IN THE LAB 01.12.2023
A Guide to Tipping at the Hair Salon
A Guide to Tipping at the Hair Salon

A Guide to Tipping at the Hair Salon


You went to the hair salon for a cut and a color, and you know you have to tip (you know that, right?), but four different people provided services between a shampooer, the person cutting your hair, the colorist, and another person who gave you a blowout. How do you tip? Who do you tip? How much!? We’ve been there and we get it - navigating the world of tipping can sometimes be confusing, but we’ve got you. We’re breaking down tipping protocol at hair salons to help keep up one of the most important relationships in your life - your relationship with your hair stylist 😉. 



Standard Tipping Rate

The general rule of thumb is to tip ~20% of the total cost of the service. This percentage may vary depending on your the salon's policies and who did the service (see below). 

When to Tip

Tipping is usually done at the end of the appointment when you're paying. You may be able to add a tip to your credit or debit card if that’s how you’re paying, but stylists often prefer less, um tracked forms of tipping. It’s generally best practice to tip in cash, though many stylists now love Venmo, Zelle, CashApp, etc. If tipping in cash, check the salon’s website ahead of your appointment to see if they offer prices on the services menu so you can plan how much cash to bring accordingly. 

Multiple Service Situations

If you're getting multiple services (cut, color, styling), you can either tip a percentage on each service or calculate a percentage based on the overall total. It's always a good idea to clarify with your stylist how they prefer to handle tips in such situations.

Owner vs. Employee

If your stylist is the salon owner, some say it’s not necessary to tip the owner, but it’s always still appreciated. Remember- you’re building a long term relationship *hopefully*. It's a personal choice, but acknowledging their efforts with a tip is a nice gesture, though you may choose to tip a bit less than the full 20%. 

Assistant and Other Salon Staff

If an assistant washes your hair or another staff member provides additional services, consider tipping them separately from your main stylist. A smaller amount, such as $5-$10, is usually appropriate for support staff. This is in addition to the 20% of services to the stylist and/or colorist - it should not come out of their tips. Also, if you didn’t catch the names of the people who helped you, don’t worry - just ask the receptionist when you pay at the end of your service and they’ll help you out! 

Gift Certificates and Discounts

If you received a service with a gift certificate or at a discounted rate, it's still appropriate to tip based on the original price of the service, not the discounted amount.

Feedback and Tips

If you're pleased with the service, don't hesitate to express your satisfaction verbally. Positive feedback can mean a lot to your stylist. Additionally, if there are issues with your service, consider discussing it with the stylist rather than skipping the tip.

Building a Relationship

Building a rapport with your stylist can lead to a more enjoyable experience. Tipping consistently and showing appreciation can strengthen this relationship. I mean, what if you need to get squeezed in for an emergency bang trim or root touch-up ahead of an event? You’ll be very happy you’ve built a strong relationship. 

Navigating tipping at a hair salon doesn't have to be daunting. By sticking to these general guidelines and considering the specific circumstances of your visit, you can express your appreciation and continue to build your relationship with the people who have your life - no, your HAIR! - the people who have your hair in their hands (quite literally).