Tipping advise….

December 2, 2015
last modified: December 2, 2015

I have been with my hair stylist for over a year now. For the most part I am happy with my cut and color. She charges $170 for cut and color and I always give her a $30 tip.

What would you do for Christmas? In years past, I have paid so much more for cut and color and have given sizable tips to match the amount, so I did not give Christmas gifts to my last colorist and hair stylist. (And actually they were two people, with one charging even more than the total amount I now spend.)

New house cleaners since September. Two women come and charge $120. How much would you give them for Christmas? The quandary is that they haven't been working here that long. Or, maybe that doesn't effect the equation?

Comments (37)

  • MtnRdRedux

    I don't give a gift to my colorist/stylist. In part because I have 2 or 3 at the same salon that I see, and in part because I feel that I tip very generously each time. The fact that your current stylist is a relative bargain does not, IMHO, change the need to give a gift. If so inclined, I might just tip more each time. Or not; she has decided her price and you are paying it.

    I do give holiday bonuses to people that work for us in our home or on our property, equal to one to two weeks pay depending on longevity.

    eld6161 thanked MtnRdRedux
  • marlene2007

    I tip my hair stylist 20% each time and give her an amount equal to the monthly charge at Christmas.

    I give my house helper one month's salary at Christmas. I gave this to her last year when she had only been with me for a couple of months. She is very kind to my cats and that is worth gold to me. I will give her the same amount this Christmas.

    I really don't think there is a right or wrong answer.

    eld6161 thanked marlene2007
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  • artemis_ma

    Holiday bonuses I use for people I'm not tipping when I use their services -- the postal deliverer, and the trash collectors. If I subscribed to a newspaper, he or she'd get a bonus.

    But then again, I see a specific hairdresser maybe twice, and then she's gone somewhere else...

    PS -- is that how much it costs to have hair colored? I think I'll never go that route!!!

    eld6161 thanked artemis_ma
  • busybee3

    if you go for a cut and color in December, I would just give a larger than normal tip... 50-60 maybe instead of the 30... if you don't have a dec appt scheduled, I would forget about it...

    I would only tip the house keepers if you like them and plan to keep them- I probably wouldn't give them a full week's pay at this point, unless they are doing extra for you around the holidays...

    eld6161 thanked busybee3
  • blfenton

    I tip my colourist and my stylist generously each time I go so I don't do anything above that at Christmas. I doubt they need another box of chocolates, bottle of wine, candle etc. I've been going to them for years and I don't sense any negative reactions for doing it this way.

    eld6161 thanked blfenton
  • bossyvossy

    Housekeeper, a month's pay bonus. Garden helper same. Trash (3 men crew) & mail carrier $25 gift card each. They change so much...I tip hairdresser 15-20% but I never have given a holiday bonus. Maybe if I were a weekly customer I might give that done thought.

    eld6161 thanked bossyvossy
  • Martha Scott

    I give a Christmas gift equal to what I pay her monthly -- and I just get a cut no color.

    eld6161 thanked Martha Scott
  • furbydaphneoscar

    I don't tip my hairdresser anything extra during the holidays. I tip generously each visit. (I wish I had a housekeeper to tip LOL!)

    I do give our mailman a holiday tip --we have had the same one for years, and he goes out of his way to walk down our long driveway with packages instead of leaving them at the street by the mailbox. I also tip the paper carrier at Christmas.

  • anitamo

    I'm a hair stylist/colorist, and do not expect Christmas gifts. I do get some, which are appreciated, of course, but the best gift is continuing patronage.

    We do not really take notice behind the scenes of who gives what, so hope that puts your mind at ease if you're on the fence.

    How does one get gifts to the trash pickup guys? They usually come here when I'm at work.

    eld6161 thanked anitamo
  • eld6161

    I am glad a stylist chimed in, thanks anitamo.

    I'm still not sure about the housekeepers. According to Bossy, that would be $480.00? Seems high for workers that just started with us in September.

    I am hearing "I tip generously" so would you consider my $30 tip for a $170 bill not generous?

