Today I’m addressing another set of common tipping scenarios New Yorkers, particularly New York women, find themselves in – getting beautified. I actually think these scenarios are more straightforward. The same guidelines generally apply across the board whether you are getting your nails done or going for a massage.
For hair, nail, and spa treatments, I would recommend tipping 20% and perhaps in nail salons a bit more if the service were particularly good or inexpensive – so as to avoid being branded a cheapskate (see my introduction to this series for a story on this). If you are treating yourself to a spa service at a hotel, sometimes gratuity is added immediately, eliminating the need to worry your pretty head over this topic. Another thing to consider – if you see the owner of the salon or spa for your service, you can get away with tipping less or in some instances not at all. For example, when I go to get my eyebrows groomed, I use the owner of the business and she actually does not even accept tips.
A Note on Holiday Tipping – Around the holiday season, you may want to consider tipping the equivalent of the full price of the service especially if you are a regular of a particular manicurist or stylist. A gift of the same value would also be acceptable. However, I think cash is king usually and this situation is no exception. Later in the year, I will cover holiday tipping across a variety of circumstances. For me, it generally comes up in the context of beauty services, but if you have a nanny or regular housekeeper you will want to thank them with a special tip as well during the holidays.
What do you usually tip when you go to the nail salon, hair salon, or spa? Tell me in the comments!