How Much Do I Tip a Hairdresser?

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It's customary to tip the hairdresser or hairstylist who does your hair. However, determining how much to tip a hairdresser can be a source of confusion, but there are guidelines to make it easier.

New Stylist
Ultimately the amount that you tip is always entirely up to you and how you feel about the service you received. Keep in mind that the guidelines are just that, they are not a hard and fast rule. If you're seeing a new stylist, 15 percent is a suitable amount. As you build a relationship with a stylist, the amount goes up.

Regular Stylist
If you're seeing a stylist that you've gone to before, someone who you've built a rapport with, 20 to 25 percent of the total cost is a considered a good tip. Again, this is if you are happy with the stylist's work. Base your decision on the exact amount to tip on how much work went into the job. A shampoo and cut is far less work than coloring or highlights, which would warrant a tip on the higher side.

When the hair is shampooed by someone other than the stylist, it's a nice idea to hand that person a tip too, states TODAY. A small tip of a few dollars is sufficient in this case. The same amount should be given to any other assistants who help the stylist. This money should be handed directly to the assistants.

When You're Not Happy with the Result
This is a tricky situation. Whether or not to tip depends on why you're not happy. If you got what you asked for, but just don't like the way it looks on you, a tip is still in order, notes Good Housekeeping. If the stylist made a mistake and must re-do the style, a tip is not expected If you already left the salon, went home and then decided that you are not satisfied, you are not expected to tip when you go back to have it fixed. Of course, if you feel that you got excellent service and you're thrilled with the result, you can always tip if desired.

A Stylist Who Works Out of His or Her Home
When you go to a stylist's home, tipping guidelines change a bit. There is less overhead for the home stylist and, as a customer, you're not getting the complete salon experience that you would get if you went to a salon. Therefore, the general rule for tipping, in this case, is less than what you would tip a stylist in a traditional hair salon. The standard tip for the home hairstylist is 10 percent.

Student Stylists
Going to a hairdressing academy is a good way to save money on haircuts and services. When you pay for these services the money goes to the school itself. The person who works on your hair is a student who does not get paid, so leaving a tip is a nice gesture that students appreciate. The standard 15 to 20 percent tip that is customary at other salons is considered suitable for these student stylists as well.