Sunday, April 19, 2009


There is a certain level of discomfort when it comes to tipping waiters, service people, etc. Personally, I have always had a hard time tipping hairdressers, manicurists and other females working at ladies' salons in Kuwait.

The thing is, with waiters, you can simply leave the money on the table and go. With women at the salon, however, you have to fold your tip and carefully slide it into the woman's pocket before quickly prancing out. I don't know if any other women experience this but I become strangely giddy with shyness whenever I'm in this situation. Maybe it's because I have come to know more personal details about the women who do my hair and more. We sometimes chat, laugh and talk about miscellaneous and semi-personal issues but in the end, I leave them with a sincere thank you and a little bit of cash.

I wish they would just grab the money out of my hand. But no. They stand there, pretending to be oblivious to the up-and-coming tip. You have to go to the woman herself and do a subtle lunge before you slip the cash in her pocket which is more than often flattened out on her full bosom or placed on the side, near her lower torso in the midst of hair clips and bristly, blow drying brushes.

I wish every salon's uniform has a large tip pocket on the upper sleeve. That way, you can avoid the tipping dance, unnecessary contact with bosoms and anything near the lower hip region and the high possibility of the cash falling out.

I thought about this during the weekend. I did my hair and participated in the tipping dance and mind you, I innately avoided eye contact during the process before I scampered out of there thinking, "Does anyone else go through this?"

Dance/Electro MP3's...

Flayer - Wanna Get Back Your Love

Metric - Help! Im Alive! (The Twelves Remix)

Grand Popo Football Club - Les Hommes C'est Pas Des Mecs

Chab - Lover (Satoshi Tomiie 3D Remix)

at 8:30 AM


  1. Blogger 1001 Nights posted at 9:53 AM  
    I know what you mean and it is a little bit awkward. But you know if you just call her name while she's doing someone's hair so that she can turn and you can put the tip in her pocket then other people will see that you're giving her a tip and they'd feel compelled to do so as well so it's to her benefit.

    I'm totally against the idea of the tip jar in the case of a hair salon. There is a huge difference between the performance and attitudes of the different people there so I prefer my tip to go to the person who I choose rather than have it shared amongst them. Also it gives them more incentive to cater to you when their tip is their's alone I think.
  2. Anonymous Anonymous posted at 11:07 AM  
    Fee here!
    Ive been going to the same saloon for years, and i've pretty much gotten use to it!
    Whats worse is when you don't know whether the person is qualified for a tip or not! And i usually find myself saying:
    "Ehh, does he/she take tips?!...l'a Dalya chinna fashala.." :P
  3. Blogger forzaq8 posted at 12:07 PM  
    In the USA they have Tip jar's

    of course it has a low change of working in kuwait because everyone hate every co-worker
  4. Anonymous Daddy's Girl posted at 1:36 PM  

    my problem exactly!!!!

    if for example, i want to tip the lady who washed my hair, and the lady who blew dry it or cut it, i want to do it fast, i look around o mako lady washing girl,,,

    then if i have the nerve to track her down, wain adawer li 2 hours for a proper place to place the cash?!?!?!??!?!

    The one good thing i like about the cutting edge is that they have little boxes each with the hairdresser's name on it if u want to tip them...

    o for somereason, whenever i tip, even if it is a good big hefty tip, i find a look of shock in their eyes!!! As if im insulting them or somehting?! Do u get that feeling or it is just my imagination?!!!!!!!
  5. Anonymous apple.pie posted at 5:20 PM  
    I agree with Daddy's girl, the Cutting Edge are awesome because they have that box, which totally save the customer and the hairdresser the hassle of the tipping issue..

