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It seems as though more and more hairdressers are not
salaried employees at the salon where they work, but they
rent a space. In a sense, they own their business. Should
they routinely be tipped? I'm not asking whether I can
afford it, whether they do a good job, or whether they do or
don't get benefits. I'm just unclear on what clients are
expected do in this situation. I hope some hairdressers will
weigh in on this!
I get my hair cut and highlighted at a small shop in my neighborhood. There are
2 employees, one is the owner. The owner does my hair. I have always tipped
her, as well as anyone who has ever done my hair. She may be the owner, but
she still performed the service. Same thing applies with my pedis. That owner
performs them, but she still gets the tip. I think this only equitable.
I know that there is already a discussion about tipping people
who provide services (hairdresser, esthetician, etc.) and own
their own business on the BPN website.
My hairdresser used to work for someone else and I always
tipped her generously (18-20%) because she did and does a
fantastic job. About a year ago, she opened her own salon with
a partner. I continued to give her the same amount of tip
because it never occurred to me to tip her less. However, her
prices have gone up recently and I would like to cut back on
the amount that I am tipping her. I am thinking of only
tipping her 15% for a while and then maybe reducing that to
something lower. How low (% wise) could I go while still
showing her that I appreciate her? Or would she be offended by
me reducing my tips and think that I no longer appreciate her
as much as I used to?
The second area where I would like advice is for the
esthetician who I just started seeing who owns her own
business. I tipped her 15+% the first two visits from habit.
Is it okay not to tip at all since she owns her own business?
If I do tip, what is an acceptable %?
Thanks BPN Community for your advice!
I remember as a child my mother never tipped her hairdresser because she said she
was the owner, and got a percentage of the other hairdressers tips. True or not, I
always disagreed with this because of my own experience as a ''server.'' At any
would continue to tip, though maybe not as much, because she is still providing you
with a service. As the owner, she probably is the last to get paid. If she begins
employees, and gets a percentage from what they earn, you might then reconsider.
especially now, when it is difficult for small businesses to get started, I would
extra bit to support her.
Been on both ends of the Tip
I have responded to tipping questions on BPN before- I'm a former
hairstylist, so I have some insight here. Let me say again-
tipping is always optional! And yes, It's okay to reduce the
percentage you tip when your stylist raises their prices.
Fifteen percent is a nice tip. You won't be the only one
reducing the percentage they tip after a price increase.
Stylists do notice the amount that you tip, but mostly they just
want you to be happy and to keep coming back.
As for the question of tipping a salon owner- I've always read
that it isn't done, but I can tell you that most people do tip
the salon owner, and that it is very much appreciated. Clients
don't know it, but the profit margin in a salon is quite narrow.
This is especially true in a new business because the stylists
are building their client base and the salon owner makes most of
their profit from commissions. Overhead is high, as in any
business- advertising,rent, insurance, inventory, laundry
service, receptionist, etc.
Salon owners often spend a lot of time running the salon and less
time taking clients. As a result, sometimes stylists and
aestheticicians actually earn more than salon owners during the
period when they are building their business. Believe me, your
aesthetician will be in no way insulted if you leave a tip.
I think it's very nice that you asked the question. If you want
to do something really nice for a new salon owner send your
friends. They will appreciate that more than anything and they
won't forget it. Some will even offer to comp you on your next
service- it's worth it to them.
Hope that helps!
I remember an, of all things, Dear Abby article from many years ago when Abby
explained the etiquette of tipping with regards to this situation. According to
are not required to tip business owners. I assume that this is because they get to
all of the money they are bringing in, whereas an employee (or station renter) will
get to keep the entire amount that you pay, and so needs your tips to help bring
income back up to a profitable level. However, I would think that if you really
service that the business owner provides, tipping a little extra is certainly
Recently, I've been going to a woman whose cuts are working
pretty well for me, but whose color work isn't, and after three
tries at it, I've come to the conclusion that she's just not
going to get it.
So I want to find someone else for the color, and don't know if
it would just be too insulting if I were to keep her for the cuts
only- it would, of course, be obvious that I wasn't satisfied
with her color work. She's a very nice person with a low-key
personality, but I can't help thinking that anyone would take
some offense. My other thought is that since it's immensely
easier to make just one appointment rather than two, and since
color and cut need to work well together, maybe I should just
move on altogether
Has anyone dealt with this? And (although I realize this is more
a question for Recommendations!) I wonder if anyone can suggest a
stylist who is great at cutting curly, unruly hair (which I'm
growing long and many stylists want to take off too much), and
doing color work that both hides gray well and livens up the
overall look- and, whose rates aren't through the roof.
