how much do you tip for a $20 haircut

So how much do you tip for a $20 haircut? You know it should not be much, but exactly how much sounds reasonable? Well, it depends!

When it comes to barbershops, even I have my doubts about how much I should tip. Always in the back of my mind, I would question if I was being too generous and over-tipping.

So, have I found a clear-cut answer to, “How much should I tip a barber?” Well, I have, at least that is what I think, and I believe you can certainly follow the same rule.

Essentially, the standard rule to follow is to tip at least 20% of the total service charge, whether you get a routine trim, a major cut, or a blowout. 

Understanding The Tipping Phenomenon

understanding tipping phenomenon

Anyone can feel uncomfortable, confused, and stressed out by the prospect of having to decide whether or not to leave a tip and, if so, how much.

One thing that needs to be made perfectly clear is that gratuities are entirely at your discretion. To be honest, I welcome gratuities. 

Tipping is appreciated, but not mandatory.

Nevertheless, the truth is that tipping continues to be an integral aspect of the service sector.

Is there a standard tipping amount for barbers, though? Proper etiquette in a barbershop is a mystery; let us unravel it. 

Cracking The Code When Tipping Your Barber

Many unspoken rules exist regarding tipping, and these norms might change depending on where you are, who you are with, and how old you are.

Since customs around tipping a barber are not codified anywhere, it is usually up to the client to choose whether or not such a gesture is warranted.

service of barber

It may seem you really do not have to tip your barber the way you should to a waiter at a restaurant.

By agreeing to pay your barber for his services, you are entering into a short-term contract.

It means that your barber should not count on a tip even if they perform an excellent job, although it is appreciated. 

But, it sometimes makes sense to consider tipping your barber. 

Why Tipping Your Barber Makes Sense?

Tipping your barber is an expression of gratitude for the services rendered.

They will know they have accomplished what you asked of them, and their day will likely turn around for the better. 

A pleasant disposition is often more important than formal training in the service sector.

It is possible that your barber has had a bad morning. Or, it is possible that they came over $20 on their way to work. 

tipping a barber

Regardless, you can always count on them to put a little sunshine in your day, thanks to that infectious grin. As a result, gratuities are always appreciated.

Tip: Keep in mind that gratuity should be given to whoever touched your hair during your visit, and not anyone who simply owns the shop.

How Much Do You Tip For A $20 Haircut?

How much money should you leave as a tip for your barber? is a subject that comes up quite often.

And it is usually the next thing you have to consider once you have realized it makes sense to tip your barber.

Things are rather straightforward when it comes to the unspoken laws of how much to tip your barber. If you can afford it, tip about 10-15% for excellent service. 

We will not stand in the way if you are able to pay more because of the outstanding service you received.

Consider The Service Charge

service charge

When determining how much is enough to leave as a tip, you should always consider the total service charge first.

So, how much to tip a barber for a $20 haircut?

In the United States, if I were to have a $20 haircut, I would definitely leave a $4 tip.

It is normally a good idea to leave a 20% tip in the service and restaurant industries, though if the bill is less than $20, I will round it up.

But, what about a $15 haircut? Again, you can definitely give whatever you like, but following the same “20%” tipping rule means you should at least be leaving $3 in tip.

Similarly, if you get a haircut for $40, a fair tip would be $8.

It is common practice for the stylist’s assistants to wash and condition your hair, so it is important that they, too, receive a cut.

Tip: It is worth mentioning that it seems odd to spend $4 on something and then just leave 80 cents as a tip, so the minimum tip should be around $2. 

Consider The Quality of Service

quality of service

If the service was excellent, you should leave a tip of 15–20 percent of the total.

It is up to you whether to leave a larger tip for excellent service or a smaller one for subpar treatment. 

But, if you really love the way your barber treats you and follows your every instruction while cutting, it really makes sense to tip more.

This keeps them motivated, and will help you receive the same level of service when you turn up again next month for another haircut.

Moreover, if you give at least $4 when you get a $20 haircut, it may help build a relationship, which ensures you are not refused a last-minute appointment in the future.

Consider The Location

Ideally, you should go with 15%-20% of $20 to make your barber feel happy, but sometimes, you have to consider the tip based on location.

For instance, it is a good idea to stick to 15% to 20% of your total service charge as a tip when you are in New York. 

barber shop location

And, it usually remains the same when you are in Canada. But, it may change when you are in another country, like the UK. 

In the United Kingdom, tipping is reserved for very outstanding service. Tipping your barber a few additional pounds or 10% of the whole bill is appropriate. 

Consider The Special Occasion

While it is usually fine to stick to the $20 tipping rule when getting a $20 haircut, you may want to change it a little based on the occasion.

You could definitely offer more in case you are getting a haircut to attend an event you are truly excited about, like a wedding.

But, you can also consider adding more to the tipping rule around the holidays.

We recommend rewarding your stylist, manicurist, or esthetician with a generous holiday bonus of 25%. 

A handwritten “thank you” card or a plate of cookies are other nice ways to show your gratitude for their efforts.

thank you note

An Important Consideration

When it is that time of the year and everyone is prepared for the holidays, it is a great idea to surprise your barber with a tip.

Before the holidays, if you normally spend $30 for a haircut, you should give your stylist an unexpected tip of $30. 

It is a thoughtful gesture of appreciation for the high-quality hair treatment you have received over the past year.

Is Tipping Less Considered Rude? 

Good tips for the barber or hairstylist are always appreciated. It shows how much value you place on their efforts. 

Barbers usually go out of their way to show their appreciation for customers who consistently leave large tips.

That being said, nobody should feel forced to leave a gratuity for subpar service or a poorly executed haircut. Period.

When it comes to an unacceptable cut, customers also need to speak up. It is not impolite, and it is mutually beneficial. 

tip jar

A skilled barber will always take criticism constructively, which ultimately benefits the customer because they receive the haircut they requested.  

Tip: Come for your appointment with clean hair and save your barber from washing and conditioning your hair if you want to cut back on tips.

Other Factors Leading To Smaller Tips

Gratuity should be reduced for barbers whose stations are untidy, who do not pay close enough attention to the client, or who rush through the service.

As an added note, it is disrespectful if they are constantly on the phone while serving you, so consider giving them a smaller tip as a result.

Tip: Consider tipping more when your barber is friendly, funny, and quick to offer advice on how to improve your hairstyle. 
barber shop


How much do you tip for a $20 haircut? So many factors go into deciding whether you should give tips to your barbers and how much. 

Yes, it is not mandatory, but understand that an excellent barber may make a big difference in your life. And tipping generously is one way to show your appreciation. 

A 20% of the total service charge is always a great idea, but a barber will still be happy if it is around 15% in most cases. Just consider the service and decide!

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