The hairdresser plays a critical role in any wedding planning, and it’s a service that comes with the expectation of a tip when all is said and done. When budgeting for hair service, the standard tip should be built in from the beginning—and it should be clarified in advance who’s paying for what among the people who are getting their hair done for the wedding.
A wedding hairdresser can expect to be tipped about 15 to 20 percent of the total cost of services. In more expensive areas, it may even be customary to tip up to 25 percent of the total service cost. This is a similar percentage fee one would tip for a haircut or blowout in a hair salon, and it’s standard across the service industry.
If you’re unsure how much to tip within that range, consider the standard tip you might give in a local salon, as well as how much extra effort your hairstylist is putting into the service. Did they travel? Did they spend extra time with you?
If a hairdresser really went above and beyond, you can show your appreciation with a larger tip. If you have two or three hairdressers, then tip each one for the percentage of the cost of the services they provided, assuming each hairdresser was responsible for a certain number of people.
The bride will sometimes have a more expensive hairstyle, which might require extra styling or tools, and that extra expense should be reflected with a larger tip.
The person paying for the service should also provide the gratuity. If the bride is paying for her bridesmaids’ styles, then the bride should also cover the tip. If bridesmaids and other female relatives are paying for their own hair, they should be expected to cover the tip. Of course, some brides organize their own arrangements for what they will and will not cover, but the standard course of action is for the tip to be paid by the person paying for the rest of the service.
The bride should make sure relatives getting their hair done are prepared to pay their tips in cash. If the hairstylist owns her own business or works completely independently, then there is some room to add the tip to the check or total electronic payment of the service, but the ideal is always to provide the tip in cash. For this reason, the bride should let anybody who is expected to pay their own tip know the right amount to bring in cash, so that nobody is caught off guard without the right amount of cash for a tip.
The tip should be provided in cash, and it’s customary to place the money in an envelope before handing it to the wedding vendor. Some brides prepare special envelopes in advance of their weddings, with the name of the vendor and the appropriate amount of cash. This can make the process especially smooth, since there won’t be any scrambling on the day of. Of course, if no envelopes are on hand, the bills can be handed directly to the hairdresser.
The hairdresser should be tipped after the services are provided. Ideally, the bride should designate somebody to be in charge of ensuring the hairdresser is tipped, just in case the bride needs to be elsewhere while the hairdresser finishes working on the bridesmaids. If the bride is the only one whose hair is being done by the hairdresser, or if everyone is paying their own tip, then the bride can provide the tip once her hair is done, along with her expression of gratitude.
It’s important to remember that while some vendors charge a service fee in their contracts, such a fee is not a tip, which means this is not money that is received by the worker providing the service. Unless there’s a line item in your contract that specifically indicates a gratuity fee, which is uncommon for hairdressers, then whoever is paying for the services is expected to tip the appropriate amount to the hairdresser.
The process of getting your hair done is often central to a bride’s wedding look, and is often one of the first services provided on the wedding day. Knowing how much to tip the wedding hairdresser—and being prepared with the right amount of cash—will make the process a smooth and stress-free start to the big day.