How to get More or Larger Tips as a Hairstylist or Barber

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How to get More Tips as a Hairstylist Being a hairstylist or barber you know that tips can make a difference in your overall income. While it might not be the bulk of your earnings from day to day, at the end of the year, it can add up. Like restaurant service, tips are at the sole discretion of the customer. Some people are great tippers while others are not. Some people are not even accustomed to tipping. So you’re going to get an array of tippers.

For many people, what to tip can be confusing. Here in the US many service-oriented jobs rely on their tips to get by. From your food delivery person to maids to restaurant servers and more, tipping is subjective. So what makes someone tip more or less or even tip at all? Well, that answer is all over the place.

As a hairstylist or barber you might think it’s obvious that clients should pay you 18-20% on each haircut or service, this might not be obvious to your client. Here are some reasons clients tip the way they do:

Reasons for Getting Higher Tips:

  •  Great service
  • Great results
  • Naturally generous
  • They know what it’s like to rely on tips for income
  • Appreciate you and the relationship you have
  • Price of the service was in a price range that affects their tip amount
  • Have more disposable income


Reasons for Getting Lower Tips:

  • Poor service
  • Result was not what they wanted
  • Naturally frugal
  • Have never worked in a service industry
  • They don’t have much or any experience as your client
  • Price of the service was expensive which affects their tip amount
  • Can’t afford a larger tip


How to get More Tips as a Hairstylist or BarberThere can be other reasons for why people tip the way they do. So how can you get higher tips?

One way according to Ivan Zoot is to basically forget about the tips. Meaning, don’t focus on it. People who focus on tips are what he calls ‘tip chasers.’ Ivan believes that tips are small money compared to the overall money coming in from the services and upsells.

He has a point. If you can look beyond the tip and see the customer as a lifelong client who will come in for more than just one haircut, then you can see other possibilities. Perhaps you can upsell them on a retail product or other services. This can increase your bottom dollar.

Instead of looking at customers as just tippers, look at each client as an opportunity to grow a relationship. The better the relationship, the better the tips (most likely). Really focus on taking care of your client, understanding their needs and desires and delivering the best you can. If the client feels cared for and you did a good job, most people will want to reciprocate that with a larger tip.

According to Ivan’s experience in his barbershop, the largest earners were those who also got larger tips. These people really cared about their clients and worked on their relationships with clients. By becoming more valuable to your customer, the money will come. Be of service and serve your clients and they will return their appreciation in tips. You can watch a video with Ivan discussing tips here.

Another thing you can do to increase your bottom line (not necessarily tips) is to increase your retail offerings and upsell your clients. A retail sale is a great way to substantially increase revenue.

How to get More Tips as a BarberYou can also make sure that when you ask for payment, make sure the software or receipt gives tip suggestions so that you are indirectly asking for a certain tip amount. Many software programs will show what the amount will be if they tip 15%, 18%, 20% or even 25%. This pre-calculation of tip has been very effective because it takes away the step of the client having to calculate what the tip will be in their head. When they see the amount pre-populated in front of them, they are more likely to select one of the tip options.

Lastly, some people will never be good tippers. Even if you provide the best service and gave them the result they wanted. Just know, it’s not you, it’s something about them. You can’t make anyone tip more because remember tips are essentially optional. As much as a tip is expected, at the end of the day, it’s not a part of the service. Everyone has their own reasons for what they tip so the best you can do is be the best stylist or barber you can be, provide great service and encourage appropriate tipping in a non-pushy way.

At the very least, don’t let low tips get you down or mad. At the end of the day, tips are not the bulk of your income and as long as you did everything you could to create the style they asked for and provide excellent customer service, there was nothing more you could do. You should take satisfaction in that. If there are other ways you think can increase tip amount, leave a comment below. We would love to hear your recommendations.



JATAI provides innovative and professional quality beauty implements with world-class customer service and educational support. To offer great products as a master distributor, we seek out and select only manufacturers who demonstrate superior workmanship, the most advanced technology, and respected business core values of reliability, honesty and integrity. Accordingly, JATAI represents three major ‘workhorse’ brands that dominate within their categories. Feather, Seki Edge and Fuji Paper. JATAI Academy brings beauty tools to creative life. It’s the ultimate professional information resource where Education, Artistry and Trends CONNECT for Stylists and Barbers.

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