Tipping Your Hair Stylist


Let’s face it – tipping your hair stylist (and hair stylist’s assistant) can be confusing. Am I tipping enough? Not enough? What about tipping on salon specials and/or discounts, etc? Never fear! A stylist is here to answer all of those questions. Thanks, Tera!

I was recently asked by my pal and client Sarah of Hair Thursday if I would write about properly tipping assistants and stylists in the salon. I’m not sure why it hasn’t dawned on me to write about this because I do get asked the question often when I’m working. So here is a little Q & A about what I know and what I think. If you have any other questions I haven’t answered, please feel free to ask it in the comments below!

What should I tip my stylist?

You stylist is performing a service and should be tipped between 15-20% of the price of the service depending on how you enjoyed the service. If you stylist is running on schedule, really listened to what you had to say about your hair and gave you exactly what you had in mind then tip on the higher end of the scale. In some cases, your service may be discounted for whatever reason; it is then expected that you add gratuity on the original price of the service.

What should I tip the assistant?

This depends on exactly what she did for you. If she only shampoos your hair for a cut then $3-$5 is fair. Again, if it is a shampoo that relaxes you to the point of drooling go for the higher end of that scale. If she applies your tint and then shampoos your hair, $5-$8 is acceptable. Some clients get a double process color that requires more than one shampoo, in this case she would really appreciate $8-$10.

Disclaimer: These rates are based on average stylist pricing in Newport Beach, CA. Depending on where you live, it may be higher or lower!

What is the purpose of the assistant?

It was my dream from the day I set foot into beauty school to have an assistant. All of the top stylists I respected worked with assistants and that was because they were so good and so busy that having help was the only way to manage their client base.

As an assistant, I looked for the stylist that I thought did the best work in my area. He saw approximately 30 clients a day, did amazing hair and with that came a lot of money. And let’s face it, as much as I love what I do, at the end of the day it is about the money!

As a stylist, I love working with an assistant for many reasons. It gives me daily opportunities to teach, which makes me better at what I do. Every client gives me a chance to show my assistant something that will help her be a great stylist in the future; whether is is customer service, terminology, color formulation, cutting techniques or blow drying. She helps by mixing up color, applying tints, cleaning up and doing shampoos. This allows me to see more clients in a day so I have better availability and to let me really focus on a haircut or color technique. My assistant runs my life in the salon and I honestly believe it has freed me up to do my best work.

I pay a lot of money to see my stylist. What if I’m not comfortable having the assistant apply my color?

As a stylist, I would never allow my assistant to apply color if I wasn’t totally confident she would do it properly. She has been fully trained in my technique and must be given the opportunity to use what she has learned. If a client is adamant that I apply her color and I have time, I will happily oblige. I did have to train my clientele that this is the way I work when I first started working with an assistant and most are quite comfortable with the process now.

I believe this topic is covered but again, feel free to ask away if you think of something else I can add to it!


Clarisonic Mia, My New Best Friend (Psst…Giveaway!)


Clarisonic Mia Cleansing System, $149

Okay, lovelies. This is one giveaway you don’t want to miss. The Clarisonic Mia has changed the way I look at skin cleansing. (And the way my skin looks!)

Clarisonic sent me a Mia system to review and I’ve been using it for about a month now. Y’all, I love it. My skin glows, my pores are smaller, and I love that it feels like a mini-facial every morning. The one-button, one-speed, one-minute Mia fits perfectly into my otherwise LAZY skin cleansing routine. It’s so easy – just put a little bit of skin cleanser on the brush, hit the button, and move it in small circles around your face. Plus, it automatically turns off after a minute! Could not be easier.

Clarisonic recommends using the Mia once a day, and although most probably use it at night, I prefer to use it in the morning because it really wakes up my face. Also, for what it’s worth, I prefer using a creamier-type cleanser with the brush. I found foaming face washes to be a little too harsh on my super sensitive skin, so I have been sticking with a non-foaming cleanser. Actually, the one that comes with the Mia system works great, and I also love Avene’s Extremely Gentle Cleanser.

The Mia’s size is perfect for traveling, and it has a really cool magnetic charger that charges the handle up for what seems to be an eternity. Love love love it!!! (And I’m not the only one. Look at all of the reviews! A 4.9 out of 5.0!)

If you are looking for a new skin cleansing routine, I can’t say enough about the Mia!! And thanks to Clarisonic, I am giving away one Mia Cleansing System to a lucky commenter! Just leave a comment on this post before Friday, December 10th at 6pm PST and you’ll be entered to win! Good luck, everyone!


Santa Fe (And Get Yourself Some Boots!)


