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How Much To Tip Your Barber Or Stylist

Here’s a tip – “Give me a better haircut next time,” is not the right way to tip your barber or stylist. For most guys, that’s not the challenge. The real challenge is knowing how much to tip your barber.

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Why You Should Tip Your Barber

Tipping is common courtesy when you visit a barber in the U.S. It’s a way for you to express that you like your haircut, had a pleasant experience, and want to return to that barber.

It’s also likely that your barber rents his chair at the salon, works on commission, or is only paid minimum wage. Considering the amount of responsibility and training that it takes to cut hair, the tips that your barber collects ensure that his income matches his expertise.

But really, this is probably the best motive for tipping: the guy who cuts your hair can make you look drop dead handsome, or he can make sure that you won’t get any action for the next month. If you frequent the same barber, leaving a tip is a good way to get on his A-list.

Is $10 A Good Tip For A Haircut?

Money is relative when it comes to haircuts. You can drop anywhere from $30 to $300 when you go to the barber – your $30 barber probably thinks a $10 tip is awesome, but your $300 barber might be insulted.

It’s better to use a sliding scale based on a percentage of what you spent and how much you like the haircut you got.

How Much To Tip Your Barber Or Stylist

How much you tip your barber is meant to indicate how satisfied you are with your haircut. Use this scale:

• Tipping Your Barber 25% and up

Is your new haircut going to drop panties left and right? Do you feel like the top dog? Guys who tip 25% or more are sometimes seen as show-offs, but if you’re absolutely in love with your new haircut, it’s an option.

• Tipping Your Barber 20%

20% is a reasonable tip if you had a 5-star haircut experience, and you plan on becoming a regular at your barber’s chair. After all, if your barber knows he’s going to make a bigger tip off of you, there’s a good chance he’ll give more time and thought to your haircut.

• Tipping Your Barber 15%

These days, 15% is a standard tip for a good salon or barber experience. (It’s also standard in the restaurant industry.)

• Tipping Your Barber 10%

With inflation, a 10% tip is falling out of fashion. It usually signifies a level of dissatisfaction. Maybe your haircut is only OK, or you just didn’t get along with your new barber. Giving 10% conveys some appreciation, but your barber might think you weren’t completely happy with your haircut experience.

And take some responsibility – you might be getting bad haircuts because you’re not doing a good job of asking for the haircut that you want.

• Not Tipping Your Barber

You don’t have to tip your barber, especially if you have an awful haircut. Just remember, if you don’t leave a tip, you shouldn’t return to that barber. 

How Much Should You Tip For Trims & Quick Fixes?

Usually, you should be able to use the same tip scale for trims and quick fixes. 

The one exception is if your barber charges you less for the service, but spends the same amount of time touching up your hair as he would giving you a full haircut. In that case, consider tipping a little more to thank your barber for his time.

How Much Should You Tip For A Complete Cut?

For a complete haircut with great results, most guys stay in the 15-20% tip range. If you spend about $30 on a haircut, that will usually mean that you’re tipping $5-6.

How Much Should You Tip For A Great Haircut?

A great haircut deserves a great tip, right? For those special 5-star cuts, lean toward a 20-25% tip to make sure your barber knows how much you appreciate his steady hands. If you spend about $30 on a haircut, that means you’re tipping about $6-8.

How Much Should You Tip For A Bad Haircut?

You don’t have to tip if you don’t like your haircut, but if you still like the guy who cut your hair, consider leaving 10%. It lets him know that you’re not completely satisfied, but you still appreciate his time. If you spend about $30 on a haircut, that means you’re tipping somewhere under $3.

How Much To Tip During The Holidays

During the winter holiday season, consider leaving a 25-50% tip. Your barber is probably booked tight, cleaning up everyone’s bad haircuts before they go home to see their families.

It’s especially good to leave a generous holiday tip if you’re a frequent customer at your salon. It lets your barber know that you’ve appreciated his work all year long, and you’re looking forward to next year’s haircuts.

How Much To Tip At Christmas

If you’re getting a haircut on Christmas Eve, get ready to leave over a 50% tip. Your barber is likely sacrificing a big part of his holiday to make sure that you look good, so your tip should show a lot of Christmas spirit and gratitude.

How Much Should You Tip Your Barber During COVID?

If your taper fade is looking on-point in all of your Zoom meetings, then remember to thank your barber with a generous tip. He’s held a high risk job during COVID, so think upwards of 20%.

The pandemic has put a lot of salons out of business. If you can afford to tip on the high end, you have the opportunity to support a local business and a local tradesman who has likely struggled through 2020, 2021, and 2022.

And, really, you probably shouldn’t be visiting the salon too frequently during the pandemic. If you’re not cutting your own hair, then pay it forward to your barber.

Do You Tip A Barber If He Owns The Shop?

If your barber owns his own shop, he’s probably a talented guy. You SHOULD still tip him, and keep in mind that your tip should compliment his expertise. 

Is It Rude To Not Tip Your Barber?

Tipping sends a message. It lets your hairstylists, waiters, bellboys, and other minimum wage workers know that you appreciate their service.

Not tipping your barber is your way of telling him that you didn’t like your haircut, or that you just don’t like him. If you’ve been returning to the same barber without tipping, then you’re not fostering a good relationship with your local salon.

On the other hand, leaving a generous tip when you visit your barber is the best way to show your gratitude. After all, he’s one of your biggest wingmen.

Frank Edwards is a men's grooming & style expert who is "internet famous" for being able to simplify complicated grooming routines into easy, yet effective rituals any man can do. As a professional analyst, he has spent years researching the biggest brands, products, experts, best practices, and breaking news in the space. He takes this analysis, tests it out on himself, and then documents everything in his writing. As a result, his experience-based articles are considered by some to be the gold standard in men's grooming and men's style.