    In the states, like the cutting Edge, a few places I've been to had little tiny envelopes in which you can leave the tip, with the person's name at the cashier and voila! problem solved! :D
  6. Blogger Erzulie posted at 11:03 PM  
    1001: i can so relate to the last bit. the thing is, i had one experience where i left the tip at the counter and i knew later on that it didn't get to the person who did my hair. it's more personable to slip it into their pocket, i just hope it gets less awkward!

    fee! well, i always give a tip, whether it be a 5 or 45 minute job. you'd be surprised at how much a KD or more can better a person's life, imagine getting that multiplied during the day. in the end, i think they deserve it (with the exception of those who do a HORRIFIC job, think rainbow eyebrows or something) because they're up on their feet since the morning time. what a grueling job :/

    forza: i remember tip jars but i think they won't work well in salons. i've only seen them in coffee shops in the US

    daddy's girl: i've never been to cutting edge, although i've heard a lot of good things about them. i just go to my district's salon, mostly because it's close by (read: if i go anywhere else, i'd probably show up a bit late, that's how it goes with me and salons, i'm last minute when it comes to that). and agreed on the look! well, i don't think it's a shocked glance or something, just a bit too alert, it's as if they were taken off-guard or something which is pretty funny because they know the tip's a'comin! :P~

    apple pie: oh i love the envelope thing! but i like the boxes more, because no paper is wasted that way :)
  7. Blogger bored posted at 1:47 AM  
    lol thakarteeni awal ma ri7t amreeka, kan 3omri 17, ri7t el grocery store o after i paid i presented the bag lady with a single dollar, she looked at me, looked at the dollar and say "no thanx" mo bs enga9 wayhee...knt mit3awid 3ala hnee a36eehom ni9 or denar o they smile ;p bs 9ij there should b a handbook or something abt tipping 101
  8. Blogger New Bride posted at 11:00 PM  
    waaay i am having the same problem !! walah waayed atwaahaag i don`t know what to do and how much shall i gave them
  9. Blogger Web Weaver posted at 2:30 PM  
    I know what you're talking about. Sometimes you're put in awkward situations. I was thinking about it just the other day. The hairdresser I go to is huge with lots of girls working there. There is the hair wash girl. There is the one who assists the hairdresser; she prepares you by drying your hair and semi brushing it until the actual hairdresser comes to you. Then there is a manicurist and a pedicurist, two different levels, and the girl who does the eyebrows, and many others. Its like a pyramid, and you wonder how many of them you'll tip by the end of their services!
    But then, there is the girl at the door, the concierge or whatever her job description name is, when I was paying, she was smiling at me expectantly, and I was terrified whether I tip her or not? If I did, will I offend her and if I didn't will she see to my needs the next time? I ended not tipping her and the next time I was there, she gave that long faced look!
    Then again, I used to go to this hairdresser and my mother and sisters go to it too. My mother is a huge tipper! It makes it awkward for me, when I tip the girls there because it is nothing to what my mother tips them, and they give you this strange look "Is that all you got?", and one of my sisters she becomes a best friend with the working girls there, buying them lunch and sweets. I hate sounding snobbish, but you can't befriend certain people, they expect more from you, and you lose your standing in their eyes. "Ah she is nice, she wouldn't mind if we took this client before her!" that's how they would think, and that's what happened to my sister on several occasions. I stopped going to that Salon all together, and stopped telling my mother and sisters which hairdresser I go to now.
    However now, what is the appropriate tip? And how do you do it?
  10. Blogger Erzulie posted at 9:22 AM  
    new bride: wagt il 3eed a36eehom fog il dinar bes bel ayam il 3adeeya (blow dry, threading) a36ee il kil dinar. il moshkila mara 3a6ait wa7da khamsa lana il mara ilee fatat ma kan 3indee fakah. lama radaitlaha sawatlee blow dry mara thanya oo 3a6ait'ha dinar (oo hatha il standard il 9ara7a! ag9aha 20 minutes!) chan taglob wayeha. gelt lay7ooshik khal a3awidhom 3ala il deenar ilee mayzeed wala yangi9!

    web weaver: see, i don't do the befriending thing. i don't know, some people are VERY friendly with the women who work at the salon. i am too, but there are only a few (three actually) that i actually greet (kiss) when i meet, mostly because i have been going to them for about 5 years (accumulated). but i just hate the idea of tipping someone who i am "supposedly" friends with. it just feels weird. you're right, there is a fine line between that relationship. and i wouldn't go overboard with the tipping. the only people i give more than 1 KD to is my hair color lady (my goddess!), sometimes my manicurist and another woman but it's because their actual work is good and meticulous. other than that, i'm sticking to 1 dinar for standard jobs. yeah, getting chummy with some of those women can backfire on you. i wouldn't go down that road.

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