How Much Should You Tip Your Nail Technician?

How much should you tip your nail technician? 20% is the standard, but check out this guide to see if you should tip more or less.

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A good rule of thumb is to tip 15 to 20 percent of the total cost of the service.

The Standard Tip

The standard tip for a nail technician is 20%. This should be given if you are happy with the level of service that you received. If you had to wait longer than expected or there were any other issues, you can lower the amount that you tip.

Tipping for Extraordinary Service

Of course, you should always tip for extraordinary service, no matter what the amount. If your nail technician goes above and beyond to give you an amazing experience, it’s always appropriate to show your appreciation with a little extra cash. The same goes for services that are outside the scope of a typical manicure or pedicure, like waxing or massages.

Tipping for Services Outside the Salon

In addition to tipping your regular salon staff, you may also want to tip the receptionist, the coat-check person, or anyone else who provides you with exceptional service. If you frequently visit the same salon, becoming a valued client can often result in better service overall, so it’s always worth it to be polite and generous when tipping.

Generally speaking, it’s appropriate to tip 10-20% of the total bill for services outside the salon. So, if your manicure costs $25 and you had exceptional service, a $5-$10 tip would be appropriate. You can always give a little more or a little less depending on your budget and how satisfied you were with the service.

Tipping for Group Appointments

If you’re getting your nails done with a friend or two, the standard 15-20% tip still applies. However, if you feel like your nail technician went above and beyond to accommodate your group, you may want to give a larger tip—say, 20-25%.

Tipping for Children’s Services

When it comes to children’s services, how much you tip is up to you. However, $2-$5 per child is common.

Tipping Etiquette for Other Salon Professionals

In addition to your nail technician, you may also want to tip other salon professionals who provide you with services. These may include your hair stylist, makeup artist, esthetician, and/or massage therapist.

Generally speaking, the standard tip for these professionals is 15-20%. However, as with all tips, you should use your best judgement based on the quality of service you received. If you received exceptional service you may want to tip on the higher end of the spectrum. Conversely, if you were not satisfied with the service you received, you may want to either leave a smaller tip or no tip at all.

In addition to cash tips, many salon professionals also appreciate words of thanks or positive online reviews as forms of appreciation for their services.

How to Tip If You’re Unhappy with Your Service

If you were unhappy with your service, you should still tip 15 to 20 percent of the bill, but you should also speak to the manager about your experience. It’s possible that your technician was having an off day, or that there was a miscommunication about the type of service you wanted. Either way, it’s important to give feedback so that the salon can improve its service in the future.

When Not to Tip

There are a number of times when you should not tip your nail technician. First, if you are not happy with the service you received, do not feel obligated to leave a tip. Second, if the salon has a policy against tipping, don’t do it. You don’t want to get the nail technician in trouble. Finally, if you are getting a free service or a discount service, you are not expected to leave a tip.


In conclusion, the nail technician deserves a tip that is commensurate with the quality of the service received. If you are happy with your manicure or pedicure, it is customary to tip 15 to 20 percent of the bill. You can always give a little extra if you feel the need.

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