Must-Know Etiquette Rules for At-Home Beauty Services

Red nail polish

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It's hard to beat the convenience and luxury of getting a beauty treatment in your own home. Rather than fighting traffic and rushing from work to the salon and back, a house call only requires opening your front door and enjoying the experience. Bliss!

But having beauty work done where you live comes with its own set of parameters. After all, your place likely isn't a salon. What do you need to do to prepare? Do you tip like you normally would? If you've ever wondered about house call protocol, read on for answers from the experts.


When someone is coming to your house for an appointment the first time, give them all the details about parking and access. This information may seem obvious but providing it upfront can prevent major time delays.

Parking Considerations: Where should the stylist park when they arrive? Is street parking available, or are permits or meters involved? Should you warn them about that one-way street that always gets backed up around rush hour? 

Building Access: Do you live in a controlled-access building? Will you need to call down to let the front desk know someone will be coming? One freelance spray tan technician we spoke to waited in the lobby of a client's building for 15 minutes because they had forgotten to give the front desk permission to send her up.

Communicate with the person coming over to ensure that they make it to your front door without problems. The point of the house call is the convenience, after all. 


Stylists who make house calls know and understand that they're going to the place you live, and don't expect it to be salon-ready or perfect. In other words, you don't need things to be spotless.

That said, it's nice to have the place somewhat organized so the stylist doesn't feel uncomfortable. A small surface or cleared area where they can place their products and tools to set up and get to work is ideal. 

“Clients worry about how clean their kitchen is, and it's really more about what stylists need to perform their job,” says Amy D'Agostino, founder of Bella On Demand, a beauty service app that connects customers to a network of hair and makeup stylists and manicurists. “One thing we tell clients beforehand is to make sure they have an outlet available, for a blow-dryer and other tools." 

Other service-related preparation that is expected etiquette in the beauty house call field:

  • If you're getting a haircut or blowout, hair should be washed and wet when the stylist arrives. 
  • If you’re getting your makeup, eyelash extensions, or any waxing or threading done, have a clean, makeup-free face. 
  • If you're getting hair colored, hair should be dry when the stylist arrives. 

Pets & Kids

When it comes to performing beauty services in the home, pets and children can be distracting. “To make the job easier for me and more comfortable for the client, I always suggest that if they have kids, put a movie on for them with snacks, and that way they are occupied,” says Arianna Montazem, a licensed cosmetologist and eyelash extension specialist who makes house calls. “The same goes for any pets: Give them a treat, have them outside if you have a yard, or in a different room. When your licensed professional is working with sharp objects and chemicals, it is best to have little to no distractions!"


Though many beauty service house call providers work completely for themselves, so there’s no salon overhead, keep in mind that they also pay for their own tools and products, instead of having them provided by a salon. In addition, they’re using up gas and mileage to come to your place. Montazem says that the majority of her clients tip, and though it is up to the client, the gesture is always appreciated. 

For some on-demand beauty service apps, tipping might already factor into the price of the service, as is the case with Bella On Demand. According to D'Agostino, tipping is part of the service because "it takes away having to rush across town, and adds getting to have the excitement of somebody just come to your door." Like the Uber model, this eliminates any awkward what-to-tip indecision, so you can focus on how much you love your blowout.

Next up: Are you tipping your hair stylist enough?

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