Tipping or stiffing the shampoo girl

Notice: the following thread contains the prases “stiffing the shampoo girl” and “being serviced by the stylist”. If you do not feel that you can participate in this thread without resorting to cheap shots with regard to these phrases, please keep your pie hole shut. :slight_smile:

Part VII in a series of “Dilemma - What would you do?” threads: Tipping or stiffing the shampoo girl‡.

Here’s the dilemma: Got my hair permed a few weeks ago, total bill came to $48.00. I was there about 1¼ hours, and spent the majority of the time in the shampoo girl’s chair because perms are messy & drippy and you have to get rinsed every 15 minutes & have some different chemical applied, and so on.

Every once in a while, the stylist would come over, prod my curlers, and furrow his brow to indicate that he was deeply in tune with the chemical reaction that was transpiring on my scalp. Then he would go back to his station where he was passing the time by doing hair cuts at $18 a pop. He did 3, maybe 4 cuts in the time I spent in the shampoo area basting my scalp in toxic waste (at least that’s what it felt like).

[sub]Just for your information, I have been told by a friend who used to work at that shop that the stylists get half of the total bill plus tips. That comes to about $35 an hour if a stylist does nothing more complex than a regular cut, and can manage three cuts per hour.[/sub]

Meanwhile, the shampoo girl was busting her ass, moving quickly between three of us who are all in some sort of holding pattern waiting for the stylist to come and poke at us. While she was taking care of us, she had her regular shampoos to do. I don’t think I ever once saw her sit down for a moment & rest. She was clearly exhausted. She set the timers, checked us when each timer went off, changed the cotton liners, rinsed us off & applied a new batch of chemicals every 10-15 minutes.

How would you tip these people? Technically, the stylist was the person that “did” my perm. He is the one I requested when I called to make my appointment. He picked out the right box, paid occasional visits while I was cooking, possibly to make sure my skin wasn’t peeling off from the chemicals. He (eventually) took me to his station to take out the curlers & apply the finishing touches & do a little snip snip wherever he saw a hair that wasn’t the rigth length. I would estimate that I spent a grand total of fifteen minutes actually being serviced by the stylist.

On the other hand, the shampoo girl busted her ass. She did the grunt work. She made sure toxic chemicals weren’t dripping down the back of my neck. And based only on a gut feeling, she actually seemed to care more. I spent the balance of the time (about 60 minutes) being cared for by the shampoo girl. I almost wish she could have taken the scissors away from the stylist and said “I’ll finish this one up, thanks” because she did almost everything up to that point anyway.

Two compicating factors:

  1. The shampoo girl was from El Salvador. This just happened to be a few days after the earthquake that shook the country. Because of how ragged she was running herself while I was there, she had a somewhat disheveled look & for a moment I had a vision of her actually being involved in the catastrophe.

  2. The stylist was hot! Hubba hubba zing zing he had everything! :::bays like a wolf:::

So in the end, I tipped the stylist $9.00 (about 17%) and gave the shampoo girl $3.00 (a little over 6%) but as I left the shop, I realized that I just gave out 25% of the bill in tips! After I thought about it, I almost felt like the tips should have been reversed. But I didn’t want to piss off the stylist since he holds the scissors.

What would you do? Give them both a 15% tip? I’m always a good tipper, usually tipping around 20% even for standard service. But I don’t know if I could bring myself to shell out 30% of my tab just to make sure that both got a 15% tip.


[sub]‡BTW, the shampoo “girl” was not actually a girl, she was a full-fledged womam. “Shampoo woman” just doesn’t sound right.[/sub]

The shampoo carbon-unit reportedly busted her ass and did a great job–not to mention the bulk of the job. What the hell does it matter that she “had a dissheveled appearance?”

Doing hard work.
Looking like one’s done hard work.
Sometimes the two go hand-in-hand.

[Nelson]Ha ha.[/Nelson] Call it the Stupid Tax.

I’d have been much nicer about this, but I was irritated to hear that you sucked up to the stylist with the hot looks and stiffed the shampoo girl. And…

I wanted to say something about stiffing the shampoo girl.

In this particular case, I would have tipped the stylist about 8 bucks and the shampoo girl 6 bucks. Normally I wouldn’t tip the shampoo girl quite so much - I usually give them 2 or 3, depending on how glorious the scalp massage is - but it sounds like she really did a lot of work this time.

