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Last updated: July 31, 2019

What Would You Do: My Clients Aren’t Tipping!

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How Can I Let My Clients Know That They Need To Tip?

Tipping is always a touchy subject no matter the industry. You don’t want to offend your clients in anyway by bringing it up, but you are also providing a service and tips are so important to your livelihood. One of our BTC fam is facing this dilemma themselves and doesn’t know how to go about asking for a tip for themselves and their assistant. Scroll down to read what the BTC community had to say and bonus from clients!


“Hi! Please keep this anonymous. Is there a way I can notify my clients about tipping? Everyone knows when you go to a restaurant the expectation is to tip. Isn’t there something our salon can do? Our salon has a variety of clients. The older clientele knows to tip the assistant, however the younger clients don’t seem to know that they should. Some of my younger clients don’t even tip me! How do you bring this up in a tactful way? We were thinking a friendly sign, but we don’t want to be tacky. Any ideas? Thank you.”


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Clients Should Definitely Tip—Periodt. 


“Don’t schedule them again. If they don’t appreciate your service, then you don’t need to appreciate their business. If you can’t afford to tip when you go out to eat, you can’t afford to go out to eat. Hair is no different. Even if it’s a small percentage, something to just show some gratitude. It’s more about the gesture and less about the amount.” – @skulptor_ov_hair


“I think in any service industry it’s common sense to leave a tip. It’s not a gift. It’s an expectation for breaking our back to make you beautiful.” – @brooke_szabox0


“I agree you shouldn’t rely on tips, but I’m willing to bet a lot of the people yelling about not expecting tips are pissed when they don’t get tipped. 😂” – @helmet__hair


“I’m gonna play devil’s advocate here. Some salons are salary and commission, which means if you don’t reach a certain quota you only make salary, and speaking from personal experience it’s less than minimum wage. I rely on tips heavily. I’m not in a position to raise my prices as I’m not the salon owner. Slow days kill me, I don’t care what anyone says. I’m a very busy stylist Friday and Saturday, but during the week it’s much slower and salary doesn’t cut it. I understand it’s tacky to ASK or expect a tip, but the majority of our customers tip both the stylist and the assistant and it is greatly appreciated, because without it I couldn’t pay my bills. If I made 50/50 I would not mind at all not getting tipped. 💁🏻‍♀️” – @lyndsslayyshair


“Y’all know you’re secretly expecting a tip after every client. Don’t lie. 😂” – @mckenzienicol


“For some individuals and businesses, it’s not so easy to simply ‘set your prices higher’ to make it worth your time, energy and skill set. In my opinion, I think with any type of service someone is providing you, whether it be serving you food, tending bar, chauffeuring you (Uber, Lyft, taxi), takeout food delivery person, etc., it is normal to tip. If you go out to eat and don’t tip your server, that’s sh*tty. And it’s similar with hairdressers, because you don’t know how that hairdresser is getting compensated for those services. You don’t know if their commission (if they even get commission) is 30 or 50 percent? You don’t know if they’re getting paid hourly? And if so, what wage they’re receiving? Is it state minimum? I think tipping your hairdresser is completely normal and should be encouraged. I’ve worked in salons where my commission rate was barely livable and I’ve worked in salons where I made an hourly wage, which at the time was $8 an hour. If I didn’t get tipped, I couldn’t afford to eat.” – @samodaymcguinness


Stylists are taxed on our reported tips, so they are not just a ‘gift.’ Tipping is a normal and expected part of our earnings. When the clients check out at the front desk using a card, the receptionist has to ask if a tip will be added so they can complete the transaction. It’s very rare that our clients don’t tip on services!!!” – Dean Lee



Don’t Ask Your Clients For A Tip. It’s A Gift!


I think a tip is a gift, and should not be expected. I also think it’s the stylist’s responsibility to tip out their assistants if they help them.” – @catface778


“You expect your clients to tip you AND your assistant?? You should be the one tipping your assistant!!” – @lalauraeliza


“Hmm, I don’t know how I feel about this. Considering a stylist is making more money using an assistant (because you have more time to add extra clients and double book) they should be tipping their assistant out if they’re tipped. A client does not get a choice whether or not they want you and your assistant working on their hair. They may not have it in their budget to tip both. But tips are not mandatory, nor are they expected—they are appreciated.” – @sheenandshears


“34 years in the profession and to this day I don’t expect my clients to tip me. I’m very grateful that they come to me.” – @wendywaghorn


“Sucks when you don’t get a tip, but it’s absolutely tasteless to ever bring it up to a client. Sorry we just have to take that L.” – @chacha_stylista_


“Personally, I don’t expect tips from anyone. Yes, it’s awesome to receive them, but you should never expect a tip. I feel like putting a sign up shows a lot of greed and can make guests feel uncomfortable. I probably don’t get tipped at least once or twice a week (most of the time it’s a teenager) and it is what it is. I still get commission for their hair service and that is all you should honestly expect. When I was an assistant I would rarely get tips, but that’s kind of what you have to go through when you are an assistant. I felt like I was paying my dues until I wasn’t an assistant anymore.” – @alnovak7


