Convenience or Quality: Which Off-Campus Nail Salons do Students Prefer?
By Winter Hawk
November 23, 2021
Image Credit: Josie Jack for The Campus Trainer
From acrylic nail sets to eyebrow waxing, nail salons on Route One have the University of Maryland students covered with their beauty needs. Just off-campus, students can take a spa day without overspending.
The most popular salons among students in College Park are Revo Nail and Spa and UM Nail Spa, both on Baltimore Avenue. While UM Nail Spa lies directly across the street from the University View, Revo Nail and Spa is more centrally located for other students.
Two doors down from Marathon Deli, Revo Nail and Spa is the go-to place for many students living on or near campus without a car. Even for those with wheels, convenience is often a priority.
Kacie Ragusa, a junior business major, only has to cross the street twice from her sorority house and walk roughly five minutes to get her nails done at Revo Nail and Spa.
“[At UM Nails] I have to get in the car to go, so it's more of a hassle,” Ragusa said.
Ragusa also likes to support Revo Nail and Spa because it’s a family business.
Jennifer Thai, the salon owner’s wife, moved to Maryland about 10 years ago. The couple took over the salon almost five years ago from its previous owner.
Beyond being a mom-and-pop business, the salon also offers good customer service, according to junior criminology and psychology major Meghan Connolly.
“Revo was a better experience [than UM Nails] because the nail tech I had was super nice and was having a conversation with me the entire time,” Connolly said.
While conversations flowed more naturally at Revo Nail and Spa, UM Nail Spa is known more for its intricate nail designs.
Brianne Hayes, a sophomore psychology major, goes to UM Nail Spa for her nail tech’s advanced design skills.
“Whoever does your nails [the first time], usually becomes the person that does your nails next time you come back,” Hayes said. “[My nail tech] would put flowers under my nail [polish].”
Aside from the nail designs, the quality of manicures at UM Nail Spa is also sought after.
“[The acrylics] don't lift; they don't fade or anything,” Hayes said.
Ragusa agreed the nail care was also better at UM Nail Spa. Nail techs put oils on her hand and pushed back her cuticles, a common practice that Revo Nail and Spa skipped over for Ragusa.
Don’t bother to compare the prices either, they’re almost identical - about $50 for a new acrylic set and $40 for gel nail polish. But if customers are looking for a simple manicure with regular nail polish, UM Nail Spa only charges $6 compared to Revo Nail and Spa’s $25 manicure.
For those looking for services beyond nail care, both salons wax eyebrows for under $10. Revo Nail and Spa also offers eyelash extensions that range from $30 to $80 depending on eyelash length.
No matter the service, students recommend making an appointment.
“After your first time going there, [you] usually [make an] appointment,” Hayes said. “That's rare [that] you can just walk in.”
Whether students want better nail care or greater convenience, there is a nail spa on Route One for them. At prices set within a college student’s budget, many students become regulars at their favorite salon.