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Do You Tip on Laser Hair Removal?

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Dr. Hardik Soni

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Laser hair removal has become one of the most popular cosmetic treatments in recent years. With the promise of silky smooth skin and permanent hair reduction, it’s no wonder more and more people are getting laser hair removal instead of shaving or waxing.

But when it comes time to pay for your laser hair removal session, should you be tipping your technician? Tipping etiquette, especially in the beauty industry, can definitely be confusing. Is laser hair removal considered a medical procedure or a standard beauty service? Should the same tipping rules apply?

In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about tipping etiquette for laser hair removal. You’ll learn about the laser hair removal process itself, standard tipping practices in salons, and factors to consider when deciding on an appropriate tip. Let’s delve in!

Understanding Laser Hair Removal

First, let’s talk about what exactly happens during a laser hair removal treatment.

Laser hair removal uses concentrated beams of light to target and damage the hair follicle. The laser energy gets absorbed by the pigment in the hair and heats up, effectively destroying the follicle so hair can no longer grow.

Laser hair removal works best on dark, coarse hair. The melanin in darker hair absorbs the laser energy better. For lighter hair colors like blonde or red, the laser may not be able to target the follicle effectively.

The benefits of laser hair removal include getting rid of unwanted hair on large areas like the legs, arms, and bikini area. It’s more permanent than shaving or waxing, saving you time and hassle in the long run. Laser treatments can also help prevent ingrown hairs which result from shaving.

You’ll start seeing hair reduction after the first couple of sessions, but it usually takes about 6-8 sessions to see the full results. How long the results last depends on your hair type but you can expect several months to even years of hair-free smooth skin between treatments.

Tipping Etiquette in the Beauty Industry

laser hair removal treatment

Now that you understand the laser hair removal process, let’s talk about tipping practices. Tipping is customary for many beauty services to show your appreciation for excellent service. Standard tips at hair salons typically range from 15-20% of the total cost of your service.

For a regular beauty appointment like a haircut or color, tipping your stylist afterwards is common practice. The same goes for manicures, pedicures, facials, and massages—tipping your service provider after the appointment is over is considered basic etiquette.

However, the tipping norm can vary depending on the type of beauty treatment. Waxing services, chemical peels, and laser treatments don’t always follow the standard percent tipping rules.

Are You Supposed To Tip For Laser Hair Removal?

What’s the rule of thumb when it comes to tipping for laser hair removal specifically? To determine appropriate tipping etiquette, you first need to understand the role of the laser technician.

Laser technicians complete hundreds of hours of specialized training to get certified. They aren’t the same as your casual hair or nail stylists. Laser hair removal is also more of a medical procedure rather than a simple beauty treatment.

For these reasons, many laser centers don’t expect or encourage tipping. The cost of laser hair removal packages often reflects the time and training required to perform treatments safely. Still, you may want to tip for exceptional service if you’re very satisfied. 10-15% is an appropriate tip amount in those cases.

The tipping etiquette can also vary based on whether you’re getting laser hair removal from a plastic surgeon’s office, med spa, or traditional spa. Policies on tipping may differ.

Factors to Consider When Tipping

If you do plan on tipping after your laser hair removal session, here are some factors to keep in mind when deciding on an appropriate amount:

The total cost of the packageFor expensive treatments like lasers, 10% is often considered a nice gesture. You likely don’t need to tip 20% like you would for a basic haircut.
When you tipMost laser centers prefer tips to be given at the end rather than beginning of a treatment package. You’ll be able to better assess the technician’s skills and your satisfaction.
The technician’s expertiseDid they explain the process thoroughly? Were they able to work quickly while keeping you comfortable? Was the treatment effective? Consider their level of skill and care.
Any additional chargesIf you’re charged extra for treating a larger area, you may want to factor that cost into the tip amount.

Special Considerations

While laser centers don’t always expect tips, standard tipping etiquette still applies for services like:

  • Color treatments. Tipping 15-20% for hair coloring or highlights is customary.
  • Salon assistants. If an assistant shampoos your hair, a couple dollars tip is a nice gesture.
  • Bikini waxes. Waxing service tips generally range from 15-20% as well.

You should also keep in mind who is performing the treatment. Is it a registered nurse? An experienced esthetician? A board-certified cosmetic dermatologist? Their level of qualifications can play a role in tipping decisions.

If you ever have any irritation, burning, or undesirable results from a treatment, tipping is at your discretion. You likely won’t be inclined to tip for poor service or an uncomfortable experience.

Medical Procedures vs. Cosmetic Treatments

There are also cases where tipping is not expected or accepted. With medical procedures like mole removal or chemical peels performed by plastic surgeons, tipping is usually prohibited. These clinical treatments don’t involve the same service aspects as cosmetic laser procedures.

For injectables like Botox or dermal fillers, tipping a nurse or physician assistant in a medical setting is uncommon. But in a spa environment, you can tip up to 20% if you feel the staff went above and beyond.


doctors and staff

To sum up, tipping etiquette really depends on the specific beauty treatment and service provider. There are no hard rules. While laser hair removal centers may not expect tips, it’s a thoughtful way to show your appreciation for exceptional service. The best approach is to check the tipping policy at your specific laser clinic. 

Now that you know the facts on laser hair removal tipping, you can have a smooth, hair-free experience without any tipping anxiety. 

Experience the Ethos Spa Difference

At Ethos Aesthetics + Wellness, our expert estheticians provide premier laser hair removal services in a comfortable, welcoming environment. We never expect tips, but are always appreciative of happy clients who wish to show their gratitude.

To experience our 5-star laser hair removal treatments for yourself, schedule a free consultation today. Our knowledgeable staff will walk you through the process so you can achieve smooth, hair-free skin with confidence. 

Dr. Hardik Soni

MD, Founder/Lead Physician

About Dr. Hardik Soni

Dr. Hardik Soni is the founder and Medical Director of Ethos Aesthetics + Wellness. His primary focus is on minimally invasive and non-invasive cosmetic procedures including botulinum injection (Botox and Dysport), dermal fillers (Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse), laser hair removal, chemical peels, and laser skin rejuvenation. Dr. Soni believes in a more conservative approach and his first goal is education. Clients are able to determine the ideal treatments after discussion with Dr. Soni regarding the expected outcomes, cost, as well as risks.

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