Tipping with Laser Hair Removal

Hey everyone,

I am seeing a laser hair removal specialist as a place that does both Laser and Electrolysis. I’m doing my entire body so the cost comes out to be over a grand.

When I check out the machine asks if I want to leave a tip. It has a couple percentages by default or I can do “other amount”. The lowest percentage shows 17 percent and then goes up to 25 percent. I did 17% but then I started thinking about how much the process costs and how much of a tip 17% is.

I like to tip well wherever I go but a $200 is definitely a lot. I’m not sure if they configure what percentages show on the screen by default (although they probably do) but it makes me feel as if a 17% tip is expected. When I was doing $100 electrolysis treatments at the same place it was more reasonable, but now it just doesn’t seem realistic.

I saw a couple posts about this but they were almost 10 years old so I wanted to ask again. How much would you expect as a tip for a 2 hour long $1200 session of laser?

I don’t get it. Why are laser hair reduction specialists and electrologists even expecting a tip? Your price should be your price and nothing more. I quit going to a hair stylist because all I heard about was how she depends on her tips to buy toilet paper, feed her cats, blah, blah, blah. I always tipped her 20%, but somewhat resented tipping her anything because she was charging master level prices already. Raise your prices and be done with this tipping expectation. If I’m missing something here, please enlighten me. Why can’t your price be your price and no more? Maybe the Hollywood, corporate or political elite think nothing of giving enormous tips, but the hairy commoners of the world should not be guided or shamed into doing so.

I agree Dee Dee … Were somebody to offer a tip, I would be insulted. I’m not waiting tables or polishing your car. Would you tip your doctor or your dentist?


I’ll chime in with some thoughts for you… these are my thoughts and figured I would share as to provide an alternate viewpoint. Kinda long my apologiges…

I’m an esthetician who primarily does waxing and facials currently.

I price my goods and services with no reliance on tips whatsoever and I make this absolutely clear with my clients.

I had an interaction early on with one of my very first clients. She said she’s had facials on cruise ships, in the cheapest ghetto spas and the most pricey places you can imagine all around the world. She said I had topped them all and tipped me the same amount as the facial had cost her ($50 at that time) and said “Please do something nice for yourself… I’m appreciative of the great service and experience”. I tried to refuse because I felt weird about it and she told me something that has stuck with me ever since. By refusing I was stealing her joy. I had never thought of it that way. But it was true… now, I still felt weird about it but a situation a few months later would be how my heart and head would change it’s viewpoint.

Not long after that, another one of my client was looking for a cheap used couch and put out an APB looking for one on her social media and I told her I had one so I sent several photos. She said “I LOVE it, it’s perfect how much is it!?” I said “It’s free”. She said “No, I cannot take your couch for free, you are too kind blah, blah, blah it’s too nice for free”.

Then I remembered that first client and it dawned on me… this was the same thing! I laughed and said "Look, I have zero need for this couch and if this couch can bless you with it’s comfiness and the fact that it is free so you can do something else with your cash… please take it it would bring me so much joy to know it will now have another good home. I told her about the other client and how it had right then helped me see things differently and she laughed and agreed. She just felt weird taking something for free and was not used to such kindness. She said her life was full of people who always wanted something in return. I told her to get used to at least one person who doesn’t.

When people (client and non clients) want to do something nice for me or give me something that is healthy and not harmful, I prefer to not steal their joy! My pride has gotten in the way before but now I look people in the eye and say “Thank you” and when I buy that coffee and lemon loaf that is SO good with the gift card they gave me, I send a photo and say thanks again for the yummies and it brings them joy a second time with no additional cost whatsoever!

So would I rather let my clients experience joy from something freely given or refuse it and have them walk away without it? I choose to participate and freely receive (if healthy) and sometimes it even benefits another person like my husband (was given a giftcard to a nice restaurant).

I have my thoughts and others will have theirs.
There can be several correct answers to one question… but the simplest path to the correct answer for you personally may be to simply ask yourself this
“If the tip prompt on the credit card machine did not come up at all… would I be fine with that or would I have an innate personal desire to offer a tip somehow anyway?”.

Whatever your answer is to that question would be 100% correct because you are the giver. If the would be receiver declines, they have their reason and that’s okay too!

