The Skinny on Tipping at your Salon

It’s 9 to 10 weeks after my last visit to the hair salon and it’s time to patch up the roots.  I arrive at my standing appointment with the talented Calan Goodwin, co-owner and stylist at Franco International, Hyde Park. Calan is a wizz with foils and a few minutes later I look like a space alien with a metal wig –  steer clear of lighting!

I had quizzed Calan about the topic before but had to check if anything had changed since about a year ago when I asked her about tipping at a hair salon.  I never quite know who to tip and how much.  I’m dreadfully worried about being “that client” that never tips.  At the same time, I feel hair costs a fortune these days, especially if you have a range of services and treatments.  A tip adds to an already ballooning bill.

But if one does tip, should it be 10% like the standard at a restaurant? And would it be 10% of the value of the service including products if you buy any?  I just don’t know.

I enjoy going to Calan because I’m a straight shooter and so is she, so I know I’m getting an honest answer when I ask her to tell me the truth about tipping in a salon.

Calan says you get all sorts.  There are clients, particularly foreign clients, that tip very graciously but it is not at all expected. The general trend is for clients to tip the salon technician (the person who washes your hair and assists the hairdresser) between R20 and R100. Calan says that even R10 is not sneered at by a technician, as these tips add up and could cover lunch or transport by the end of the day. She says that generally clients do not (and once again, are not expected to) tip the hairdresser.

What can we do to say, “thank you” to our hairdressers?  Apparently, gifts are quite popular at the end of the year. It may be best to give a gift voucher, or ask your hairdresser if you can donate on their behalf to a charity of their choice. That way they won’t end up with 10 hand creams and 15 bubble baths in December.

Phew, now I know the protocol.  Next question – does one tip at a nail bar?… ahh!

Related: To read our post of hair trends for 2017, click here



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