My cousin, who does not currently blog, asked that I post her opinion on tipping your hair stylist. As a manager of a franchise, and stylist herself, she has a legitimate rant about this subject. Here is what she wrote in her own words:

“I work at a local haircutting franchise, whose name I will not mention.  Can you let the folks know that the average tip for a haircut, alone, should be at LEAST $5.00!!  I know some places charge $60.00 for a cut and we do not. However, tips in a salon are not based on percentages as they are in a restaurant.  We don’t sling hash, we are licensed professionals!
We’ve had to pass Anatomy and Physiology classes like folks in the medical field do.  We have to know about electrical currents like some electricians do.  And for Pete’s sake, we deal with your kids who move and jiggle and cry!!
Clients trust us to cut their hair and make them look good and throw us a buck or two, or sometimes even nothing at all!!

Tips are part of our salary, we count on them to pay for our expensive gas prices. So please…don’t try to make your charge card bill even by giving us a buck fifty two or something…most folks pay at least $30 for a hair cut these days…ours are much cheaper, but the results are the same if not better.  Some high priced hair salons hire kids right out of cosmetology school and they start at charging almost $40 for a cut. 

It’s not where you go, it’s who cuts your hair and if you’re happy, show your stylist by tipping appropriately!!”

My cousin has made some valid points in her rant. Licensed stylists pay sometimes more than $ 15,000 for their schooling, only to acquire a job that pays about minimum wage. Tips are an essential part of their salary, and to not tip them is like cutting their wages.

I will add that sometimes in addition to the stylist’s haircutting service, we also receive therapy. I can’t count the number of times I’ve received some great advice on life’s issues from my stylist!

The proper tip amount? Well, that depends upon the service, according to my cousin. Here are her suggestions:

For a regular haircut: at least $ 5.00  (more if at a salon)
For the shampoo (if separate person) $ 3.00
For the colorist (if separate): at least $ 5.00

My cousin suggests having your hair colored and cut at the same time. Often salons will offer a lower price for that service than if you had each done seperately. Tip the same, though. You save on the salon cost, so don’t skimp on the tip.

Following that suggestion, if you need a cut in between coloring, go to a franchise where the cost is lower.Tip appropriately.

I am one that needs to upgrade my tipping. I’ve still been giving the shampoo girl $ 1.00!

My cousin gives one last bit of advice: if you don’t like the service you are receiving, reflect that in the tip.

No one should be forced to tip excessively, especially if the service was not good!