Etiquette for Tipping Hairdressers: Should You and How Much?

Etiquette for Tipping Hairdressers
Have you ever wondered just how much you should tip your hairdresser? If yes, you're on the right page, for in the following SocialMettle article we will discuss more about the same.
SocialMettle Staff
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
Tipping can be quite a tricky proposition at times. Not only is knowing how much to tip extremely important, but also is knowing when to tip. The amount that you'd give a rash cab driver is usually not the same as compared to what you would normally offer a helpful bellhop in a classy hotel. Similarly, the bonus money that you offer a waiter, a hairdresser, a pizza delivery boy, a masseur, a baggage handler, etc., would all be slightly different from each other. Although there is no universal rule book as such which specifies the laws of tipping, you can, by various means, get a fair idea about the expected general etiquette. In the following sections of this article, we will have a look at how to tip hairdressers.
Is It Necessary To Do So?
First and foremost, let us address the above question. Is it mandatory? Well, first of all, tipping is not mandatory in the exact sense of the term. It is actually something that people do for multiple reasons - some believe it to be a way of thanking the server, others think of it as a way of ensuring better service the next time, some do it out of gratitude, others out of generosity, whereas some do it out of guilt or purely for social acceptance.
At the same time, certain countries discourage this practice, and in a few places, tipping is actually illegal!
Women getting a hairstyle done
So how much do you tip a hairdresser, and decide whether to do so or not? Well, if it's a fancy beauty salon that you're visiting, then yes, the gratuity is expected. However, if it happens to be a run-of-the-mill place that you have visited out of urgency or desperation, or if the hairdresser's skills are not up to the mark and you end up with a haircut that resembles a crow's nest, then maybe you can skip the reward.
In case you do decide to go ahead with thanking the hairdresser with a little extra, here is how much it should be.
What Is The Expected Amount?
Before I answer this question, let me hear what you have to say about it. How much do you think is appropriate? 5 percent of the bill? 10 percent? 15 percent? Not even a penny? Well, as I mentioned earlier, there is no standard rule when it comes to giving a tip. However, you would do well if you familiarize yourself with some proper etiquette when it comes to financially expressing your gratitude to hairdressers, barbers, and in general, salon services. Here are some guidelines you can follow:
tips gathered in a jar
Generally, the acceptable reward amount is around 15 percent of the total bill. However, this number is subjective, and is by no means, universally objective. If you are looking for a range, then consider a number between 10 and 20 percent to be suitable.
Of course, the actual amount that you decide upon will vary depending on various factors. For example, if you have visited your hairdresser for a simple haircut that cost you USD 40, then an additional USD 5 should be perfectly alright. However, if you have availed an assortment of services such as a haircut, a hair coloring and highlighting session, hair styling, or any other service, then perhaps you could think of upping the amount proportionately.
Normally, the general principle that is commonly followed is that if the services offered to you involve a good deal of personal care, expertise, and individual skill, then the customer would do well to reward the attendant with a slightly higher-than-normal tip.
So if in normal cases, you generally give your barber an additional 10 percent of the bill, you could perhaps make it 15 percent for a hairdresser at a professional salon who has taken great care in ensuring that your haircut and hair color is exactly how you want it to be.
Remember, the best way to go about this is to be flexible in your approach - use the percentage approach in some situations, and the fixed amount approach in others. Last but not the least, always observe your fellow customers, and it will give you a much better idea about the etiquette that is expected to be followed in that particular situation.