How Much Should You Tip Your Barber?
The short answer is it depends. When you are on a tight budget, every penny counts, so it is hard to give up extra when you are unsure if you actually need to. The fact of the matter is, though, your barber provides a service meant to enhance the way you feel, one that is tailored to you and your style.
According to the Dollar Shave Club, 20% is considered a reasonable amountÂ in the United States. Anything less may come off as a little stingy. This is actually considered a bit of a staple across a variety of lifestyle service companies, including spa treatments, massages, and, during the holidays, personal training.
Of course, the salons do not usually enforce this (or these other companies except some restaurants for gratuity inclusion policies); but, it is a gesture that can pay off even bigger for you, especially as a returning customer. For instance, I’ve personally been able to snag a last minute appointment due to my regular tipping of my hairstylist. Plus, I know of friends who have been able to receive special styles as well.
Should you have an issue covering this, Dollar Shave Club does mention alternatives.
“If you have tickets to a game you canât use, hook your barber up. If you work at a car repair shop, give him a free oil change. Favors like that have value, too. It doesnât have to be cash,” DSC’sÂ resident hair expert Cleve McMillian said in an interview for the article.
Another option may be to do a trade for service of sorts. If you are a business consultant, let’s say, you may offer to give 20 minutes or more of your time pro-bono to give advice. For me, being a freelance writer, I may offer some writing services on their blog in exchange for a little more cash in my wallet after my cut and style.
So, how much should you tip your barber? At the end of the day, what really matters is that you are not only respectful of the business but respectful of your barber’s time as well. If you can only tip 15% of your bill, be upfront and honest so that you do not need to feel uncomfortable giving less than the average (if that is a concern for you). Even if you feel more capable of doing a straight cash amount, such as $5 or $10, something would be better than nothing. As a business, I am sure they would much rather prefer to see you as a returning customer rather than a one-stop client who paid the full 20%.
Have you had this problem before? Share your insight in the comments below or start a discussion in our forums.Â