Are You Tipping Your Hairdresser Enough? Let This Be Your Guide

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

When to Consider Rescheduling

Know that your hairdresser wants to make you happy and help make you beautiful. But by being late, you’re cutting into everybody else’s time.

The Rules of Using Your Cell Phone

Nowadays, our cell phones have become extensions of ourselves. We take them everywhere we go, including the salon. Abrio acknowledges the trend and says, "Being on the phone texting during an appointment is such a common thing now. I think if you’re in the middle of a conversation, it’s rude, but if it’s not affecting the stylist and their work, it’s fine."

As for phone calls, however, Tran takes a firmer position: "It’s not okay. It gets in the way almost 100% of the time." Stenson adds, "Talking on the phone makes it difficult for a hairdresser to work and is very rude. The stylist and client need to have a mutual respect."

If you are expecting an important phone call, it's best to tell your hairstylist. They might not have a problem with it as long as you you're courteous and let them know beforehand.

Monzon adds, "Texting and cell phone usage have changed the way hairdressers work." He goes on to offer us his advice when he says, "Timing is important. For example, if you’re getting color applied, most likely it’s fine. If you're getting a sharp, one-length haircut where the balance is important, it’s definitely not a good time to be chatting or texting. But being in the salon, you should use the time to unplug, relax, and enjoy the experience of being taken care of."

How Much to Tip Your Stylist

When it comes to tipping, "the standard practice among satisfied clients tends to be 20%" according to Tran and Stenson. Abrio adds, "Tips are a funny thing. I personally always tip according to my experience. I hate the percentage rule. It’s a good guideline, but a tip is a gift, and it’s such a personal situation."

Typically, it's not just your stylist who is serving you, but their assistants, as well. Whether you should be tipping the person shampooing your hair, Trans responds, "Absolutely. My assistants work very hard to keep my day running smoothly and help the client have a satisfactory experience at the salon. Anywhere from $10 to $40."

Monzon explains, "When it comes to the assistants, know that these people are training to become better and more knowledgeable hairdressers. They’re living on the tips that they’re making. When someone knows how to rinse all that color out of your hair and gives you an amazing shampoo and scalp massage, all while keeping you dry, that’s when you can decide how much it’s worth. I know many clients think of the shampoo and scalp massage as their favorite part of the salon experience."

But what about if you're unsatisfied? Should you still tip then? And if so, how much? Our four celeb stylists all agreed that they don't expect clients to tip if they are not satisfied. "If a client is still unhappy after I’ve tried fixing their haircut, I wouldn’t expect them to tip. I would expect little or no tip until you redeem yourself the next time," says Abrio.

What If You Don’t Like Your Hair

So let's say that a client does decide to come back to the salon to fix a haircut or color they were unsatisfied with, should they still tip? Stenson believes, "If it’s a return visit, tipping is again a personal preference based on the circumstances. It’s always appreciated but not expected."

Monzon elaborates, "If a client wants to change their long hair to a more modern length and then decides two days later they don’t like it, I think expecting any sort of compensation or refund would be completely inappropriate. But if they’re returning to fix or modify a haircut and the outcome is positive, I think the tip is at the client’s discretion."

While hairstylists are happy to oblige unsatisfied clients on a return visit, this is not ideal for them nor the client. Ideally, clients would be happy after their original appointment. "A client being unhappy is an unfortunate situation," says Monzon. So to ensure clients leave satisfied, he emphasizes "this is why references and inspiration pictures are important. Also, being upfront about the past history of your hair is very, very important, especially when it comes to chemical services."

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