As one of my coworkers so often says, "Tipping is not a city in China!" Gratuity is a very large part of the income for a barber or stylist and shows that you value this person's service and the relationship between the two of you. Much like a waiter who has regular customers, a barber or stylist will often perform at a higher level for clients who tip well. But what are the customary rules for how to tip your barber or stylist?
How Much to Tip:
Generally speaking, for good service, you should tip 15 to 20% of the entire bill. Tip more for exceptional service or less for what you consider to be inadequate service. Tipping is your way of saying "job well done," so tip more if the person performing the service has gone above and beyond what is expected.
If someone works on you other than your barber or stylist (such as a shampoo person or shoe-shine person), give them a few dollars as well.
During the holidays, it is generally acceptable to tip the normal cost of a visit. If you have a close relationship with your barber or stylist, include a small personal gift that reflects his or her interests as well as a monetary gift.
When to Tip More:To me, good service is when the barber or stylist listens carefully, has a pleasant attitude, and takes the amount of time necessary to give a great cut. An exceptional barber or stylist will be engaging, entertaining, quick to offer suggestions on how to better wear your hair, and keep an immaculate work area. Tip more for exceptional service.
When to Tip Less:Barbers or stylists should receive less gratuity if their area is not clean, if they don't listen well or rush through your haircut, or if they talk on the phone while performing your service. Of course, a bad haircut should also result in a lower tip. That said, if your barber or stylist is guilty of any of these offenses, find a new person to cut your hair.
When you tip your barber or stylist well, it does not go unnoticed. It speaks volumes about how you appreciate their work. You can believe me when I say, I know who my great tippers are and I always go the extra mile to make sure they know I appreciate them. For my haircuts, I go to a barber who charges $20 but he does such a great job, I tip him 100%. As busy as he is, I can always get an appointment when I want one and he always takes the time to make sure the cut is flawless. Does the fact that I'm a good tipper have anything to do with it? You bet it does!