Tipping a stylist is a no-brainer, but what do you do when they also own the salon?
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Tipping a hairstylist is a no-brainer. Does the tipping etiquette change when a stylist is also the establishment's owner? Skipping the tip to the salon's owner is highly debated, especially as a way to trim your final bill. Providing a tip is a way to express gratitude for the service performed in addition to the value assigned to the service. Gratuity, or tips, are generally offered to an individual instead of the establishment and can sometimes be a significant portion of that individual's income. 

To get to the bottom of this age-old question, we chatted with Tricia Williams, owner of Alexandria, Virginia-based Salon 46. Williams, who doesn't carry the dual title of stylist and owner, says the answer to this question has changed through the years, but she's decidedly in the always-tip camp—and for a good reason. Here is the best practices and etiquette advice to follow during your next visit to the salon. 

Have Tipping Expectations Changed?

"In the past, many salon owners charged significantly higher prices than regular stylists," she said. "Now salon owners do charge slightly higher prices than regular stylists, but it's more in line with their skill level, which is generally master stylist." Also, stylists now receive a higher commission, which often includes benefits and bonuses. For these reasons, Williams says you should always tip your stylist regardless of whether she is the owner.

How Much Should You Tip?

As for how much, she says it's standard to tip 15 percent, but tipping 20 percent or more for a stellar service is always appreciated. Because we're always on the hunt for more salon etiquette know-how, we tapped Williams for her top tips for clients.

How Else Can You Show Your Appreciation?

Be on time. It shows you respect your stylist's time and ensures you receive the complete service you booked.

Don't come straight from the gym or run to the salon—no explanation necessary here.

How Should You Book Time with a Stylist?

Book your appointment ahead of time. Many stylists have packed schedules because they book them weeks or months in advance.

How Should You Tip During Holidays?

During the holiday season, getting the day or time you want can be especially tough, so it's best to plan. Adding an extra gratuity to what you usually include for your service is an excellent way to spread holiday cheer.