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about mates rates/freebies from friends?

(15 Posts)
Songofsixpence Fri 08-Apr-16 12:45:16

A close friend has recently opened her own hairdressing salon.

She's done my hair twice now - she's a bloody good hairdresser and I wanted to support my friend, but she won't let me pay.

The first time I'd helped her out painting, bit of baby sitting, etc, while she was setting up so she said it was to say thank you. That was fine.

I went again yesterday to sort my roots out and have a trim but she still insisted on doing it for nothing. I have highlighted, dyed hair so we're not talking about a quick 5 minute trim

I feel really awkward, like I'm taking advantage and I wish she'd at least let me pay for the hair dye but she won't - I sneaked £20 in her tip jar in the end

DH thinks I'm being daft, and she herself said I do her plenty of favours and not to worry about it, but this is her business. While I'm in there she's turning away paying customers, and incurring costs for the stuff she's using on my hair, so I just feel really guilty about accepting the freebie.

AIBU? I don't want to take the piss.

Half of me wants to go elsewhere but I that would just offend her

44PumpLane Fri 08-Apr-16 13:02:32


I think that your concern shows you're truly a great friend too.

First time freebie totally justified given the help you've given her. Second time freebie, maybe she just feels like it's something she can do to show you're appreciated which I think is lovely. However I think you're right that you want to pay her for her time and material costs going forward. You never want it to get to that awkward stage where she feels she's set a president and now can't ask you and you feel like you're always offering and she's always saying no so you both start to feel awkward.

Could you approach her and just let her know you're really touched by her generosity so far, but as you are pleased with her service and want to keep using her that you wouldn't feel right if you weren't paying and you don't want it to be awkward. Maybe let her know that on occasion if she wants to "test out new products" or something you would happily accept the odd freebie but that you'd rather work on the basis of paying for her services smile

Songofsixpence Fri 08-Apr-16 13:23:44


I will definately talk to her again, she wasn't having any of it last night and it made me stall booking my next appointment as I just don't want to take advantage.

I want to keep using her, I want to support her business and she's a fab hairdresser but I don't think I can if she won't accept some payment

steppedonlego Fri 08-Apr-16 13:56:28

I wouldn't worry too much, I'm one of those people who class my close friends (at least those close enough to help me paint and decorate) as family and will help them out whenever I can without dreaming of asking for any money, and your friend sounds the same.

I also have a friend that makes my daughters birthday cakes each year. I always offer to pay, but she's always outright refused. This year for the first time she accepted a small amount (nowhere near what I'd pay if I was paying a stranger) and she still wrung her hands about it.

I think keep using her, but make sure every time you do so under the assumption that you'll be paying, and make sure you offer each and every time.

Don't be ashamed of people doing nice things for you, but as its regular and her profession, it's important that she doesn't feel like she HAS to.

honeylulu Fri 08-Apr-16 14:52:34

She sounds lovely OP and so do you! I guess just keep offering (and bunging a note in the tip jar if she refuses. )

CaptainCrunch Fri 08-Apr-16 14:58:54

You both sound like really decent people. One of my best friends is our hairdresser and we had this nonsense to begin with until I said I would go elsewhere if she didn't let me pay my way, it's all good now.

Songofsixpence Fri 08-Apr-16 15:25:17


I'll have to threaten to go elsewhere if she won't at least compromise with me.

Her argument is that I do her enough favours. My hair should cost £60-80ish, so me picking her kids up from school (while I'm there picking up mine) and bunging them dinner because she's got caught up at work once a week or so doesn't feel fair. It's not an equal exchange of favours so I feel like I'm taking advantage

My DD1 wants Balayage in the summer holidays and friend has already offered to do it for free, but I know it's quite a long and expensive job so it's really awkward and I've said no

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Fri 08-Apr-16 15:28:04

Pay her in favours if you can't give her money.

Bit like when people paid Atticus with sack of spuds and stuff.

Blu Fri 08-Apr-16 15:33:45

Be her good publicity!
Tell people who does your hair, recommend her, put it on FB.

New businesses need supporters.

LurkingHusband Fri 08-Apr-16 15:35:31

Could you not pay for it, and ask that the money goes towards helping someone else ? (A bit like the Glasgow cafe where you can buy meals for the homeless)

whatsbehindthegreendoor Fri 08-Apr-16 15:59:29

Maybe you could offer to at least to pay for the product used next time - say that while you appreciate her generosity, you wouldn't feel comfortable not paying for at least the hair colour.
Or, failing that, maybe ask if you could at least leave a fiver for the junior who helps her - I used to be a hairdresser and when I was a junior, I really appreciated when people left a tip just for me (rather than in the general tip jar if you see what I mean).
You sound like a great friend - too many people think that mates should do things for free.

Capricorn76 Fri 08-Apr-16 16:11:13

You're a lovely friend but be warned I have a friend who is a proper martyr. She'll constantly offer you favours, free stuff, lifts, pick up tab at dinner etc but then complains that she does everything for everyone and nobody does anything for her and can get a bit bitter about it. She doesn't mean to do it but feels she needs to buy friends and then gets upset that you aren't doing the same.

I totally avoid accepting anything from her to avoid her bitching about me taking advantage further down the line to someone else. I'm not the only one who avoids her favours. I'm not saying your mate is like this but there are people who give favours as they are insecure or in order to prove that they're the better friend.

BackforGood Fri 08-Apr-16 16:12:27

If you are collecting her dc from school and giving them dinner though, that is as valuable to her as her doing your hair, even if not quite equal money.

At first I was going to say how you should insist, but, even in monetary terms, 2 (?) dc for 2 - 3 hours after school + food EVERY week would start to add up and at least be equal (if not cost more than) her doing your hair once every 8 weeks or so.

squashtastic Fri 08-Apr-16 16:15:02

YABU, generally I'd agree but it seems like you help her out a lot and she wants to pay you back. If you feel really bad about it, just keep sticking the money in the tip jar.

OneFlewOverTheDodosNest Fri 08-Apr-16 16:36:16

Honestly, I think you need to be a bit harsh and tell her that you will go somewhere else if she doesn't let you pay. Maybe you can come to a compromise of covering the costs and half the time so you're still getting a good deal but otherwise it's absurd - being self employed is financially precarious, particularly in the first few years. She needs to treat it like the business it is not like a hobby and have faith that she's good enough that you want to pay her!

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