Whether you’re tipping at the hair salon or a restaurant, tipping in the service industry, in general, can often come with a wide range of questions as to what’s right and what’s wrong.

Luckily, if you’re wondering, “how much do you tip for a haircut?” you’re not alone. Tipping etiquette for haircuts can range from salon location to your style service choice, but there are some simple guidelines you can follow to keep your stylist happy. 

Read on to learn more about tipping tricks for haircuts, so next time you book your haircut online and venture to the salon, you can feel confident and stress-free about those credit card or cash tips. 

Average Hair Tipping Percentage Range

We get it — between the percentages, the services, and the way costs can fluctuate from city to city. Sometimes, you need an etiquette expert to weigh in on how much to tip for a haircut.

In general, the appropriate tipping range in hair salons is 10 percent to 25 percent. If you love what your hairstylist has done, a good way to acknowledge exceptional service is to give a 20 percent tip. In an informal poll by Aveda, for example, the lowest tip was 10 percent and the highest was 25 percent (however, most women said they stick to 20 percent).

So, whether you’re getting a quick and easy men’s haircut or a more detailed hair service from a highly skilled colorist, it seems to be that 20 percent is a comfortable range for both you and your stylist!

Why Do Tip Ranges Fluctuate?

Figuring out how much you should tip for a haircut can sometimes be confusing, as expected tip ranges and overall prices for services can vary from salon visit to salon visit. Another factor to consider would be how much money the stylist actually makes since there are many additional costs that need to be covered. Most salons have a business model based on commission, and they charge the stylists for a station. Your stylist may be charging a high price for their service, however, much of the cost could be dedicated to paying for the seat, personal supplies, and any taxes as well. Here are some things to keep in mind as you fine-tune your plan for tipping great service for your haircut.

1. Big City Tippers

Tipping percentages may change according to salon location. The rent for a salon or a chair in a place like San Francisco or New York City, for example, will be more than rents for salons in more rural areas. In more expensive cities, it’s common to give a more generous tip.

2. Cut and Color Frequency

Sometimes, figuring out exactly how much you should tip for a haircut has to do with how often you visit the salon. If you’re coming to see your hairdresser every four weeks, for example, you might not need to tip as much as someone who comes in once every six months. Cut and hair color frequency is a good thing to consider when you’re crafting that perfect tip percentage to say thank you for good service. If you’re wondering how often you should frequent your hairdresser, check out our blog on how often to get a haircut.

3. Relationship to Hairdresser or Barber

Maybe you’ve known your hairdresser or barber for years. Or in some cases, maybe you’re going to the same hairdresser your mother went to, the one who you’ve visited since you were a kid. 

If your hairdresser or barber is someone you visit frequently, a holiday tip is a very generous act to consider. During the holiday season, many people receive bonuses as they are spending more money on giving to others. Increasing what you tip by another 10% could really show your gratitude to the years worth of service.

In certain instances, your hairdresser might be letting you off the hook with a good price he or she has charged you for years. In this instance, the hairdresser might not want to up your price. So, what do you do if you know they’re cutting you some slack with regards to pricing? Up your tip!

Tipping Individual Services Separately

A good rule of thumb when discussing the standard tip for a haircut is to tip the services individually. For example, you may have someone who cuts your hair and another who does your foils and shampoo.

Typically, you want to tip everyone separately, so that each person — from the stylist to the shampoo girl — gets their fair share. In certain salons, sometimes the individual who does the shampoo will also add toner or do a deep conditioning treatment. In this case, you can tip more for more services.

Benefits of Tipping Your Hairdresser or Barber

Although tipping for beauty services is primarily beneficial to the stylist, it’s also beneficial to you as the customer. Here are some of the things that a tip can do.

Builds strong relationships

One of the benefits of a good tip for a haircut is that it builds strong relationships. The relationship between a hairstylist and client is unique and every bit of love goes a long way. 

Leads to better customer service

Have a time slot that works perfectly for you — like say, 10 am on a work-free Saturday morning? The tough news is this slot is also ideal for many other clients. But if you stay consistent with the tips and keep adding value for your stylist, you might be more likely to snag some of those coveted time slots.

Makes people feel valued

A good tip for a haircut does a lot for making your stylist feel valued. Think of tipping as your way of saying thank you. It not only shows appreciation for the job your stylist has done, but it shows that you’re satisfied. 

Other Ways to Show Your Stylist You Care

In a perfect world, we could all be top-notch tippers to show our appreciation. But in some cases, tipping large amounts can be tough, especially if you’re going through a rough time financially. If this is the case, there are other ways to show your stylist you care if the 20 percent tip seems out of budget.

Return visits 

Before you leave the salon, get a return visit on the books. Better yet, ask your stylist if there’s a specific time that works best for them for you to come in. Perhaps you can work together to find a time that isn’t as heavily booked, where the stylist may otherwise have an empty slot. Speaking of return visits, if you have a salon visit planned in your near future, be sure to check out our blog articles about the most popular types of haircuts for women and the freshest types of haircuts for men.

Referrals

If you love your stylist but can’t always hit that high haircut tip percentage, send some referrals their way. Referring your family members and friends to your hairstylist will help them with business and therefore, help them to pay the bills and keep the ship afloat. 

Reviews

A rave 5-star review, if you’re feeling inclined, can make a lasting impact for your stylist. What takes all but five minutes for you to put together can be the deciding factor between whether or not someone clicks that book button. 

What if You Don’t Tip?

In an article that covers the necessary standard tip for a haircut, we thought it was also good to cover what happens in the case of no tips at all. Today, some salons are choosing to eliminate gratuity entirely. But why?

A salon owner might echo the idea that when allowing employees to accept tips, “studies show that treating beauty and wellness professionals like service providers decreases motivation” and “increases turnover rates.” Instead, they’re choosing to raise employees’ salaries to meet the average income that they make with tips.

If this is the case, you may find that your haircut and service fees are a bit higher than you’re used to. As always, don’t be afraid to ask the questions before you book your appointment — or even while you’re at the salon chair! Salons who choose to forego the typical tip structure are used to the inquiries and they’ll be happy to help guide you in the right direction with your payment.

Should You Tip for a Bad Haircut?

We’ve all been there before. Whether you’re experiencing a bad haircut from the customer’s point of view or the stylist’s point of view, we feel you. A bad haircut experience can not only be awkward and uncomfortable, but it can also lead you to wonder how much of a haircut tip percentage you should actually leave.

When it comes to how to deal with a bad haircut, we like to suggest communication as the best way out of the situation. In most cases, your hairstylist wants to know if you’re dissatisfied or unhappy with your cut. After all, it’s their job and most often, their passion, to keep you looking and feeling your best. 

If you get a bad haircut, try opening up to your stylist first. In many cases, they’ll be happy to offer you a fix to the issue, free of charge. From there, you can feel free to tip them accordingly. 

Simplified Tipping When You Book on StyleSeat

At StyleSeat, we offer a tipping etiquette feature that allows you to automatically tip your professional via the credit card on your account after your appointment is completed. If you don’t specify the exact tip amount you’d like or you decline it from the link, your default tip set up in your account will be applied (note that default tips set to zero percent will never charge a tip).

We know that the ideal haircut tip percentage can feel overwhelming — especially when you’re standing in line at the front desk with the salon assistant (and trying to carry on a conversation while simultaneously attempting to use your phone’s calculator).

That’s why we like to empower our readers with hair care and industry knowledge, so you can feel good when you go out and book your next appointment!

Have any questions about StyleSeat or need some additional info? As always, feel free to reach out to our team at any time. We’re here for you.