The things that will never make it in the baby books and other musings from a stay at home mom

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Shave and a haircut, whose bits?

I had a long overdue appointment for a hair cut and color today. As I sat in the chair watching my shiny locks fall into place, I wondered why in the world I had waited so long to take care of myself in this basic way. And then I got to the register and I remembered why I hate to go to the salon: the tip decision.

My appointments are always scheduled with Michelle, my regular stylist. She greets me, discusses color options and then mixes up whatever we've agreed upon. Then I'm handed off to an assistant, who applies my color, sets me up under the dryer and rinses the whole mess out at the end. After my color is complete, it's back to Michelle for the cut and style.

The bill at the end is $120 -- $55 for the cut and $65 for the color. And after I've paid it, I always stand there awkwardly shuffling dollar bills in my hands for what seems like the longest time. I just can't figure out how it's all supposed to divvy up. Michelle's the expert and I'm her client. I want to keep her happy so that she keeps me happy (you don't mess with the woman who mixes your color and wields the scissors). But truth be told, her assistant's doing about half the work. So who gets the cash?

I always walk out of that place feeling like I've probably stiffed one or both service providers, which certainly isn't my intention. But doubling the cost of my service with tip money to show equal appreciation to everyone is not so appealing either downright ridiculous. Any tip etiquette experts out there? Someone please rescue me from my compensatory cluelessness!


At 3:15 PM, Blogger Kristy said...

First off...$120!! You have got to be kidding me. I thought $85 for a cut/color combo was bad enough. Unbelievable.

I have no advice for you on the tip issue. None at all. Because I can't solve it for myself. (Well, I simplify things by not going to any place where there's an assistant involved...) ;-)

At 3:38 PM, Blogger Steph said...

I've got to say yikes to the $120 too! Wow. I thought it was a lot when I shell out $50 for my all too infrequent cuts (which I am getting next week - yippee!)

I don't have any advice on tipping either. The guy who cuts my hair owns the shop so I don't tip him, just give him a nice holiday gift at the end of the year.

At 5:36 PM, Blogger chichimama said...

Why do you think I shell out an even more outrageous amount for highlights and a cut? Michelle does the whole thing and I don't have to work out the tip...

At 11:00 PM, Blogger Rosemary said...

Wow! I thought I had expensive cuts at $40. My guy, Santo, whom I love dearly!, owns the place but I still tip him -- hint given by the lady who schedules me. Of course, my cut is $40 because I don't let them blow dry me or style -- just a cut please. Anyway, I give him $10 because he's brilliant, and the woman who washes my hair $5, because I figure she doesn't make a lot of money and, at that point, what's a few more dollars.

So question -- what's this with choosing colors y'all? Do you change your hair colors?

At 11:06 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

$120 is exactly why I have my stylist color my hair about once every 18 months. The rest of the time I do my highlight at home. This could be the reason my hair also looks very streaky at times?? But, I digress...

This is how I handle it, for better or worse. I add 20% to my bill and I tell the receptionist that "the rest" is for my stylist and assistants. I let her figure out the actual numbers. Pass the buck, that's my motto.


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