Since it can take hours upon hours for hairstylists to style, cut and color hair, the expectation is they’ll be compensated appropriately. In 2021, hairstylists earned a median pay of $29,680, so tips go a long way.
Tipping is common etiquette, and you should know how much to tip a hairstylist since it will save you awkwardness and calculations while you’re getting your hair done.
This article outlines basic hairstyling etiquette and suggestions on how much you should tip your stylist.
Why Should You Tip Hairdressers?
Think of it this way: it’s your hairdressers’ job to cut, style and color your hair. If they choose to go out of their way to clean the space for you, make small talk, give you compliments about your hair and offer a complimentary drink, it’s courteous to tip them for their services.
Moreover, many hairdressers make most of their living off of tips rather than an hourly wage, making tipping all the more important.
By tipping a service provider, you show them your appreciation, strengthen your relationship with them and ensure that they are able to continue providing you with excellent service. However, most people aren’t familiar with the proper tipping rate for hairstylists. If you’re sometimes uncertain what to tip your hairstylist, this guide is for you!
How Much Should You Tip Your Hairdresser?
The short answer is 15% to 20% or more. If their service was reasonable, leave a 15% tip. If their service was above average, leave a tip of 20% or more.
For instance, if your total bill is $100, a 15% tip is $15 and a 20% tip is $20.
According to Daniel Post, spokesperson for etiquette training organization the Emily Post Institute, a 20% tip is considered the golden rule because hairdressers need tips to supplement their income.
Considering that the median wage for barbers, hairstylists and cosmetologists was $14.27 per hour in 2021, tips are vital to the livelihood of these professionals.
If you have your phone with you, it’s pretty easy to calculate the tip. For example, if you want to tip 20%, divide 20 by 100 and multiply it by your total bill. That should give you the amount you need to tip.
Here’s a table to help you out:
|Total Bill||Average Service (15%)||Excellent Service (20%)|
How Much Should You Tip Your Hairstylist Based on the Type of Service You Received?
The amount you tip can also depend on the type of service provided to you. Some people may tip 15% to 20% on the total bill, while others may choose to leave no tip at all. However, you should only do that if the service was absolutely terrible. Not tipping is a rude money habit.
It is ultimately up to you how much you want to give your hairdresser as a gratuity, but here’s a rough guide if you’re unsure:
Less Than 15% Tip
You should leave a tip of less than 15% only if you were extremely unsatisfied with the quality of service provided and plan on not coming back to the salon.
It’s important to note that many hairstylists may not consider 10% an acceptable tip, thinking of it more as an ‘obligation’ on your part rather than an act of gratitude. So be sure to think twice before leaving a 10% tip.
You should tip your hairstylist 15% in the following circumstances:
- You were in the salon for a very simple or less time-consuming service.
- Your hair is short and easy to manage. Thus, the hairdresser did not have to spend much time or effort on it.
- It was a preliminary service, and you will be coming back for a more expensive hair treatment later.
- You’re at a new salon for the first time.
- You’re satisfied with the results.
- If the service itself was expensive and you don’t want to spend too much.
15% is a way to show your hairstylist that they did a decent job on your hair and you’re fairly happy with the results.
You should tip 20% when:
- You’re over the moon about the quality of service and how your hair looks.
- You are on good terms with your hairstylist and want to let them know they are appreciated.
- You want to create a good relationship with the hairdresser because you love their services.
20% is considered a standard tip to indicate to your hairdresser that you’re satisfied with the service provided. You will definitely want to tip this much if you are on good terms with your regular hairdresser.
Good To Know
You should opt for tipping a certain percentage rather than sticking to a $10 or $5 flat amount since you might be paying just $10 for a $200 service while the actual 20% tip for it would be $40.
More Than 20% Tip
You should tip closer to 22% to 25% if:
- Your hair is challenging to manage, but the hairstylist did a great job at it.
- You were late for your appointment, rescheduled within 24 hours of your original appointment time or caused some other inconvenience that your hairstylist had to accommodate.
- You feel the price for the actual service is less than other salons, and you want to make sure the hairdresser gets their effort’s worth.
- Your hairstylist spent over three hours putting in highlights, bleaching or dyeing your hair.
- You want to tip extra for the holiday season.
How Much Should You Tip Your Hairstylist for Hair Color?
If you go in for hair color, you should tip at least 20% if not more, since the process is time-consuming and your hairdresser would have to put other things on hold to cater to you.
Moreover, if someone other than the hairstylist is shampooing and conditioning your hair, you should tip them between $5 to $10.
You should tip more than 20% if:
- Your hairstylist is also bleaching your strands.
- You’ve opted for a difficult hair coloring technique.
- Your hairstylist is adding highlights.
- You’re served a complimentary drink or snack while you wait for the hair color to set it.
The tipping percentage can differ according to your location since salon services are priced differently in each state.
GOBankingRates’ Tipping Guides
Cameron Cole has contributed to the reporting for this article.