How Much Do You Tip a Hairdresser?

Apr 12, 2022


Undecided on how much you should tip your hairstylist? We asked three experts on etiquette and two salon experts, and an expert professional certified in financial planning. The majority of them recommend that you leave between 15 and 20%, based on the service you receive and your satisfaction.

The 20% figure is suitable for stylists and you since that math is relatively easy to understand.

Why tipping is crucial

Many hairstylists constitute a substantial amount of their earnings. The amount “affects how they view their earnings and spend it,” says Steve Waldman, technical, artistic director, and product advisor for the Hair Cuttery Family of Brands.

Tips can also express gratitude to your hairdresser, whose job is likely to have changed and has become riskier in the pandemic.


“There’s plenty more that needs to be done to help employees be protected and protect their customers,” says Crystal L. Bailey, Director of The Etiquette Institute of Washington located in D.C. “So should we, if you’re not doing anything else, ensure that we’re correctly tipping them in light of the immense effort they’re putting into.”

Are there any exceptions to the rule of 15%-20?

Sure 15% up to 20 percent is the standard rule (and is the amount to give a massage therapist..) If you can pay a little higher than 20 percent, Waldman suggests doing so for hairstyles with hairstyles that you find “really ingenious and depending on the imagination and skill from the stylist.” For instance, you might consider giving more to hand-painted highlights, color correction, and hair extensions.

However, it’s okay to tip close to 15% for less formal cuts, such as a standard barber cut, Waldman advises.

What if you’re dissatisfied with the outcome?


If you’re not happy with the way your hair turned out, you can leave it at a rate of 15 percent, but you shouldn’t skip the tips, suggests Diane Gottsman, founder of The Protocol School of Texas. She says that after all that, the expert still put in their time and effort and could not even be aware that there was a problem.

Not leaving a tip or simply leaving the salon won’t help your hair look better, and speaking out could. Waldman says: “Give the salon professional the chance to bring you to a point where you’re content in your appearance .”

Speak with your hairstylist privately about the particulars of what you’re unhappy with. Then, ask what can be done differently. The suggestion is Elaine Swann, founder of the Swann School of Protocol, located in Carlsbad, California. “This means that there’s an exchange of ideas in which you’re looking for the resolution”.

You might be able to make a second appointment to alter the color, for instance, or have a professional give styling tips or suggest products to enhance an unattractive cut.

Do you tip assistants?

The general rule of thumb offered by the two salons, Waldman and Gottsman, is to tip any person who gets your hair. Suppose you can pay around $3- $5 to the attendant who shampoos your hair or removes the color. Therefore, there is no requirement to give a tip to the salon manager who arranged your appointment.


What if you cannot pay for a pay a tip?

Our experts have offered several opinions on proceeding if you don’t have the money to pay for the expense. Let’s begin with the opposing view. Although it’s a “charming gesture,” Swann says, “if you’re unable to give a gratuity, you can leave it as is.” That is to say; please say thank you and then leave without leaving a tip.

According to Swann, the beauty salon owner, the price for the services is all you’re due.

Niki Moon, who owns Niki Moon Salon & Spa in Naperville, Illinois, has the same opinion. “Tips will always be appreciated. However, they’re never demanded,” she says. “We will never allow our clients to never to us simply because they could not afford the cost of a fee in addition to the services .”


Gottsman offers a different perspective. “Gratuity isn’t a choice,” she says. “It’s not a take-away order. They’re taking off your locks.” She also points out that you’re opting to go through this kind of experience involving tipping. It’s recommended to make the tipping decision.

Pamela Capalad, a New York-based certified financial planner, is in the same boat. “You don’t have to pay for what’s at your cash drawer,” Capalad says. “If you’re planning to use these services, it is necessary to include a tip into the budget.”

Before scheduling an appointment, consider your budget and decide how much you’re willing to spend. If, for instance, the service you’re looking for is $100, do you like spending $115 or $120 in total to cover a 20% or 15 percent tip?

“If you’re stuck financially, maybe you should rethink your decision,” Gottsman says. Perhaps you decide to stick with the $120 cost but visit the salon less often. Maybe you think about the possibility of a lower-cost salon or service. For instance, an $75 service with a 20% gratuity would be within the upper quartiles of $90.

Perhaps you’ll want to alter the ways you manage your finances. For instance, you can reduce your other costs to free up cash for your salon. You can also regularly save money in the salon’s fund to pay for your services.

If you decide to pay for your salon’s services, try to leave a tip and show respect. For instance, mention the name of your stylist, Gottsman states. If you’re thrilled over your new style, inform their manager or write a glowing online review.