“I don’t feel that it’s up to the client to tip the assistant. The clients did not ask for an assistant, I did. I needed help so it’s my responsibility to tip out the assistant, and that’s what I tell my clients. An assistant allowed me to see more clients and generate a higher salary for myself.” – @davidpeacemaker


“Honestly, we all love a good tip, no doubt. But, it’s not a necessity whatsoever. I wouldn’t bring it up.” – @beautybyzoerose


“Tips should never be expected. Period. Everyone works for a living and earns the amount of money they earn. Whether the client is getting their hair done in a high end salon or a smaller business which charges less, coming to you for that service is probably what they can afford to spend on their hair and is classified as a luxury. You maybe the best hairstylist in the world, and they may feel incredible after spending time with both you and your assistants, however they may not be able to afford to hand over extra for a tip. The fact that they have come to you for a service, and may continue to come for follow up services, is enough of a tip in itself.” – @densfield92


Jesus take the wheel. This is so rude and entitled. You should just throw the whole post away and start over. Gratuity is a GIFT. YOU are the one that is expected to tip out YOUR assistant at the end of the day. Your guests shouldn’t concern themselves with tipping YOUR assistant, because you’re getting double the income while the assistant is there helping you. You’re already knocking out multiple clients during one appointment spot. Be thankful you have so many guests that you need an assistant! Thinking that you need to put up a sign so people tip you extra is laughable sis. Take a seat. Our guests are our bread and butter and the reason we thrive. Don’t treat them like that.” – Stachia Bennings


Hair stylists please tip out YOUR assistants! We’ve all been there… 😇” – Lauren Ibietatorremendia


“I have some clients who tip cash (some more than others). I have clients who tip me with an iced coffee (or even a hot coffee). I have some clients who tip me with small gifts. I had one tip me with a margarita. I have some clients that don’t tip anything at all. Some tip me by referring more clients to me. But at the end of the day, I have clients and for that I am grateful! A tip is a gratuity. Never expected, always appreciated.” – Angela Renae


“I didn’t know tips were mandatory in our industry. 🤔 Sorry, but no matter what you do it’ll look tacky. You might as well stand there with your hand out to them. To expect everyone to tip is unreasonable. Just be thankful they’re in your chair and not using box crap from the drugstore. ‘Have an attitude of gratitude,’ my one coworker used to say!” – Kristen Bodnar



Here’s What Clients Have To Say…


“I’m sorry, but if someone TOLD me to tip them I probably wouldn’t! That’s rude and a tip is a gift. Should never just expect to get one. (Between, I always tip my stylist and have never had her tell me too).” – @sammykg_


“As a client, I tip a percentage of the cost of the service, and I tip generously. I don’t pay more if my stylist has an assistant. The price of the service should go up if it’s necessary. Some places have assistants, some don’t and others have assistants that only jump in where they can. The client shouldn’t need to figure it out and divvy it up.” – @sheryllyn


“My hairdresser tips the assistant. As a client, I am not going to tip the assistant that is there to help you do more clients. I am paying you to do my hair, not your assistant.” – @bellabychrista


My stylist does such a beautiful job coloring and cutting my hair. BEAUTIFUL color with depth and dimension, NOT like what I get out of a box TRYING to do it myself. Ugh! So for her years of hard work, skill and further training from the company to keep up with trends and skills, I believe she deserves a 20 percent tip. She busts her tail feathers… I appreciate her!! She does her BEST for me. Just sayin’…. Keep Calm and Tip On!” – Barby Blackburn


Some Helpful Advice To Encourage Tipping


“I use the Square app when I cash out my guests. On the app, I have assigned 15, 18 and 20 percent tip options for when they check out. They have the option to choose another percentage of tipping, to give a cash tip or no tip at all. I feel this is a tactful way of going about it. Also, if you have a receptionist, ask him or her to ask the client if they would like to add gratuity. It’s less awkward when an app or receptionist is asking. Also, maybe just take a percentage of your tips out each day for your assistant? Like, he or she gets two or three percent of all tips from that day? Some thoughts for you.” – @noellesandrastylist


“Where I am from, tips are pretty much expected, unless you are the owner. Sometimes the owners do not get tipped because they own the salon and get paid if they work or not. The assistants rely on the tips like a waitress does, because they get a small hourly wage. As a stylist, if you want to make sure the client tips or at least knows it is a possibility, we have the receptionist prompt the client asking, ‘What percentage would you like to tip the stylist today!’ Our computer system also prompts the client at check out as well. For our assistants who rely heavily on the tips, we have a cute decorated mason jar in clear sight that says ‘Tips For Shampoo’ and a cute sign that says ‘Thankful for sweet clients like you!’ I don’t expect EVERYONE to tip me generously, but in this day and age at the commission rate I’m at in a small privately owned salon, it’s not a crime to admit the tips help pay the rent!” – @mariarosesred


“First all don’t expect a tip. In some countries tipping hairdressers is known as being tacky. As for tipping the assistant, that’s tough. Sometimes I make up a situation that seems kind of relatable for the client and they say,  ‘Oh wait, we’re supposed to do x?’ Some people just don’t know! I tip my assistant at the end of the day, but I also think clients should. Five dollars isn’t much, but can add up for someone who works their ass off and makes only a little. I’d rather my clients tip me less if need be!” – @jordanheidenwith_hair