From the diary of a hairstylist: by Crystal Casey

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Currently showing posts tagged balayage

  • The price we pay.

    What you are about to read touches a very sensitive subject, a subject that 80% of couples fight ( & ultimately get divorced) over, a subject that people avoid & most times are in denial about. 

    Money.

    As a hairdresser one of the first questions I get asked is "How much will this cost?" if they don't ask it, then I do. The reason I ask "Whats your budget for this?" is not so I can take all that they have, its so I can work within the budget I am given. If my guest is showing me pictures of $250 hair & their budget is $175 then its my job to say "I'm sorry but for your budget, Im afraid thats not possible, instead we can do this or this." In some cases my guest will allow themselves a larger budget & sometimes we reach a compromise. 

    I know I am not a cheap stylist. I have done my research, I know what surrounding salons charge for similar services. When I first opened my salon I put myself at the lower end of the scale, but didn't cut myself short. As I furthered my education, grew my salon & became more "in demand" my prices went up. 

    But, what I really want to touch on today is for clients. 

    Let's start with price quotes. I really struggled with this when I first opened but, I have it down to fine science now. Pricing depends on many things, those things are:

    1. Length of hair & thickness.
    2. Previous services & your goal color.
    3. Treatments ( no GOOD stylist is going to let you leave with brittle hair).
    4. Amount of product used. 
    5. How long your appointment is going to take, time is money. 
    6. Technique used to achieve goal results.
    7. Is this considered a color correction?

    Giving price quotes via message or email is not my favorite thing to do. However, I will do it. I just make sure the quote covers lowest to highest & everything in between. 

    Next up, Color Corrections. Color corrections for me have a base price of $200 & go up from there. Usually its $100 an hour after the first hour, however...every circumstance is different. Hair is completely unpredictable things can go amazing & your black box hair color can lift to level 9 yellow no problem or I can color remove you twice & your hair reverts back to black....(that has happened to me it turned into a 12 hour correction)

    Specialty Colors: Ombre, Balayage, color melts, fashion color....pretty much everything that anyone ask for anymore is a specialty color. These are colors & techniques that need tremendous extended education. 

    Education is not cheap. My first year in business I took lots of independent classes & attended some hair shows where I was almost on education overload. I spent $5,000 in 8 months doing all of this. In the end it was totally worth it. I invested in myself & my profession & my clients could see the difference. I spent countless hours on periscope watching other stylist, learning from them, absorbing all the free education that was at my fingertips. 

    There will always be those people who respond with, "Wow, you're too expensive!"  Or "That's way too much, I can get a cut & color on my long, thick hair for $75!" (of course in a case like this I want to ask why they are looking for a different hairdresser then... haha) but, my response is usually "Good hair isn't cheap & cheap hair isn't good." 

    I don't really feel like I should ever have to explain WHY my prices are what they are but, I do hope this small break down will help some of your understand. 

    My salon expenses are about $2,231 a month. This includes my rent, my product, my phone, advertising cost (website, Facebook etc) this doesn't even begin to touch on the countless free photoshoots or color models I do to have material to advertise with or to get my name out there. 

    My personal expenses are about $2,863 a month, this includes my car, insurance, groceries, gym, cable, electric, rent, student loans etc. 

    Neither one of these totals reflects health inspections, license renewals, what I pay in taxes, new tools & equipment or holidays. 

    They also do not reflect the travel I do to educate, or the travel I do to go to hair shows/classes to learn.  new trends. These are bare minimum totals. 

    So my bare minimum monthly totals are around $5,094 give or take the time of year or any travel. 

    My tools range from $80- $1,500.

    Products, I spend about $350-$400 a month.

    When I expanded my salon it cost about $4,500

    Owning a business or even renting a booth is not cheap.Those stylist who are commission employees, they more than likely have money deducted for product & they do have to buy their own tools. 

