What should I tip my henna artist?

People often ask me what they should tip their henna artist, and it usually feels a bit awkward to answer that question, as they are often basically asking me what I would like to be tipped… So I figure I will write up some guidelines here so that if anyone happens to do an internet search for such a question, they’ll get a reasonable answer 🙂

First off, a henna artist should be tipped as you would tip your hairdresser or waitress. So basically, 20% is the norm for showing appreciation of great service, and 15% is considered to be the baseline for good service.

What about a situation where the henna artist is working specifically for tips?

In this case, the artist probably is doing the event specifically to make henna accessible to anyone who would like it. So you should tip whatever you feel that your henna was worth, keeping in mind that the absolute minimum most artists would charge for a very simple design (like one flower or a 1″x1″ peace sign) is $5. Basically henna done solely for tips is a pay-what-you-can arrangement. Generous people who get something equivalent to a full hand design tend to tip about $20.

There are also many cases where the artist is being compensated by the establishment where they are doing henna in some small way, for example, enough gift certificates for a dinner for two at that restaurant. This compensation typically calls very far short of what the artist would normally charge for their services, and they are depending on the tips to make up the difference.

So in general… if you appreciate your henna artist, be sure to show that appreciation.