Can You Bring Your Own Nail Polish to a Salon?

Bring Your Own Nail Polish

Having proper etiquette is essential if you plan to visit the nail salon frequently.

But to answer the question, it is not rude to bring your polish to the salon if done correctly.

But let’s face it: knowing what’s okay and what’s not okay isn’t always so simple.

A Must-Read: How to Cut Toenails if You Can’t Reach ThemOpens in a new tab.

For instance, have you ever considered bringing your nail polish to a salon? Would that be considered rude or unnecessary?

It’s not an easy decision. When determining if bringing your nail polish is rude or not, you’ll have to consider various factors.

Will they have the color you want? Will the workers be offended that you took matters into your own hands?

Keep in mind that if you have a dark skin tone, they may not have the perfect color for you.

Ultimately, it’s probably a decision you should make for yourself. Though the answer may depend on your situation and the salon you’re going to.

Some general tips can help you decide if bringing your nail polish to a salon is the right thing to do.

Don’t worry anymore if you’re on the fence about bringing your polish to the salon. It’s time that you got your answer.

We know you don’t want to put off your new great look any moment longer.

Do you?

That’s what we thought. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons you should bring your nail polish and some reasons why you shouldn’t try so that you can find out for yourself if you’re following proper nail salon etiquette.

Reasons You Should Bring Your Own Nail Polish

We completely get it. We all have our favorites, and that doesn’t make nail polish color an exception. Look into some of the reasons why you should bring your polish:

Get the Color You Want

If you want to bring your nail polish to the salon, this is probably the number one reason.

There’s no guarantee that the salon will have the color of your choosing, so you may feel as if there’s no point in going if it’s just going to waste your time.

Maybe you have a favorite color already, or maybe you’re looking to try out a new birthday or Christmas gift.

Whatever the case, bringing your polish to ensure that you get the look you want is a valid reason to take it to the nail salon.

And, no, in this case, it doesn’t make you rude.

Remember, you’re paying to have your nails look the way you want them to—and if the salon doesn’t have your color, what’s the point in spending your money?

Though you may think this makes you look rude, it’s protecting your investment. The workers at the salon should be professional enough to realize this.

You’ll probably find that most salons won’t care if you bring your own polish because, as noted, they want to help you have nails you can be proud of.

You may run into some workers who don’t understand this, but we think making sure you’ve got the color you want isn’t rude.

Save the Salon Money

Bringing your polish can save the salon money.

That’s right. If you’re supplying your nail polish, you’re helping them preserve their materials. And that means that’s more money in their wallets.

That’s because even though you’ll pay the same rate, they won’t have to use their products—meaning they can save money.

Though it might not be much, the salon’s savings can start to add up if others bring their polish. So what does this mean?

It means that if people can get over the stigma of bringing their nail polish, salons can start saving money while doing the same amount of work.

And if you’re getting the right color for your nails, that sounds like a win-win situation for everyone. So the question becomes: is that rude?

Well, maybe only if the salon wants to spend more of its money. Instead of bringing your nail polish as rude, consider it more courtesy to the salon owner.

You’re cutting down on their expenses and making it easier for them to get the job done. What could be rude about that?

Save Everyone’s Time

By bringing your nail polish, you’ll do more than save your salon some money, and you’ll also save them time.

Because you already know exactly what you want, you won’t have to waste anyone’s time while you browse through colors that you might not even like.

How disappointing would it be if you went only to find out they didn’t have a color that you liked?

Not only would your time be wasted, but the employees’ time wouldn’t be well-spent, either.

If you go to find out that you don’t want what they’re selling, you’re going to do one of two things:

  • End up with a color you don’t want, or
  • Have them spend time waiting on you instead of servicing other paying customers.

As you can see, this can hurt their bottom dollar and leave them feeling frustrated.

If you fear that you’re going to upset nail salon workers by bringing your nail polish, consider the fact that you might be causing them more frustration by trying to wing it.

If you have the salon workers in mind, taking your nail polish can significantly reduce their burdens by saving them time and money.