    Please remember this the next time you want to tell me or another stylist that we are "too expensive" we have bills to pay just like you. This is our job, our career....this isn't a hobby & we aren't playing dress up just because we like pretty colors. Being a hairdresser is incredibly complex, its chemistry, its electricity, its geometry, its public speaking & its art. 

    Ps- for those of you worried about my spelling & grammar...I'm not. If you could read & understand this post, I did my job :)

  • Blonde instant gratification

    Ok, so tonights blog is kind of two topics rolled into one. 

    First lets start with instant gratification. When did our generation become so impatient? We'd rather have instant gratification rather than quality. If it's quality you want...why not wait for it?? If someone is booked weeks even months in advance, wether it be a a tattoo artist,make up artist, hairstylist or nail tech. That means they are GOOD & they are booked up for a reason & you obviously wanted to book with them for that same reason. So don't be impatient & box color your hair or go to someone else with less talent & end up with a horrible tattoo, a nail fungus or make up 3 shades darker than your face to quench your instant gratification. Just wait.

    With that being said-Lets talk about being blonde

    If you have box colored your hair & then decide you want be blonde (or have a super blonde ombre) Then I would hope that you decide to take the professional route and see a stylist for this, for the sake of your hairs integrity. Even if you get your hair professional done but have been dark for an extended period of time, going from dark to blonde is defintely something that should be done by a master colorist or a stylist who specailizes in color & blonding. DO.YOUR.RESEARCH. If your natural color is dark, then yes there will be some upkeep. Every 4-6 weeks your roots will need to be touched up & after extensive lightening to your hair, you may have to lose some legenth. So a haircut during each step of your lightening journey is reccommended to keep from having to cut of inches upon inches once its all done.

    OMBRE is defintely a skilled color technique. Again, DO.YOUR.RESEARCH. Look online, talk to friends, read reviews & check out portfolios. Once you find someone you like, if you have questions....ASK! If they arent available within a week of your final decision on wanting blonde ombre, just wait. Ask to be put on their waiting list in case someone cancels an appointment & let them know your schedule. I've had too many clients come to me with a bad ombre job just bc they wanted it when they wanted it. 

    The above also applies to Balayage. Balayage is the french word for "hand painting". Balayage hilights are also a specality technique & all of the above mentioned applies to this skill. 

    Last but not least- YOU WILL NOT BE BLONDE FROM DARK OVER NIGHT. It is not realistic to expect to have platinum blonde hair in your first appointment after having black box color on your hair. Or any box color on your hair for that matter. Becoming blonde is a process, your hair must go through many stages of lift before you can get to your desired color. Also, though it is our job to get your there, it is also our job to keep the health of your hair in tact & any good stylist will tell you during consultation that there are no promises made & that it will be a process. If they dont, then they are completely unrealistic as you or inexperienced & you should RUN. Ombre is no exception to this rule, actually when it comes to ombre, I as a stylist, am more concerned with the health of the hair since most of the lightening will be taking place on the ends of the hair. The most processed & oldest parts of your hair. In most cases these ends are already damaged by heat & previous color. 

    So please keep all of this in mind when making decisons on blonding your hair. Be realistic & be patient. For yourself, for your stylist, for your wallet & most of all for your hair. 

    This is Erin, I have been doing her hair for a year and a half. Erin sets up her appointments like clock work & uses professional, salon quality products on her hair. This is the perfect example of what Balayage Ombre can look like when done properly on top of professional color. 

    This is Nicole. When she came to me she told me she wanted to be "Gwen Stefani" blonde. She said she understood that she would have to cut most of her hair of because there was previous box color on her ends. We cut her into a bob, and this is her hair after he second process of lightening. 

    This is Mary & this has been our journey so far. When her stylist moved away mary came to me we took her from red to dark, dark brown. Then from dark brown to blonde. This is before, 1st appointment & 2nd appointment. By the end of her next appointment she should be fully blonde. 

    Can you believe these are the same person?? Yep ombre over box black hair color and by the second process we had her to a beautiful honey blonde.