I have long very curly/frizzy hair. I get it cut and colored
with Maria at Ah Dorno Studio
on Hearst Avenue, just across from
the north gate of campus. Maria always does a good job, although
I confess I was a color virgin before she started coloring my
hair. I frequently get compliments. I recommend you give her a
try. I think their rates are reasaonable: including cut, color,
and tip, I pay $120. I think the base fee is just over $100. Try
Ah Dorno, 540-1104.
I had a similar situation. I found the perfect person for my
curly hair (with gray) that I want to keep at a semi-long
length. I go to Sarah Garrity at Festoon Salon
(she works at
both the Berkeley and San Francisco locations). She's in high
demand. I have to make appointments far ahead--I like to do
cut and color at the same time. There are those times where
I've made my appointment far in advance and then something
comes up to conflict with it and I have to change it. If I
can't get Sarah for the cut and/or color, I get another stylist
to do one or both. The great thing about the salon is that the
stylist you are loyal to doesn't have a problem with another
stylist doing your cut/color. They all have a great attitude
about it. If I waited for Sarah every time I had to reschedule
an appointment, my hair would be looking really bad! Anyway,
the salon is great and I love Sarah for my curly hair (she also
has long curly hair)! Sarah Garrity at Festoon (888) 357-
2566. Tell her Marcia (rhymes with Garcia) sent you. :o)
I go to a stylist for hair cuts and color my hair myself. For a while I
was seeing a
separate stylist for color. It never was an issue.
I have Gail at
Circle Salon at the Kensington Circle cut and
color my naturally curly hair. I've been going to her for years
and am quite satisfied.
Call her at 510-691-2052 and tell her that Sharyn sent you!
I had the same problem recently, except in reverse. I found a
new stylist and I liked her color work, but the cut wasn't that
great. My former stylist gave me great cuts, but didn't do
color. So I went back to my former stylist for the cut and
stayed with the new stylist for the color. I was a little
worried about what would happen when I went to the new gal for
the color when I had clearly had my hair cut by someone else.
Turns out, I was worried for nothing. She did ask me who cut
my hair (I told her I went back to my former stylist) and it
ended there. She didn't say ''you didn't like the cut I gave
you?'' like I thought she would. I was dreading having to
answer that one. So, although it is kind of a hassle, I now
go to two different people - one for the cut and one for the
color. Not ideal but fine for now
I went through a similar situation-I had someone who cut my
hair for years, and then last 3 haircuts were no good-i tried a
few new people and found one I really like. Her name is Marija
on Hopkins in Berkeley-I have curly hair and she is
great. For color, I see someone else, and no one seems to mind.
So I wouldn't worry about it, I think hairsylists are used to
people coming and going, and it's fine to have different people
for cut and color.
I am always wondering how much to tip my hairstylist. For haircut
and color I get charges $170, and leaving a 10% or 15% tip seems
quite steep. I have been giving that much so far, but since the
rates are increasing (and times are tougher), I need to take into
consideration that amount. Thanks for any advice.
It's my strong opinion that one should tip 15-20% for salon
services. You make the choice to get your hair done. The tip is
part of that cost. If you can't afford the service plus a
decent tip, you need to find a more affordable option. Don't
penalize your hairstylist. Think about it... Would you go to a
restaurant - order an expensive meal and not tip because the
economy is bad?? Yes, times are tough. For everyone.
Hairstylists don't make a lot of money. They spend a lot of
time and energy making us look good. They deserve a tip. It's
Egads, money is always a tough issue...that said, I think that
you should tip your hairdresser the going rate (CNN Money says
15% to 20% is the going rate...so you are already at the low-end
of the tip scale). Just as you have expectations to your salary
that affords you the opportunity to spend $170 on hair coloring,
your hairdresser has expectations to her/his remuneration and
what it affords her/him.
If your hairstylist charges $170, it is likely she owns her own
business and is considered a professional. As such, normally a
tip is not appropriate. You don't tip your accountant, for example.
If your hairstylist is paid minimum wage, such as the stylists at
Supercuts, then a 15% tip (or more) is appropriate. Tips are
given for low-paid service jobs, not for highly-paid
professionals (unless they really did something special and
unusual for you).
If you can afford $170 to have your hair cut/colored then you
can afford to leave a 10-15% tip. A down economy affects
just keeping it real...
You pay 170 dollars for a haircut and you're concerned about the
tip!?!? That reminds me of people who Super Size their meal, but
opt for DIET coke.
Okay... trying not to be judgmental... trying to ignore that 170
bucks will get my kids haircuts for over a year...
