To the Hairdresser

Who knew a trip to the Hairdresser could cause such angst? Recent conversations have revealed that there is some confusion and lack of communication brewing at the salon. Key points of concern have related to that always dodgy topic of tipping: Does one tip the salon owner when he or she is your stylist? Traditionally this was not done as the owner was perceived to be benefitting overall from the success of the business. Endless discussion groups on-line show this has been changing. Customers are now willingly adding gratuities to their payment for salon owner/stylists and the owners themselves are gratefully accepting (even encouraging in some instances which isn’t seen as particularly gracious in our opinion)  a little something on top. Another issue among patrons and for stylists as well is the prevalence of cell phone usage. We expect you will begin to see signage along the lines of: “For your privacy and the comfort of others, please refrain from using your cell phone while enjoying our services.”

Debrett’s, a UK authority on “Etiquette, Style and People of Distinction”, posted the following guidelines for a visit to the Hairdresser.

  • When you first visit a salon, the hairdresser will observe your clothes and style, so dress normally in clothes that match your natural style.
  • The best cut will suit your hair type, the shape of your face and your features, and requires little maintenance.
  • Ask your stylist how to blow-dry or straighten your hair, and what products best suit your style and hair-type.
  • Hair should be kept clean and grease-free at all times. It goes without saying that dandruff should be treated at first sight.
  • Avoid bad dye jobs. Colour should enhance and compliment your natural tones.
  • If you have dyed hair, keep roots at bay and fork out for regular maintenance.
  • Don’t feel obliged to sit in the chair and chat the whole way through the cut. Be polite, but it is also acceptable to read a magazine. Just don’t sit chatting on your phone.
  • When tipping, both the stylists and colourists should be tipped five to ten per cent of the cost of the cut/colour, handed over in cash when paying the bill. *
  • The hair washers should receive a couple of pounds into their hands after washing your hair. Salon owners usually allow grace on tipping as you have already had to stump up for their own vastly inflated rates. **      (source: debretts.com)

* We would modify these points for North America to say tipping of your stylist should be more in the 20% range. Clarify if her assistants (hair washers etc) will be forwarded a percentage of her gratuity. If not, they should be given two to five dollars in cash as above.

** As stated before, the tradition of not tipping a salon owner who is also your stylist, is evolving. Standard tipping may be applicable or welcome. If new to a salon do feel comfortable asking what their policy is.


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