How Much Should You Tip Your Hair Dresser?

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Like waiters and waitresses, hairdressers make the bulk of their income from tips. You should tip your hair stylist 15% to 25% of the service fee for your hair treatment, excluding costs of any products you might purchase on top. Larger tips are not uncommon and can range between 30% and 40%. At minimum, 15% will cover overhead to the salon and possibly sharing a portion of the tip with their assistant (if they have one on duty), comfortably and having enough to put into their pockets.

Thinking about any hair salon brings to mind beauty, glamour, elegance and only the best of the best who can afford it but the reality behind the stylists who make all of this possible might not be exactly what you expect. Though it might seem strange to tip someone working in such a high end profession, hair stylists have revealed on many occasions that their job is not as glamorous as it looks and they need the tips just as much as your average waiter or bartender might – if not more.

What Do You Pay For?

You may favour yourself a beauty expert of some sort and consider hair stylists simply people who do your hair for you because you could not be bothered to do it yourself at home but let’s face it – you do not know as much as a studied and trained professional would know.

Hair stylists and every other employee working in a hair salon has been, and probably still is, studying the art of hair and beauty for years and not only offer the standard service of cutting, styling, colouring and glossing your hair but also the extensive knowledge that they have spent years honing and perfecting. The skilled staff of your local hair salon will be able to help and advise you on the proper ways of styling and caring for your hair as well as what products to use to get the most out of your beautiful head of hair.

When you go to a salon you know that you will walk out with hair that has been treated to the best of professional abilities, with years of dedication and skill that went into it – instead of looking up the basic facts of what you should do with your hair and doing it to the best of your abilities.

What They Pay For

Yes, that’s right, hair stylists spend loads of money year after year to hone their skills and provide nothing but the absolute best in product and service. One often thinks that they simply come into work and use what is available in the salon to do their jobs – just like other employees would working in retail or most other jobs that require you to go into work. This is massively inaccurate as hair stylists have to provide most of what they use to get the job done day by day.

To mention a few things hair stylists are responsible for every day:

  • Licensing fees for their profession.
  • The tools they use in the salon like curling irons, flat irons, blow-dryers, scissors etc.
  • Depending on the nature of the stylist’s position at the salon they might need to pay for smaller things like conditioner, shampoos, colours, foils etc.
  • Depending on if your stylist is still busy with their studies, a massive portion of the money they make at any given time will go to their education fees.

In addition, when a client pays for a service delivered at a salon, most of it will go to the overdraft on the products the stylist uses while doing their hair so the wages paid to the stylist is about 10% of what you have paid for your salon treatment, whatever it may be. This is why tipping your hairstylist is how they mostly make any profit off of the services they provide.

Do You Tip Assistants?

Of course you do! This is one of the most confusing parts of tipping hair stylists to most people who are not too familiar with the industry and just go there to have their hair done by trained professionals so let’s shed some light on the situation.

A hair stylist’s assistant is one of the most important parts of a hair salon as having an assistant allows you, as a hair stylist, to have more than one or two clients at a time – obviously meaning that the profits will be higher. Here’s the catch, assistants do not get paid any commission as they do not provide any technical services so they get paid daily wages.

These wages can also be next to nothing as they are not as important to the salon as the trained stylists are but without them, the stylists would get half the work done. So, more often than not, the stylist’s assistants will get a small portion of the tips given to the stylists at the end of the day or the will have a tip pool that will be split after the day is over. Although, it can never hurt to tip both your stylist and their assistant separately – it doesn’t have to be much but it will surely build a good relationship between you and whoever works with your hair.

What is An Appropriate Tip?

When looking at the standard rates of gratuity in hair salons, tipping your hair stylist 15% – 25% of the service fee of what you had done to your hair, excluding if you decided to buy any product, is most appropriate. Larger tips can range between 30% and 40% if you’re really satisfied with the work and service you received.

This will cover what your stylist will have to pay for, overhead to the salon and possibly sharing a portion of the tip with their assistant (if they have one on duty), comfortably and having enough to put into their pockets.

Like many other industries that require you to tip for a service, hair stylists do not get extra benefits like health insurance or educational cover with their employment so keeping that in mind will also help you make a decision on whether you tip generously or not. Of course, tipping your hair stylist a little extra when possible could never hurt as this might open you up to a few extra perks like your stylist being willing to come in on an off day or meet your appointments a little earlier or later than expected, if needed. This is not to say that your service will be any poorer if you do not tip extra as they are all still professionals.

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