This Is How Much You Should Really Be Tipping For A Haircut

Don't you hate it when the best salon treatments (doesn't matter if it's a cut, color, or a basic shampoo and blow-dry) end with an awkward pause, a nervous glance at the cashier, and you staring down into your wallet as you think: Okay... I've just blown a wad on this treatment... how do I tip my hairdresser and his assistants now? Since this isn't exactly the kind of question you want to ask your hairstylist in the moment, we went to the experts for the scoop.

Salon owners tell O Magazine that while there is no tipping law as such, your hairstylist appreciates the extra as much as anyone else in the service industry, with New York-based Nunzio Saviano even saying, "A stylist would appreciate anything. They'd rather have you in the chair than not." 

But now that you've asked, Cosmopolitan suggests your hairdresser probably deserves at least 20 percent for the cut. if you're really appreciative, your hairstylist isn't going to complain if you want to give closer to 25 percent, particularly if he or she also did the color and treatment. If you got a free bang trim, remember that there's no such thing as a free lunch, and that a tip of between $5 to $10 would make your stylist's day like they made yours. The assistants who wash your hair will also appreciate a $4 to $5 tip, depending on how much they do.

How much do you tip if you're not thrilled with your haircut?

We've had those days — the ones where you look in the mirror after a hair treatment and think whaaaaaaat? For those days, salon executive Rebecca Matthews tells O Magazine, "Tipping shows gratitude to those who have served you well, but it's not a requirement. Ultimately, stylists recognize that tips are extended out of gratitude for great service and would not want to accept a tip if you were not pleased." 

Chances are, a far-from-awesome cut is also likely to come from someone who doesn't know you well, so you're not likely to return; but if that isn't the case, you're allowed to tell the hairdresser why you're not happy, so that he or she is able to try and execute a fix to make things better. But if you're not big on second chances (after all, you're the one who has to live with a bad cut), don't feel bad about walking away without leaving anything. "No reputable stylist will want you to leave their chair unsatisfied, and should make every accommodation to find a solution," Matthews says.