  • MtnRdRedux

    Yes, I think at some point the actual dollar amount seems germane, even though people making more would be tipped more. But I am not sure it is linear. Excuse the crassness, but I agree with Ellendi that there are times when you need to talk numbers. Our cleaning person comes three times a week and makes 450/wk; i think $900ish is fine! (she has been with us a few years)

    In your case Ellendi, I would tip one week this year.

    PS In re generous, my personal opinion is that 20% is what I would give if I were satisfied, less than 20% if not completely satisfied, more than 20% if 1)I was very pleased and/or 2) the actual dollar amount was not that material and/or 3) i was rounding up or had no change!

    eld6161 thanked MtnRdRedux
  • marlene2007

    ellendi, I think one week tip for the housekeepers is an appropriate gift. The only reason I give more is because of the help and care she gave my fur kids. One of them was 20 and needed a lot of extra TLC.

  • RoseAbbey

    I tip my hairdresser 15% every time I get my hair cut, which is every 6 weeks. For Christmas I give her a 30% tip even if my last haircut of the year is late November, like it was last week.

  • Funkyart

    I tip my hair stylist/colorist generously-- and I have been with her off and on for (no lie) 30 yr!! I consider her a friend-- but on the fringe. In our younger years, we used to run into each other at clubs.. but we never "hang out". I have stopped going to her for a year or two at a time-- or when I lived outside of the area-- but I always come back to her.

    She has mentioned (in the way you only do to someone who knows you) that she gets so many sweets and treats at the holiday.. too many. I think she felt comfortably saying this because I always give her money-- and because we are friendly (and the same age).

    This year I WILL be getting her a gift-- but only because she very specifically mentioned how much she loved the sample of Chanel foundation that came in last month's Allure magazine. She was just so thrilled with how lightweight it was and what a perfect color match. Especially because we don't have a Chanel counter nearby, I knew immediately that I would get her a bottle to wrap and take in for my Dec appt. I was able to track down the actual product AND color of the sample in Allure. I think she will be thrilled. It's about $45.. which is close to what I tip each visit. I may or may not include another chanel product. I have some awesome nail lacquers I may include as well.

    Edited to remove a buncha babble! LOL

  • Funkyart

    Wanted to add that I would NEVER give makeup as a gift UNLESS I knew exactly what they wore.. and even then, it is an oddly personal gift. In this case, it's something i know she loves but won't buy for herself. It may still be odd but i know she'll love it.. and know just why I got it!

  • MtnRdRedux

    IMHO that is a perfect example of gift giving. When someone mentions something special, it's fun to get it, especially as she will never expect it!

    and if I did that, I would not feel that I had to repeat a gift each year, or give the same amount, or whatever. It's genuine gift giving.

  • bossyvossy

    Let me clarify. Not housekeeper but a cleaning service that comes biweekly, bonus is a months worth.

    i was once rather friendly with a hair stylist and we talked unabashedly about anything and everything. I remember her telling me she and co-workers would compare notes on tipping by ethnic groups. Some were more generous than others, per her and peers.

    It is good anitamo that you don't seem to b like that but there are pretty tacky stylists out there. Thank goodness she moved away and I didn't have to break with her. That topic really changed things and I suspect she regretted the conversation, esp with a client that I was.. After that conversation I felt really uncomfortable at paying time but not for long since she moved.

  • Sueb20

    My house cleaner comes every 2 weeks. We pay 120. Last year was the first year he cleaned for us, and I gave him $100 for Christmas. Is that too little, now that he's been cleaning for us for almost 2 years? He does a good job, is a nice guy, but doesn't do anything extraordinary.

    My DD has a chiropractor and a physical therapist who have helped her with a back injury for the last few months. I know both of them are coffee drinkers, so I'll have DD make them cookies (she's a great baker at age 14) and include a gift card to the coffee shop closest to each of their offices.

    I'm about to change hair stylists so I will likely be seeing someone for the first time right before Christmas, so I guess I'll just give a slightly larger than usual tip...if I like the cut!