Reasons You Shouldn’t Bring Your Own Nail Polish to the Salon

Be mindful of your nail salon’s rules or etiquette. Some may be different than others.

It Decreases the Value of the Service

While there are several reasons why bringing your polish isn’t rude, it’s essential to consider the other side of the argument as well.

One of the most significant drawbacks to bringing your nail polish is that it will decrease the value of the service.

This is true for multiple reasons—the most obvious of which is that you are the one who’s paying for the polish.

And essentially, you’re paying for it twice.

You’re not going to get any discount for bringing your polish, so you’re paying the total price for a service that you’re not getting in its entirety.

The other is that it may appear that you’re telling the salon and its workers that what they have isn’t good enough for you.

Just think: if you had a restaurant and someone brought their food inside, wouldn’t you feel as if they were criticizing your establishment in some manner?

While workers should be professional enough to know that bringing your nail polish isn’t a reflection on their business, be careful how what you’re doing can be misconstrued.

Tell them that you brought your own polish because it’s the color you want—and for no other reason.

It Can Look Disrespectful

As noted, bringing your polish can appear as a slap in the face to some salon owners.

If you want to counter this impression, always be willing to answer the following question: “Why go to a salon to put on your nail polish?”

Now, as stated, there are perfectly valid reasons to bring your nail polish to a salon—be sure that you’re open and upfront about it.

You may even want to call ahead of time and ask the salon workers before you show up. This can help make sure that everyone is on the same page.

If no one is offended by the arrangement, you can feel comfortable bringing your nail polish isn’t rude.

It Might Cause Problems

When bringing your nail polish, you’re going to want to be careful. Though the act itself may not be rude, how you go about doing it may cause problems that certainly are.

As noted, it’s probably a good idea to contact your salon ahead of time and let them know that you’re bringing your polish. This can help reduce complications and negative feelings.

But even if you don’t, you’re going to want to let the workers know that you have your polish with you.


Because the salon might be under the impression that you have taken the polish from their store.

As unfortunate as it is, you don’t want to end up in handcuffs while leaving your nail appointment. Sound far-fetched? It might be, but you don’t want any similar opportunity to arise.

If a worker thinks you’ve stolen or that you’re trying to steal a bottle of polish, you’re going to have to wait for security cameras to be reviewed at the very least.

This will waste employees’ time as well as that of other customers, which is rude.

To avoid this, make sure that the workers know that you’re bringing your polish to the salon ahead of time. This can save everyone’s time and hassle and can even help the business make more money.

Tips on Bringing Your Own Nail Polish to the Salon

As you can see, bringing your nail polish to the salon doesn’t have to be rude.

The action of bringing your polish in itself isn’t enough to constitute as rude. Instead, it’s more about how you do it that can turn the action into disrespect for the workers involved.

Follow the tips below to help make sure that you’re going about bringing your polish to the salon in a polite way.

Call Ahead

To ensure that you don’t upset anyone, call ahead of time to verify with the salon that you can bring your polish.

If it’s against their policy, you’ll at least have a heads up so that you can start looking for other salons.

And the salon will be able to prepare in advance so that you don’t run into any complications once there.

You can also call and make sure that they don’t have the color you want. If this is the case, you can be confident that bringing your polish is not rude.

Be Clear

Don’t be afraid to tell your salon why you brought your polish, to begin with. Most will understand that you’re just looking to get the color you want on your nails, so there’s no reason to fear any backlash.

Be Courteous

Be sure to follow proper etiquette while you’re getting your nails done. Remember, even if you bring your colors, it’s polite to thank the salon workers for helping you apply a perfect finish.

The kinder you are while you’re there, the more you can be sure that you won’t come across as rude.

The Bottom Line

So is bringing your nail polish to the salon rude? It depends on who you ask—and how you do it. Ultimately, if you’re planning on bringing your polish to the salon, make sure that you do so in a polite manner.

It’s hard to predict how others will respond to the situation, and some salons might respond differently than others.

There’s nothing rude in bringing nail polish to the salon—you have to make sure that everyone involved is on the same page.

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