Salon Tipping Etiquette: Complimentary Trim Edition
August 9, 2017 7:48 AM   Subscribe

My new hair salon offers complimentary neck and bang trims between hair cuts. Yay! Except I'm not sure how much to tip...

Possibly relevant info:

* A few weeks ago, I got a hair cut and a back-of-the-neck undercut. The undercut is getting scraggly so I'm going in tonight to have a complimentary neck trim. The rest of my hair still looks great and I won't have it cut again until late September.

* My last hair cut cost about $70 before tip (pretty competitive for this area).

* The person who cuts my hair normally is different from the person who does the undercuts. This is because my hair is wild and needs to be cut by a person who knows curly hair. The stylist who does the best undercuts does not have much curly hair expertise; the person who knows curly hair best is not as comfortable with undercuts. At my last hair appointment I tipped both stylists. I'm inclined to tip very generously this time since Undercut Stylist will probably net less income from me over the long run than Curly Stylist, who is my primary stylist.

* I'm in the Boston area if it matters.
posted by schroedingersgirl to Work & Money (6 answers total)
When I get free bang trims, I tip $5. This is something that takes the stylist like, two minutes to do, so if freshening up an undercut is more involved, I would tip more.
posted by cakelite at 7:51 AM on August 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

The local beauty schools does free Bang trims for anyone. When they give me a 3-4 month trim it usually around $25 without tip. I tip $5 for both services.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:15 AM on August 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

When I go to my barber between cuts to get my neckline cleaned up, he does not charge me and I give him a $10 tip. He actually tries to refuse it (he is not the owner) and I always tell him to take it and buy his kids some ice cream or himself some beer. He then accepts.

My regular haircut costs $20 and I give a $10 tip then too. The way I see it, the free trim or neck cleanup between regular cuts is actually the salon offering up their employee's time for free. If I am not paying the salon/barber and they are not paying the stylist, either I pay the barber/stylist or they don't get paid for their time and effort.
posted by AugustWest at 9:09 AM on August 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

I think you can also just ask! I frequently don't know how much to tip for services like massages, haircuts, etc. and I will either call ahead or ask the cashier what the typical amount to tip is for whatever it is. I have never had anyone react poorly to this, and indeed they just happily tell me the amount and I pay it. My current massage place is even nice enough to post tip amounts in the rooms. It's awesome for socially awkward tippers like me. :-D
posted by rainbowbrite at 9:27 AM on August 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

I tip my normal haircut amount (my haircuts are $40, so I tip $8). I get effectively a second haircut without the bells and whistles (head massage/shampoo/blowdry/straightening) and consider it a really, really good deal. My stylist also seems quite happy with the tip, so I'm guessing she usually doesn't get that much for the complimentary trims.
posted by vegartanipla at 11:10 AM on August 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Thanks everyone! The stylist spend a good bit of time free-styling artsy designs into my undercut, so I gave her a $20.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 7:04 AM on August 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

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