Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What to Tip Your Hairstylist


Tipping can sometimes be an awkward subject to talk about. If you've ever worked in the service industry then you're probably a good tipper because you know what it's like to have a good day and a bad day of tips. Below are a few tips about tipping your hairstylist <---see what I did there? ;)

1. At the moment, I don't work for a salon which means I get to keep 100% of whatever I charge my clients for their services. If your stylist works at a salon, chances are that a (sometimes large) percentage of each clients' service fee goes to their salon. If that is the case, I would recommend giving your hairstylist 15-20% on top of what you pay for your services. Also, don't ask them what percentage they pay their salon (nobody asks you what your salary is).

2. Assistants need tips just as much as stylists do. If someone besides your stylist washed or blow dried your hair then they are probably their assistant. When I was an assistant in New York, clients would tip me 5$ for a shampoo and between 10 - 15$ for a shampoo and blow out. 20$ if it was a really amazing blowout. Note, I am not recommending percentages here, be generous with assistants! They work long, hard hours and usually don't get paid much.

3. Tip for free bang trims. $5 will do. If your salon has you pay for bang trims then I wouldn't tip because I think bang trims should be free.

4. Holidays. Tip away! Your tips are your hairstylist's end-of-year bonus.

5. Gifts instead of tips. Hairstylists love gifts instead of (or along with) tips. Whether it's a Chanel bag or box of chocolates, they'll love it. ;)

*Disclosure: I worked at salons in New York City where haircut prices are much higher than most cities in the US. That being said, if you're wondering what's right in your situation then ask the receptionist at your salon. They'll know how much is normal without having an awkward conversation with your stylist.

11 comments:

Christy said...

Would you say this is correct for Parisian salons as well?

rubi said...

Christy,

Tipping culture in France is a lot different than in America but yes, I would say tipping at a salon would be quite similar. Stylists are still usually working off commission. When in doubt, ask the receptionist!

Claire G said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bobbi said...

This is really, really helpful! I had the same stylist from 15-22, and my mom is a former stylist, so I'll get her to give me a quick trim if I'm in town. I've been wanting to get a new "person" for everything and start taking a few more chances with my hair and I've been nervous because I don't really know what's appropriate! Thank you! (And asking the receptionist makes SO much sense!)

LMT said...

brilliant post!

Yelle said...

I just stumbled upon your blog and I already adore it. 2 reasons alone: I used to be a hairstylist before I became and event coordinator and I adore Paris, it's my favorite city. You're living a dream.
I love your tips for tipping because I can remember being an assistant and a tip would make my day. I remember getting a holiday "bonus" from clients and I sure do remember every client that gave me a gift!

leah fesi said...

wonderfully helpful post! here's a question: what if your stylist owns the salon? i have heard people on both sides - they work for themselves and make money off the salon so there is no need to vs. they are a stylist and have costs associated with a business so you should. what do ya say?


not that i am suddenly going to stop tipping my stylist after almost 7 years....

Becca said...

THANK YOU for this post! I didn't know I was supposed to tip for bang trims! I am the worst.

If someone doesn't work for a salon like you and gets to keep 100% of the haircut price, how much should a customer tip?

rubi said...

leah and becca,

i think that in both situations a tip would be very nice. the salon owner is splitting their profits in more ways than someone like me who doesn't work at a salon so I'd tip them before tipping me. I personally never expect a tip from private clients but am really grateful when I get one. I can't speak for everyone in my situation though.

Jill said...

This was so helpful to read. I move around a lot so it's always someone new cutting my hair and a new tipping situation.

Maybe this is getting too specific, but is the typical way to tip to hand the money straight to the stylist? I've heard people prefer cash tips as opposed to debit card tips, but it always feels really awkward to me to just hand someone cash. What's the graceful way to actually leave the tip?

katie said...

As a hair dresser I am so happy to see this post! Tips make up a huge part of what I make and we usually buy all of our Christmas gifts with extra Christmas tips.

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