so, how much shorter and in what shape.

In other words, you make all the decisions, so don’t be afraid to ask for what you want, or to speak up and say when you don’t like something that’s being done.

2. Do a little preparation to make yourself comfortable

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In order to be as comfortable as possible during the pedicure, it is highly recommended that you wear shorts or pants that roll up easily so that your feet and ankles can be submerged into the water during the foot soak. Also, make sure to wear flip-flops or sandals without toes so that your toenails can dry quickly, and so you don’t smudge or chip the nail polish before you have left the salon!

As there is usually a calf massage included in a pedicure treatment, many women prefer to shave their legs before having a pedicure; however, this is entirely up to you, and your own preferences.

3. Pedicures tend to follow the same steps

Typically, basic pedicures include soaking your feet, removing your old nail polish, soaking your feet some more, a foot scrub, callus removal, and a foot and leg massage. At this point, the tub is drained and cleaned, and then it is time for the new polish to be applied to your toenails.

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At this point, they will either place some of their complimentary thin flip-flops onto your feet or the ones that you brought, so bring your own! Just like with fingernails, the polish will include an undercoat, a couple of layers of color, and then a topcoat.

For drying, they will usually lead you to a lounge area where you will wait with beverages and magazines. Many salons also have machines that you can place your feet under to speed up the drying process. Make sure to ask your technician how long you should allow your nails to dry for the best results.

Once your nails have dried, you can then go and pay your bill. For the most part, it is standard etiquette to tip your nail technician 15 to 20 percent on the pretax cost. Overall, the pedicure itself should take approximately 45 minutes to an hour.

4. It doesn’t hurt

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Very rarely do people find pedicures uncomfortable; however, many people do think aspects of it can be very ticklish such as when they are brushing off the calluses on the soles of your feet.

If you find yourself squirming when this is happening, don’t fret, this is a typical quirk to have. If you do feel like something is hurting you (perhaps the water is too hot, or you have an ingrown nail), then make sure to tell the nail technician so that they can adjust accordingly.

5. Relax and enjoy it!

While it is entirely reasonable to have anxieties about getting your first pedicure, the truth is that it is a relaxing experience that you should absolutely enjoy from beginning to end. Don’t stress about whether or not the nail technicians don’t like the look of your feet (they have seen plenty and this their job), or whether they are judging the color that you choose.

Once you are in the pedicure chair (which, in many salons, will also be able to give you a massage), you will find yourself quickly relaxing and enjoying the pampering session. If you want to talk to your nail technician, you can, but it is also completely normal to read a book, listen to a podcast, or take a little nap.

It is your pedicure, so do what feels like a treat to you, and chances are you will love the experience and be making another appointment soon.



Have you ever had a pedicure before? If so, what tips would you give to someone who hasn’t experienced it yet? Alternatively, if you haven’t had one, what is stopping you? Do you have any more questions that haven’t been answered here?

Let us know in the comments below!

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