I was wondering if you or any of your followers knew the rules for getting your haircut (or nails done, etc) at a salon?  For years, I paid a friend of the family to cut my hair, when needed, but occasionally I want to go to a salon but I have no idea what the rules are.  

I know you tip, but how much?  I don’t think you’re supposed to tip the owner (one time I went and tried to tip him, and I got the sense that I had done something wrong) but I am not sure.  What is the process for tipping?

Is it rude to not engage is smalltalk with the hairdresser while they are cutting your hair?  Is it okay to stay quiet if they don’t say anything?  What are appropriate topics?  

I’m unsure about a lot about this, and probably have more questions I can’t think of right now.  

realsocialskills answered:

I actually have no idea; it’s been years since I’ve managed to get a haircut.

But I bet some of y’all know. Anyone want to take this one?

emeraldincandescent said:

You tip whoever cuts your hair. Usually, you give the tip at the same time as you pay. Tipping is usually 15-20%, same as standard elsewhere. 

You don’t have to engage in small talk if you don’t want to. If they’re talking, you can just go, “Um-hm,” and “yeah” a lot unless they ask you specific questions. If they don’t say anything, you don’t have to, although if the silence feels awkward and you would like to break it, you can. School, sports, the weather, and other standard small talk topics are safe. Also, hairdressers often like to talk about celebrities, particularly their style, so if you saw a celebrity at an award show that had a haircut/dress/makeup you liked, you could talk about that. Usually, though, the hairdresser will instigate small talk, so if you’re worried about awkward silences, you shouldn’t be.

Also, as a paying customer, you have the right to not engage in small talk or whatever you need to feel comfortable. Especially if you tip well, the hairdresser probably won’t care if you seem “weird” as long as you’re polite and treat them with respect.