How Much to Tip at the Nail Salon? – According to Nail Pros

The standard tip for service staff such as waiters, delivery boys, car wash attendants, and even nail technicians is around 15% to 20%. This mainly depends on how satisfied you are with the service, among other factors.

Tipping your salon professional involves slightly different factors compared to tipping your food server, car wash attendant or delivery boy. And yes, salon service providers also need to receive tips, in case you didn’t know. After all, working at a salon requires a little bit more skills and training compared to food servers and delivery boys.

Read on to learn how to properly tip your nail technician after a satisfactory service.

How Much to Tip a Nail Technician at a Nail Salon?

How Much to Tip a Nail Technician at a Nail Salon

The commonly accepted tipping minimum in salons is 15%, although most customers today give 20%. It’s the same whether you’re getting a manicure or a pedicure – the 15% to 20% is applicable. The rates also apply for hair, spa, and massage services.

The basis for the tip must be the gross price of the service, and not the price net of discounts. For instance, if you are billed $18 (because you have a 10% discount coupon) for a service that costs $20 at regular price, you should compute the tip based on $20, and not $18.

Should You Tip Your Nail Technician?

Should You Tip Your Nail Technician

In the US, tipping is an accepted practice to help workers in the service industry augment their income. This includes nail technicians.

Although the tip is not usually indicated in the customer’s bill, you should always prepare a tip based on the full price, especially for booked appointments or if the technician is your regular salon professional.

It is also a good idea to give extra tips for special occasions like the Christmas holidays, similar to what you give service workers in other industries such as waiters and car wash attendants.

Why Do Nail Techs / Salons Want Cash Tips?

Why Do Nail Techs / Salons Want Cash Tips

Many technicians think that it’s safe to receive cash tips since they’re not included in receipts, and are usually unrecorded. Thus, they don’t need to declare them as income, and pay the corresponding taxes for them.

How Much to Tip for Manicure and Pedicure?

How Much to Tip for Manicure and Pedicure

If the same technician did your manicure and pedicure, you can give a cash tip based on the full cost of the service. However, if two different nail techs attended to you, tip them both.

It’s best to tip in cash. Although some salons now allow tips to be charged to your credit card, there’s no way to know if the tip will really go to the intended recipients. Considering that many salon workers are not paid well, making sure that they get the tips they deserve is the least you can do. So, always tip in cash.

Tipping Considerations at a Nail Salon

Tipping Considerations at a Nail Salon

To make sure that you are observing proper tipping etiquette, keep the following in mind when tipping your nail salon technician:

  • Make sure to tip at least 15% of the cost or $5, whichever is higher. – This means your tech will not receive a tip less than $5 – even if the 15% of the bill is less than $5. For example, if your bill runs to $15, 15% of that is only $2.25, and $3 for 20%, Either way, it’s lower than 5$, so round the amount off to $5.
  • Tip your regular salon attendant for the holidays. – This will serve as your gift, and should not be less than your usual tips during salon visits. Include a note in the envelope to let the tech know that you appreciate her quality service.
  • Always compute tips based on the full cost of the service. – Even if you have a discount voucher, gift card, or coupon, the tip should be based on the regular price.
  • Leave a rave online review to show how satisfied you are with the service. – Aside from giving a cash tip, give the tech and salon a rave review online. This way, you can help the salon gain more customers, and allow your favorite tech to earn more.

So, How Much Should You Tip at a Nail Salon?

How Much Should You Tip at a Nail Salon

For workers in the service industry, including salon technicians, the standard tip rate is 15% to $20% of the pre-tax price. It’s your call if want to give more. Considering that a salon offers more affordable services compared to, say, a restaurant, 15% – 20% of the bill is usually under $5, so it’s best to give a tip no lower than $5, especially if you’re happy with the service.

Depending on how happy or dissatisfied you are with the service, you can tip more or less than the standard. You can even refuse to top if you’re quite unhappy. But, give a tip to all technicians who satisfactorily attended to you during your salon visit.

Another thing to consider when giving tips at a salon is the time the technician spent on the service, the difficulty of the service, and the quality of the tech’s performance.


How Much To Tip Nail Salon

The tipping standards in the service industry apply to almost all sectors, including nail salons. However, there are slightly different considerations when tipping at a nail salon. Likewise, salon services are usually cheaper and  15% to 20% may be too low to make an impact on the salon tech’s income. Thus, it is a good idea to keep a personal tipping minimum of $5.

Follow the tipping tips provided in this article so you will not deviate from common tipping etiquette. Leave your comment below for your tips or feedback.


FAQs on How Much To Tip Nail Salon

1. How Much Do You Tip for a $50 Pedicure?

Follow the standard tipping rates of 15% to 20%. That would be $7.50 to $10, depending on how happy you are with the service.

2. Is $5 a Good Tip for a Nail Tech?

$5 or 15% to 25% of the price is the recommended tip, whichever is higher. Considering that some salon services are cheap, it’s best to round it off to $5.

3. How Much to Tip for Pedicure?

Follow the same tipping rates applicable to other services, 15% to 20% or $5, whichever is higher.

4. Is It Rude Not To Tip Nail Salon?

While tips are expected at nail salons, and not giving tips may be seen as disrespectful, you can refuse to give tips for extremely poor service. You may also defer giving tips if the tech who attended to you was rude or disrespectful to you.

5. Are You Supposed To Tip When You Get Your Nails Done?

Ultimately, it depends on how satisfied you are as a customer. Thus, tipping 15% to 20% for a satisfactory service is fair enough.

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