Is it customary to tip at an electrolysis session? If yes, what percent is expected?


There are few subjects that can get a room full of electrologists arguing as much as the tipping issue. In short, you should only tip if you feel moved to do so out of your own gratitude. The term gratuity comes from the word gratitude after all. No one should ever EXPECT a gratuity, and the culture we have where some industries have come to expect a tip just because they exist is bad for relations all the way around. Since the question of to tip or not to tip is based on your own personal feeling of gratitude, what you tip is totally up to you as well. What you have to be careful about is HOW you go about tipping your electrologist.

Most people who work for themselves and have their own office, or work from home are not in the situation of an employee at a beauty salon. If they want more money, they raise their prices. You must make it clear that the reason you are offering a tip is because you truly appreciate the work you have received, and after all the trouble you went through to find the most wonderful electrologist in the area, you just are bubbling over with gratitude and just wanted to give them a little something to show that, and money is the easiest way to do that (after all, gifts can be really tricky, and you don’t know what kind of stuff they like anyway). Even after this explanation, some people will refuse your tip no matter what you say or do. Others will just remind you that tipping is neither required, nor expected, although appreciated for the gratitude that it represents.

With electrology treatments ranging from $40 to $200 per hour across the country, with an average of $60 per hour, I am not sure that a percentage is really the way to even go about tipping an electrologist if you are so inclined. A ten percent tip on the national average would be $6, and I don’t know that this is a number that would even be practical. On the other hand, the person charging $200 per hour would then be in line for $20 or more per hour depending on what percentage you are tipping, and that might seem to be out of line as well.

At any rate, listen to your heart on this one. Anyone who really expects you to be giving them some certain amount of money on top of what they contracted with you is just not thinking right.

If I were seeing me, as a client I would be grateful, but I really could not see giving me $30 to $60 worth of a tip on top of the fee for service. I must confess, however, that I have received much more than that from some VERY grateful clients. I just reminded them that tipping was not required, and they reminded me that to them I am worth even more than that. I guess some electrologists need to better understand that they need to honor the feelings behind a person WANTING to tip them and just graciously accept it once it has been made clear that the electrologist is not some waitress who gets upset because a person only says that they appreciate her good service but doesn’t give her extra money that she thinks she is entitled to because she took a job that pays less than minimum because it is expected that some people will give her money just for looking cute. (my english teacher would choke me if she read that last stream of conciousness run on sentence) Bottom line, although no one ever finds themselves standing at the pay counter thinking, WoW, that Lawyer/Doctor/Auto Mechanic did work that far exceeded my expectations and my heart bubbles over with gratitude! I just want to give something to show some token of what this means to me. (keep in mind folks, Electrologists get invited to weddings, how many doctors and lawyers and auto mechanics get to sit at the head table?)

One last thing on electrologist attitudes I have heard on tipping; I have heard some people say that they could not allow a client to tip them with money, but would not have any problem with tickets to concerts, plays, or gift certificates. I don’t understand the difference, especially when the average concert or theater ticket price far exceeds the average tip by more than double!

[ October 14, 2003, 11:48 AM: Message edited by: James W. Walker VII, CPE ]

My (quick) take on the situation is that I would not tip every session, but once you are coming toward the end of your sessions, then I would offer a gift to show my gratitude… for all they have done in past sessions… and you would know what to get them because as you have been engaging them in conversations for hours and hours, you must know some of the things they like, sports teams they follow, hobbies they pursue etc… If I had someone clear my entire body quickly, and relatively painlessly, then I don’t think a substantial gift would be out of the question… If they have done a good and efficient job, they would have saved me thousands of dollars and many hours… But even for a small area, something like a magazine subscription would be a nice gesture… (they might want some for the waiting room… LOL)



I gave my electrologist a $50 gift certificate for a nice restaurant.

She is doing something nice for me so I wanted to do something nice for her.

I have heard tons from electrologists on this issue, I would like to hear more from YOU the consumers on this issue. What do YOU think about tipping your electrologist? Why do you want to, and how do you decide what you want to tip?

Come on, surely some more of you have something to say on this issue! How about some feedback? We have electrologists to educate here as well.

I used to tip a couple of dollars per visit, which was not customary at the place I went. It led to much more flexible hours and lots of sessions that went over the allotted time.

The first place I went (a chain), I was tipping 15% and the manager actually called me in to say that was way too much.

