The Ultimate Guide to Tipping For Beauty Services

We’ve all been there — our relaxing spa treatment comes to an end and before we’re even fully back to our senses, we’re faced with the ever-perplexing question of how much to tip. Where dining comes with a customary 18 to 20 percent gratuity, spa treatments never seem to be quite as straightforward. Since we don’t want your moment of relaxation to turn into a moment of stress, we talked with some leaders in the industry to present you with the 411 on tipping.

Nail Services: Cyndi Ramirez, founder of Chillhouse, tells Allure that when it comes to tipping nail services — whether a classic mani/pedi or a detailed gel application — 20 percent of the service is expected, unless it's at a cheap salon, in which case she always tips 30 percent or more.

Hair Treatments: “I generally believe people should tip anywhere between 15 to 25 percent on any of the hair services they receive, [based on] how happy they are with the service,” Chelsey Pickthorn, colorist and owner of her namesake salon in Brooklyn, tells Allure. Stephanie Brown, another colorist in New York City, takes it a step further, telling us that it’s important to also tip all the people who come with your stylist — their assistant, the person shampooing your hair, the person blow-drying your hair, etc. — since they are a big part of the process.

Spa Services: “It’s customary to provide an 18 to 20 percent gratuity for any spa service, no matter if it’s sugaring or a Biologique Recherche facial,” Angela Rosen, owner of Penelope & The Beauty Bar in Seattle and Daphne in New York City, tells Allure. “At our salons, we take the guesswork out for you by suggesting an 18 percent gratuity upon conclusion of your service.”

Cindy Barshop, former Real Housewife and owner of Vspot Medispa in New York City, tells Allure that when it comes to waxes, she always recommends a 20 percent tip — and, considering how up close and personal your technician is getting with you, we think that’s pretty fair.

Eyelash Extensions and Lifts: “20 percent of the price of any service is considered pretty standard as far as how much to tip your lash stylist at our salon,” Clementina Richardson, founder of Envious Lashes (a Victoria’s Secret Angel frequent), tells Allure. “As an owner, I would say that 60 percent of my clients tip me, but most of them always tip their stylists 18 to 20 percent for a full set of lash extensions and also for refills. Some of our celebrity and higher-end clients tend to tip more, which is always greatly appreciated.”

Even when you know how much to tip, you might still find yourself in a pickle post-treatment as many salons don't accept credit card tips. If you find that the salon or spa you’re at only accepts cash, don’t fret. We live in a world where Venmo and the Cash App are on the rise, making it easy to show your technicians the gratitude they deserve. “Recently I have had more clients paying me via Venmo since many salons are unable to add the tip onto the final amount,” Brown says. And, if you don’t have one of these apps or cash on hand, do it the old-fashioned way and find an ATM.

At the end of the day, all of these stylists, aestheticians, and technicians live off their tips, so be sure to help them after they’ve helped you.

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