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please help - tipping a small business owner?

So I am going to be seeing a new hairdresser, and when I made the appointment she pointed out that she owns her own business.

I have always seen people in salons before, and of course gave them generous tips.

However I remember from my wedding etiquette stuff that if the person owned their own business you didn't have to tip them, since all of the money was going directly to them, and although they had overhead, supplies, etc, they would "build it in" to the cost of their service.

What do you think - is this true for hair stylists too? Should I tip her or not? (By the way it is fairly expensive without the tip - it's not like I'm getting a stellar deal or anything, and I've never met her before so she's not a friend or anything like that either.)

Please help nesties! I would like to save money if possible but I don't want to do the wrong thing either. And I thought about throwing in a small tip on top but I didn't know if that would be a slap in the face or what...

Re: please help - tipping a small business owner?

  • I'd tip:) Have fun!!
  • Does she own a salon, or own her "own business" but basically just rents space from a building?  I go to Solera Salon and everyone there kind of owns their own business, but they rent their space out from the salon and I know it's fairly expensive.  I always tip them.  If it was an entire salon that this person owns, then I possibly wouldn't tip.


  • Based on the type of place it is, I am assuming that she rents the space from someone else who owns the entire place.
  • In that case, I would tip :)


  • I would tip, too! 

    I have worked at salons for about 6 years, and the owners definitely appreciate it!  The costs of running the business can be pretty big, and I think it's just a nice gesture.  If she doesn't accept it, that's one thing.  Would you tip her if you didn't know she was the owner?

    Have fun!

    Mr. & Mrs. est. July 2007 Mama est. April 2010
  • I think not tipping an owner is up to you. Some the clients tip our owners some don't. I know our owners don't keep 100% of the money you pay them they get a % just like the stylists do although theirs is a higher % than they stylist, but it's not 100%. Clear as mud :)
  • d.fd.f member

    When in doubt I tip.  It's usually appreciated.

    DS 09/08


  • Thanks for the advice ladies. I did indeed tip.

    I thought that the one time I have ever gotten something from one of the couples in my childbirth classes (it was a small gift, not a tip, but still), I really appreciated it, so I figured this stylist would too. And she did. :)

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