  • MtnRdRedux

    Sueb, I think one week's wages is a minimum when they are new, so 100 is pretty close. Maybe up him to 150? But honestly it's not like there is anything wrong with 100 either. There is latitude and how you treat them all year long is just as important IYKWIM.

    I think the idea from your DD is really sweet, and I think something baked by a young patient would be genuinely appreciated, along w the gift card. BTW I was just in Starbucks and they have really made an artform of gift cards. I really wanted to buy one even though I do not drink coffee and a fair number of people who I know that do, do not like SB.

  • dedtired

    I think I am a pretty lousy tipper when it comes to the hairstylist. It costs $128 every time I go for a cut and single process color. I just can't do a $25 tip on top of that. I usually give her $10 and the girl who applies the color and washes my hair gets $5. I double the tip at Christmas. Sorry to be a cheapskate but if I had to tip 20 percent every time I would change to a less expensive salon. The cleaning lady gets anything she wants because she is me.

  • LisaD82

    About tipping the garbagemen. I work from home on our garbage days, and periodically my husband will put oversized stuff out for pickup and I'll think "there's no way they're going to take that..." but they always do. And they are mindful and careful of our property (we've had a lot worse!). So I give them a cash tip each year, usually $20-$30 each, which probably isn't enough. When they are near, I walk down to the end of the driveway, wish them happy holidays, thank them for their service and hand them the envelope. They are genuinely appreciative.

    If I were not home I probably wouldn't tip them, as I would be concerned the envelopes would be overlooked as trash, unless I wrote HAPPY HOLIDAYS on them to make clear it was a gift. And then, it might be stolen, I suppose.

    Regarding tipping postal carriers, the USPS has some pretty strict guidelines about what they can accept. I only learned about this a few years ago and before that was putting my carrier in an ethical dilemma since he never rejected my tips!
    USPS Tipping/Gifting policies

  • LisaD82

    Adding my stylist is my personal friend (yeah it can get awkward) and so I give her a gift card to a coffee shop or deli nearby during the holidays because she works long hours and appreciates being able to grab a quick snack between appts.

  • rosesstink

    I don't get this need to give gifts to people you do business with. Tips for services, yes. Bonuses for people in your direct employ, yes. Other than that they are in business and should be charging enough to make a profit. A gift implies a more personal relationship to me.

  • beaglesdoitbetter

    In one place I lived, the trash people generously gave us an envelope to put their gift in (they attached it to our mail box). They did NOT get a gift b/c I thought that was presumptuous and I think it's ridiculous to tip for that service since they did nothing extraordinary (and in fact we had trouble getting them to remember to pick up the trash on a consistent basis). It's their job.

    I do give a gift to my housekeeper. My pool guy gets gift cards but I give him a $100 bonus shortly before Christmas (more than a months pay) because he helps keep an eye on the house when we're not here.

  • MtnRdRedux

    Dedtired, I don't think anyone should ever feel pressured to tip. A tip is supposed to be discretionary. The only exception is jobs that rely on tips, ie waitstaff. To me tipping waitstaff is not discretionary, and even if they do a very bad job I would still tip them something.

  • ILoveRed

    I must be living in the twilight zone, lol.

    $170. for a cut and color. I might go grey.

    I pay $60. for a cut and color (one color) with 20% tip. Every six weeks.

    i just got my hair done yesterday and gifted my gal 40 bucks.

  • Michael

    I won't be tipping the mailman. He left the mailbox open yesterday. The wind driven rain soaked my mail again. He also fails to put down the red flag when taking our mail. The only tip I have for him is retire soon. Please.

  • MtnRdRedux

    LOL, Brushworks. I tell myself I am not tipping the mailman but then I cave. We hardly get any physical mail. The UPS guy, though, he is a winner.

