Friday, 29 January 2010

On haircuts and hairdressers

I was very excited on Tuesday as I went to have my hair cut by my old hairdresser. She did my hair for my wedding and then went travelling to New Zealand and I hadn't seen her since. And then she came back!

The trip to the hairdressers got me thinking on a few things about hair. The first one being that a really good haircut is worth paying for. I've had a few over the years and they've varied from pants to mediocre to great. But this trip made me realise properly that to achieve a great haircut the hairdresser has to understand your hair. I have fine hair, but lots of it, which waves in ways I don't understand, plus I have a huge cowslick to contend with. Then I'm lazy, I wash and roughly blow-dry my hair but anything beyond that is too much effort for me most days so having a cut which works with that is imperative.

And Christa, she gets my hair and gives me cuts which suit it, and that I request. Not what she wants to do, or thinks best but she talks to me and then voila. Plus she's very sweet and great fun.

And then there's the salon, the new place she's working at is called Ena Salon, it's on Great Queen Street in Covent Garden. Handily close to where I work. And it's lovely, beautifully decorated, great colours on the walls, lovely spacious work areas and really really friendly people. It also does beauty so I've been for a wax there too and can recommend it for that as well. And being somewhere which is calm, but has fun people and looks gorgeous does make a difference, to be greeted warmly and welcomed in makes me feel that much better at spending money on a hair cut.

So the only question I have now is how do you tip your hairdresser? It's one of those things I've always struggled with, I can't work out how much, I feel uncomfortable doing it and then I get all panicked and spend most of the haircut worrying about it. All advice gratefully received.


LK said...

I pay £45 and tip £5 as it's easy to give over a fiver and around 10% seems reasonable. I pay on card and tip with cash and I just give it over as I pay. Have only recently started tipping since I found a hairdresser I liked though. I figure if it's the first time with them and you're not sure you'll come back then you needn't bother.

Make Do Style said...

Good advice above - I was going to say dunno but now LK had given me expert advice too!

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

No way, I lived SUPER close to Ena salon! Sigh so right it's so hard to find a good stylist - they're worth their weight in gold!

Top Bird @ Wee Birdy said...

Oh I never know what to do about tipping hairdressers, either. It's such a grey area. You hair sounds just like mine. My fave hairdresser is at Real Hair in Chelsea. xx

Kylli said...

In australia you dont' tip - and I didnt' realise this for the first year so my hairdresser was always pleased to see me!!! I always tipped about 10% if I was happy with everything in the UK.

45GBP for a haircut!! Wow. I pay $30 aus dollars. And no tip.

Ross said...

Well, appreciate that I'm a man and that my haircuts take under 10 minutes.... but I used to pay £7 and tip £1, if I liked the guy. Now the barbers has upped their prices to £9, I don't tip at all.

If I ever owned a restaurant / hairdressers, I would pay well and have a no-tipping policy. I'd use the lack of guilt/worry this created as my USP. You'd go to me because you didn't want to worry about tipping, but were happy that your stylist was well paid and appreciated at work.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm I always thinking tipping hairdressers is a bit of a funny one... in restaurants you can just leave it on the table but hairdressers... I never want to be one of those people who do the 'note handshake' thing!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm I always thinking tipping hairdressers is a bit of a funny one... in restaurants you can just leave it on the table but hairdressers... I never want to be one of those people who do the 'note handshake' thing!

Mrs Trefusis... said...

I always do 10%

Marie said...

Thank-you for all your thoughts and advice. I aim for 10% but think like conversationpieces I don't want to be a note handshake person but don't know how to do it otherwise! Plus last time she was gone so quickly I barely had my wallet out and didn't want to chase after her to give her a tip! I shall bear this all in mind next time.

@Chic 'n' Cheap - You lived near there! Wow!

@Ross - I'd come to your salon :)

LK said...

I found a no-tipping salon!:

I really like their reasoning. Unfortunately they're in california, and I'm in London.

I do hate tipping at the hairdressers. It makes me feel patronising and uncomfortable and unlike restaurants where you go with other people and can see what they do (and having waitressed a lot have a view on it from that side), at the hairdressers it's just so hard to know what you should do.

I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for a non-tipping salon in London. That would definitely sway me towards using them.

Rose said...

I do tip hairdressers because my Mother always did- BUT I always leave it at the counter when i pay the bill because I am not good at just giving cash at the seat.

I also never tip manicurists but understand some people do- do you?