Tipping 101: Hair and Beauty Services

Tipping on hair and beauty services shouldn’t be complicated, although it’s easy to get confused with all of the different services available. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.

1. How much should you tip your hair stylist? Manicurist? Bikini Waxer? Facialist?

The good news is that the tipping scale remains the same for most hair and beauty treatments. Most customers tip between 15 – 25%, with 20% being the most common. If you are happy with your service, whether it be hair, skincare or beauty, 20% is considered customary. If you are absolutely in love, you can tip more.

2. Should you tip your hair stylist’s assistant separately for shampoos, blowouts, etc?

This does differ across the board, but yes, a small tip would be appreciated by the assistant for shampooing and/or any other service they perform. Tera Rae Stephens, a hair stylist in Southern California, says, “the tipping amount depends on exactly what the assistant does for you. If she only shampoos your hair for a cut then $3-$5 is fair. Again, if it is a shampoo that relaxes you to the point of drooling go for the higher end of that scale. If she applies your tint and then shampoos your hair, $5-$8 is acceptable. Some clients get a double process color that requires more than one shampoo, in this case she would really appreciate $8-$10. However, these rates are based on average stylist pricing in Newport Beach, CA. Depending on where you live, it may be higher or lower!”

3. What if the salon owner is your hair stylist? Should you tip them?

Go right ahead. The owner/stylist is performing a service, and they would appreciate a tip.

4. What are definite don’ts when visiting a salon?

Arriving late for appointments throws a service professional’s day off from that point on. Please try to be prompt. If you’re really sick, no one appreciates being coughed on repeatedly. And don’t forget, you need to retain proper posture while getting a cut. If you are hunched over, staring at your Blackberry or iPhone, your haircut will suffer.

5. Math is not my forté. What is the easiest way to quickly calculate a tip?

Well, there are tons of apps (like this one) that can easily and quickly calculate a tip, but I personally follow the ‘move the decimal’ rule. Say your service is $75.00. If you move the decimal one spot to the left, that will be 10% of the amount. Multiply that number by two, and you’ve got your 20%! (For example: $75.00. Move the decimal over one spot – $7.50. $7.50 x 2 = $15.00. Easy peasy.)

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