Emily Post Institute, an organization that 'serves as a 'civility barometer' in American society,' suggests tipping a hairstylist 15 to 20 percent. Hairstylist Tamara Ianos, who is an independent contractor at Innerlooks in Phoenix, Arizona, believes people should tip what they want depending on the services they receive. The more services a hairstylist offers, the more a tip is appreciated. She also draws distinction between an independent contractor and a commissioned employee. The latter may only earn 60 to 70 percent, or even as little as 30 percent, of the salon's listed service cost. The rest goes to the salon, so tips are even more significant to these stylists.
Depending on the salon, tipping the shampoo person may or may not be necessary. Don Browne, an independent hairstylist who rents space at Café Paris in Phoenix, Arizona, confirms if a stylist's assistant shampoos your hair and she works for the salon or someone else, the stylist will typically give her a tip for helping out. However, if the shampoo person works for the stylist, it is generally acceptable for the client to tip her. Tipping.org, the original tipping page, recommends tipping $1 to $2 for a shampoo person. If in doubt, ask the receptionist or client coordinator when you schedule an appointment.
Browne believes it is absolutely acceptable to request that another person not shampoo a client's hair, whatever the reason. He confirms, 'The bottom line is the client pays the stylist's salary so the stylist should do what it takes to make them happy.'
If a client is unhappy with a service, Ianos has no qualms about waiving the cost and always offers a fix to be scheduled at a later date. Some salons may have a policy on dealing with unhappy clients while independent contractors set their own policies. Ianos says a disappointed client often is the result of a miscommunication and suggests people bring a picture of exactly what they want their hairstyle to look like to avoid any confusion.
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