How much to tip for men's haircut?
September 12, 2011 6:42 AM   Subscribe

How much should I tip a hairdresser for a men's haircut in the US? $5? $10? 10%? 25%? How much money signals that you are thrilled with the cut, rather than just okay with it? Thoughts from people who have worked in barber shops and salons would be most appreciated.
posted by mortaddams to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (29 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
It depends on cost?

My barber opened up his own shop recently, so for the $14 haircut I'm tipping like $16 on top of that (it's nuts, but i want to support his business!), but I used to just pay him $20 or $25 in total. They joy of barbershop and manicurist tipping is that you can round up. ($10 is a great tip for a manicure.)

It's different at "salons," as the price creeps up.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 6:47 AM on September 12, 2011


Is this at a barber shop or salon?

Are you going to continue going back to this person?

If you're going back:
At a barber shop, I'd do 15-20%.

At a salon, I'd do 20%.

If you're never going back, I'd do 15%.
posted by k8t at 6:48 AM on September 12, 2011


I often do 30% or more, if I am thrilled with the cut at a barbershop. But it depends on how much they charged compared with the listed price. If the listed price is $15 and they charged me $10, I'll tip $5 (50%). If the listed price is $15 and they charge me $15, I'll do $3 or so. $5 tips usually get the "thank you!!" handshake.

In chains/salons, I usually just do $2 cash at their station, regardless of the cost, and pay the exact amount (probably $15-$18) at the register.
posted by cashman at 6:52 AM on September 12, 2011


I get my hair cut at the cheap chain Haircuttery for $16. They seemed thrilled and surprised when I paid them a total of $25 for the cut. However, I live in a run-down suburb, so I suspect the bar is higher in more affluent areas.
posted by Nomyte at 6:53 AM on September 12, 2011


Depends on the cost of the haircut. I go to a little barber shop run by two old Italian dudes. My haircuts/shaves cost $15 and I tip $5. I once tried to tip more -- he had a sign up stating he was would be out due to vacation in a few weeks and I figured he'd appreciate that -- but he steadfastly refused to take it.

If you're going to salon, don't tip less than 20% if you intend on going back.
posted by griphus at 7:03 AM on September 12, 2011


Depends on cost, time, frequency, and setup. I give my barber $20 for a $14 cut: it's a couple of months between visits, I get a good haircut, and I don't miss the $3 that I'd get back from a 20% tip.
posted by holgate at 7:05 AM on September 12, 2011


I'm a guy, and I tip $3 for my $14 haircut (which takes the hairdresser all of 8 minutes to complete). I've gone back to the same hairdresser and they haven't snipped an ear off or trimmed their initials onto the back of my head, so I think I'm in the clear.
posted by BurntHombre at 7:18 AM on September 12, 2011


I normally tip a toonie on a $20CDN+tax haircut, but I'm in Canada.
posted by Canageek at 7:36 AM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I tip $2 for a $10 cut. It appears to be a typical amount here.
posted by michaelh at 7:36 AM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I tip 20% to the person who has been cutting my hair for a few years.
posted by dgeiser13 at 7:38 AM on September 12, 2011


My barber shop charges $16 for a haircut, so I just give them a $20 bill and that always seems to go over just fine. I envy folks that only have to get their hair cut every couple of months.
posted by Nothlit at 7:43 AM on September 12, 2011


Rules on tipping change. I was raised to not tip the owner of the barbershop, but to give his employees a couple bucks on a ten to fifteen buck haircut. That said, I tip my barber and I think he runs the place, but I don't usually get my hair cut more than twice yearly, so I tip mostly out of a feeling that my haircut took twice as long as most, and made three times the usual mess.

Salons are different, since you have to tip enough to cover not just the stylist but the person who jams your neck into the sink and makes your head reek of apricots. I'm no expert on that, as you can probably tell I find salons unpleasant.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 8:10 AM on September 12, 2011


I tip my barber $4 or $5 on an $18 cut. He always makes like it's unexpectedly generous, so I figure I'm not insulting him, at least. This is in an old-fashioned three-chair babershop.
posted by mumkin at 8:27 AM on September 12, 2011


My barber knocks $5 off the price of my haircuts since I'm a regular, and I just make up the difference in tip. It's a $25 haircut.
posted by Scientist at 8:38 AM on September 12, 2011


The Art of Manliness recommends 15% as a baseline. I'd go 20-25% if i was thrilled.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:59 AM on September 12, 2011


How much money signals that you are thrilled with the cut, rather than just okay with it?

