I Tipped $10 for My Pedicure—And She Was Happy

As someone who gets regular pedicures, I’m often unsure how much I should be tipping.

I know tips are an important way to show appreciation for good service, but I find tipping percentages confusing when it comes to salon services.

So on my last pedicure, I decided to tip $10 and see how that went.

Here’s what happened, as well as some useful information on pedicure tipping etiquette.

Related: You can use this Pedicure Tip Calculator For free.

Tipping $10 for Pedicure

I went to my usual nail salon and got my standard pedicure.

The total cost was $35, and I handed my nail technician $45 in cash, telling her to keep the $10 change as her tip.

She gave me a big smile and thanked me for my generosity.

This reaction immediately made me feel glad I had tipped that amount.

A $10 tip on a $35 pedicure works out to around 29%.

Most sources recommend tipping 15-20% for pedicures and other salon services, so I tipped on the higher end of that spectrum.

And based on my nail tech’s reaction, I could tell she appreciated the extra generosity, which made me feel good in return.

During my pedicure, my nail tech carried on friendly conversation and gave me a relaxing and attentive service.

When I got home and looked at my pedicured feet, her work looked clean, neat, and very well done. Here you can see my blue pedicure.

So in the end, I felt the $10 tip was money well spent to reward a job well done and show my appreciation for good work.

When Should You Tip for Pedicures?

Now let’s get into some of the standard tipping wisdom when it comes to pedicures and other salon services:

  • Always tip for pedicures, manicures, hair services, waxes, and other salon treatments. These services rely heavily on tips as a major part of service provider income.
  • The standard pedicure tip amount falls anywhere between 15-20% of the total cost of your service.
  • Some sources argue you should tip more for exceptional service—up to 30% for a job extremely well done.
  • Tips can be given in cash or can be added when you pay with credit card. Cash tips allow service providers to pocket the full amount.
  • Unlike restaurants, tips are for the service provider directly—not shared amongst a whole staff. So the amount you tip really impacts that individual’s pay.

Should Quality Impact Your Pedicure Tip?

This brings up an important question—should your pedicure tip amount depend on the quality of service? In my opinion:

  • Poor service warrants a smaller tip or no tip at all if truly bad.
  • Fair service merits a 15% tip: decent but nothing outstanding.
  • Good service calls for an appreciative 18-20% tip.
  • Truly exceptional service deserves an even more generous 25-30% tip to reward a job very well done.

After some comparisons among friends (yes we actually discuss nail salon tipping amounts!), this sliding scale method seems to align with standard practices.

I used to just tip a flat $5 regardless of service quality—but now I allow the tip amount to reflect how good a job my nail tech did.

This incentivizes excellent service along with showing my appreciation when I get it.

So in summary, while it can feel awkward figuring out what to tip, remember:

  • Always tip your nail salon service provider
  • 15-20% is standard; up to 30% for exceptional service
  • Let your tip reflect the quality and care given during your pedicure

After my positive experience tipping $10 on my $35 pedicure, I plan to continue tipping generous amounts for good work.

A little extra generosity goes a long way in showing appreciation!

And the better service I get, the happier I am to tip more.

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