How much to tip your hairdresser

Your hair is cut, colored and styled. You’re looking and feeling good. But unlike the shampoo head massage that kicked off your appointment, paying the bill and knowing who to tip and how much can be a little stressful. 

And even though tipping may not be required, hairdressers, stylists and barbers often count on tips. Learn more about how much to tip your hairdresser and how to figure it out.

Key takeaways

  • Tipping is one way to show appreciation for your hairdresser’s time and effort.
  • A 20% tip is a common go-to.
  • How well the service went usually helps people decide if they want to tip a bit above or below that.

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Tipping etiquette in a hair salon

Many service workers—including hairdressers and barbers—depend on tips. So it’s considered good etiquette to tip them and any other professionals that helped you during your salon visit. 

And when it comes to figuring out how much to tip, it’ll usually depend on the overall cost of services you’re receiving. So going to a higher-end salon with higher prices may mean larger tips. And the number of services you’re receiving will affect the total bill, too, which is going to affect the total tip amount.

Should you tip other salon workers too?

Depending on the services you plan to receive, you may get help from multiple professionals during your salon visit. These could include shampoo assistants, colorists, manicurists or other beauty specialists. InStyle says if they helped, they should receive a tip too. 

Emily Post recommends tipping 15%-20% total to be split among all the people who helped you. And Consumer Reports recommends tipping the shampooist $2-$5 and tipping the hairdresser, barber, manicurist or masseuse 10%-20% of the service charge.

Do you still need to tip when you get a bad haircut?

According to Consumer Reports, you should tip at least 15% of the service fee, even if the service wasn’t the best. Consumer Reports also says to “never skip a tip.” But, it adds, if your service was really bad, speak to the manager. 

Ultimately, the decision about whether or not to tip is up to you.

What if you can’t afford a tip?

If you can’t afford a tip, you may want to consider postponing your salon visit until you can. And to help you be better prepared for your next hair appointment, it may help to find a budgeting method that works for you. 

  • Envelope budgeting can be a clearcut way to see how much money you have available for certain categories, like groceries, entertainment and grooming costs. 
  • The 50/30/20 method is another type of budgeting that uses a general guideline of setting aside 50% of your income for needs, 30% for wants and 20% for savings. 
  • Zero-based budgeting is another idea, where you start from scratch and decide where you want every dollar of your income to go.

How do you calculate how much to tip a hairdresser?

Here are two examples to show you how you can calculate tips: 

  • Method 1: If your haircut was $60 and you want to leave a 20% tip, you can calculate how much that would be by moving the decimal one space to the left (to get 10% of that number) and then doubling the number (to take it from 10% to 20%). 
  • Method 2: To do the math on your phone’s calculator, try taking the cost of the haircut ($60) and multiplying it by 0.2, which represents 20%.
A visual of how to calculate how much to tip a hairdresser, including numerical calculations.

Is it OK to tip 15%?

Most sources say to tip around 15%-20%, so a 15% tip is probably OK in most situations. And ultimately, it’s up to you how much you want to tip your hairdresser, stylist or barber. 

But if you’re debating whether to tip a smaller amount because you’re not happy with your service, you can also consider speaking to the manager.

Tipping hairdressers in a nutshell

Whether you’re going to a new hair salon for the first time or you have a long-standing relationship with your hairdresser, tipping is a part of the experience. And it lets your hairdresser, barber or stylist know that you appreciate their time and skills. 

Before your next salon visit, it might help to consider learning how to budget. This can help ensure you’ll be able to afford the cost of your salon services, plus any tips you’d like to thank your stylist with.

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