A Guide of How Much to Tip For Different Beauty Services
Booking yourself a beauty appointment is exciting, but navigating some of the minor details that come with trying out a new service can make the experience a little stressful. There are a lot of mysteries surrounding beauty services — like how much they actually cost and just how naked you should get for a treatment — but there's no need for tipping to spark any confusion.
The standard 15 to 20 percent rule applies in most cases, but given that beauty treatments can range in price from just $25 for a manicure to thousands of dollars for laser hair removal, you don't want to base your tip on a guess. There are also additional factors to take into consideration, like repeat follow-up appointments and seeing multiple professionals during one visit, like you often do at a hair salon.
To shine some light on tipping etiquette and best practices, read what the experts themselves have to say about just how much you should tip for a haircut, a facial, a manicure and pedicure, a laser hair removal and waxing session, lash extensions, and more.
How Much to Tip Hairdressers
Hair salons, and figuring how much to tip for haircut, can be tricky. In just one visit you can be seen by four people if you're getting your hair washed, cut, colored, and styled. In those cases, "you should tip 20 percent on the price of each service individually," says Jessica Barsamian, the CEO of The Belgrade Group. Assistant hairstylists and hair washers should also be tipped, but $5 to $10 is enough to show your gratitude for their work.
There is an exception to the 20 percent rule. "Depending on how many processes you receive during a color treatment, they can all add up and it can become very expensive," says Carolyn Aronson, the CEO and founder of It's a 10 Haircare. In those instances when the bill is around $400 or more, she said it's OK to tip slightly less, like 15 percent.
The same goes for how much to tip barbers — 20 percent for a satisfactory visit is always great.
How Much to Tip at the Nail Salon
There are a number of different servies you can get at a nail salon, ranging from manicures to pedicures. Figuring out how much to tip at the nail salon is fairly simple.
How Much to Tip For a Manicure
When getting a manicure, it's always appreciated if you tip 20 percent — especially if you really like the result. "I like to compare it to at a restaurant where you tip between 15 percent to 25 percent on the total of your bill," celebrity manicurist Michelle Saunders told Makeup.com. This means the more work your nail technician does, the bigger their tip.
How Much to Tip For a Pedicure
The same goes for a pedicure. Twenty percent of the total bill is standard, but if you're really happy with your service, throwing in a few extra bucks is always appreciated.
How Much to Tip For a Massage
The standard for how much to tip for massages is is 15 to 20 percent of the total bill to your massage therapist, similar to a hairstylist, nail tech, and makeup artist.
How Much to Tip For a Tattoo
Getting a tattoo isn't your typical beauty treatment, but it's a service that you need to tip for nonetheless. To calculate how much you should tip for a tattoo, consider giving between 15 and 25 percent of the total cost of your body art. This can get pricy depending on how large your design is and may require some adjusting in those cases, but it's a good rule of thumb.
How Much to Tip For Makeup Services
According to Chantel Miller, the director of national artistry at MAC Cosmetics, the type of makeup service you book impacts whether you need to tip at all. "When booking a makeup service that is offered in a salon or makeup studio, tipping is part of the culture and it is best to follow the same standard you use at your hair salon [editors note: around 20 percent]," says Miller. "If you are booking a freelance makeup artist to come to your home, the rate is usually inclusive and there is no need to tip. However, if you are being 'hooked up' with a discount or a complimentary home appointment, then it is customary to tip generously."
How Much to Tip For Waxing Services
For wax services, the overall price for a treatment usually varies by the size of the area you're getting waxed, but that shouldn't affect your tip. It doesn't matter if you're getting your armpits, bikini line, eyebrows, or full body waxed, a 20 percent tip on the overall price is satisfactory. "Similar to when one is at a restaurant and feel they have received excellent service or overall experience, tipping more is often customary," says Helene Marie, a waxing expert at European Wax Center.
How Much to Tip For a Facial at a Spa
Depending on the type of facial you're getting at a spa, the price can vary drastically. A good rule of thumb for how much to tip for facials is 18 to 20 percent. "It also depends on how much you enjoyed your treatment," says Saime Demirovic, a cofounder of Glo Spa NY. "The amount someone leaves as a tip can really send a message of how they felt about their facial."
Keep in mind that if you arrive late (to any treatment, for that matter), you may want to tip a little extra to show your appreciation. "It probably means your aesthetician is forfeiting their lunch break for you," she says.
How Much to Tip For Laser Hair-Removal Services
Laser hair-removal treatments are usually on the pricier side to begin with and they require multiple treatments spread out over a couple of months. With this in mind, Christian Karavolas, the owner of the New York-based Romeo & Juliette Laser Hair Removal, says you should tip after each session but not 20 percent. "If a client is extremely happy, they'll usually they'll leave $10 for small areas and $20 or more for large areas," Karavolas says.
How Much to Tip For Lash Services
The standard for lash lifts, lash tints, and eyelash extensions is to tip 20 percent, according to Heather Elrod, the CEO of Amazing Lash Studio. "Lash stylists undergo a great deal of training to perfect their craft," she says. Again, if you are blown away by the results, consider throwing in a few extra dollars.
How Much to Tip at a Medspa
Medspas are often confused with regular spas or salons, but you should think of them more like a doctor's office. They are medical professionals after all. Just as you wouldn't tip at a dermatology office, you shouldn't tip here. "Medical professionals should never accept gratuity because it may influence the standard of care or weaken the fiduciary relationship," says Victoria Lewis, a medical aesthetician at Tribeca MedSpa.
How Much to Tip For Eyebrow Services
20 percent is standard for different eyebrow services, including threading, waxing, plucking, and microblading, but there are instances when you might want to tip a little extra. That includes "if someone took care of you before or after hours, worked through their lunch, or came in on a day off," says celebrity brow stylist Joey Healy.
How Much to Tip at the Hair Salon For a Complimentary Bang Trim
When offered a complimentary bang trim at the hair salon, it's generally nice to tip 10 percent of the price of your regular haircut. Or, around $5 to $10.
How Much to Tip If You Don't Like Your Results
Instead of forgoing tipping altogether, consider tipping as a courtesy, but less: 10 percent, for instance. Talk with the manager or owner, though, because they typically don't want you to leave dissatisfied and they may offer you a complimentary redo. (More on that ahead.)
How Much to Tip For a Complimentary Redo
If something doesn't come out quite right and an effort is made to correct or improve upon your service with a complimentary redo — whether it's for nails, hair, or makeup — you should consider tipping 15 to 20 percent of the total cost of the treatment. You should always speak up if you're unsatisfied.