7 trending nail design ideas for summer 2024 salons

Keeping up with trends can be tough when running your small business, so we’ve put together the hottest nail designs for summer 2024.

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It seems Brits love to treat themselves to a manicure or pedicure. In fact, Builder/BIAB nails was the most searched term in 2023, and nail salons were revealed to be the most common beauty business in the UK.

However, small businesses looking to avoid the annual summer slump – when many customers are away – need to be across what the many mani-mad Brits have seen on the latest viral video or TikTok trend. 

We know keeping up with the demand for the latest design can be tough. To help you out, we’ve created a handy list of the top nail design ideas for your salon (or side hustle) this summer.

Top 7 nail design ideas for summer

We’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to. Our curated list is based on search volume figures, beauty industry data and social media analysis.

1. Neon French tips

Neon French Tip Nails

French tips are a classic, but adding a neon twist is particularly hot this summer. Google searches for neon French tips have shot up  189%, suggesting people want vibrancy over the usual white tips and neutral bases.

2. Almond acrylic nails

Almond acrylic nails

Softer shapes are also popular this summer with 14,800 people searching for almond acrylic nails per month. Celebrity manicurist Hang Nyugen boils this down to the current popularity of “lower-maintenance beauty routines”. With big names like Hayley Bieber, Dua Lipa, Lizzo and Beyonce sporting the look, almond-shaped nails are a go-to if you want to get your salon buzzing.

3. Chrome nails

Chrome nails

Chrome nails don’t fall short when it comes to being aesthetically pleasing. Hayley Bieber’s “glazed doughnut” manicure took the world by storm in 2022, and the demand for chrome nails has kept growing. Lavender chrome nails take the top spot with a +369% monthly search volume, followed by nude chrome nails at +128%

4. Floral Nails

Floral nails

While flowers are typically considered a staple for spring, floral designs are also a popular choice for summer. Research by Ripe Hair & Beauty revealed that searches for “bright floral nails” are up 250% each year.

5. Sunset ombre nails

Sunset ombre nails

Wrap up a beautiful summer’s day watching the sunset – on your hands.  This artful design has been catching the eyes of many on Instagram, with one artist’s “sunset aura” video reeling in over 200,000 likes.

6. Leopard print nails

Leopard nails

The classic animal-style print has been a favourite for years, though many in 2024 are choosing it for the viral “mob wife aesthetic”. They’ve been super popular on TikTok lately too, with one beauty creator’s video reaching over 112,000 views.

7. Mint green nails

Mint green nails

Mint green nails are making a comeback this summer. Research by Who What Wear found that searches for the design had increased, and major brands like Dior and Nailberry had launched new mint green nail polish. Definitely not a colour to be missing from your salon palette.

How to nail your salon business this summer

Being up-to-date with trends is one thing, but attracting the right customers is just as important. Here’s what you can do to differentiate your salon and build a loyal clientele.

1. Promote summer offers

Affordability is what customers often seek when looking for new products and services. That’s why seasonal promotions are a great way to attract them through special offers.

Seasonal promotions create a sense of urgency, so a summer sale is a good way to capitalise on customer interest during this time.

But if you plan to offer a discount, be careful not to knock the price down too much. While affordability is important to attract customers, you should also be cautious of how much you’re going to charge. Charging too low prices will hurt your cash flow

2. Show off on socials

Instagram and TikTok have truly influenced the popularity of nail salons.

The beauty of these platforms is that they offer accessible and low-cost marketing tools, making it easier than ever to showcase designs and engage with the audience. They’ve allowed salons and side hustlers to connect with clients by regularly posting new designs, behind-the-scenes content and testimonials from satisfied customers.

But a good way to leverage these platforms during peak season is by offering quick tutorials, nail maintenance tips or featuring designs for summer-specific events like a summer wedding or party. After all, 62% of users look for tutorials when searching on TikTok, and educational content gets 88% higher watch time.

3. Offer online booking

According to research, 85% of appointment bookings are made through mobile devices. Moreover, with 75% of Millennial customers wishing to avoid time-consuming phone calls, there’s a clear preference for online booking.

The difficult part is finding the right booking software for your business. When choosing the best solution, it’s important to consider features that cater to both your needs and your client’s preferences.

Startups 100 founder Abi Bright created Polishpad – a bespoke platform for nail salons – specifically to solve the problem of out-of-hours bookings.


Trends come and go, and in the beauty industry, it’s crucial not to be left behind. By keeping abreast of the latest designs on Google searches, social media and celebrities, you should be able to stay ahead of the competition and give your clients something they’ll love this summer and beyond.

Written by:
With over 3 years expertise in Fintech, Emily has first hand experience of both startup culture and creating a diverse range of creative and technical content. As Startups Writer, her news articles and topical pieces cover the small business landscape and keep our SME audience up to date on everything they need to know.

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