Do I need to re-tip?
February 18, 2015 6:45 AM   Subscribe

Simple question! Got hair done, wasn't thrilled with results, stylist wasn't thrilled with results either, and I'm going back today to have it fixed for free. But do I need to re-tip!?

Last week, I got my hair highlighted using the balayage technique, and both my stylist and I were not completely happy with the results (the explanation being that it can be unpredictable how hair reacts to the peroxide without the use of foils, and mine was stubborn and needed more time with the peroxide) because the goal--and we had a long discussion about this before the process--was a cool ashy "moonlight" tone and it wound up a bit too gold. My hairdresser realized that the tone was off even before I did, and she offered to fix it free of charge, and I'm going back today.

The service cost about 300 dollars, and I already tipped 60. My question is, even though today's fix will be free, do I need to re-tip, and if so, how much? I'd probably re-tip if I were unhappy with the results but the stylist felt it was what I asked for, but since she 100% agrees the tone isn't correct, isn't what I asked for, and isn't what she tried to do, I'm wondering what the proper etiquette is here.
posted by millipede to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (18 answers total)
 
I would re-tip, just to build goodwill. You want to reward a stylist who's willing to admit to a mistake and offers to fix it free of charge. I wouldn't tip the whole 60 again though -- maybe half?
posted by peacheater at 6:52 AM on February 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


She agreed that the tone didn't come out perfectly, not that she did anything wrong. According to your explanation, it's because your hair was unusually resistant to peroxide.

She already agreed to comp you your next appointment with her, so she isn't getting paid for that time. She may even be *paying* for that time, depending on the conditions under which she works. You at least need to tip the poor woman.
posted by mysterious_stranger at 6:53 AM on February 18, 2015 [9 favorites]


Let's put it this way: if you want to ensure her continued willingness to make sure you always walk away a happy customer, then you should tip her. I would also only tip half the second time around because it's understood that you might not be able to afford a ton more yourself.

Only consider not tipping her further if you don't plan to see her again (not saying it's ok then, but that's more up for debate).
posted by cacao at 7:19 AM on February 18, 2015


I've found that if you have to ask "Should I tip?", then you probably should, if for no other reason then your conscience will go through life a little less burdened. It sounds like this person is reputable, honest, and takes pride in her work. Assuming the color turns out well today, I imagine you will continue to visit her in the future. Wouldn't it be better going forward to feel like you were generous towards her, and not like you rules lawyered your way out of an extra tip?

I'm not judging you at all for asking - I've been there myself and struggled with what to tip. I really hate tipping culture, and I am a very frugal person and I cannot stand overpaying. But tipping is so personal, it's much easier for me to justify overtipping occasionally, if the alternative is undertipping someone who is working hard to provide me a valuable service.
posted by gatorae at 7:21 AM on February 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


I would tip $20 and a Starbucks gift card/box of candy. But I like to mix things up.
posted by kinetic at 7:25 AM on February 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


she 100% agrees the tone isn't correct, isn't what I asked for, and isn't what she tried to do

This is key.

I'll be a dissenting voice and say that a second tip is not appropriate. The job was not done to the customer's satisfaction so the follow-up visit is to ensure your satisfaction. Presumably, you tip as a sign of satisfaction for the service provided. Since you won't be satisfied (we hope) until after today's visit, the tip you paid last week was the complete tip paid in advance. I should think that the stylist would decline a second tip if offered.

As a thought experiment, think about the fact that tipping is often argued to be an incentive for service people. Tipping in this instance would indicate that service people have an incentive to do an unsatisfactory job so they can then "fix" the problem and get a second tip. That can't be right.
posted by Tanizaki at 7:35 AM on February 18, 2015 [8 favorites]


I guess I'm the dissenting voice, because you paid $300 and tipped $60 on the original cut AND the stylist agrees it was her bad. You've already tipped quite a bit! The $300 was for the work to be done as discussed and it wasn't, so it's like she hasn't completed her $300 worth of work yet. I'm not sure I would tip again in your situation. If you still feel bad about the idea of not tipping, I would tip like $10 just as an acknowledgement of her effort.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:36 AM on February 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's a tricky situation, but I think that you should tip, just not necessarily with $60.

There is a strong logical argument that you should not have to tip at all. You had only paid to get the desired results. It is not fair that you should have to pay more in order to make this happen, nor is it fair that you have to go through the hassle of making another appointment to get what you had paid for.

On the other hand, it doesn't sound like this error was the result of negligence on the stylist's part. She is handling this professionally. She will be using additional time and resources on your hair. Also, I assume that you want to maintain goodwill with this stylist. Giving her nothing for the follow-up would probably come off as brusque.

I like the idea of getting her a nice, modest gift as a substitute for a second tip, if you're not entirely jazzed about giving her another $60. Giving her a gift is a friendly acknowledgement that the follow-up appointment is different from a regular appointment.

Mostly, this just cements how stupid tipping is as a practice, but that's neither here nor there nor either of your faults.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:51 AM on February 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Tipping in this instance would indicate that service people have an incentive to do an unsatisfactory job so they can then "fix" the problem and get a second tip. That can't be right."

