Some Facts About Hair Salons, Hair Stylists, and Tipping Rates

Updated March 16, 2018

A hair stylist’s work may either be inspired by the work of other stylists, by what they spot in industry publications, and by what celebrities are sporting. A good stylist, nonetheless, would realize that a style that works isn't a style acquired without being altered, and that few of us prefer to look like movie stars unless we are, in fact, auditioning for a part.

One fact, for sure, is that celebrities and other public figures spend a lot of time and money on the upkeep of their image—and this image trend has turned into the cultural gold standard. There are a few tricks, according to experts, that can give you "The Look" for a lot less, if that's what you wish. You could, for example, have an initial cut and styling at an expensive salon and then find somebody at a less expensive place who could help you maintain that cut—at least for a while—until it is time to go back to the more expensive salon for another basic cut. You could also consider going to a more expensive salon but working with somebody other than the owner, probably a new stylist trying to build up a clientele, who might charge less.

Higher-priced salons frequently offer such added services like facials and massages, changing rooms, and coffee or champagne. Today a few salons even offer dating services, laundry done while you have your hair styled, or a room where you and your co-workers can conduct a business meeting when all of you get your hair styled. Other salons give free touch-ups or bang trims for steady clients.

One fact to take into account is that the price promoted by budget salons is often for just a cut. Shampoos and blow dries cost extra. Prices quoted by higher-priced salons have these services.

The standard tip for the individual who cuts your hair is about 10% of the price of the cut. A colorist is typically tipped about 10% to 18% of the price of the service. The person who shampoos normally receives a $3 to $5 tip. The salon owner generally is not tipped.

Men now make up about 25% of the clientele in salons, and they get a variety of services, including facials, hair coloring, as well as hair styling.

Embarrassment regarding hair coloring is a matter of the past. Coloring is among the most requested services in a salon and, according to the experts, the results are so appreciated that the question is no longer, "Does she or doesn't she?" The question now is, "Where does he or she get that coloring done?"

In some places, there are salons that also cater to kids. The children can explore an indoor playground while awaiting their turns and so sit atop a horse or zebra or in a race car while the stylist cuts and styles their hair.

A few salons would negotiate on the price of services if you are amenable to come in at a slow time. Several offer discounts to senior citizens. But you'll have to ask if a reduction in price is possible. Irrespective of the hour or the time and skill involved in performing the service, women generally pay 20% to 40% more for the equivalent service than men do. Women pay from $10 to $250 for a styling session, whereas men pay from $6 to $150.