What Should I Tip at the Salon?

woman tipping at the salon

We’ve all wondered at some point in our lives how much do you tip the people who are awesome at making you feel amazing. How much should you tip your hair stylist, manicurist, or esthetician? Whom in a salon should you tip? And what tipping misstep might get you blackballed from a salon or spa for life? Here is the inside scoop:


Tipping Etiquette

What’s the standard?

A typical tip is anywhere from 15 to 20 percent of the cost of services. That is before tax. Some customers tip more than 20 percent if they are beyond happy with their service or if it’s a low-cost service like a $10 manicure.

Tip everyone who helped you during your service. That doesn’t mean you need to tip the receptionist but don’t forget the stylist-in-training who gave you that extra head massage or washed and conditioned your hair. Don’t break the bank, but anywhere from $2 to $5 is a thoughtful gesture for those smaller services.

Cash is always king. A lot of nail salons even post that they only take cash tips. Why? A tip on a credit card may not always go to the right technician. If more than one person worked on you, you want to be sure your money goes to the person you intended. Also, credit card fees are an absolute nightmare that workers and owners hate!

Stylists and technicians take note when someone is a “bad tipper.” So beware. The next time you want an emergency appointment you may not get one. And if you tip poorly, you can kiss those extra freebies you get during the holidays goodbye.

Do You Tip the Owner?

It is etched in stone that you typically do not need to tip the owner of a salon or spa because they reap most of the profits. But if you feel compelled to do so, hand the tip directly to him or her. If the owner doesn’t want the tip they will respectfully decline. You can also offer a smaller tip to an owner, perhaps only 10 percent of the cost of the service.

What if You’re Unhappy?

Unless the experience was horrible, a tip is a way to thank someone for their time. Give your service provider specific feedback, pay attention during the service, and speak up if you don’t like the way something looks. Always tip, but less if you’re less than satisfied—maybe opt for 10 instead of 20 percent.

How to Act?

Big tipping is one way to show your appreciation for service. But there are others. Always arrive early. You can mess up a stylist’s or technician’s full day by arriving late. Not only that; they take note of how many times this happens and may even refuse your business if it becomes a common occurrence.

Put down your phone, don’t keep reaching into your bag, sit still and relax. You are there to relax right?

Want to learn how to become an esthetician, cosmetologist or nail technician? You could pursue your dream at Salon Success Academy. At Salon Success, we give you the tools you need to prepare for your dream career. Call 1-877-987-4247 today to find out more.