Yes, it is customary to do so

Keyword: tip, customary, hairdresser, salary, commision

Just like a restaurant waiter, hairdressers sometimes rely on their tip.  Most salons pay their employees either a small salary, or give them a percentage of each client they work on.  Let’s say you pay $20 for the haircut of yours.  It’s probably true that less than half that actually goes to your hairdresser. So when you walk out the door without giving them something for their hard work, it is kind of a let down.


Recently I had a fellow stylist contact me to tell me all about how hard she worked on this one client and how she felt when she was finished-


“Dear Jill at weSTYLEny,

I have been working at a little salon on Long Island for the past 7 years. All of my clients are pretty loyal to me. Recently I had a new client come in asking for a full head of hilites. She had a lot of long hair so my boss quoted her at $135. I spent a good 3 hours on her. When I was all done she looked beautiful. She kept talking that it was exactly what she had wanted.  She paid the receptionist, then came over and handed me $3!! 3 singles folded up is what she placed in my hand after a 3 hour service! That’s like a 2% tip. I was insulted, angry, and extremely agitated! My boss pays us 35% of our clients. We all rely on our tips to help us make a decent salary. I would have been embarrassed if I was her. I had to share my anger as I knew you and your readers would understand my woes.


Grace (a very agitated stylist)”


Well Grace, I feel your pain! If you can’t afford to tip your stylist on top of the cost of the service, then don’t have it done.  Especially if you were raving about the job well done. Tipping should  be based on how much your service is, how well the service is done, and personality of the person performing the service.  If all of the above are fantastic then an 18-20% tip should be added.  If it’s adequate then a 12-15% tip will do. But I don’t think I can ever justify a 2% tip.  It’s  degrading.

I hope my non-stylist fans read this article and take it to heart.  Please let your hairdresser know she is loved and appreciated!!