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.
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:
- Length of hair & thickness.
- Previous services & your goal color.
- Treatments ( no GOOD stylist is going to let you leave with brittle hair).
- Amount of product used.
- How long your appointment is going to take, time is money.
- Technique used to achieve goal results.
- 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 :)