Now, if my couch client hadn’t said “Oh I love it” when she saw my couch pictures that would be different… I wouldn’t have pressed back a bit and would never condone forcing anyone to accept a gift or tip. Boundaries exist for a reason and while I initially refused the large tip from that long ago client because of my own hang-ups at the time I can now experience joy along with them whether it is a coffee card or a cool little potted succulent I can hopefully not kill because I agree and subscribe and choose to participate in the creation of joy with others as a giver and receiver.

BTW, I was given 2 trees that I love and every few months I ask the two clients if they would like to go see them and how big they are getting. They squeal with delight every dang time (it’s really neat seeing their eyes light up when I ask). I think of my clients every time I water them and it gives me a chance to reflect, have a moment of gratitude… and again experience joy!

I hope this gives you another viewpoint but really the bottom line is the answer is within you and you alone because there is no answer that’s right for everyone on this one.

I’m glad you asked this question. I was told, growing up, that if the person you’re seeing works out of their home, you don’t tip because they can write off the overhead (or a portion of) and they don’t pay overhead (chair rental fees, etc).

However, as an adult, every time I go to a service in someone’s home, they set the ‘tip’ function - and I feel obligated. I get annoyed especially because they’re charging me top prices. I’m not saving $$$ by going to them.

I go to people who work from home, because it’s my bit for shopping local & supporting local businesses… but…dang!

I know it doesn’t answer your question…:crazy_face:

Common US etiquette indicates tipping for a waitress/waiter, bartender, taxi/Uber driver, hotel maid and sometimes delivery drivers. Also, manicurists, pedicurists, cosmetologists, estheticians and hairstylists. I tip the guys who pick up my trash.

Electrologists? I don’t think I’m in the “tipping category” and any hint (to a client) of an expected tip would be, in my opinion, tacky.

I suppose it depends on a person’s history. I have seen that some hairdressers/estheticians “gone electrology’,” generally accept tips. If you’re coming from a medical background, say a nurse, then a tip is out-of-the-question.

I work from home. I also have a tip function on my terminal.When I worked from my office, it was the same. O doont expect tips. They arent required. In fact 99% of the time I skip over the tip function before even handing over the terminal to the customer. I have had however a fair percentage of my clients DEMAND that I allow for tipping, so the option is there.If it makes them feel better, I dont have an objection.

That said, dont think that because someone works from home,they do not have overhead. The space that their treatment room occupies, has a cost, whether or not that cost can be written off for tax purposes or not. The probes cost something as do all the equippment and supplies. the thought tht an electrologist working from home doesnt have costs associated with doing so is categorically false.

I understand your POV however, the costs for probes and equipment (depreciation) is covered in your service fee to the client. Just like hairdressers cover their costs for all of their equipment out of their service fees.

If you’re using your space out of your home, that you’re already paying a mortgage for, then you’re not paying additional overhead that you would (and can write off a portion of your utilities, your renovations, your mortgage, your property taxes, etc). If you were renting space out of a salon or renting space out of an office, then that is considered “overhead”.

We may have to agree to disagree on this subject, tho.

Your wrong .
So, even IF the electrologist is working in a home they own, they still do not have to have as much housing if they are not also working from that space., they can have much less space.than they would need for them and their families alone. That is the expense, that they are writing off.
In my case, I rent my home.I have a house capable of housing five people , and have only 3 in my family. While I CAN write off a part of my rent, as a business expense ( because that space is dedicated to that purpose, , I could get away with less than half , costing me much less if I was not also utilizing it to work from all day.
I also DID rent an office for my practise. It cost me even when society forced me to close due to covid, and for 2 years that office I paid over $2000 a month for, sat empty, with NO income to dedct it from.
Again, just because someone works fromt heir home, dont think for one minute that that is expense free. Everything costs something.
As for probes, and other supplies, YES they are built in to my treatment costs. But my treatment costs are also much lower than they should be. If you look around North America, you will find most electrologists post covid, their rates are often exceding $125- $150 USD per hour. These rates build in these costs.However in my market, competition is a little tighter, and I bill out at $100 cdn ( about $70 american) far below the continental average. Just try going to BC and find an electrologist for less htan $150 an hour !
If some is using their home for treatments, please consider that they are likely over-housing themselves in order to do so. And not all of us own houses! If I were to buy a house in Ottawa this size, it would cost me a cool $1 million for the same size house I currently rent. If I were not practising from my home, I could easily have stayed in my 3 bedroom subsidized unit, which cost me less than $700 a month. No way in hell I could work out of there though!