The Right Way To Tip For A Beauty Service

by Stephanie Montes

Tipping your hairstylist, manicurist or aesthetician is not only proper etiquette, it’s a way to thank the person for a job well done. But when it comes to spa and salon services, questions come up (Is this the part where I tip? How much should I leave?)–especially when you’re unsatisfied with your new ’do. After talking to etiquette expert Lizzie Post, we have a whole new outlook on what to do when we’re faced with those awkward moments. And while tipping is at your discretion, these suggestions take the guesswork out of your next appointment.

Tipping 101

Photo: Courtesy of Preen

How much should you tip for a mani and pedi? And what if you have 2 people working on you at once?

“For a nail salon, an adequate tip is between 15 and 20 percent. If you have multiple people working on you, I would either split 20 percent of the total or give 15 percent to each person. It all depends on how great the job was and how generous you are. A good tip for basic services is anywhere from 3 to 10 dollars.”

Photo: Courtesy of 3.1 Philip Lim

If you are paying with a card, is it okay to leave an amount on the receipt? Will the person think you didn't leave a tip?

“In these situations it's always a good idea to have some cash on you just in case. Some salons don’t allow you to tip on the receipt. If you can leave an amount on a receipt, that person should receive the tip the same way a waitress would at a restaurant.”

Photo: Courtesy of Essie

What if you get your hair done and you don't like the way it looks?

“You should always tip, so I would still tip the stylist 15 percent even if you aren't satisfied with the service. However, you need to let them know your concerns and reschedule an appointment to fix it, and that should be complimentary–I would be very surprised if the salon charged you for it."

Photo: Courtesy of Preen

You usually see one person for a shampoo and another person for a blowout. How much should you leave each?

“Typically between 2 and 5 dollars per person, depending on how much you're paying for the service. Think about your own income and what you're willing to spend, aside from the service. It’s also always good to ask the receptionist what he or she suggests.”

Photo: Courtesy of Preen

When you're in a robe at a spa, it's difficult to carry cash around, so how should you tip after a facial or massage?

“Some spas (not all) have all-inclusive pricing so you’re not wondering whether or not to leave a tip. Ask at the front desk if you can add your tip to the total or whether you need to tip to the person directly."

Photo: Courtesy of Stella McCartney