Howdy, folks! I forgot to ask last week…how was your Thanksgiving? We spent ours in Santa Fe with my family, and it was a perfectly festive break from our not so Christmas-y Southern California weather. We left on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and DROVE to Santa Fe because, well, we are obviously insane. However, the trip out there was surprisingly calm. I’m thinking our decision to present Wito with a shiny new family iPad (that I had painstakingly filled up with crazy fun apps and his favorite movies the night before) minutes before we embarked on the trip MIGHT have been a factor in the overall road trip happiness.

Now, the road trip back was another story. 5-year molars, snowstorms, 103-degree fevers…do I need to elaborate? No? Okie dokie.

Actually, I do think I will elaborate a teensy bit. We’ve been home for a week now and both kids are still sick. Three trips to the doctor, pink eye, a double ear infection, projectile vomiting and multiple rounds of aggressive hives later, I would like to say one thing to Santa Fe. WHAT THE SAM HELL IS UP WITH YOUR CRAZY MOUNTAIN VIRUSES?

Anyhoo! Santa Fe! Please to enjoy The Festive Festivities!

The Plaza Lighting Ceremony!

The crew. (They’re like The Outsiders – Preppy Version!)

A couple of turkeys…

And a baby doll.

Most importantly, I think Riley may have met his match in the suspicion department.

Now, if you haven’t visited Santa Fe before, cowboy boots are kind of a must.

Personally, Santa Fe or not, I think EVERYONE should own a pair of cowboy boots. Aren’t these Ariat boots gorgeous? I’ve been quite fond of them lately. My good friends at Langstons sent them my way a couple months ago and they have quickly become tops in my cowboy boot repertoire. I think you should have a pair too. So! Leave a comment on this post before Thursday, December 9th at 6pm PST and you’ll be entered to win one pair of Ariat boots from Langstons! I am loving my vintage caramel color, but if it’s not your cup of tea, you can choose any pair of Ariats you’d like. Check out all of the styles here.

Additionally, Langstons is offering 20% off all orders over $100 with the coupon code whoorl until December 12th. (And because I can not keep myself from looking at precious kiddie shoes, have you seen these and these? GAAAHHH SO CUTE.)

Yippee Ki Yay!!


My Big Night at the Tangled Premiere


A few weekends ago, I attended the Tangled premiere in Los Angeles as a guest of Pantene. If that wasn’t enough (I’m a huge Disney movie fan), I was invited to spend the entire afternoon having my hair and makeup done in a ginormous suite at the Roosevelt Hotel.


Upon arrival, I was whisked over to the hair area, where I met Gregory Russell. Ohhhh, Gregory. How I love you so. Angelenos, look no further. If you are looking for a new stylist, Gregory made me look like a modern Brigitte Bardot. (As you will soon witness.)

While Gregory got right down to business, I had a lovely chat with celebrity stylist, Danilo. Here he is telling me about some of Pantene’s newest products.

Or maybe about how he just finished doing Gwen Stefani’s hair the day before and was flying out later that week to style Katy Perry’s hair for the American Music Awards. You know, JUST A NORMAL DAY’S WORK.

Actually, we did chat a lot about the Pantene Beautiful Lengths Program, in which women and men can grow, cut, and donate their hair to make real hair wigs for women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments. It truly is a fantastic program, and you can read all about it here.

Danilo was super interested in hearing what we (yep, you and me, readers) were looking for in hair care and our daily hair routines, to which I answered, something FAST and EASY. Sure, it’s amazing to be treated like a celebrity for a day, but let’s face it, I have about 10 minutes to devote to my hair, and I need something that works quickly and effectively. Can I get an AMEN?

So. I asked him the burning question. What was the ONE product that he would recommend most from the Pantene line?

Pantene Beautiful Lengths Smoothing Balm

Danilo said this is THE multi-purpose product. Whether you air-dry or blow dry, the balm helps control frizz and fly-aways for super manageable hair that lasts all day. Sold!

Armed with my new knowledge, I sat back and let Gregory work his magic.

To be honest, I almost fell asleep at this point. To be relaxing in a room (sans loud children!) while someone played with my hair was downright heavenly.

As Gregory started to release some of the rolls, I knew my Brigitte Bardot moment was coming soon.

Listen, I hate to be all “OMG, look at my hair,” BUT OMG LOOK AT MY HAIR, WILL YOU????

Um, yeah. Gregory at Andy Lecompte Salon. He’s a genius.

Next up, sitting in the makeup chair. Now, I prefer a lighter hand when makeup is applied, so my look for the evening was substantially more than I usually wear (DRAG QUEEN ALERT), but I resisted the urge to run to the bathroom and scrub my face.

See? Danilo is even wondering about the makeup. I prefer to think he’s just marveling at the hair. Right? RIGHT?

All in all, it was a fantastic day. Tangled was absolutely darling, and all of the pampering gave this new mama a much-needed break. Thanks for an unforgettable evening, Pantene!