Dear visitor, if you know the answer to this question, please post it. Thank you!

Note that this thread has not been updated in a long time, and its content might not be up-to-date anymore.

Tipping hair dresser 2007/11/25 08:58

I am in North American and I recently have a Japanese hairdresser. In North America some salons have small boxes labelled with the hairdresser's name so the customers can put the tips into the hairdresser's box. But this salon that I go to don't have tip boxes so for the last 2 times I handed my hair dresser the tips before I leave. I am just wondering if this is the proper way to do it. How is tipping for hairdresser done in Japan?

Thank you in advance for your answer.
by Helen  

... 2007/11/25 17:58
In Japan, tipping is not done.
by Uji rate this post as useful

no tipping 2007/11/25 21:31
In Japan, nobody tips at all for any service, it's unimaginable to tip the hairdresser. I guess you'll just have to carry on the same way- perhaps a tip isn't actually expected. I'm sure it's appreciated though!
by Sira rate this post as useful

Tipping hair dresser 2007/11/26 08:13
Thank you for your answers.

I read other posts about tippings in Japan for example like for hotel services. It was mentioned that the traditional way of tipping was that the guest should put the tips wrapped in nice paper or an envelope, it is rude to just hand over the cash; In North America its totally fine to hand the cash. I guess for Japaneses in North America they would accept that's the way in NA and woudn't feel that it's rude, right? Hope I am right.

Thanks again.
by Helen rate this post as useful

... 2007/11/26 09:04
The only custom that is similar to "tip" in Japan is the "tip" that you give the head staff at one of those "ryokan" - traditional Japanese inns - UPON ARRIVAL when she comes to your room to welcome you (seeing that it is upon arrival, you can tell that it comes from a bit different origin from Western tips). In this case, it is wrapped in paper, as described, and is handed over as you greet.

But that is the only form of tip that has been around in Japan - and in other places for other types of services, for example, for hair dressers, restaurant waiter/waitresses, modern hotel staff, or taxi drivers, tipping is simply not customary in Japan. The Japanese people (including myself) accept that tipping is customary and often necessary in most Western countries, and have adopted the western custom, including the fact that cash is simply handed over/left on the table, etc. unwrapped, so please don't worry :)
by AK rate this post as useful

Thank you 2007/11/26 11:02
Thank you all again for your answer. :)
by Helen rate this post as useful

Re: Tipping hair dresser in USA 2007/11/28 01:10
I agree that there is usually no tipping in Japan, but if I understand the original post correctly, the Japanese hair dresser is working in the USA. Since tipping of hair dressers appear to be customary in America, my guess is that the American customs would apply in this case and it would be perfectly okay to tip the hair dresser in question.
To be honest, it is probably best to ask what the person prefers.
by Kappa rate this post as useful

ak 2007/12/7 18:54
"The only custom that is similar to "tip" in Japan is the "tip" that you give the head staff at one of those "ryokan" - traditional Japanese inns - UPON ARRIVAL when she comes to your room to welcome you... In this case, it is wrapped in paper, and is handed over as you greet."

Um a bit off topic, but i was wondering how much do you tip head staff of ryokans and is it for every ryokan regardless of how hostel like or actually traditional of a ryokan it it?
by Olin rate this post as useful

... 2007/12/8 14:09
To Olin,

This "tip" I mentioned is only at traditional Japanese inns, "ryokans," where they normally come to greet you in your room upon arrival, and where they serve meals in your rooms.
This tip is NOT required at all if you are staying at western style hotels, or hostels, minshuku (family-run B & B style places), etc.
by AK rate this post as useful

I would still like to know how much, 2007/12/8 16:20
I am staying at a Ryokan for my trip and would still like know the baseline stanard to tip the Head Staff at the Ryokan. Is it dependant on people? A total of 4 people will be staying in the one room.
by Very Fat Bastard rate this post as useful

... 2007/12/9 14:20
Very Fat Bastard,

Firstly, please check with the hotel website or info. whether there is service charge added to the room charge. If there is (which happens at times) then you don't have to give this tip either, or at least that's the way I understand it.

When my spouse and I travel and stay at a ryokan, let's say at a place that charges something in the range of 10,000 - 13,000 per person (meal in the room included), we give 2,000 yen. If it's a real luxury ryokan (like 30,000 or 40,000 per person), it might go up to 5,000 or so... but probably 2,000 or 3,000 for the four of you might be OK? If you are traveling with children and know that you might be asking for extra service for them, it might be nice to give 3,000.

I would like to ask for input from other Japanese as well.
by AK (Japanese) rate this post as useful

Hotel Konanso 2007/12/9 23:30
Thank you for your reply AK.

We'll be staying at the Hotel Konanso at Kawaguchi which goes at 21050 yen per person per night. I don't seem to find a service charge so I'm guessing 3,000 yen will be what I'll give. I'm more excited about finding nice paper and wrapping it up. (I suddenly feel very girlish)

Managed to find this site on money envelopes:
but nothing about specialized ryokan money envelope so I'm assuming any colored envelope will do fine. Am I correct?

However I have also read that there might be envelopes in your rooms at Ryokans so I'm guessing if you don't find an envelope in your room a tip is not expected.

by Very Fat Bastard rate this post as useful

The word from a stylist is... 2007/12/13 07:39

My girlfriend is a Japanese Hair Stylist currently living and working in New York for a Japanese owned and managed Hair Salon. Prior to this she worked in Tokyo for 24 years. I raised the question in your original post with her and here is what she told me.

Although it is true that tipping is not the custom in Japan, this is not always true in Hair Salons. Customers, especially those with either money or status (famous people and such) will in fact tip. They may even go as far as tipping the assistant that washed their hair.

In the US tipping is appreciated since some of the Hair Stylist get little pay and depend on tips. Giving tips in envelopes, such as what you would do at a Ryokan, is not required.

Generally, my lady will take the money and place it in her pocket without looking at it. She says that it is disrespectful, so will only count her tips when she arrives home.

Hope this helps.

by tenshi rate this post as useful

To Very Fat Bastard, 2007/12/13 07:51
I was thinking, if *our* total bill is 20,000 - 26,000, I'd give 2,000. For you, if it's 20,000 per person, and did you say it was four of you traveling? For a total bill of 80,000, I might... I might opt for 5,000 or so... but here I really owuld like to hear from other Japanese :)

I have in the past taken just a plain letter-sized sheet of paper and wrapped the bills (bills folded into four) in it, or when I forgot to bring it, just took some wrapping paper off sweets and used it too lol. To me the key is not to give the money as is, so you don't really have to go out of your way to find wonderful envelope for that :) And please do not use those envelopes on the link you've listed, those are only for specific occasions of celebration or mourning!
by AK (Japanese) rate this post as useful

reply to this thread