Don’t forget that being the shampoo girl is part of paying the dues. It’s like being a trainee in a restaurant - you frequently don’t get any tips even though you do most of the work while the long-time server looks on and makes sure you don’t screw up. Also, even though the stylist, to you, didn’t really do a whole lot, consider this: if your perm came out horribly, who would you complain about? The shampoo girl? Probably not - you’d tell the owner that the stylist clearly wasn’t doing his job by making sure that the shampoo girl was doing things right. You are paying for, and tipping on, the stylist’s experience and expertise at his craft, not merely the number of minutes he literally spends with his hands in your hair. If you don’t like the fact that he does other cuts while waiting for your perm to “cook,” tell him and the owner that you won’t be patronizing their services anymore. (But it is normal for them to do something else while waiting on perms or color - the stylists aren’t just going to stand there doing nothing while you sit in a chair. Anyway, you are paying for the service the stylist does for you, not paying him an hourly fee to devote himself completely to you.)

But I’m sure any money at all was appreciated by the shampoo girl, because so many people leave absolutely nothing for them.

I currently get my hair cut at a manly barbershop in Brooklyn, but between 1982 and 1997 I went to a little shop on St. Mark’s Place in the East Village where they played a blues station on the radio and had hip funky downtown-type magazines on the tables.

The shampoo girl was a babe, with long curly hair and tight trousers, so I always gave her two bucks, and she alwaysseemed happy I remembered her at all. (Took her about five minutes to wash/condition my tresses before the scissorman got his hands on them.) The barber got five bucks. This was on top of a $15-20 charge for the haircut.

I always tend to tip large in barbershops because I only cut my hair two or three times a year, so the guy has the power to make me look like a dork or a child-molester for months on end.

If it mattered at all -and I’m not sure that it did- the only reason I mention that was because it made me feel like I should have tipped her more. She just looked like she was working herself to death in that place.

Maybe I could gave her a nice Christmas bonus or something…

I realize he was just making the most of his time, I just looked at the money he was raking in as a possible justification for cutting his tip down a little. But in the end I just couldn’t do it.

I know, it’s kind of . . . annoying, somehow . . . to see them making all this other money at the same time they’re making money off you. My only response to that is something that happened to my sister a few years back. She was out to eat with her boyfriend and his parents, and the bill came to over $100. The service and food were great, and the server in particular was excellent (the BF’s father commented on this several times). However when it came time to tip, he left only $5.00, because he felt that with all those other tables the waitress was waiting on she should be plenty happy to get $5.00 from each of them, no matter how much work she had to do, because 2-3 tables an hour at $5.00 each would be a lot of money. (My poor sister was absolutely mortified to be in the party. She went back to the server on the way out and slipped her a $20.)

I say, by all means cut down on the tip if you don’t feel you are getting the service, but not because you are weighing it against whatever other people might be giving him or how much he might be making off styling other clients.

Hey, at least you’re not one of those people in the “I refuse to tip” threads!

Okay so I was a shampoo girl for a hair salon not too long ago here are some regular things
1.sweep up any and all hair after the cut not waiting more than like 2 cuts
2.walking or driving to get lunch for hair dressors and sometimes people
3.washing all dishes used in the hair process like the dying bowls and brushes
4.doing laundry you have to have clean towels to put around clients
5.answering the phones and making the appointments
6. putting up the washed dishes, folding and putting up the towels.
7. and of coarse shampooing
not so bad right?
now let me tell you what I made not by the hour but by the hair i washed and if i got a tip
regular hair wash with shampoo and conditioner- $1
hair wash that had highlights in it-$3
hair wash with color like all over the head -$4
I was working for 4 hairdressers when the phone wasent ringing off the hook every few min it was dishes laundry and sweeping constantly i pretty much never sat down because there was too much to do i usually would get tipped like a max of maybe $5 a week if that but usually not even i worked all week except tue and sunday but i was on call tuesday so couldnt do anything and i made just a little over $100 a week we will say tops 150 but usually not even close to that i would have understood if i worked like 3 days a week and made that but i was getting like 3.50 an hour and i wasent even an intern i just wanted a job needless to say i stopped working there after 3 weeks it just wasent worth it


Well I giggled.

Tipping as salary is a ridiculous practice but as it is the custom here and legally entrenched I abide by it. But I feel that tipping as salary must at the very least be confined to a single party. If more than one person needs tip money as part of their wage, then it is up to the primary tip receiver to distribute the tip money fairly.

However, if you are giving out a bona fide tip, as a matter of pure generosity or reward for superior service, then that is completely a matter of personal preference and whimsy.

I don’t care what Patty said in the O.P., there’s gotta be a statute of limitations after 11 years. :smiley:

It depends on how attractive she is whether I’d service or stiff her. Oh, and whether or not she’s a zombie, of course.

Yeah, I was going to say “Why does it have to be one or the other?”.

Usually I am completely oblivious when a thread is a zombie. However, this one came with these two “Not in 2012” facts prominently placed right up front.

I wouldn’t have thought immature thoughts about “stiffing the shampoo girl” if the OP hadn’t tried to preempt it. Don’t think about pink elephants.