Katie Barnes
Katie Barnes

How to reduce your nail infill time

By Katie Barnes | 07 June 2022 | Expert Advice, Feature, Technique

Katie Barnes Nail Infill Feature

Infill and maintenance services can be the bane of a tech’s life, taking a considerable amount of time, and often undercharging for the time spent.


However, a lot less time is required than you would think. I am going to share my top tips on infill and maintenance procedures to save you time and product, and earn you more revenue. Your hands will be thankful, too!


Firstly, we need to understand exactly what kind of appointment is required when booking the client in, and this can be tricky. Knowing what style of enhancement the client is wearing, the time frame between appointments, and understanding the client’s lifestyle and aftercare will help you predict this.  If it is a new customer that has been elsewhere, book them either for a full maintenance or removal and full set.


Then we need to understand the two different appointments which can be booked – full maintenance and re-balancing the enhancement.


Full Maintenance

Also known as: Back-fill, fill, fill-in, touch-up, maintenance.

After around two to three weeks, the enhancement will require ‘full maintenance’. When the enhancement grows out, it loses balance. The apex moves forward and so does the smile line (on a pink and white enhancement). This consists of the existing product gently being filed down completely. The apex is replaced, the white smile line is repositioned, and the free edge is reshaped. Excess length is adjusted to retain the proper balance to the overall structural integrity of the extension.


Re-balancing the enhancement

Also known as: Infills, rebalance, refill.

After around 2 weeks, the enhancement will require a ‘fill’ at the cuticle area to re-balance the enhancement by replacing the apex to its original position to restore strength at the stress point, where most cracks appear. If the client has regular one colour acrylic with a gel polish application, this service would be acceptable to perform regularly.


An infill is more often than not all that is needed and the whole enhancement does not need to be filed down for product to be replaced in the same position, unless there was service breakdown such as lifting in the area. If the client goes longer than usual between appointments, is known not to follow aftercare, or prone to service breakdown, then you know a full maintenance will be necessary each time and you can book for this. It is important to understand how to remove lifting, if necessary.



Just because a longer appointment is required for a full maintenance, less product is still required than usually thought. Product only needs to be removed where there is service breakdown, or where the nail has grown and an area such as the apex has grown out. In that case, the only product removal required is the apex. The apex is to be filed down and moved back to the original place. along with the free edge being re-shaped. A full file down of the whole product is not required.



It is important to file this in the same filing routine as you used when filing the full set. This will automatically eliminate any haphazard filing and overfilling. It will bring the highest point down to the lowest point, automatically balancing your enhancement.



Your infill services will be your bread and butter. Learn how to offer a quicker and more efficient service to your client to earn you more revenue, and save your client time, too!


Love Katie B x