Laser Hair Removal Tipping Etiquette
June 19, 2012 8:13 AM   Subscribe

I recently purchased a living social coupon for 3 sessions of laser hair removal but am unsure of tipping etiquette for the procedure? Is it customary to tip for laser hair removal – and if so, how much?

The message boards I’ve come across offer nothing but conflicting advice. If it matters, it appears to be a small office that specializes in laser hair removal and little else. Finally, this is in Westchester County, NY (right outside of NYC) so regional specific advice would be great!
posted by en el aire to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total)
I didn't, but mine was in a doctor's office setting so it never would have occurred to me.
posted by cecic at 8:22 AM on June 19, 2012

I was in the exact same situation as you. I bought a laser hair removal voucher from living social (had never done it before) and was confused about the tipping policy. I also found conflicting advice online (yes if it's a "medical" spa, never, always, etc.). I waited to decide until I got to the office--if I saw the little tipping envelopes displayed or other clues, I'd tip. As it turns out, I went farther than that. I didn't see any sign that tipping was expected (even after watching other customers carefully to see what they were doing), so I straight out asked the receptionist if tipping was customary. She said it was very mixed--some people do and some don't. They did have tipping envelopes, but they were behind the desk and pulled out only when requested. I erred on the side of tipping since I had a good experience. I did 15%.
posted by dede at 8:23 AM on June 19, 2012 [3 favorites]

I absolutely would not. This is a medical procedure.
posted by 200burritos at 8:40 AM on June 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

No its a medical procedure
posted by radioamy at 8:53 AM on June 19, 2012

I tip 10-15% of the full cost of the service. I tip for all upkeep services: (hair, nails, waxing, facial, massage). I had the LHR done in a spa- it was not expressedly implied that one needed to tip, but they did have the envelopes at the front desk. I figure if someone is holding a laser to my body and does a good job, (and I got the service significantly discounted- in my case 80% off), then the tipping is fine. I might feel differently in a doctors office- I'm not sure that if I was getting a laser treatment done in a doctor's office that I'd tip the doctor, but that's because I'm probably paying a premium for their expertise.

Then again, I'm in NYC, and it feels like I'm constantly tipping people.
posted by larthegreat at 9:03 AM on June 19, 2012

If it's in a spa, tip is 15-20% of full (not coupon) price. There may well be sign informing you of this.

If it's in a doctor's office I don't know but I guess no tip.
posted by Salamandrous at 11:36 AM on June 19, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for the input - as usual it seems to be a bit divided! I think I will probably take the same route as dede and ask at reception. I'll post back with an update!
posted by en el aire at 4:13 PM on June 19, 2012

Response by poster: A very late update but here it is: I asked at the front desk and was told no, no tip necessary. However, I recently purchased a groupon for a different hair removal spa, and this one had the little tip envelopes front and center near the payment area. I tipped $30 each time and felt like a total cheapskate because according to their website each session costs $450! That would have meant a $90 tip (20%) for each appointment and I just couldn't swing it. I felt bad that I couldn't even give $45. It definitely made me think twice about purchasing groupons for this service. The groupon cost was only $299 for six sessions.
posted by en el aire at 4:56 AM on May 20, 2013

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