A Good Tip: A Guide to Gratuity at Salons and Medi-Spas

To tip or not to tip is NEVER the question.

Originally featured on formosi.com | the blog

There’s a lot of different advice available on tipping, and it varies based on region as well as industry. As consumers, we generally tip our health and beauty professionals according to quality of the service, emotions (that may or may not pertain to the experience), and often our current financial situation.

Americans have been tipping in restaurants since the time of Prohibition, providing a livable wage for a server when dinner bills decreased. Now, we tip at health and beauty locations not knowing if the professional is paid an hourly wage, if they receive a commission on our service, or if they pay for the station and product for our service.

But if, when and how much should we tip at hair and nail salons and medi-spas? Formosi asked stylists, estheticians and nurses the question, and the answer they gave cleared up the dilemma once and for all. The general consensus was,

You should tip for beauty and spa services.
2. Gratuity is not necessary for medical services.
3. A tip should be based on your comfort level.
4. You should tip when you enjoy your service and anticipate being happy with the end result.
5. If you are unhappy with your service, it is appropriate to reflect that in your tip, as well as discussing it with your professional.
6. Tip 15-20% of the original value of your service.
7. Tip based on how much you enjoyed your service, the quality of your service, and the complexity of your service.
8. Tip with cash when possible; however, if you feel your service deserves a $15 tip and you only have $3 cash, tip on your card.
9. If you receive a complimentary or discounted service, your tip is the proper place to express your gratitude.
10. If you would have liked to tip (or tip more) and are unable to, it’s appropriate to express that to your professional. It’s also appropriate to come back.

Most importantly, it’s important to remember that even though gratuity has become customary in our society, it is always greatly appreciated.

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