As we make our holiday gifting lists and check them twice, we often wonder if our hairstylists should be among the recipients. After all, we tend to spill our hearts and souls out to them, blurring the lines between that of a stylist, therapist, and best friend. "We see our clients every six weeks, and we go through a hell of a lot together," says pro hairstylist Kenna, founder and owner of Kennaland Hair Studios in Brooklyn and London. "We see them go to weddings, funerals, and have these other life experiences while we help them with their hair throughout all of this." Still, similar to the rules of conversation, those that apply to gifting depend on how close the two of you are. Of course, you shouldn't feel obligated to give your hairstylist a gift, but if you have a very friendly relationship and know a lot about them, something extra that isn't overly-expensive is always a nice gesture.
"I'm a whiskey drinker, so I find that a lot of my clients will bring me a bottle of whiskey at Christmas, which is always appreciated, and I've had one stylist give me a hat before since I always wear a hat," he says. "I know gift cards are popular, and we have a few clients in the beauty and fashion industry who might work at Acne or somewhere, and they'll bring in something from the store." But by all means, don't stress the gift. If you and your hairstylist are getting to that point, but aren't quite there yet, even a holiday card with a little extra tip on top of the standard 20- to 25-percent is totally fine. "Honestly, people have so much stress around the holidays, thinking about what to give your hairdresser shouldn't add to it or make things difficult," Kenna adds, laughing. "We aren't expecting anything. What we actually want is to make our clients happy, see them before Christmas, and have a drink with us to be in the spirit, really." We'll raise a glass of cheer to that.