This is something you want to be communicating with language, particularly if you are still in the chair. There's not enough of a well defined tip amount for haircuts to be able to send a message.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:01 AM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I tip $5 on a $16 cut at a chain store, but I always go to the same lady. She's quick and does a great job, and she always seems to appreciate the tip amount. She remembers me and we talk about how things have been going, so it's not just a random person who won't recognize me next time.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:20 AM on September 12, 2011


I go to a salon just down the block from where I work. It's convenient, the conversation is great, and I get a really nice haircut every four weeks. The posted price is $29; I usually give a $6 tip, so $35.
posted by xedrik at 9:28 AM on September 12, 2011


my haircut costs $14, i give them a 20 and call it good.
posted by zombieApoc at 9:53 AM on September 12, 2011


The barber shop my boyfriend goes to charges $16 for a cut, and the times I've accompanied him there, I notice that everyone who gets a cut just hands the stylist a $20 and says "Keep the change." As she's the owner, I assume that if she were unhappy with the amount of money she gets, she'd raise her prices.
posted by telophase at 10:18 AM on September 12, 2011


Adding that I don't tip my own stylist, who also cuts men's hair, as he's the owner of the salon and his prices are significantly higher than those of the other stylists he employs (the traditional tip etiquette goes that the owner of the salon does not get tipped while others get 10-15%). If someone else shampoos me, I tip them $5.
posted by telophase at 10:20 AM on September 12, 2011


I used to get my hair cut at a fancy-pants salon (in Seattle) and I asked them about this a couple of times. The guidance they gave for the tip amount was "the same as if you were at a restaurant". Make of that what you will.
posted by mhum at 10:46 AM on September 12, 2011


I generally round up, but no more than $5. If it's $16, they get $20. If it's $25, they get $30. If it's $14, then they'll usually get $5, but that depends upon how I feel about the cut.
posted by sacrifix at 11:07 AM on September 12, 2011


I cut my own hair these days, just so I can look extra psychotic, but when I went to a barber I tipped 5$ on a 15$ haircut. I had a regular barber and liked him (and he told me stories about when he was a Gurkha in Nepal)--if I didn't I would have gone down to 3$.
posted by Kafkaesque at 1:36 PM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I tip $5 on a $12 cut at chain store in a midwestern city. I go there a lot and get the same few people so they know me by now. I've also learned what specific instructions to give them to ensure I get what I want.
posted by robabroad at 1:44 PM on September 12, 2011


I go to a really awesome gal here in Portland, OR. The hair cut is expensive - $35 - but it includes wash, scalp massage, and hot towels/moisturizer on my face and I consider it worth it for my pampering for the month.

I usually tip $5, which is just under 15%. I don't *think* she considers me cheap. She's always awesome to talk with and we loan/give each other book and movie recommendations every time. I figure that since I'm paying a premium AND she "owns" the business, she gets to keep a large chunk of the cost.
posted by tacodave at 4:37 PM on September 12, 2011


How much money signals that you are thrilled with the cut, rather than just okay with it?

I tip $6 on $25, but to really show my appreciation, I send new clients his way. I think that goes a lot further.
posted by roger ackroyd at 4:43 PM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I go to a small 3 chair barber shop, been going there for 20 years and I tip $3 on a $15 hair cut. I have given more but he usually says $3 and gives me the $2 back and tells me to go and get a coffee.
posted by lilkeith07 at 5:07 PM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I go to a local chain haircut place (not a mega chain like Supercuts). It's in a tiny suburb that, weirdly, has at least 3 salons in it with which they have to compete. They do a good job and only charge, like, $14 for a haircut. I have super thick hair that is annoying to deal with, and 9 times out of 10 they do a great job taming it. I usually pay $25 total.
posted by asciident at 5:23 PM on September 12, 2011


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