  • bossyvossy

    @brushworks. It can't get any worse than being a training route for usps. But I've had very good response when complaining calling the local number of my post office. I would suggest you find that no. and call really early, like before 7:30am and ask for supervisor. Problems are always corrected, like not leaving mail order meds on TOP of mailbox b/c it didn't fit or b/c too lazy or rushed to deliver to door, geez

  • LynnNM

    A cut with high and low lights costs me $105 every 6-7 weeks. I always tip my hairdresser 20% because she does a fantastic job with my hair and has become a dear friend over the years. For Christmas, I just give her a larger than usual tip. Usually $50. We've had monthly pest control service with the same woman (a great small family business) for the past 22 years and I gift her with a bonus check equivalent to one month's fee. I was told by our local postmistress that we are not allowed to tip our mail carriers. I've never tipped our trash pickup guys, as I never see them. They come very early and leaving anything out for them could get stolen . . . or eaten by our local coyotes. We've never tipped our newspaper carriers, as they drop off the paper in the wee morning hours, and until this new one, have been really undependable. I think DH wants to tip this new guy, as his service is very good . . . especially compared to all those in the past! In the past when I had a housekeeper, I would tip very well during the holiday.

    Someone here mentioned gifts for their doctor. My DH is a family practice doc and never, ever expects a gift for Christmas from his patients. But, a few patients do drop off food gifts for the staff, a bottle of DH's favorite Scotch, or a gift card to Starbucks, etc., which are so thoughtful and he does get a big kick out of them. One Greek lady used to drop off her homemade Baklava. She's since passed, but we all loved that gift! Another drops off a dozen of her homemade tamales, which are delicious and so appreciated. But, for the most part, patients just send Christmas cards, which our staff hangs up. I was just there today helping them decorate for the holidays when their first Christmas card was delivered. I'll tell you what does touch my husband the most: a personal note or letter telling him how much he is loved and/or appreciated. He saves every one of those. They mean the world to him, as do his patients. And, yes, he's told all the time that they love him. He's that kind of doctor.

  • 4kids4us

    Our mail delivery is atrocious. I often get neighbors' mail, and there is no rhyme or reason. One day it was for someone who lived in another neighborhood a mile away. Lately, our mail delivery has been coming very very late. I don't care, b/c most of the mail I get is junk mail but it is rather odd when the mailman is delivering mail as late as 6-7pm some nights, even on Saturdays! People in my neighborhood have complained countless times to our local post office, but to no avail.

    My UPS driver, well, I've already mentioned here how awesome he is. Just the other day, he left a package with two dog biscuits on top for my dog. I told him how my dog makes a mad dash for the door when he hears the UPS truck and he told me, "You should see the line up of dogs I have waiting for me in this neighborhood!" Now that it's holiday season, he'll probably go through a whole box of treats just coming to my house the next few weeks! And yes, we will be "thanking" our UPS guy with something special, though not sure what yet.

  • bossyvossy

    Actually that would be a really good gift for ups or fedex guy. He wouldn't have to spend his own $ buying treats to make friends with dogs. I won't b/c I don't have regular deliveries but for those who are acquainted with theirs--what a cute gift. Make sure, though that he understands biscuits are not for him, ha

  • maddielee

    Any morning now we will find a self addressed envelope in our daily newspaper. We usually send a $25.00 check. May be more this year, we had such a rainy summer and many days the carrier had to double bag the paper.

  • gracefullyaged

    I do the same as marlene2007 (equivalent to one month's "pay" to both the hairstylist and the housecleaner).

  • Michael


    It's impossible to reach our post office by phone. It's busy from 7:31 AM to 5:30 PM, and at 5:31 PM it's voicemail only. I do believe they disconnect it during business hours. It's always busy during business hours.

  • bossyvossy

    I couldn't agree w/you more. It used to be listed in YP but no longer. But if you ever receive a slip that requires your signature before delivery, I bet it will be listed there. I know, I know, more crap to keep up with or look out for. It shouldn't be so hard to be heard, sigh...

  • artemis_ma

    I hadn't thought about my UPS delivery guy -- but how would I leave him money? He comes by erratically (depending on deliveries, of course...) and I don't think he'd notice an envelope anyway?

    The other question -- how much should I holiday tip my home health care aide? I have no idea how much she's getting paid through my worker's comp account?

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