Minimize tipping-induced stress and calculate it ahead of time. The standard is 15 to 20 percent for massage therapists, mani-pedi techs, aestheticians, stylists, and colorists, $5 to $10 for the assistant who does your blowdry, a few bucks for the shampoo person (if it's someone separate), and $1 to $2 for the coat check. "And yes, it's OK not to tip the salon or spa owner," explains Rodney Cutler, owner of Cutler salons in New York City and Miami.
An exception to the tipping standard applies when you're getting a quickie $10 mani. "The average tip for a manicure should be $5, even at your fast, local nail spot," explains Patricia Yankee of Dashing Diva. "For a pedicure, $5 to $10 is standard."
For extra-pricey treatments, Manhattan salon owner John Barrett points out that "as the bill increases over $200, there can be a general decrease in tipping, down to 10 to 15 percent."
If you want to go completely bare down there, say so when making your appointment. "If you book a basic bikini wax when you really want a Brazilian, it can mess up the aesthetician's schedule," explains Lura Jones of the Stark Waxing Studio at Sally Hershberger Face Place in NYC.
No matter how unkempt you feel, don't trim before a wax — the aesthetician will do it if needed, says Jones. For best results, your hair must be one-quarter-inch long, so don't shave the area within three weeks of your appointment.
Don't be shy. "To ensure a fast, thorough treatment, a Brazilian requires full nudity from the waist down," says Cynthia Chua, founder of Strip: Ministry of Waxing salon in Manhattan.