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Tipping at Salons and Spas

Is a 20% Tip Too Low? Some Say Yes

A few weeks ago, I had my hair trimmed by a stylist I'd been to a couple of times before and liked. She gave a good cut, so I gave her what I thought was a solid tip. But when she took a look at the check I'd written, she glanced up at me and said, "Only 20 percent?" I was pretty mortified and confused, and I haven't been back.

Lately, it seems like tip percentages just keep growing. Most people I know give 20 percent as the default gratuity, but that can vary. For previous generations, rates were lower; among our grandparents, 12 percent was a more common tip, and in many places, 15 percent is still the standard.

Yet while expectations may be higher, the poor economy has some patrons tipping less than they used to. That has led some people at salons and spas to guilt-trip and even intimidate clients for higher tips. And while I get why they'd want miserly clients to give generously, I'm thinking that tactic is unlikely to earn repeat business. I'm looking forward to the day when everyone can agree on what constitutes a fair tip — but I'm not holding my breath.

Join The Conversation
inlove23 inlove23 7 years
Ugh. How rude. One time I was at Buffalo Wild Wings and our tip was way more than fifteen percent and he just looked so miserable when he picked it up. I was like dude seriously? He even shook his head! I love yorkdales response
ladysonoma ladysonoma 7 years
For a hairstylist, 20% is pretty high. Or, at least, I thought that 5-10% was supposed to be standard, especially as people tend to pay more at salons, so the tips are less; ten percent on $100 is pretty good tipping. Whatever the case, that is a really good tip and she should be fired!
bobbisgirl bobbisgirl 7 years
20% is considered a generous tip...ANYWHERE! Your stylist needs to grow-up or get a different profession where tips are not considered salary!!!
kalina3 kalina3 7 years
20 % is a lot! especially considering a haircut and color could cost you 200 dollars
GummiBears GummiBears 7 years
I wish a _______ would come at with that BS. Just be thankful I tipped you. Besides no one forced you to be in the service industry. *ugh* BTW I tip around 20% whenever I get commendable service.
qtpie qtpie 7 years
oh and i remember working in customer service when we were actually forbidden from taking a tip from this generous customer and had to return the money lol
qtpie qtpie 7 years
@Bella, yep i'm a kiwi :) aucklander to be exact. o wow, i guess we don't have tipping because min wage is relatively high, NZ$12.75
divinedebris divinedebris 7 years
Wow, that's insanity! I can't believe some people behave like that. I tip based on the service and I hate when it's expected. I don't usually tip outside of someone doing a good job, not if they managed to get my black coffee in one cup and there's a pretty little tip jar.
PiNkY-PiNk PiNkY-PiNk 7 years
not that I have to excuse myself but this is getting annoying. look, there were THREE people waiting on us. we waited 10 minutes for someone to come to our table after we had been seated and it took me asking, twice, for someone to bring us a high chair. the drinks took even longer to come and 3/8 were wrong. every time we asked for something, they looked so annoyed and in a hurry. i swear i thought they were going to come and ask us to hurry up and leave. i don't care if it changes anything or not. i'm not on a one-woman mission to erase tips. i was simply commenting on bella's unfortunate issue with some thoughts of my own. this is ridiculous. honestly. i'm so done with this topic. bella, i'm sorry you had to deal with that idiot.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
Holy lord, I cannot imagine only leaving $4 on a $200 bill. Servers, whether we like it or not, are paid around $3 per hour in this country. They take your order, clean up after you, make sure that you don't have to get anything yourself, and basically ensure that you have a nice night that you don't have to put a lot of effort into. Not tipping doesn't change anything - it doesn't mean that management will pay them more that evening because they got a bad customer, it will only ruin that person's evening and means that they've wasted time on a losing situation when they could've been putting more effort into another table.
Community-Manager Community-Manager 7 years
Please remember that while it's okay to share your opinion, it's not okay to slam another member for their own personal take - please no personal attacks. Thanks!
PiNkY-PiNk PiNkY-PiNk 7 years
I'm not ashamed and I could give two fucks if you're disgusted. ... And don't try to guilt me into the whole kid thing. I know tons of people who have waited to have kids to not "try feeding them off a waitress salary" and others who get other jobs. Plus, I don't have kids so my hard earned money is for me, not for payroll for someone else. ... It's NOT going into a restaurant and walking out on the bill. I paid for what my family and I consumed so that's bullshit too. ... That's my opinion and my stance so like it or leave it, I don't care.
addictedreader addictedreader 7 years
Wow pinky, that's like going to a restaurant and walking out on the bill. You should know that waitstaff etc are TAXED based on earning like 15% so in essence they just paid to serve you. You should be ashamed of yourself. And you should be forced to try feeding a child on a waitresses income. I'm disgusted. It's not a matter of "nice" it's how they get paid. The minimum wage for waitstaff is substantially lowered because they make their pay in tips. It's NOT an option to pay or not to pay but a way to adjust payment based on quality of service. If you aren't tipping you're more or less stealing legally from hardworking people who just did a service for you. Wow and more wow.
PiNkY-PiNk PiNkY-PiNk 7 years
anon, I'm not gonna stop going to restaurants just because some dumbass (or dumbasses) somewhere decided that it's "nice" to pay someone more money for doing their job. That's ridiculous. I've never had perfect service anywhere and even if I did, it's their JOB. I've left $4 on a $200 bill, so that should show how much I truly disagree with this whole tipping crap. I don't agree with it and going out doesn't mean I have to accept it. If someone is going to bitch about not getting a tip or getting a low tip (like the asshole bella dealt with), then get another job where you don't have to depend on tips.
katieisfresh katieisfresh 7 years
Wow, I am very surprised she asked for more after a 20% tip. I understand most people who are in the service/hospitality service they are just making minimum wage. But you get what you deserve. Or so I like to think... But I think we have to take into account, how was the service? Do you think she deserved a higher tip? How much of a tip can you afford? How long was your service? Did she go above & beyond with her service? Where I live(which is in Canada) our minimum wage is $8.50 per hour. So I can't see how anyone can live off that, especially if they have to make ends meet.
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