How Much to Tip Your Stylist? After a Visit to Your Favorite Salon

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So you’ve found your favorite salon, and you want to figure out how much you should tip the stylist the next time they do your hair. Tipping etiquette is an important part of your relationship with your stylist, so here’s what you should do.

20% is the most common tip for a good stylist. A 25% tip can express extra satisfaction and appreciation, and it will encourage the stylist to offer more excellent treatment during the next visit, so it’s a good tip percentage for regular salon goers to give to their favorite stylist.

You want to be able to expect great results from your hair appointments, and leaving good tips at your favorite salon is the best way to make that happen. Here’s your guide to tipping your hairstylist at a salon.

What is the Average Tip?

The average tip for any hair service is 20% of the service charge, especially when you’re satisfied with the results. Stylists, hairdressers, and colorists will typically expect a tip somewhere in the range of 15% to 20%, and the amount of the tip you give will indicate your level of satisfaction with them.

That’s one thing that makes 20% the most common tip for stylists.

Think about it in relation to online reviews: if you don’t have anything to complain about, then there’s no reason to give less than five stars, and a 20% tip is like a tangible five-star rating for stylists. The only reason to give less is if there’s something about the results that you don’t like. If you got what you expected, then give 20%.

The only difference is that you can increase your tip past 20% if they really impress you, which makes it mathematically possible for 20% to be the average rather than just the most common tip.

One more thing that makes 20% the average tip is that it’s convenient to calculate. All you have to do is calculate a fifth of the service charge or multiply it by two and divide by ten, whichever method of doing the math is easier. You probably won’t even need to pull out your phone for the calculator.

Why Do We Tip Hairdressers?

There are a few important reasons why you should always tip your hairdresser. First, leaving a good tip can improve the service the hairdresser gives you in the future. If they know that you tip well for good service, they will be more willing to offer their services in the future, and they will try to do an even better job next time.

When you give a generous tip, you’re essentially rewarding them for an excellent job and encouraging them to do as well or better next time. They might even offer you bonus services like bang trims or touch-ups for free.

Another reason to give gratuity tips is that they should make you feel good. The word “gratuity” is related to “gratitude,” and when you give a good tip, you’re showing gratitude, which is a good feeling to have. You’re also giving a little extra, and if you think of it as a sincere gift in thanks for a job well done rather than something you’re forced to do, that will feel good, too.

Finally, tips are an important part of a hairdresser’s living, especially when they work at a salon owned by someone else rather than run their own business. Those hairdressers make most of their living off of tips, while the service charge itself may end up going into either restocking hair products or the owner’s pocket.

Even hairdressers who run their own salon alone will need a lot of the service charge to keep the salon going, paying rent and utilities, so tips end up being really important for their own income as well.

The only time you shouldn’t tip is when you’re paying for a product rather than a service. If the hairdresser didn’t do any work on your hair, and you’re only at the salon to buy a hair product, then there isn’t any reason to pay a tip. If you want to buy a product on the way out from your appointment, have them ring up the product’s price separately to avoid confusion.

Tips Based on Services

The typical range for a tip is 15% to 20%. You shouldn’t ever give less than 15%, and giving less than 20 tells the stylist that you were dissatisfied in some way.

If you frequent the same salon, you might consider tipping in the 20% to 25% range. Tipping more than 20% will encourage the stylist to remember you and treat you well.

If you’re feeling really generous or the stylist did a phenomenal job that just blew you away, tipping 25% or more will show just how impressed you are with them and their work.

What If You’re Unhappy with the Result?

If you aren’t happy with the result of your visit, the best thing you can do is verbally convey that to your stylist. You should still tip them at least 15%.

You may think that giving any tip at all after a bad job is ridiculous, but it’s actually strategic. You see, the stylist will be disappointed by the minimum tip anyway, especially since they rely on tips. They will know from that that they will need to do a better job the next time if they want a good tip, but they don’t know what they did wrong, which won’t help anything.

If you tell them why you’re disappointed in your haircut, they will have exactly the information they need to impress you next time. Or, if it’s possible to quickly fix it, they might do just that, fixing both your look and both of your attitudes. Granted, that wouldn’t happen if the problem was that they cut your hair too short.

Another reason to pay a tip even when you’re disappointed is that it shows the stylist that you might be willing to give a better tip if they do a better job next time. In fact, a 16% or 17% tip, instead of the minimum, will show that you’re not being spiteful or stingy and that you’re just disappointed, and you would be willing to pay the full 20% if you liked your haircut.

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