In the United States it has become common practice for many people to hold service workers in high regard and to treat them as such through respectful behavior and tipping etiquette.
But most of us still expect quality service in order to earn the tip, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Holiday-Mix9804 was thrown off-guard when her usual hairstylist switched her to another stylist less than halfway through their session but still expected her usual tip.
When her sister told her she should have tipped anyway, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was being petty about the mid-session swap.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not tipping my hairstylist for leaving less than halfway into the appointment?”
The OP recently went to the salon for a haircut.
“I (27 female) see a regular stylist at a salon I go to who we’ll call ‘Ann.'”
“Ann is a good friend of my twin sister, and my sister recommended I see her.”
“I love her work, I’ve been a regular for about two years now, and I usually request her every time.”
“Today was just kind of weird, though. I scheduled to get my hair done well in advance and requested Ann like I always do.”
“A couple minutes into the appointment, she said, ‘Oh, by the way, ‘Jane’ is gonna take over the remainder of this in a few minutes.'”
The OP decided to complete her appointment.
“I was really confused and said, ‘But I requested you when I made the appointment. Why didn’t you tell me before we started?'”
“All she said was she had to do something else.”
“I thought maybe Jane was new and Ann would be supervising.”
“I was upset, but I didn’t want to argue, and she had already started, so I said fine.”
The OP was surprised when it came time to pay.
“At the end (Jane did great, by the way), I was given the tablet to pay.”
“When it asked for a tip, I saw Ann’s name on there instead of Jane’s, so I asked Jane, ‘Wait, so is Ann getting the tip or you?'”
“She said she was pretty sure Ann would.”
“I silently hit zero. Why should Ann get the tip when she was here for maybe ten minutes?”
“In the car home, I realized I should have at least offered to give Jane a tip in cash or something and felt bad, but lesson learned, I suppose…”
The OP’s sister called her out for the tipping.
“I called my sister about it, and she was calling me an a**hole for not giving Ann a tip.”
“Even after I explained why she said, ‘Grow up, this happens all the time. When she finds out, she’ll remember it the next time she does your hair. You should ALWAYS tip no matter what!'”
“I feel bad, but I really think it’s stupid that she left kind of abruptly despite specifically requesting her?”
“I think she was still in the salon, so I don’t think it was an emergency, but I don’t know if I overreacted.”
“Also, I got in touch with Jane on Facebook and gave her a 25% tip through the Messenger app.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said Ann didn’t need to receive a tip for a service she didn’t complete.
“Ann didn’t do anything to earn a tip.”
“She didn’t perform your scheduled service and passed you off to another stylist.”
“You’ll have to decide if you want to continue using Ann or search for someone else.”
“Good Luck.” – QuinGood
“NTA and I have no idea what your sister is talking about with ‘happens all the time.’ I’ve never once had a stylist sub out mid-service.” – IWantToBeYourGirl
“This is really disrespectful to any client, but she’s a friend of your sister!”
“That respect works both ways, but at the end of the day, you’re the one paying for the service. Your sister should be calling her to say ‘Why are you treating my twin this way?!’”
“Tracking her down to tip her would be super weird.” – Original-Winter9334
“NTA for not tipping Ann. I would hope she wouldn’t expect a tip as she didn’t even do half the service.”
“Definitely reach out and see if you can get Jane’s cash app or whatever cause not tipping at all is completely wrong.”
“If this is an issue for Ann, maybe Jane is your new stylist?” – darthnesss
“NTA for not tipping Ann. So she tells you mid-haircut that you’re being switched out? Unless it was an emergency Ann could not predict, she should have told you at the start of the appointment.”
“I probably would have refused to pay and I would find a new stylist (maybe even Jane if she did a good job … and good on you for reaching out to make up for not tipping her).”
“Ann may be good but there’s nothing stopping her from doing this again. You didn’t even have the option to reschedule because then you would be walking out mid-haircut. That’s extremely sketchy.”
“Ann deliberately put you in the position of choosing between having someone else finish your hair or walking out with half-done hair.”
“That is not acceptable. That’s quite manipulative actually.” – Inevitable-Video-329
“Your sister said, ‘Grow up, this happens all the time and when she finds out she’ll remember it the next time she does your hair. You should ALWAYS tip no matter what!'”
“If you ever allow Ann to do your hair again, then more fool you. Book with Jane next time.”
“If Ann says anything, ask to see a manager, and tell them what happened. If Ann tries to hijack the booking, ask to see a manager, tell them what Ann is doing, and then walk out.”
“NTA.” – Aggressive-Fudge5759
Others were concerned that the OP also didn’t tip Jane, though that was later remedied.
“Your sister is full of bulls**t. I’ve been getting my hair done for over 40 years, in different salons, states, and even countries, and I’ve never had this happen. Ever.”
“I even worked in a salon for about a year. Never happened. It’s very unprofessional.”
“That being said, you definitely should have tipped Jane. You still should. I wouldn’t use Ann again.”
“YTA only for not tipping Jane.”
“EDIT: now NTA, as OP tipped Jane.” – AggitatedJacket9627
“NTA. Ann was completely in the wrong. No tip for Ann. Jane deserves a tip, make sure she gets one. Never use Ann’s services again.” – kn0tkn0wn
“NTA (changed from ESH since OP is reaching out to Jane).”
“This was very unprofessional. I’m picky about who cuts my hair and would not be happy if this happened.”
“At the same time, if you were happy with the outcome of your hair, why wouldn’t you give Jane a cash tip?”
“It’s one thing if you were unhappy with the outcome, but you were not. You also brought up the idea of a cash tip, so you must have had access to cash.”
“Hopefully, you don’t plan on going to that salon anymore. Non-tippers are a**holes most of the time, and this is no exception.” – brutallyhonestwench
“It sounds like the OP didn’t have a way to tip originally, and they’ve now tipped.”
“But I would switch stylists since Ann is highly unprofessional and apparently Jane did a good job.”
“I would also contact the business owner because doing this (a mid-session switch) reflects badly on the business.” – asecretnarwhal
“NTA for not tipping your regular stylist. Definitely TA for not tipping Jane.”
“Do hairstylists give return appointments to people who don’t tip?” – Eastern_Amphibian385
“Ann left you vulnerable & was unprofessional in her approach. It all worked out though; you have a new stylist! Since you were able to tip Jane for providing great service, NTA.” – charlotta98
“NTA. I stick long term with a stylist, my first. She did my first ever haircut at age 2 and I saw her till I was almost 30, even traveling back to my hometown for her.”
“When she retired I had 2 haircuts by other people before I found my current stylist who I have been with for over 10 years. In all that time I have NEVER had a stylist walk out during my appointment.”
“Your sister is WRONG. That is not normal and you should not have tipped Ann at all. That is completely unprofessional behavior.”
“Good for you for going back to tip Jane. I think it is time to find a new stylist.” – DanyeIN
The subReddit was puzzled by Ann’s behavior and leaving mid-appointment, while also not appearing to be in an emergency or leaving the salon.
Her expectation of being tipped despite her lack of work was even more puzzling still.
They were thankful, however, that the OP later followed up with Jane and tipped her for her services, especially since she did good work, according to the OP.
Quality work and a good relationship are hard to come by in the beauty industry, so it was important for the OP to not take advantage of Jane’s skills, even though it seemed Ann had taken advantage of the OP’s history as a client.