Oct 26, 2021

How Much Should You Tip Your Hairdresser

Unlike some other countries where tips are uncommon, we tip in Canada. We tip in restaurants and we give tips to delivery guys. But how much would you tip your hair stylist? Is their service any different? Let's talk about that.

The rule of thumb is to tip 10-20% for a haircut. This range is a little too wide as hair styling can be different. A simple haircut at your friend's cannot be compared to a full service at a salon. What about tipping on a $50, $100, $150, or $200+ service? Here are some research we've done talking to our friends and friends' friends living in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

Tipping at a salon

From our conversations a tip of 15% is typical on average for hair stylists, beauticians, estheticians, and masseurs. This 15% tip goes to the before-tax total. This means that you would usually tip $10 on top of your $60 haircut across Canada.  

In certain cases, when the service is stellar, you can even tip 20%, but it's a rare thing amongst the ladies we asked. 20% will be good for a major service done well on a short notice and for an event (like wedding). Our friends usually tip up to 20% when they go to their hairdresser for cut and color. The more work is done on their heads, the higher the tip is. That's the rule of thumb. 

How much to tip your hairdresser on $200

For a hairstyling service that costs $200, your tip will be between 15%-20%. In other words, expect to tip $30-$40. 

How much to tip your hairdresser on $150

If your service costs $150, you may want to give your stylist $20-$25, which is between 15%-17% on top of the job's price.
How much to tip your hairdresser on $100

For a $100 haircut job done well, you may consider tipping $15-$20. This represents 15-20% of the cost of the service.

How much to tip your hairdresser on $50

For a $50 haircut, you may consider tipping $7-8, which is 15%. A lot of our friends leave $5 for such a service, which is 10%.

Tipping is not expected, by the way. But not tipping for services is considered rude in this country. 

Should you tip work-from-home hairdressers?

Some people believe that hair stylists working from their home-based salons or coming to your place don't deserve tips. The reasoning is that they don't have costs, like salon rent, employees, etc. This is a fair thing to think. But tips are not about that. Tips are rewards for the effort, the skill, the patience, the comfort that the hairdresser gives you. It's also a sign of respect from you to your stylist.

Should you tip salon owners?

Some people also think that you should not tip salon owners. They already take the money from the service. Even if this is so, the tip is for the service well done. Tipping is also about relationship building. So don't fret - tip anyway.

Should you tip for a bad job?

Definitely yes. Tip at least 10% unless the stylist fixes the mistake. Then go back to the standard 15%.

Think about the salon's employees too

With you being the privileged one receiving the service, remember to reward everyone who's contributing it to you. Don't forget to tip the person who gives you the shampoo and washes your hair. Giving them $2-$5 is another unwritten rule of the salon etiquette. These employees usually earn very little and live off tips.

Tipping is not just a transaction between you and your hairdresser. It's more than that - it helps establish a bond and, hopefully, a long-term relationship. And who doesn't need a good hair stylist near their place?

What if you cannot tip 15%-20%

If tipping is a thank-you, it should not break the bank. If you cannot afford a high tip, there are other ways to appreciate the service. A great online review can help your hairdresser get new customers, which is sometimes much better than a simple tip. An honest and genuine compliment can also go a long way. We're all humans, after all!