Thanks for the input. How about helping those electrologists (and that manager) understand why you wanted to tip anything at all, and why you chose 15%.
It seems to me that electrologists who have a problem with this don’t understand the reason why anyone wants to tip them in the first place.

Being a soon to be finished student and also a client I can offer my opinion on tipping.

As a client I do not tip my electrolysist but I do plan to give her a gift certificate for a pedicure at Christmas…the nail tech in her salon doesn’t do pedis and I do.

As an electrolysist I never expected to get tips but most of the time they are tipping me, some a small pittance (no disrespect there) and some a lot…I never expected it because I’m likening this job to a medical type profession.

But who knows, I could be totally screwed up!


You are not screwed up. As a matter of fact, it is this medical perception that is the root of the problem for most people. They think to themselves, “Waitresses get tips. Doctors don’t, so I should refuse all tips in order to allign myself with the doctors.”

Well let me tell you, I know doctors, and they would take tips if anyone ever offered them. Want to make a doctor happy? Pay the interest on his student loan for him or her. You will be buying back a few months of their life for him/her when he/she pays the regular payment and it goes all to the principle balance reduction.

The point is, most people don’t think to tip a doctor because they believe that either he/she has been paid perfectly well for what he/she has done, (if not too well when they get $50 for saying, take two aspirin and call me in the morning) and no further show of gratitude outside of thank you is needed. In many cases, the doctor is such a remote personality who has spent such a small time with the family, they have no chance to even feel any warmth for this person at all.

Now contrast that with electrology. A person who has actually researched their choice of electrologist is deliriously happy to find a gem of an electrologist who they don’t have to travel far and wide to visit. A person spends hours and hours getting to know their electrologist, and the effect of the electrologists work is very prominent in the life of the person as it is getting done, and for the rest of their life, they see it every day, and it factors into their everyday life.

It is no wonder many people feel both gratitude, and have the relationship with their electrologist that they both want to give a tip, AND feel comfortable enough to offer it.

Now all we need is electrologists who neither think themselves above receiving this form of gratitude, nor attempt to extort tips as something that they have a right to expect each and every time they touch a client.

[ November 04, 2003, 06:39 AM: Message edited by: James W. Walker VII, CPE ]

Let’s try this again.

Practitioners need your help in understanding YOUR side of this question.

People here are always asking about how to tip, and what to tip, but when electrologists talk about this, the argument is should one even accept a tip.

I have not had much luck in getting the readers of this forum to post why they tip when they tip, and what it means to them when they do. Please do us a favor and take some time to post something on this subject. YOU are the expert here. I can’t tell practitioners how you feel, only you can.

If you have never posted to the forum, here is the perfect place for a first post.

I posted a “how do I know when to tip” piece on the other thread that’s running.

Here’s one for the pros “why do I feel that I want to tip”.

I’d list my electrolysists among the most important people in my life. (And that’s not exagerating!) I like to give them a tip, as I like to express my gratitude, and I like them to know how important it all is to me.

However, because I respect them, I wouldn’t insist on tipping them if it offends or embarrasses them. There’s plenty of other ways I can show my thanks.

I tip when I feel that I have to protect myself or my belongings - as when I give my luggage to a skycap worker and I am hoping my tip and smile will ensure that my baggage gets to the right destination.

16 years ago, I gave my electrologist gifts because she helped me when other electrologists failed.

I do what my conscience and heart guides me to do and I do what I feel is necessary to protect myself.

I am a new contributor here and this is the best public hair removal forum I have ever seen… so I sent money in to the website manager because she deserved the tip! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

I have not had much luck in getting the readers of this forum to post why they tip when they tip, and what it means to them when they do.

I never saw this topic before, and i think it’s an excellent idea to talk about this.

Being new to this country, I had NO IDEA that you were supposed to tip most people here. I must have offended so many hair washing girls, masseuses, and who knows who else that expected a tip. I would have tipped had I known it was acceptable to do so, but it’s embarrassing to tip sometimes, so I actually prefer not to.

When I know that a tip is the norm like with waitresses, I don’t feel embarrassed tipping, but when I am not sure that it is and how much to give, I HATE to have to do it b/c it makes me feel as if I’m pretending to be superior to that person and handing them pittance… I don’t know, I just feel that way.

A whole 8 years after my arrival here I though that I new who to tip. But when I dated a body piercing guy for a few weeks I learned that I had been wrong. He told me that every service profession in the US can and perhaps should be tipped. I was shocked and embarrassed b/c I realized how many people I had send the wrong message to. I was very surprised to learn that people tip him for piercings… i would absolutely never thought to do that.