Perhaps you could consider going to a more... reasonably priced
haircutter, so then you could feel better about giving ten or 15%.
I worked as a hairstylist for many years, and tips generally run
about 20%. I am going to be very frank with you, because you
asked an honest question and I assume you want an honest answer.
A tip of 10% stands out as being quite small. A 10% tip is very
I always gave each client the same level of service regardless of
how generous they were, but let me put it this way- in ten years
of hairstyling I only had a handful of clients who routinely left
a 10% tip, and I always wondered if these clients had a
fundamental lack of understanding of or respect for my work.
$170 for a cut and color is very reasonable. The tip for a
service costing $170 would usually be about $30-$35. Yes, a cut
and color is expensive, and yes, your stylist is probably making
a very good living. But remember that you are paying not just
for her time but for her expertise. She only makes it look easy.
I had genuine affection for my clients, but when I had clients
who undertipped I sometimes found myself wishing they would find
someone else. Single moms who left small tips, or artists- that
never bothered me. But when a client who is relatively affluent
leaves a small tip it sends a message- I am an important person
and I deserve to be paid well. You are not an important person
and you do not deserve to be paid well, because you work with
In restaurants I suppose people may leave a smaller tip to convey
that they are displeased with the service. But if you have a
regular stylist who you return to because you like her work, you
should show her the respect of leaving a 20% tip. In our culture
it is the standard, and less than 20 is disrespectful.
just a response to the fellow who wanted to get rid of his
clients who (only) tipped 10%--and thought $170 was reasonable
for a hair cut. i honestly had no idea how much to tip in a
salon so finally i asked the receptionist at festoon what i
should do. she said most clients tipped 10%, so that's what i
do. interesting that the advice was all over the map.
I pay about $200 for a cut plus color. The stylist I go to
is at the top of her game - she trains others at the salon in
color. She never makes mistakes or gives me a bad cut. I am
always completely satisfied, and I know I can count on her to
give me a flawless haircut that still looks great 2 months later.
I need to look good for my job, and my job pays me enough to do it,
so I am happy to pay this. When I was in school, I paid a lot
less for haircuts or I cut my hair myself,
because that's all I could afford. In
my experience, you get what you pay for. Just like
clothes, just like food, you get what you pay for. I just
wanted to say that, for the people who thought $170 is a lot. It
really is not a lot for 3 hours' worth of a trained professional's time,
and it allows the stylists to actually live in the Bay
Area and buy groceries and pay for childcare for their kids.
now that that's out of the way. You should tip a stylist between 15% and 20%
Even if you are paying a lot for the haircut you still must tip. Very
likely the stylists in the upscale salon are taking a big cut on their
fee in overhead just to work there. Regardless of the salon, 15-20%
is the accepted practice and it's understood that people are going to
As for not tipping if your stylist is the owner: I think this is an
old-fashioned notion that the owner will consider a tip
"offensive". Those days are over, and yes you should tip even if
your stylist is the owner.
And a note to the person who thinks that if it cost
$170 for a cut-and-color, it must be the the owner: nope!
Nice hair lady
Being a relative newcomer to the Bay Area I was somewhat shocked
at prices for services. As for getting one's hair done it seems
to be costing a pretty penny. Tipping is my question: Is a 15%
tip typical? And does this go for a full cut/color cost equally?
At an outrageous cost of $130+, a 15% tip would put you at almost
$150 or more. Is this correct or am I off the mark? And do salon
owners get tips? Before I embarrass myself again at a salon with
possible inappropriate tips I would love some advice. Much
My hairdresser charges $130 for cut and color and I usually give her a
$30 tip which
works out to $160. I do this because I think she is fabulous and really
after a very long time of looking for the right hairdresser I have
finally found one that
listens to me, does what I ask and yet uses her expertise to make me
look my best. In
the past I have went to other hairdressers that charged a similar fee
(if not more) and
done a horrible job on my hair so I think it is worth the price to pay
hairdresser a fee that shows I appreciate the work she does. I do not
tip the owner of
the salon who I had cut my hair a LONG time ago and was one of those
people I thought did a horrible job.
You get what you pay for
I have been seeing the same hairdresser in Danville for 10 years
and I have always tipped her 3 dollars despite the fact that her
fee has tripled during the same period. That's all that I have
felt like tipping her and that's the most I ever plan to tip her.
One exception is when she sees both my wife and I. Then we tip
her 5 dollars and that's it. Between my 35 dollar haircut and my
wife's 60 dollar haircut, 5 dollars feels right for us.
