A trip to the salon is the ideal opportunity to take a break from your busy life and relax while pampering yourself. A manicure should be a soothing experience.


However, understanding salon rules may be stressful. When it comes time to paying there is always a bunch of uneasy questions. How much to tip and who should you give a tip to?

Don’t worry, we have got you covered. In this article we will figure it out for you via salon professionals. We will find out what they anticipate — or, at the very least, what is typical. Spoiler alert: It all ultimately relies on the service you are getting, as well as the specific situations below.

Etiquettes for giving tips for nail salon

  • At nail salon don’t compromise in tipping your attendant or the one who assists you during your treatment. However, keep in mind that your stylist may tip the assistant at the end of the day or week. You can include that in your overall tip and ask them to share it.

    Alternatively, you can tip the helper separately. Sierra Bowling, a long-time salon receptionist, adds that that there are a good number of clients who additionally tip a couple of dollars to the assistants. This is always great and extremely appreciated.

    nail salon

    Stylists’ assistants and even junior stylists rely on tips for a large percentage of their income. So, make sure to specify how much cash goes to each individual or put it in different envelopes. $2 to $5 is appropriate for helpers who shampoo and prep your hair for colour.

  • A word of advice: Do not assume that a gift card includes gratuity unless it is expressly stated. The same is true for discount vouchers and coupon codes. Just because you are saving money on a service does not mean the person providing it is making more money. Instead, give a 20% gratuity on the whole price of the service. If you are giving someone a treatment as a gift and want to be extra generous, ask the spa to include a tip on your card as well.
  • Traditionally there is a notion that you should tip everyone who helps you during your salon appointment, except your stylist is the owner. Some consumers still do, but the percentage is usually lower than the technician’s — approximately 10%.

    nail technician

    However, we would say that they are providing a service like everyone else. So, keep your percentages to the typical 20%. Always leave a tip as a token of appreciation for the owner’s hard work and effort by quietly presenting it to him or her directly. If the owner doesn’t truly want you to tip, they will graciously decline. However, if they truly do want you to tip, they will gratefully welcome it.

  • For less expensive services like polish changes, it’s customary to leave at least a $2 tip. For anything else, 15 to 20% tips are standard. However you can go higher if your service is exceptional. That being stated, we just came across information that drastically changed our typical tipping methods. Gel polish manicures, it appears, may necessitate a higher tip than the standard 20%. According to an article on AOL, you should tip your gel manicurist roughly 25%.

    gel manicure

    The listed pricing for a gel manicure is already greater than a basic manicure. However, the notion behind boosting your manicure tip percentage for a gel service goes along with the idea that we should tip more for services that involve a little extra effort and time. As we all know, the gel process is more time-consuming than a regular manicure. On top of that, it frequently necessitates additional certifications. On our end, we can justify the somewhat higher price tag with chip-resistant nails that last for weeks. When you think about it that way, you are probably not going to have a hard time paying the extra 5%, especially if you have had a great salon experience.

Should you tip if you don’t like the service?

Unless you are leaving the salon with a very bad experience, we recommend tipping at least 10%. More importantly, make sure you communicate your thoughts with the salon or spa’s management. This way they can figure out the reason of your dissatisfaction and improve their service.

messy nail manicure

If you were explicit with your stylist about what you wanted and told them you were not happy with the service, but the stylist refused to change it, a lower tip is appropriate. However, deducting from your stylist’s gratuity makes little sense if you didn’t tell them you didn’t like their work. This does not give them a chance to rectify it.

When consumers are upset, they tend to tip less or not at all. They may even vent their frustrations on social media sites like Yelp.

However, a gratuity is a method to express gratitude to your nail technician for the time spent on you. Its intentions are not like a teaching tool. If you have particular feedback, express it verbally rather than letting it show up in your tip. A client may be distracted and not notice something that isn’t to their taste until after the service has been completed. Technicians encourage you to pay attention during the service and speak up if something doesn’t look right, so it can be corrected and you may leave satisfied.

How much do you tip salon services in home?

You can schedule an in-home appointment or styling service through a salon or an app such as Urbanclap. We suggest paying the service provider first, then tipping 20% in cash when on their arrival.

You can easily use this free tip calculator tool to find out your ideal tip amount at a nail salon easily.

We hope that this article has cleared all your queries regarding how and how much to tip at a salon.