This article was originally published on April 9, 2014. It has been updated and republished on Sept. 6, 2019.
There's always that awkward moment at the end of a beauty appointment where you find yourself fumbling through your wallet, trying to figure out how much you should tip at the nail salon... or the blow-dry bar... or after a facial. While your aesthetician or stylist waits politely nearby, numbers float around your head, asking yourself, what's the appropriate amount to tip?! An article published in Wall Street Cheat Street discussed the "right amount to tip" in different situations, from hotels to bars, and it got me thinking about how confusing it can be to calculate gratuity at beauty appointments alone.
We've all faced these conundrums: should I tip more for a pedicure than a manicure? Can I tip my hair stylist the same amount for a dye job as I would a hair cut? What's a standard tip for a Brazilian?! Tipping can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be. Here's our guide to tipping at your next beauty appointment.
How Much To Tip At The Nail Salon
Wondering how much to tip at the nail salon? A standard tip for a manicurist is 15 to 20 percent, which means you should be tipping $3 or $4 for a $20 manicure. If it's a quick, regular manicure (not gel, not acrylics), this seems fair, but certainly on the lower side of tips.
According to Christa Cole, Los Angeles-based nail artist, tipping at the nail salon less than 20 percent could make your nail artist feel under-appreciated. "If your nail tech did an amazing job, please don’t hesitate to tip them what you feel they deserve. Showing your nail tech that they are appreciated will make them go above and beyond for you every time," Cole tells Bustle.
If you've developed a relationship with your manicurist or received what you thought to be an exceptional manicure, it's a good idea to tip at least 20 percent, if not more. If you got a pedicure, you should tip at least 20 percent, too — think about what she just did with your feet! And if you had the same nail technician do your hands and toes, don't skimp out the tip — pay what you would if you had two separate people do it.
How Much To Tip At The Hair Salon
Now, for figuring out how much to tip at the hair salon: No matter what you're getting, be it a quick trim or a full on ombre, you should always give your hair stylist at least 20 percent. "20 percent on the service is standard and what most clients tip," says Cheryl Roberts, Nine Zero One Salon Stylist.
Of course, there are certain factors that can affect this: if you weren't happy with the service or felt like the stylist didn't give you the proper treatment, you can tip lower. However, if you're a regular customer and you've gotten to know your stylist, you should be tipping 20-25 percent at the hair salon. Pro tip: Consider tipping a little bit more during the holidays.
How Much To Tip At The Blow Dry Bar
It's a good idea to tip your stylist 15-20 percent at your blow dry bar. If you got some sort of Groupon or Lifebooker deal, you should still tip 20 percent of what a regular blowout would've cost you.
How Much To Tip At The Bikini Wax Salon
Oh, bikini waxing. You should always be generous when tipping at the bikini wax salon, especially after a Brazilian or a bikini wax. According to Amanda Fay, the salon manager at LunchboxWax's Boise, Idaho location, you should tip your "waxologist" what you would for other beauty services. "Similar to other service industry jobs such as servers, drivers, or stylists, it's typical for customers to tip a bikini waxer between 15-20 percent for services provided. Of course it's also not abnormal to provide an even higher tip to your waxologist if you feel you received a stellar service that go above and beyond your expectations."
How Much To Tip At The Brow/Lash Bar
What about tipping at a brow bar or lash bar? “Your brows aren’t going to wax themselves, so it’s always nice to help an esthetician after they’ve helped you," says Jared Bailey, Benefit Cosmetics Global Brow Expert. "I’ve been styling brows for more than 12 years, first at a Benefit BrowBar, and for the past six years as the Global Brow Expert I’ve trained brow artists in 50+ countries around the world. It’s my experience that in the US, a 20 percent tip on a beauty service like a brow wax is standard and appreciated!”
The same should go for eyelash extensions or lash perm: consider tipping 20 percent. Think about how much attention to detail and time goes into those services!
How Much To Tip For A Facial Or Spa Service
Finally, here's the 411 on how much to tip for a facial or spa service "Gratuity for facials is similar to other services you might receive, like massages, haircuts and color, or restaurant service. We recommend 20-25 percent for a glowing service," says Michael Pollak, Co-Founder and Chief Experience Officer at Heyday. "Since knowing what to tip or doing math on the spot can give clients anxiety, we try to make it easier by suggesting $20-$25 range on our $95 signature 50 Minute Facial." Simple enough!
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