A Deep Dive: Dry Pedicures

Hey y’all! Missed me? I took a week off the blog to celebrate my little brother graduating college last week! I’m so proud of him and his accomplishments, but I will say he is totally outshining me. 😆 Regardless, I couldn’t be happier for him and am so stoked to see him continue on to grad school to get his Masters.


But I’m back now, and boy do I have a doozy for you today! We are going to go over the service I do the LEAST, but I’d say has been the most impactful in my nail career thus far. Today’s topic is....the dry pedicure.


Let me begin by explaining the reasons why I do dry pedicures the least out of all of my services. The main reason was unintentional. It was because my schedule filled out with hand services far quicker than foot services. I just didn’t have enough availability. The second is more deliberate. I can only manage to do one pedicure a day before I start having major back problems. Otherwise, I would be promoting dry pedicures to each and every one of the people that has ever reached out to me. They truly have changed the pedicure game for me. In fact, as I started looking for a nail tech of my own to go to for pedicures, I couldn’t fathom the idea of having to settle for a traditional soaking pedicure, because that’s all that is offered in my area. I had been spoiled by the major transformation I was able to achieve by utilizing dry techniques in my pedis.


To be fair, dry pedicures are not part of the curriculum in nail school. So it makes sense why most salons utilize the traditional soaking system when it comes to foot care. A nail tech or salon has to be really invested in the continuous stream of new techniques and education in the industry and, be willing to implement training and marketing for these new practices.


As an independent nail technician, I have the ability to pick and choose and really cater my services to my interests. I was very fortunate to work with a veteran nail tech when I was first starting out and she taught me the dry pedicures method. It was a mind-blowing experience. Not only was there no dirty foot water inside my gloves, no cleaning and disinfecting of pedicure bowls and jets, but the results were fantastic! The best I have ever felt my feet and the best they ever looked! So soft! So pristine!


Why the heck does no one else do this?!


I wish I could give an honest answer to that question. My best guess is that it’s cheaper to do the same thing that’s been done for years and years. Good thing I gave approximately zero shits about cost because I ditched the water the moment I rubbed the feet together and sparks didn’t fly off them.


There are so many reasons why I fell in love with the dry pedicure.

  1. The most obvious reason is there is no water involved. It’s very self-contained and your setup can be minimal. Bonus: it’s very environmentally friendly!

  2. Using the dry prep on the toes gives the cleanest little toes you ever did see. Toes accumulate so much more cuticle and callus, so the ability to really get into those tiny spaces with your bits makes cleanup a breeze and sets the stage for perfect gel application.

  3. Using specialized pedicure bits makes reducing and softening calluses a breeze! I get smoother and softer soles with pedi bits than I do with a foot file. They work to sand the skin smooth instead of scratching at it and leaving it frayed. You can also see how much you’re removing so I find it much safer than filing away on a soggy foot with a paddle. Plus, my arm doesn’t hurt after and I don’t break a sweat.

  4. There is less risk of transmission of bacteria or fungus. Without the use of a soaking tub, especially without jets, there is virtually no risk of transferring these. Of course, all reusable implements must be cleaned and properly disinfected before use on a client. But in my experience, soaking tubs are rarely properly disinfected between clients, so I prefer to cut out the part that harbors them in the first place.

My dry pedicure has evolved over the years, but here is the general process I take when doing one now:


  • First, I push back all the cuticles. Then I perform my dry prep using my electric file.

  • Next is a nail trim, file, and shape and remove any dead tissue with cuticle nippers. I will use my bits to smooth and remove dry skin around the toenails that can’t be done with the soaking method.

  • Then I spray the soles of the feet lightly with a callus softening spray, and rub that in really well.

  • I use a specialized pedicure bit to go over the soles of the feet to remove dead skin and reduce calluses and soften the feet.

  • Once the feet are all prepped, I apply gel polish.

  • Then I use a delicious sugar scrub to exfoliate any remaining dead skin off the tops of the feet and to polish the soles of the feet.

  • Next is the best part: the hot towels! I wrap the feet in essential oil-infused hot towels and let those melt the sugar scrub and cleanse the feet. After removing the towels I apply cuticle oil to the toes then massage the feet and calves with pure, ultra-nourishing Shea butter.

  • And there you have it! Sparkling, shining, smooth, soft, moisturized feetsies!


Once you try a dry pedi, you’ll never go back. It’s an addiction! If you’ve ever had a dry pedicure, what was the experience like for you? Were you converted? Sound off in the comments!


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