Great Haircut. But Do I Need To Tip?


This week’s etiquette dilemma comes from Catherine Jarmain, who recently posed the question on Real Simple’s Facebook page:

“Should I tip my hair stylist if he is also the salon owner? I went to him for the first time last week and he gave me the best cut I have ever had. I didn’t tip him because my mother always said not to, but my husband said I should have.”

Should Catherine tip him next time? 


When we tip, it’s a way of saying thank you for excellent personal service. Traditionally, it also has been a way for people in low-paying jobs—such as waiters, manicurists, hotel housekeepers and hair stylists—to supplement their incomes by being really good at what they do.

When your mother says don’t tip the salon owner, it’s because he presumably already earns a living wage from his place of business (since he owns it). When your husband says you should tip, it’s because your stylist gave you excellent service.

Who’s right? In the past, your mother's opinion was the norm. But these days, modern manners often means relaxing the old rules to fit your own life, so long as the change doesn’t cause someone harm or hurt feellngs.

If your stylist gives you the best cut of your life, why not tip him generously next time to say thanks? I would give him the same tip as I would any other stylist at the salon. How much is generous? That’s another good question. Personally, I think a great cut is worth a 15 percent tip.

Readers, how about you? How much do you tip at the hair salon? And would you tip the owner if he’s also your stylist?

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