How Much To Tip At The Nail Salon? Find Out Here!

How to Properly Tip Your Nail Technician

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Tipping can be a tricky business. According to survey results, 27% of respondents find themselves in ‘tipping situations’ that they haven’t encountered before. Tipping your nail technician may be one of these. While you might be unsure of how much to tip at the nail salon, there are many good reasons for tipping. If you have had a fantastic manicure, and want to show your appreciation, nothing can do so more than a nice tip.

However, how much is too much? On the other hand, how much might be insulting? Navigating these tip amount waters can feel treacherous, as the last thing you want to do is over-tip, or worse, offend your favorite nail technician.

Fortunately, we have some great guidelines that you can follow to be able to tip with confidence. Read on to find out what these are.

How Much To Tip At The Nail Salon? 20% Is Standard If You Are 100% Happy!

If you are wondering how much to tip at the nail salon, the standard is 20% if you are 100% happy. While this might sound like a lot, seeing as you are already paying the salon, it is standard across most industries.

According to a survey done by the Credit Resource Center, the average American tips 20% for perfect service. Couple with this is the fact that nail technicians, although they might be highly qualified and experienced, do not always receive the best of pay.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, nail techs should be paid at least the minimum wage of $7.50 an hour. However, sadly, this is not always the case, as many nail technicians have to rent their booths and provide their supplies.

Taking these factors into account, if you are completely happy with the job that your nail tech did, it is fair to tip them according to standard. Additionally, if you felt that they surpassed your expectations, you can also top this amount by tipping up to 25%.

So for example, if your favorite nail technician just did you the most stunning fall nail design, it doesn’t hurt to show a little love with a tip that is a bit over the 20% mark.

how much to tip at the nail salon

Gel Nails Might Justify More

While normal manicures justify a tip of 20%, gel nails can warrant a nicer tip. This is because gel nails take longer and require additional skills from the technician.

For these reasons it is a nice gesture to tip your nail tech around 25% for gel nails, especially if you are very happy with them. They will appreciate your consideration, and the additional tip will make the longer procedure worthwhile for them.

Tip Extra for Toes

Can you imagine having to scrape the gunk out of people’s toenails? Yea, not all that appealing!

Seeing as your nail tech will be having to do just that during a pedicure, it is a nice practice to bump up the tip a little when you are getting your toes done. Handling someone’s feet, in general, is not the most appealing job, so in this case, even if you have other issues with the service it is a nice gesture to increase the tip percentage you give.

If you are having a nails and feet combo where you get a discount for having the two together, you can still add in a little extra to your tip to reward the nail technician for dealing with toes and toenail gunk on your behalf.

If the Cost Is Low, Tip More

Because tips generally work on a percentage base, a low treatment cost usually means a smaller tip. In the case of a restaurant bill, this makes sense as the person who is serving you usually has to do extra work to serve a larger meal.

With a manicure or pedicure, however, even though the person is probably earning less, they are still doing the same amount of work.

Therefore, if you are getting a cheap session, it still makes sense to tip what you would have for a medium-priced manicure or pedicure.

ow much to tip at the nail salon

How Much To Tip At The Nail Salon If You Are Unhappy

Most people will show their displeasure with a service by not tipping. If the ‘service’ part was to blame, such as rudeness or inattentiveness than this is understandable.

However in the case of a salon appointment, generally customers are unhappy because the treatment was not what they were wanting.

So, if for instance, you wanted an intricate nail design, and it looks good, but it not exactly what you had in mind, it is still fair to tip the nail technician.

Cash Is King for Tips at the Nail Salon

When going to a nail salon it is always a good idea to have some cash on hand for tipping purposes. Depending on the till setup it can be hard to tip by card. As you won’t know for sure if the money will get to the technician, it is always best to tip with cash.

You Can Give a Gift to Your Favorite Technician Come Christmas

A nice way to show one’s appreciation for your regular nail tech is to bring them a small gift around the holiday season—a time that most of us will for sure get our nails done!

It doesn’t have to be anything big or personal. Food is always a hit, as the technicians can also share this if they want. So, think things like a box of donuts, or a high-quality bar of chocolate.

Now You Know the Ins and Outs of Tipping at the Nail Salon

Tipping, in general, can be an area of uncertainty, and even more so at the nail salon. However, now that you know about these nail salon tipping guidelines you can tip your favorite nail technician with confidence.

With fall going fast, be sure to check out this post on some gorgeous holiday nails so that you can start planning your festive season look with your technician in advance!

Camilla A Mills

Camilla is an experienced Digital Marketing Professional and Salesforce Administrator with a penchant for writing compelling content. She has a passion for researching new trends and topics within the hair and beauty industry, and currently serves as Marketing Campaign Manager for Salon Iris.
Camilla A Mills
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