Tipping in salons

Busy salon

So where does your tip generally fall? Within the 15 to 20 percent range? Some go thinking that the more you spend on treatments, the less you can fork out on gratuity.

Here are some pointers we thought we would share with you around tipping in salons...

Is it not really your thing to tip? A salon is not a restaurant and salon workers do not rely on tips to get by like waiters and waitresses do. Well we don’t think that they should be… any facility should be paying enough to their employees so that they are totally compensated off the service alone. If a hairdresser is relying on tips for lunch money… not good. Tips should be for amazing work or for doing an outstanding job. Also, if the service provider was good, tip them.

Did you know? 20 to 30 percent of their salary is made up by tips?

According to some experts, tipping at a medical spa is not required. A medical spa that employs doctors and nurses should not make a patient feel obligated to tip, since they're usually charging a premium price.

Food for thought: Carol Phillips, who has owned a spa for over 30 years, says in one of her online articles that tipping at a medical spa goes against social norms. Do you tip your Gynaecologist, Orthodontist or Dentist?

Should you tip the owner? It's always subjective. Bad news? A few years ago yes, giving the owner a tip once she serviced you was completely acceptable. In fact, it was sometimes considered an insult. But now owners are more hands-on, so most of the time an owner appreciates the tip.

If you are still unsure, the best way to avoid confusion is to ask the owner if they accept gratuity.

Tip - Check with the receptionist when you make your appointment.

Do you think they share their tips? Imagine this... you head to your usual hairdresser, where you always place a R20 note in the hand of your stylist when she's done... but this time, she has an assistant shampoo you, then one of her colleagues does the blow dry while she sorts out another client. Do you need to tip all three of the people working on you?

If, at the end of your service, you would really like to tip, ask the person at the front desk before you start dividing that R20 note into coins. She or he is used to handling tipping situations, perhaps even give you change.

Do you tip using your credit card? lady paying with card Is it old school to have to bring cash separately to tip? Did you know you might be shafting the person who provided your service? If you tip on a credit card, the business is paying the merchant's fee and all of the bank fees that go with it. So they get less. Some salons won't even accept a tip on a credit card.


Tip - Clients sometimes leave a tip in envelopes at the reception desks. Some salons even have provide those envelopes.

Did you know some salons even a policy to not accept tips? Spas do so in order to provide a stress-free experience to the client. They believe if you've had multiple services, and you're a little spa drunk at the end, a sudden math equation ends the service on a different note. Maybe give a call and ask about the tipping policy?

What is not good - stylists, salon personnel - is when you think "how much of a tip did I make today?" Instead, you should want repeat customers who bring in referrals. If no one had a good experience, there shouldn’t be any tipping.

Then again, also consider, that some think that a client is cheap if they leave a bad tip. When it should rather be a reflection on the service.

If you are serious when it comes to tipping be nice! present If the person working on you was doing a great job, but the atmosphere wasn't ideal, it's not their fault. The person to address those concerns with is the owner or manager, not the one working on you. Can you imagine if you were able to get a refund on your airline seat if there was a crying baby? If the service provider was good, tip them.

We know sometimes you get all hyped and you just love (OMFG-love) your new hair and the best way isn't always through a tip. Bring a special gift, imagine a technician just had a baby and you just bring in a special baby gift? When a client brings in something like that, it's way more meaningful than an extra five bucks on a tip.

Some tips to consider – What happens when you hand a bartender a R20 tip at the beginning of the night? It's most likely that he or she will take care of you for the rest of the night, right? Consider the same for a salon. It's human nature to want to do something extra for someone who has done something for you… but remember, this doesn’t apply to free services… like fixing chipped polish.

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