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How Much Should I Tip My Hairstylist?

Tipping at a salon can be tricky, as it’s often unclear how much is appropriate to offer. While you might want to minimize the gratuity after getting an expensive service, not leaving a proper tip is considered impolite and can impact your relationship with your stylist.

How much should you tip your hairstylist, and does that include the person who washed or highlighted your hair? Should you also tip the owner? And why do you tip at all?

Read on for tips on tipping (pun intended!) to decide exactly how much you should tip your hairdresser at the salon.

How Much Should You Tip at a Salon?

While tips aren’t mandatory at a salon, tipping at a salon is often seen as expressing your gratitude to the person who provided you the service.

Tipping at least 15% – 20% of the service price is part of the etiquette and custom as this is one of the main sources of hairdressers’ income, especially in the US. If you’re particularly pleased with the result, you might choose to tip on the higher end.

Consider tipping at least 20% of your bill.

Ghanima Abdullah, Cosmetologist

If your hair took over three hours to style, you had to reschedule outside the salon’s normal rules, or if you’ve arrived late, consider tipping 25% instead.

For smaller or less expensive services (like a quick trim or a blow-dry), a flat tip of $5 to $10 can be appropriate, depending on your satisfaction with the service.

Why Should You Tip Your Hairdresser?

Reason Why You Need to Tip Your Hairdresser

The costs you see on the price listing are going to the salon as a company. Unless your hairdresser is the owner of the salon, they are on an hourly wage.

While the wages go up by experience, the junior stylist who shampooed your hair is probably only earning minimum wage. Hairstylists rely on tips as a part of their income. 

Now, seeing how good they make you look, also consider how comfortable the stylist has made you feel. Did they sanitize your station? Offer you coffee or water? Have decent small talk? Become your therapist?

Stylists know how important customer service is, and it isn’t out of place to show your appreciation in the form of a tip.

Should You Tip Everyone Individually?

Ask at the front desk while you’re paying your bill how the tips are divided and whether you need to leave one for the main stylist, the highlighter, and the shampoo person separately. They might already have a system to divide tips since it’s so much of the income of the people involved.

If not, they should provide small envelopes. This makes it easy to tip the main stylist 20% and to tip $5 for each junior stylist if you feel so inclined.

Should You Tip the Salon Owner?

Traditionally, it is not necessary to tip the owner of a salon, as they are running the business and receiving the profits. However, this perspective has shifted so you should tip the owner if the owner is your stylist!

You can also tip the owner depending on your experience at the salon. Because owners are usually the ones who set the vibe.

If you felt it was top-notch, whether serene or bustling, with TV or music, with a chatty hairdresser or complete silence, beautiful decor or relaxing scents—whatever your preferences, if the salon met them, consider tipping the owner.

Should You Tip Your Hairstylist in Cash?

Tipping Hairstylist in Cash or Card

It’s a good idea to carry cash in small bills to the salon—especially if you aren’t aware of their tipping system. Some salons will accept your card to pay for the tips, but many smaller ones do not. If you use cash, the little tipping envelopes at the front desk come in handy. 

What if You Can’t Afford to Tip?

Tipping isn’t mandatory, but it’s part of the salon culture. If you don’t tip, it might be assumed that you didn’t like the style you received. Your stylist probably won’t consider that you can’t afford it because, as we’ve seen during the pandemic, salon services aren’t really essential.

They are actually classified as semi-luxury and something your stylist assumes you can afford. So if you don’t tip, you risk leaving your stylist with question marks about his or her abilities. Instead, try to budget the cost or go less frequently.

Should You Tip Your Stylist Just for the Holidays?

If you have a personal relationship with your stylist, consider adding an extra ten percent to their usual tip to add holiday cheer. You can also give gift certificates, cards and handmade gifts that you know the stylist will appreciate.

Should You Tip for a Botched Hair Job?

If you’re not happy with the way your stylist is doing your hair, it’s best to stop her midstream and explain how you like it. If you get to the end of the service, it’s still okay to explain what you would like to be done differently.

A salon is a professional environment, and follow-up appointments are not rare. In this situation, it’s best to leave at least a 10% tip, based on the effort of the people who served you.

Key Notes

  • Hairstylists rely on tips as a part of their income.
  • You can tip the main stylist apart, then use $5 tips for the junior stylists.
  • Tip the owner if the owner was your stylist.
  • It’s up to you, but even if you don’t like the outcome, consider tipping at least 10%. Mistakes happen as the stylists are human too.


How much to tip for a $100 hair coloring?

That’s totally up to you but to me, a $20 dollar tip is appropriate if your hair color costs $100.

How do I tip my hairdresser?

You can hand the stylist the tip directly, but it’s better to use one of the envelopes at the front desk. If you write your stylist’s name on the outside, it will reach him or her.

Is 20% enough tip for hair?

Yes. If it’s the holidays, consider adding an extra 10%.

Is it OK to tip the hairdresser at 15%?

If you’re not really pleased with how your hair turned out, 15% is okay.

How much do I tip a $120 hairdresser?

It’s good etiquette to tip at 20%. So Service that’s worth $120 should be tipped $24.

How much to tip for a $20 haircut?

That would be $4, but round it off to $5 for good cheer.

Should I wash my hair before a haircut?

Call the salon and ask first.

How much do I tip a hairdresser for a $150 service?

You should tip $30 for services that amount to $150.

How much do hairdressers make?

Junior stylists start at minimum wage. A hairdresser will make more depending on their experience.

What should I gift my hairdresser for Christmas?

A gift certificate from Sephora or Ulta is very nice because hairdressers love beauty products. But even homemade cookies are a nice gesture.

How much do I tip for $1000 hair extensions?

Even if the hair extensions are very expensive, still add an extra $200 if the service was $1000. Hair extensions take a lot of work.

Do I tip a self-employed hairdresser?

Yes, she’s done more work without the help of assistants. You would still tip 20%, which is the industry standard etiquette.