Hair stylists usually do not earn an hourly rate, but instead get paid per service they perform. If this stylist offered to comp another appointment, it's VERY unlikely that the salon is going to pay her for that time. So it would be nonsensical, from a compensation perspective, to do an unsatisfactory job so she could have the privilege of working another couple of hours on this client for free, and hoping to get tipped again for her trouble.
posted by mysterious_stranger at 8:08 AM on February 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Don't tip if the stylist is the owner of the salon; tip, half, like peacheater suggested, if not.
posted by cotton dress sock at 8:08 AM on February 18, 2015


In college I co-wrote a paper called "In Defense of Overtipping," so I am biased.

The way I see it if you are the kind of person that can afford a $300 hair treatment you can afford an unneeded tip. That $30 or $60 won't make a difference either way in your life. I doubt if the stylist is in this same position.

I'd tip.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:51 AM on February 18, 2015 [12 favorites]


The way I see it if you are the kind of person that can afford a $300 hair treatment you can afford an unneeded tip. That $30 or $60 won't make a difference either way in your life.

This doesn't necessarily follow, maybe it was a big splurge she saved up for, or use of gift money or something.

Regardless, I think tipping half would be nice but isn't necessary. I was in a similar situation recently and did not tip when I went back for the fix. After getting my hair colored, I got home and happened to notice a big spot that was still gray. She had put the color on my roots, but she hadn't gone all the way to where the gray changed to previously colored hair, so I essentially had a stripe of gray. When I called she agreed to see me the next morning, and she did fix it, but I was seriously frustrated at having to take two plus more hours of my weekend to do this, when it is such a stretch for me time-wise (I have a toddler) to begin with.

There's always an argument for kindness, which tipping again would be, but I guess I'm saying you shouldn't feel obligated.
posted by JenMarie at 10:32 AM on February 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


I have had the same hairstylist for years. If I were in this situation, I would still tip. Why? Because she has a long track record of giving me awesome hair and also because I lived off tips for many years. And I can afford it. However, in a circumstance like yours, I think she would probably decline the offer.

Lots of good answers here and all of them have valid points. There's no wrong answer here. How about showing up for the appointment with some specialty coffees and pastries? It would cost less but still be a gesture of goodwill toward someone you presumably want to do business with in the future.
posted by futureisunwritten at 10:34 AM on February 18, 2015


Even in the UK's super awkward tipping culture, I'd offer at least. This seems like a person worth nurturing a decent professional/consumer relationship with. The idea that she's doing this to sneak a double tip seems super paranoid and a little sad to me.
posted by ominous_paws at 11:00 AM on February 18, 2015


Thanks everyone! I'll tip $30 this time. I like the idea of getting a small gift, but I barely even have enough time to make it from work to the assigned appointment, so that can't happen today.

And for the record, I'm not really "the kind of person that can afford a $300 hair treatment," whatever kind of person that is. I get this very subtle highlighting done about once every 9-10 months, which, if you do the quick math, is about 30 a month, and less than many women spend on their hair, considering I don't use buy products other than shampoo and conditioner. An extra 60 dollars wouldn't kill me, but it's not like I wouldn't notice it, and it's not like I go around flinging money out the window because I'm just rolling in it. Hence I asked.

(Though I clearly am the kind of person who lets offhand comments on the internet hurt my feelings.)

posted by millipede at 11:46 AM on February 18, 2015 [7 favorites]


The way I see it if you are the kind of person that can afford a $300 hair treatment you can afford an unneeded tip. That $30 or $60 won't make a difference either way in your life.

I don't follow this thinking, plus it's very presumptuous. The OP already paid and already tipped on the service. There are costs involved in her returning, but it should not cost the OP an extra $30, or $60, or a gift (really?) to fix a mistake.

Just go, get it fixed, don't tip again. Nothing to feel guilty about here.
posted by vivzan at 4:19 PM on February 18, 2015


kinetic: "I would tip $20 and a Starbucks gift card/box of candy. But I like to mix things up."

I'd advise against any kind of gift or gift card. People who work in tipped industries want cash tips.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 8:41 PM on February 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


(Though I clearly am the kind of person who lets offhand comments on the internet hurt my feelings.)

I apologize for any hurt feelings. I wasn't being judgmental, nor asking for you to justify your expenses. That way lies madness. I also wasn't implying you are wasteful with money in any manner. In fact, if I were to make assumption it would be toward the opposite. I assume you are the kind of person who can afford hair treatments or I am guessing you wouldn't get them done. Frequency of visit doesn't really change the math as far as the point I was making.

I used to calculate tips by percentage down to the penny. So if I got a bill for $16.02 I'd tip around $2.75 (based on the pretax amount). Now I am just going to lay down a $20 and be done with it. The extra buck isn't going to make a difference in my life, but for someone that relies on tips the extra few dollars can.

My bias in tipping is toward over-tipping. I would have taken the same position were we talking about a $30 haircut and a $6 tip.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:29 AM on February 19, 2015


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