From the diary of a hairstylist: by Crystal Casey

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Currently showing posts tagged hamptonroads

  • 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 :)

  • VENDOR PROFESSIONALISM: THE ART OF TAGGING

    I'm gonna be honest, shit is about to get real...if you cant appreciate brutal honesty, now is the time to avert your eyes. 

    Ladies & gentleman, technology is upon us. It is real. It is here & its not going anywhere. 

    Online marketing is the biggest marketing tool out there right now. Social media, SEO, websites, goggle, etc. 

    With that being said, wether it is a styled shoot, a real wedding or a paid gig. Once those images are released of course you want to show off your work. Who doesn't? BUT, it is completely UNACCEPTABLE to NOT tag a vendor because they are "competing business" If thats how you feel you shouldn't be working with them in the first place. Or because you're too lazy, no one is ever looking for that quality. It is completely UNACCEPTABLE to LINK a vendor or just simply type their name out in the comments section of the photo. Vendors who participate & promote you & refer you should never be seen as an after thought in the comments section. EVER. Or left out because you want people to focus on your business & not theirs. They put their time & money into this shoot or job just like you did. When you work a wedding or other event it is a chance to network with other vendors, tagging is a way for you & them to get thier name out there & seen on other businesses pages. Tagging=networking, wether you know it or not. 

    The life of a freelance vendor is not an easy one. It takes YEARS to build a name from scratch.

    If I tag & promote you & you cant or wont do the same for me....then Im sorry, but I cant work with you or promote you/refer you anymore. #sorryimnotsorry 

    Excuses: they are just that. Excuses. "Oh Facebook wouldn't let me tag your business page" So....you just didn't do it at all?? "oh it would only let me tag you from my personal page" Soo, you just tagged my personal page but didn't tell anyone WHY??? So now I am just a random tag on someones wedding photo...for all they know I could be the bride!!"Oh it wouldn't let me tag you from my phone"  Well then maybe you need to have some patience & wait until you get home to an actual computer before you start posting pictures that many other vendors were involved in. Because I'm pretty sure you didn't shoot that picture, cull all the images, edit the photo, make the floral arrangements, do the makeup, do the hair, make the dress, borrow the dress, plan the event, make the jewelry, build the building, set that place setting, make the cake etc. Because if you did...well damn

    So when you post that image (or blog) & tag only the people you know personally & talk about your work. You look like a dick. You just left out like 6 other people who worked their asses off to do their job. If you cant figure out how to tag people, well you better learn. YouTube it. Ask someone. Read a forum. SOMETHING

    The first couple of times its whatever, I'll go in there & tag my business myself, but after time number two....Its plain disrespectful & outright RUDE. Oh, & if you are going to mention someone & you "cant tag them" maybe you should make sure their business name is correct?

    Example: I have been tagged as Crystal Casey of High Voltage Hair. High Voltage. Crystal of High Voltage. WRONG!!

    I am High Voltage Hair by Crystal Casey. THAT is how you tag me on Facebook, that is the name on my business cards & my website. 

    If you don't care enough to actually look at the business card I gave you, or to even make sure you are getting my business name correct, well I guess when I tag you I should half ass your name too? NEGATIVE. I'm not that person, I make sure that I tag every single vendor involved & if something is wrong & I cant tag the person. I double check to see if they even have a Facebook to tag (because who doesn't right?) or I let them know they are untag-able. 

    Your business page has settings.

    Its called tagging/posting ability. Mine is on, if you feel like yours might not be. Check it out. 

    BUT, this doesn't even matter if someone just does not give you credit. 

    Take this image for example: Now, take away the makeup (by Beauty+Baubles: Jenn Brousch) the flowers (by Studio Posy) the hair (by High Voltage Hair by Crystal Casey) the beautiful bridal gown (from Maya Couture) the venue (Monticello Arcade) & Michelle Amarillo's sweet planning skills (from Michelle Amarillo Event Planning) What are you left with???

    THIS is what you're left with...

    You're left with just a normal looking couple & as cute as Trish & Caleb may be...which image do you prefer? The professional image (by Debbie Laughlin Photography) or the one that looks like a random stranger took it on the beach??

    THIS is what a styling team & full vendor list can do for images. So when you post an image from an event or styled shoot etc. that you were involved in, remember YOU & your specialty didn't make that picture all that it is. EVERYONE INVOLVED DID.

    So please, credit everyone, tag everyone. Give credit where credit is due. Don't be an ass hole. Everyone works hard & deserves credit for their work.