Almost 5 percent feels very generous in our opinion
I've always heard that hairdressers get a 10 percent tip. That's
what I've always done. I sometimes round up a little for a job
well done, but 15 percent is generous in my book.
First, you must understand that tipping originated as a custom
when service providers were extremely poor. Today, it is a way
of supplementing inadequate pay, such as waiters' and other
minimum wage workers.
Here are the general rules for tipping as I understand them:
Always tip minimum wage employees such as hairdressers at
Supercuts or waiters. Professionals and owners who set their
own rates are not tipped. Self-employed hairdressers who charge
$50 or more for a haircut are considered professionals and
should not be tipped (those are middle class or better wages in
I'm told 20% is considered standard for a salon service and this
is what I tip. Consider that a server in a restaurant would
normally receive 15-20%, and they are waiting on several
customers at once. In a salon you have the stylist's complete
personal attention for close to an hour. Salon owners generally
do not receive a tip. A tip for the person who tips $5 on $95
service - your stylist hates you.
I love my stylist
Lately I've been getting facials, waxing or haircuts by the
owners. If it is just a one person operation, or the owner of
the shop, are tips expected?
no, you do not tip the owner. Tipping is customary for service
workers - many owners would find a tip offensive - they are the
professionals in the industry, not the wage-earners.
tipping for workers not the owners
I have had hair cuts, facials, and manicures by both owners as well as employees. I
always tip no matter what. I Like to show my appreciation when someone has gone
above and beyond and I want to ensure that I get the same great service the next
I'm in the beauty industry as a product rep and know many salon and spa owners. If
happy with the cut and/or service, I tip. Most owners are just breaking even to
salon expenses. They make their real income by giving services like everyone else
As long as we're soliciting recommendations for hair stylists,
I'd like to initiate a discussion about haircut-tipping
etiquette. In the ''olden days'' we always tipped the stylist when
she worked for the owner of a salon and was probably not very
well paid, but now with the upscale stylists renting chairs
(which sort of amounts to their owning their own business,
right?) and charging rather a lot for their services, is tipping
still required, or expected? Obviously, for a special ''thank
you'' it would be nice, but as a regular thing? Please enlighten!
I've been tipping my stylists between 10-15% because I didn't
want to offend them. A couple of times I saw other customers
paying and they weren't tipping. So recently I changed stylists
and I just flat out asked him about tipping. He said, ''Some
people tip, some people don't, I'm asking for $190.00 and that
amount would be perfectly fine.'' So I didn't tip. I'm just so
shocked at the high price now, I think I'm going to only tip as
a gift (during the holidays) or when I'm feeling a bit more
generous. Tipping to me lets them know how happy I am with
their work, but unfortunately, they must already know that I'm
happy because it's built into the price!
Funny that this should be posted today because I just came from
paying $165 for a cut and color. My stylist pays only for the
rental on her chair at this upscale salon, so I (guiltily) only
tipped her $20 on the total. I now feel emboldened not to tip,
at all (I think). Of course, she did spend 4 hours on my hair.
I think that I am comfortable giving her a small gratuity from
now on, not the customary 20%.
It is my understanding that the going rate is still 15-20% of
the bill (actual labor only-not including product), unless it is
the owner of the salon (or, I guess, chair) and then it is
discretionary, ranging from 0-20%. My neighbor tips 0 to her
salon owner, but I have always given them something, even if it
was something less than 15% when I was unemployed, the owner did
my hair, and the bill for a weave was $150.
Stylists offer honed skills (my long time guy was trained at
Vidal Sassoon in Italy, and regularly attended classes to update
his expertise) which I think should be recognized. I know for
sure there are many people who haven't done a good job with my
hair, and so I really appreciate competency in this area. By
the way, what I am talking about is a whole different ballgame
than the local barber. I sort of look at it as part of the
Now, I have often wondered what is correct to tip the assistant
who may wash hair, hand over weave materials, even mix dyes,
etc. Seems to me like this should be part of the 15-20%, but I
usually just give them an additional $3-6 and call it a day. If
anyone knows the answer to this (the tip for an assistant-how
much/part of 15-20%? - does the stylist share part of theirs?),
I would appreciate knowing that!
I tip 20%, every time.
What I was always told by my dear mother was, if the hairdresser
is the owner of the shop, you don't tip, but if he or she is *not
the owner, you do. I don't think you should concern yourself
with the booth rental arrangements between the owner and the
If you really don't feel like tipping, that's always your
perogative...but me, I like my hair to look decent, so I leave a tip!
I was wondering if someone could advise me on the appropriate
amount to tip for a facial and then for a manicure/pedicure
combo? I was given gift certificates last year for mothers day
and am just now getting around to using them!! But I am not
sure how much I should tip and I am not sure how much these
services normally cost (its not listed on the certificates).