Anyway… as for my electrolysist, I would never try to tip him with cash b/c I would most definitely feel idiotic trying to hand him money. I really think that he is excellent and his skill and dedication to the profession as awe inspiring. So I feel moved by his contribution to my life and really want to not only tell him that but do nice little things for him.

I may not end up giving him a present per-se but I am going to take care a few things for him. I am planning on redesigning his office forms and putting them on a CD so that he can print fresh copies when he needs them. Currently he uses a horrific blackened form that he must have been re-copying for decades. Nothing on that form is legible. I also plan on making a simple web site for him b/c he is not out in the public eye at all (not that he can even handle more patients as it is, but you know… just to keep up with the times)

Things like that. I probably would buy him something too towards the end of our sessions. I’ll see what info I can get out of him. So far I’ve only had 3 hours with him and I know everything about his family, so it won’t be hard to figure out what to buy &#61514;

I am not sure that I answered your questions James, but let me know if I didn’t.

this is the best public hair removal forum I have ever seen… so I sent money in to the website manager because she deserved the tip! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Right! Totally! this forum and the hairfact web site have saved me so much money, have prevented me from buying equipment form the wrong sellers and doing stupid things to myself… as soon as i saw her “feed my kitties” link, there was not even a second of doubt that i would give her money … and i NEVER do that. usually i feel like a sucker if i send moeny to somone i don’t know, but with this site, there was not doubts and no regret.

so i don’t know if that explains anything about the psychology of tipping but i think it’s pretty simple. you like someting and somone, you feel like giving them something.

I personally NEVER accept a tip. I see myself as a professional offering a professional service. I also own my business and have no other employees. My compensation is seeing great results and hearing people tell me what a difference I’ve made in their life.

hm. i’ve given this a bit of thought. i am one of those people who depends on tips to pay for my weekly groceries. i don’t like it, but i have little choice in the matter. my boss pays me half of what i’m worth, but makes up the difference with service charge and cash tips. it works, but i don’t like it.

i tip my electrologist because she works in a beauty salon-type of place where people also come for waxing, massages, facials, etc. those people tip, so i do as well. plus i like her. she makes me feel comfortable in what could otherwise be a really unpleasant situation. she always finishes the area she started, even if we’ve technically run out of time.

i never tip the people at the laser place because a) they charge way too much as is, and b) i don’t feel like they give a damn about the quality of service they provide. the treatments are fine, but beyond that, they don’t go out of their way to make me feel good about the whole thing.

someone mentioned piercers… i tip my piercer. i think he does a wonderful job. i have to fly halfway around the world to go to him, but it’s worth it.


Half way around the world??? WOW!!! there are really really good piercers here in the states too <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

well i didn’t tip mine but i dated him, so i guess that was a nicer “thanks” <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

I am not sure that I answered your questions James, but let me know if I didn’t.

I personally NEVER accept a tip. I see myself as a professional offering a professional service. I also own my business and have no other employees. My compensation is seeing great results and hearing people tell me what a difference I’ve made in their life.

Yes, Ivelina, you answered the question well. The point of this thread is for people like Mr. Price to understand why anyone even wants to try to tip their electrologist. Earlier in this thread, I have already said that every electrologist is different on their stand on tips, and one will need to discuss this topic with that person before you make any assumptions. Should you want to tip someone like Mr. Price because you feel like Ivelina, this thread is designed so that one understands both how to open the discussion, and help electrologists like Mr. Price understand the reason people want to do it in the first place, and how they might feel if one simply refuses to accept any show of gratitude from one’s clients.

Most people are doing it out of Gratitude, not a belief that their practitioner is missing meals, doing menial work, or some other such potentially insulting idea.

And just for the record, I am not picking at Mr. Price here, he is just someone who has taken the time to express the view I spoke about earlier in this thread.

For more on the subject, see this other post string:
Tipping Post String

Please let me re-phrase my position. I am always VERY grateful whenever somebody offers me a tip. I graciously decline and explain that I don’t accept tips. If someone chooses to bring me a gift at the holidays or any other time then I have no problem saying thank you and accepting it. My point is, if I am the owner of my establishment and I am already charging a fee for my service, I choose not to take more than is charged for that service. If someone is going to an electrologist who is working for someone else, then of course they can offer a cash tip. It is then up to that electrologist if they choose to accept.