How Much Should You Tip Your Nail Tech?

If you’re wondering how much you should tip your nail tech you’re not alone. It’s a common question with no easy answer. But don’t worry, we’re here to help.

Here are a few things to consider when deciding how much to tip your nail tech

-The quality of the service
-The length and complexity of the service
-The price of the service

Keep these factors in mind when deciding how much to tip your nail tech

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The General Rule

Most people agree that you should tip your nail technician a minimum of 20%. Some people argue that you should tip more, especially if you received exceptional service However, you should also consider how much you can afford to tip. If you’re on a budget, a 20% tip is still a fair amount.

20% of the bill

While the general rule is to tip 20% of the bill, that’s not always possible or enough. “I would say that if you’re paying $50 for a service, $10 is an appropriate minimum tip,” says Ramsey. Even if your service is only $15, “a couple of dollars is better than nothing.” Of course, you can always give more if you’re really pleased—20% to 25% is perfectly acceptable—or if you receive exceptional service (for example, your manicurist goes above and beyond to make sure your experience is delightful).

Exceptions to the Rule

When it comes to tipping your nail tech there are a few different schools of thought. The standard 20 percent is always a safe bet, but there are a few exceptions to the rule. If you’re happy with the service and plan on becoming a regular, you may want to tip a little extra.

If the service was not up to par

Even if the service wasn’t great, you should still leave a 15 to 20 percent tip, says Nguyen. “The truth is, most nail techs are paid very little per hour and they rely on tips to make a living wage,” she says. “If you can only afford a 10 or 12 percent tip, try and make up for it by returning for future services or referring your friends.”

If you received a complimentary service

Although it is not required, if you received a complimentary service, it is customary to show your appreciation with a tip of 10-15%.

How to Tip

It can be tricky to know how much to tip your nail tech The general rule of thumb is to tip 15-20%, but there are other factors to consider. If you’re happy with the service, you can always tip a little extra. If you’re unhappy with the service, you can always tip a little less. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how much to tip.


When paying in cash, it is appropriate to tip 15 to 20 percent of the total bill. For example, if the cost of your manicure was $20, you would leave a $3 to $4 tip.


There is no set amount that you should tip on a debit or credit card, but 10 to 15 percent is a good rule of thumb. You can also consider the quality of service when deciding how much to tip. If your nail tech went above and beyond, you may want to give a larger tip.

When to Tip

When it comes to beauty services, there is a standard 20 percent tip for your service provider. However, there are some services where you may want to tip more or less. For example, if you got a haircut and blowout, you would probably tip 20 percent. But if you just got a manicure, you may want to tip 15 percent.

After the Service

You should always tip after your service is complete. How much you tip is up to you, but 20% is a good starting point. You can always give more or less depending on how satisfied you were with the service.

How Much to Tip for Upgrades

When you go above and beyond your normal manicure or pedicure by adding an extra service, it’s appropriate to show your appreciation with a little something extra. How much you tip is entirely up to you, but here are a few general guidelines.

$5 for a simple upgrade

If you’re happy with the job your nail tech did and you’d like to do something special for her, a small tip for an upgrade is always appreciated. For example, if you usually get a basic manicure but you ask for one of the new gel polish colors, a $5 tip is appropriate.

$10 for a more complex upgrade

If you’re getting a more complex nail art design, or if your nail tech spent significantly more time on your manicure than a basic service would require, it’s appropriate to show your appreciation with a $10 tip, or 20% of the total cost of the service.

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