Thanks for your help!
I give a $2 tip for a pedicure or manicure, $3 if they do a good
massage. Rule of thumb is 10-15% in general.
I usually tip 20% - 15% sometimes if it's a really expensive
service, such as highlights, which cost $125. +
Does anyone have any advice for how to deal with a bad haircut?
I recently received my 2nd cut from a particular stylist. The
first cut was great but this second cut is choppy, uneven, and
very high maintenance. If it were a longer cut I might ask her
to just change the style to something more liveable but it is
too short. If I just did not like the style that would be one
thing but I think this is mostly a bad cut. Should I go
back to her in the next couple of days and ask for a discount
or something on my next cut? Or is this just a case of caveat
emptor and I need to start looking for a new stylist? What
have you done in this situation?
If you want to keep this stylist, I would call her ASAP and
very nicely tell her the cut isn't working for you and you need
a fix -- or maybe a lesson in styling it -- and get her to work
you in as soon as she can.
But if you think she just isn't very good, write her off and
find someone new! Walk up to people you see who have good short
haircuts and find out who does their hair. Personally I
recommend Jhay Green on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland; he is
sweet, accommodating and a very talented stylist. His number is
655-0105. Good luck!
If you generally like this person, I'd talk to her/him and tell
them how unhappy you are and see what they say.
After that,I guess I'd look for a new hairdresser and chalk it
up to experience. Hair grows, so at least it won't be forever.
Best wishes for quick growing,
My hairstylist will do free touchups if a haircut doesn't turn out the
want (in fact, she'll do them even if she's done a fine job). With a
cut it often helps to wait a couple of weeks before having one done! , so
that enough has grown out to work with.
Of course, if you feel the stylist didn't do a good job in the first
maybe you don't want to go back to her. In which case, another stylist
might give you a touch-up cut for less than a full haircut.
Since you liked your first cut, I would go back to the stylist and tell
you are not happy with your new haircut. Ask her what she could do to
''fix''( Probably should come up with a better word) the way it looks.
have heard of people doing this before. However, if you are not happy
with her ideas or response, I would look for a new stylist.
I'd never hesitate to go back and ask the hairstylist to fix
your cut, or, if you don't want to risk her making it even
worse, at least call -- or write a note -- to let her know
you're disappoint! ed with her work. A real professional might
even refund your money.
Trust me on this one - I know how much a bad haircut can
ruin your life. Under normal conditions I'm about the least
hair-obsessed person you're likely to meet. I wash it and
brush it and give it very little thought beyond that. (judging
from your complaint that your haircut is high-maintainence
I'd say you're the same way). Sadly, I've ended up with a few
haircuts that were so bad I couldn't even look at myself. A
friend and I came up with a system of guidelines to deal
with this problem. First of all, I'd advise against getting a
repair cut. Make a ''hair vow'' not to cut it for 6 months,
although a year is better. I know what you want to do is fix
the hair now, but trust me on this one - let it grow. In the
meanwhile get some hair bands to pull your hair back. It's a
very low-maintainence way to fix the hair for now. Second of
all, give up on that stylist. Don't bother calling him/her. They
can't put the hair back, and you'll never trust them again
anyways. I was once so upset with a bad cut I embarrassed
myself by calling the stylist in tears, only to feel stupid
afterwards. Find a new stylist who will speak to you about
your hair concerns WITHOUT any scissors in his/her hands.
Sometimes a bad haircut is the result of a hurried situation.
Find someone who has time for a real discussion before
they start hacking up your hair. Tell them about your bad
past experiences. Once you find someone you trust you're
less likely to get a bad cut. Lastly, construct a permanent
flashing neon sign in your brain warning you against certain
hair-styles. Mine says ''NO BANGS! NO BANGS!'' Arrange for
a good friend on-call who will always be there to talk you out
of certain hair styles.
Okay, I know these measures may sound a little extreme.
I've been through what you have. I know you're not shallow.
You just don't want to look stupid. These tried-and-true
methods can save you from years of thinking too much
about your hair. Good luck
Sorry you're upset about your haircut. It's really frustrating
to not be happy with your hair and how you look. As for dealing
with stylist and what to do, I suggest that you don't have to
make a unilateral decision. Instead, talk with her. Tell her
what you've shared here. The 1st cut was great,but you're very
disappointed with this one. What does she suggest to either fix
it or appease you (ie, discount)? Based on her response, you can
better decide whether or not to find someone new.
At least hair does grow :)
Always changing hairstyles.
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