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What is the Difference? Fill, Rebalance & Full Set

What is the Difference? Fill, Rebalance & Full Set

When beginning to structure your pricing for nail services, it's important to first establish what services you will offer and ideally, how often your clients will return.

A hot topic of discussion in our industry is how to determine the difference between a fill and a rebalance, when a full set is necessary and how to charge for it. In this blog, let's discuss the differences so you have a better understanding of how to set your pricing! 

So, what is a "fill" exactly? There is no one "definition" for a fill, however, most commonly, it is a service provided to those who wear some form of builder gel on their nails and come in every 2-3 weeks for maintenance service and a color or design change. 


@littlenailboutique shows her client's before and after a three week fill.

This service would include color removal, shortening the nail length if desired, slightly filing down the apex of the existing product, nail prep and back filling the builder gel product where there was grow out. This should only require a slight adjustment of the apex with a simple slip layer dollop technique! Color and nail art should also be considered in your pricing.

Check out our handy cost per service guide for help on how to price your services and cost per service calculations!

Check out this fast fill service tutorial with JimmyGel Builder Gel in a Bottle


A "rebalance" is often referred to for builder gel services where clients go 4 or more weeks before returning for their next appointment. After 4 weeks of wear, the apex is often much more grown out and requires "restructuring" of the nail to place the apex in the proper position. Without rebalancing the apex, the nail's structure and strength can be affected leading to breaks or poor wear. 

This service can take much more time, effort and product and therefore should be charged accordingly. You may also need to consider booking a longer time slot for these clients since your service time will be affected. 

A new set would include complete removal of the product to the natural nail with restructuring or enhancements created if needed.

So when does a client need an entirely new set? Of course this is completely up to you, but here are some scenarios for you to consider! 

-Client comes in with several nails missing or damaged and it is obvious the client has mistreated their nails or picked them off
-Client has missed several appointments and now it's been 6+ weeks since their last service
-Client has a wedding, graduation, vacation or special occasion coming up
-New client comes in with bare nails or mystery product on their nails

These are all great examples of when it would be best to have a chat with your client about their next appointment so that you can best accommodate the additional time needed to create a full new set. (Remember to price accordingly!)

No matter how you choose to structure your pricing to accommodate your services, remember to consider your time, product and skills that will be needed to complete these services and have open communication with your clients to ensure they know about your policies in advance. 

Want to learn even more? Check out this live video with Lezlie & Jim talking all things fill and rebalance services!
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