Nail Salon Basics: 13 Nail Care Tools and Equipment You Need to Know About

Aug, 06 by Nidhi Jain in
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The nail care industry is well-armed with a wide variety of nail tools and equipment. We are here to help you understand the different types of nail care tools that are used in a salon. Nail care is, in fact, highly sophisticated with its terminology and tools.

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If you are a salon owner, nail care tools are a must. From nail clippers to brushes and polishes, nail care is almost a scientific art. This article introduces you to the various kinds of products and brands that make up a nail salon. Read this guide to know more!

General Nail Care Tools

Salon must-haves! These tools form the basics of a nail salon because they are used on all kinds of nail services ranging from manicures, pedicures, nail enhancement, waxing, and more. Tools like clippers, buffers, and cuticle scissors prep the nail before a manicure or pedicure. Others such as tweezers and brushes help in designing the nails. UV/LED lamps are more sophisticated equipment that is used to dry cure gel polish easily. 

Products: Nail clippers, buffers, files, cuticle scissors, tweezers, UV/LED lamps, face masks, cotton, cotton rounds, band-aid, polish thinner, disinfectant, acetone, alcohol, cuticle oil, base coat, gel top coat, gel base coat, shellac top coat, shellac base coat, quick-dry lacquer


  • OPI
  • La Palm
  • CND Shellac

Nail Polishes

Nail polishes are what attract customers to salons! They beautify the nails by adding colors and designs to them. There are many different kinds of polishes used according to the effects desired. Regular color polish gives the classic shine, whereas gel polish is durable for up to 14 days. A recent innovation is the shellac polish that uses a semi-permanent polish for longevity. Top coats and base coats are polishes that protect the designs by giving the appearance of your choice— matte, shine, or glossy. 

Products: Regular polish, gel polish, shellac polish, matte/glossy top coat


  • OPI
  • Glam and Glits
  • Kiara Sky Collection

Pedicure Supply

Pedicures are the foundational treatments in any nail salon. Over the years, they have become a staple for many women, spurring specialized pedicures customized according to requirements. Classic pedicures perform the basic cleaning and designing. Spa pedicures combine them with relaxation in a calm atmosphere. The industry has also developed pedicures aimed for entertainment, such as the Jelly pedicure and Volcano pedicure. 

Products: Toe separators, XS/small/medium gloves, nail files, slippers, callus remover, buffers, tub liners, scrubs, pumice, sanitizing tablets


  • Pure Shield (gloves)
  • T-L-Gel Callus Off
  • Sani-Tablet
  • La Palm Collection
  • Gelous

Manicure Supply

A manicure treatment helps to clean, moisturize, and nourish the hands before applying polish or other enhancements. There are many ways to do this; basic manicures perform the basic cleaning, shaping, and exfoliation; spa manicures focus on cleaning and nourishing hands and arms; and express manicures are for those who want to speed up the prepping process. 

Products: cuticle oil, cuticle sticks, lint-free wipes, hand mask, polish removal clips, hydrating cream.


  • Gelous (manicure tool kit)
  • Eco-Fin (vegan paraffin wax)
  • Super Nail (cuticle oil)

Nail Enhancement Supply

As the name suggests, nail enhancements help to strengthen or lengthen the nails using different kinds of materials. They are extremely popular and have been in the industry for a long time— as full sets, fill-ins, pink and white, pink nails, etc. These are done using a set of liquids, gels, and powders that help to craft fashionable extensions. Nail enhancement supply includes acrylic, hard gels, soft gels, liquid gel, powder gel, and fiberglass wraps. 

Products: Sanding bands, nail files, pink acrylic, white acrylic, clear acrylic powder, lanolin lotion, light purple liquid, retention liquid, gel nail, nail primer, gel builder, PP powder, white powder


  • Tammy Taylor (acrylic)
  • Apple Barrel (acrylic)
  • CND 
  • Victoria (acrylic)
  • T-L-Gel (gel)

Waxing Supply

Hair removal requires more than just wax to achieve perfect results. Even within waxes, there are differences depending on the area of the body chosen for waxing. For instance, pink wax gives flexibility and is used to remove fine hair. Green wax is better for quick waxing. More sophisticated waxes like chocolate waxes help to condition the skin along with skin removal. Waxing can be performed on any part of the body— legs, arms, underarms, bikini, stomach, chest, back, upper lips, chin, eyebrows, sideburns, and so on! 

Products: Pink wax, green wax, round wax sticks, slant wax stick, long wax sticks, eyebrow wax sticks, paraffin wax, waxing table paper, soft tissues, wax remover, wax warmer, cooling gel


  • Gigi
  • Mutual Beauty
  • Clean & Easy
  • Just Wax


Dipping Powder Supply

Dipping powders are becoming popular due to their efficient and adorable results. Women prefer them for their versatility. Dip nails are created by dipping the nail in a fine powder and sealing it. They offer a wide range of designs (ombre, French/American, etc) and color options, and can be done as a full set or fill-ins. 

Products: Dip base coat, dip top coat, activator, seal protector


  • SNS
  • Gelish
  • Kiara Sky
  • OPI

Design Supply

These tools and supplies make designing a piece of cake as they let you add detailed and precise designs to nails and toes. Brushes and tweezers are used to apply designs and decoration to nails. Specialized design products such as rhinestones, chrome polish, and glitter aid in customizing and adding glitz!

Products: Chrome polish, rhinestones, design brushes, white brushes, glitter, tweezers


  • Apple Barrel (acrylic paint)
  • Hung Nuo (chrome polish)
  • Samika (chrome polish)

We understand that starting a salon is a considerable investment. With high-quality equipment and a well-stocked polish cabinet, you are sure to set your salon off to a good start!