How Much Do You Tip Your Stylist? - Beauty Addict

Sunday, September 07, 2008

How Much Do You Tip Your Stylist?

I just watched a rerun of Curb Your Enthusiasm, the one where Larry screws up the Christmas tipping beyond belief (did he tip the gardener more than the housekeeper? Tip the waiter at the club twice? I love this show).

It got me thinking about my favorite tipping dilemma...the hairstylist. To begin: I'm a straight 25% cash tipper. I've been going to the same stylist for MANY years, she's the only one I trust, and my services always cost about the same (except when her rates increase, of course). So the tipping there is pretty straightforward.

I discussed this with a friend once, who did a double-take, told me I was crazy, and said she tips closer to 15%. Kinda seems like lowballing to me. But then I read an article somewhere, maybe in Allure, that mentioned that some top Manhattan stylists get up to 50% in tips! What gives? Are the stylists just trying to put that number out there to change people's perceptions of "the rules" and get more tips, or is this really happening on a regular basis?

Then there are those who assume the stylist will share the tip with the shampoo girl. This splitting tips thing? I doubt it ever happens. (Incidentally, this was also discussed in another episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm). My shampooer Loni gets $5. But she has to pull all the highlighting foils out of my hair in addition to shampooing it. And she does give amazing shampoos. Am I not tipping her enough? Does she secretly roll her eyes at my little folded up $5 bill?

Or, more likely, am I totally neurotic for devoting so much thought to this whole process? I have to tell you, I chose the photo for this post based on my fear that if I tip poorly, my hair will end up looking like that.

So -- what's your stylist-tipping style? Do you follow "restaurant guidelines" and dole out 20%? Less? More? Are you an over-the-top 50% tipper? Share your stories in the comments!