Tipping Etiquette in Salons..

In my lifetime of working in salons I always hear clients asking about tips, who to tip, how much to tip etc etc. So I’m here to try to explain briefly how it works in hair salons..

Being from England myself, the rules of tipping vary alot compared to the US, it seems that here in the US, it’s almost compulsory to tip wherever or whatever you do, i.e. eating, riding in cabs.. Whereas in the UK, you tip when you feel like feel like tipping someone for their service and you are happy with it etc, but as we know, tipping varies so much in different countries, so if your unsure, you could always ask the receptionist for advice before going somewhere.

So for the most part, in the US, most people tip the hair stylists/colorists between 15-20% of the service, (more if they are very happy) and the shampoo person (who alot of people forget about) will usually get anything from $2 – $20 depending on the client and how happy with the service they are feeling. Sometimes even the receptionist will get a tip from regular clients who appreciate the receptionist ability to get them their appointments when they need/want.

I have read alot of articles about tipping where they say that the owner need not be tipped!! Now I’m not just saying this because I am an owner, but I just don’t get where this came from? I can understand if the salon is largely based on commission stylists who make the salon owners alot of money but for smaller salons where the stylists all work on a chair rental basis, these owners don’t make a huge commission on others and therefore work just as hard as everyone else so why shouldn’t they get tipped like others? Others may disagree but I’ll bet you the ones that disagree are owners of huge salons!

On special occasions, where a stylist has gone out of their way to fit you in after hours, it would be a nice gesture to show your appreciation by tipping them more than you usually do, and for occasions like Christmas, it is totally up to the clients whether they give a special tip or not, it is certainly not expected but a great gesture if you do.

How you choose to give the tip is up to you, most salons will provide an envelope for you to put your tip into, you should write your name as well as theirs on the front, it would be easiest to give it to reception who will hand them out to the stylists at the end of the day, altho some people prefer to give them directly to the stylist, but remember it can be abit awkward as the stylists could have wet or sticky hands from working and may not have a pocket to put it into.

Thanks for reading..

2 Replies to “Tipping Etiquette in Salons..”

  1. Emily, your comments are always appreicated, thanks. Yes, this one is an awkward subject, thats why it took me 2years to mention it and I tried to write it sitting on the fence. Agree with you and yes, exchanging of tips is too awkward anyway to deal with yet I dont think we can explain anything to the clients about how salons work with their commissions/rentals etc and every client must do what they feel is right, for me I just want to help people out with this constantly asked question and to bring to light the part about the 'dont tip the owner' part. Thanks Emily x

  2. yeah, this is a hard one. i worked with a guy that didnt take tips, he just made sure the amount he was charging was what he considered fair and covered his overhead. i thought that was a cool concept. the tipping thing is awkward, and exchange of $$ is my least favorite part of ownership. i consider myself the "master tenant". i'm an independent contractor, just like my renters. my income is completely based on my what i charge my clients. the salon itself does not employ me, or the other stylists. over time, the salon itself can begin to "pay for itself" by product sales….The "dont tip the owner" thing is definately misunderstood. we cant expect our clients to know how we manage commissions/rentals/etc. How do you explain it to your clients if/when they ask you? i absolutely hate discussing money.

Comments are closed.