Navigating Gratuities: How Much to Tip a Barber?

You walk into the barbershop, take a seat, and receive an expert cut that leaves your hair looking fresh and styled to perfection. As you prepare to pay, one question remains: how much to tip a barber? Tipping your barber is a way to show appreciation for their service and skill, but knowing the proper gratuity etiquette can be tricky.

The standard recommendation for tipping a barber in the US is 15-20% of the total cost. However, factors like the quality of service, complexity of the haircut or grooming service, your relationship with the barber, and the cost of living in the area can influence how much you choose to tip. Book your next appointment at Barber Craft SD today and experience top-notch service worthy of a generous gratuity.

Defining Tipping Standards

The recommended tipping standard for barbers in the United States is 15-20% of the total cost of the haircut. For example, if a haircut costs $40, the tip should be between $6-$8. Here are some key points to define tipping standards:

Tipping is at the discretion of the customer, and they can adjust the tip amount based on factors like:

For specialized services like:

  • Shaving
  • Beard/mustache grooming
  • Facials

The recommended tip is 20-25%.

During holidays or special occasions like group appointments or events, it’s considerate to tip more than the standard amount to show appreciation for the extra effort.

Barbers generally prefer cash tips over credit/debit card tips, as cash tips are not reported for taxes. However, some barbers may have a no-tipping policy, in which case it’s respectful to abide by that policy.

Factors Influencing Tip Amount

Here are some key factors that can influence how much you should tip your barber:

  • Quality of Service: Tip more (20% or higher) for truly exceptional service that exceeds expectations. This could include a barber who is engaging, offers styling suggestions, and keeps their work area clean. On the other hand, you may want to tip less than 15% if the service was subpar, such as the barber rushing through the cut, not listening well, or being rude (e.g. talking on the phone during the service).

  • Personal Relationship: If you have a personal relationship with the barber and they have made it clear they don’t need a tip, you may choose not to tip. However, tipping well can help ensure good service in the future, as barbers may prioritize clients who tip generously.

  • Special Circumstances:

  • Tipping the Owner: It is becoming more common to tip the owner of the barbershop, even though it was not always expected in the past. Check with the receptionist on the shop’s policy regarding tipping the owner.

Tipping Etiquette for Additional Services

For additional services beyond the main haircut, such as a shampoo or shoe-shine, it’s recommended to give a few extra dollars in tipsTipping well shows your appreciation and can lead to better service from the barber in the future.

If the cost of the haircut is a concern, the recommendation is to either find a less expensive hairstylist or go less frequently, rather than skipping the tip. Tipping helps cover the barber’s costs for renting their chair, tools, maintenance, and hair products. You can tip your barber in cash, which may save both you and the barber money compared to tipping through a point-of-sale system.

Here are some additional tipping guidelines:

  • Tip salon assistants who shampoo or condition your hair $3-5.
  • Tip the owner of the shop the same 15-20% you would tip a regular barber if they are the one cutting your hair.
  • Tip in cash if possible to ensure the barber gets the full tip.



The article provided comprehensive information on tipping etiquette for barbers, covering standard tipping ranges, factors influencing tip amounts, and guidelines for additional services. To conclude, here are the key takeaways:

Tipping your barber is a way to show appreciation for their skills and services. The standard recommendation is to tip 15-20% of the total cost for a quality haircut. However, this can vary based on factors like the complexity of the service, your relationship with the barber, and the cost of living in the area. For exceptional service, consider tipping above 20%, and for subpar service, you may choose to tip less than 15%.

Tipping etiquette extends beyond the main haircut. It’s common practice to provide additional tips for services like shampoos, shoe shines, or assistance from salon staff. While tipping the owner was not always expected in the past, it’s becoming more acceptable to tip the owner the same 15-20% as you would a regular barber. Ultimately, tipping ensures your barber receives fair compensation and can lead to better service in the future.


What is the appropriate amount to tip a barber for a $30 haircut?
For a $30 haircut, it is customary to tip your barber between 15-20% of the total service cost, which includes any additional services like coloring, styling, beard trims, or shaves. If the service was exceptional, you were late, the barber traveled to you, or during festive seasons, consider tipping 20% or more. Preferably, tips should be given in cash.

Is a $5 tip acceptable at a barbershop?
A $5 tip is commonly given at barbershops; however, the general consensus among professionals like Adam Quintero of Up Hair and Stong Guo of Tulip Salon suggests that a tip around 20% is more appropriate, aligning with typical restaurant tipping practices.

What are the general tipping guidelines for barbers?
The recommended tip for barbers is generally 15-20% of the total haircut cost. For instance, if your haircut costs $40, a tip of $6-$8 is suggested. Remember, tipping is discretionary and can be adjusted based on the quality of service or other factors mentioned previously.

How much should you tip for a $45 haircut at a barbershop?
For a $45 haircut, a tip of 15-20% of the total cost is advisable, which translates to about $6.75 to $9. This amount can be adjusted based on the overall experience and service quality.


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