How Much To Tip A BarberDo many people struggle with how much to tip a barber you are happy with?

Much like a restaurant server who has regular customers, a barber may often perform at a higher level for clients who tip well.

Although tipping is optional, it’s always great to show your appreciation for great service. Gratuity is a very large part of the income for a barber or stylist.

It also shows that you value this person’s service and the relationship between the two of you. But what are the customary rules for how much to tip your barber or stylist?

How Much To Tip

How Much To TipGenerally speaking, for good service, you should tip 15 to 20 percent of the entire bill.

Tip more for exceptional service or less for what you consider to be inadequate service.

Tipping is your way of saying “job well done.” So tip more if the person performing the service has gone above and beyond what is expected.

If you don’t feel like you can tip well, it may be time to fire your barber or stylist. But if you like them and enjoy their service, tip as much as you can afford.

If someone works on you other than your barber or stylist (such as a shampoo person or shoe-shine person), give them a few dollars as well.

Tipping During The Holidays

Tipping During The HolidaysDuring the holidays, it is generally acceptable to tip the normal cost of a visit.

For example, if you normally pay $30 for a haircut. Then you should tip them $30 before the holiday.

It’s a nice way to say “thank you” for a year’s worth of great hair.

If you have a close relationship with your barber or stylist, you might also include a small personal gift that reflects his or her interests as well as a monetary gift.  

When To Tip More

While it’s a subjective judgment, good service is when the barber or stylist listens carefully. Has a pleasant attitude, and takes the amount of time necessary to give a great cut.

An exceptional barber or stylist will be engaging and entertaining. He may be quick to offer suggestions on how to better wear your hair, and keep an immaculate work area. Tip more for exceptional service.

When To Tip Less

Barbers and stylists should receive less gratuity if their area is not clean, if they don’t listen well, or they rush through your haircut.

Also, if they talk on the phone while performing your service, that’s simply rude and cause for less of a tip.

Of course, a bad haircut should also result in a lower tip. That said, if your barber or stylist is guilty of any of these offenses, find a new person to cut your hair.

Tipping The Owner

Tipping The OwnerFor many years, it was considered inappropriate to tip the owner of a shop or salon who also styled and cut your hair.

But it’s done more and more, and most owners say that while they don’t expect tips. They always appreciate them. 

If you’d like to leave a tip for the owner but aren’t sure you should, take your cue from the receptionist when you pay your bill.  If she asks if you’d like to leave a tip, that’s a signal that you may. 

Why Tipping Really Matters

When you tip your barber or stylist well, it does not go unnoticed. It speaks volumes about how you appreciate their work.

Barbers know who their great tippers are. With this in mind, barbers always go the extra mile to make sure customers know they’re appreciated. 

The tips just don’t have to be about money. Bring your stylist lunch or a coffee at your next appointment.

When The Haircut Is Bad

When The Haircut Is BadFirst, perhaps you want to figure out how to avoid a bad haircut in the first place. However, if you couldn’t let dive into the negative.

We’ve covered positive tipping, but there’s a dark side to barber shops too. Sometimes, you’re not going to get what you want. Facing a bad haircut (or a bad experience) is a part of life. And there is a right way to deal with it. 

Sometimes, simply shorting the tip is sufficient to express a problem.  More often, being a man and having a civilized discussion about what went wrong is better.

Let’s talk about the experience first.  If you feel like your cut was rushed, the place is dirty beyond a few hair clippings or there’s a real issue with service or he didn’t have hair loss shampoo to address your needs.  

That makes the haircut less pleasant.  All of this could justify a small tip, but that would be something you do if you aren’t planning on coming back.

Bad Day For The Barber

Bad Day For The BarberYou should know barbers are human. Your regular guy might just have a bad day and give you a haircut you don’t like.

It’s up to you if you want to burn a bridge or not. But the gentlemanly approach carries a lot of weight. 

The best thing is to express your displeasure. That doesn’t mean you should kick chairs, throw scissors and scream at people.

It does mean that you should conduct yourself respectfully and explain why you’re unhappy. 

Usually, you can come to a reasonable agreement. Now, here’s the ultimate trick in this situation.

After having that talk with your barber, you still give him a tip. It’s not a big fat tip.

It might even be smaller than usual, but you make sure that you express appreciation for his time and effort. Even if you don’t love the result!

When They Deserve A Big Fat Tip

When They Deserve A Big Fat TipLet’s be real. Sometimes, you’re the problem.

There are occasions where you might show up for a trim and be exceptionally hard to deal with.

Maybe it’s because your least favorite nephew put gum in your hair.

 Maybe you had an accident while working on the car and the five showers you took still haven’t fully decreased your mop.

Whatever the case, if you know working on your head is harder than normal, compensate your barber. 

This brings us to an important point. You shouldn’t be visiting the barber with dirty hair.

Plenty of places offer hair washing services, but that isn’t an excuse to be nasty. Any day you get a haircut, you should shower before going.

That doesn’t mean you need to show up with dripping-wet hair.

It means that asking someone to work with your grungy hair is obnoxious.

Final Advice

If you’ve got a great barber, they may follow-up your trim and shave with another shampoo or rinse. Check out more information on this topic at

This will help you avoid the likely event of bits of hair falling out and causing scratching later in the day. 

Whether or not you tip your barber is most often a personal preference. However, common courtesy would indicate you do so. Finally, another interesting post is how much to tip a valet.


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