Monday, April 07, 2008

Should I tip my hairstylist?

There are several things to consider when it comes to tipping. It seems everywhere we turn there's a tip jar set aside for gratuities.  We tip waiters, we tip hotel staff, we tip the car wash attendees, we tip our pet sitters, and so on. Tipping in the United States has become an expected custom for just about every service out there, other than the bank teller or the Wal-Mart cashier.

In most salons across the country, it's important to remember that your salon professional isn't making 100% of the service fees. They average anywhere from 40-60% of the overall service ticket, and then make a small commission on retail sales. When you consider the amount of time your stylist spends with you (usually an hour or 2) for your services, and that they are only making about 50% on average for those services, tipping is a great way to say THANK YOU for your time, for your service, and for making me look so good. An occasional box of Godiva never hurt anything either.

How much do you tip you ask? 10-20% of your overall (before discounts) ticket fees is fairly standard for the beauty industry, regardless of services rendered (hair, waxing, nails, make-up). For example, if you have a cut & color and your ticket totals $125, then your tip would be $15-$25. Often it depends on where you are. That price of $125 may be high for some, and it may be low for some. I just used that number as an example. \

If you're feeling generous - tip away. The sky is the limit. You never know; it might just get you a complimentary deep conditioning treatment on the house next time. Take care of your beauty professionals. They stand on their feet all day, have coffee waiting for you, and hopefully greet you with a smile or a hug each time they see you. Tipping is just a nice way to say "I appreciate what you do for me."

A note to my salon professionals: I'm building you up here - please treat your clients like the A-listers that they are. Whether they walk the red carpet or not - every client longs to be treated like a celebrity. Show them how thankful you are that they are sitting in your chair.

Have a great day.

Billy Lowe

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