Good work isn’t cheap and cheap work isn’t good. When it comes to professional hair color, truer words were never spoken.
No matter how long you have been a colorist, hair color services can be tricky to price out in a way that maximizes profitability. There are a few key factors that figure into pricing your hair color services above and beyond the normal costs of doing business. Let’s explore how the cost of products, value of services, and cost of your training figures into the profitability of your color business.
Haircolor Costs Money
The most concrete thing to cost out when it comes to hair color services is the cost of your hair color. Most stylists start with the cost in color to complete the individual service. This is definitely a key expense to consider, but only accounting for that color usage could be costing you money in the long run.
The color that you are going to use on your current client isn’t the only color you have in stock and it’s not the only color that is costing you money. Stocking a variety of color options is part of the cost of doing business, which means it can be figured into your pricing model.
While it was originally designed for retail inventory, you can use the Speed of Sale formula to help you determined how much of which color you should be stocking. Over time, this should drastically cut down on costly color waste by helping you to identify which shades are most requested by your clientele.
Bottom Line: Figuring in the cost of stocking color into your pricing model can improve profitability by accounting for ALL of your color expenses.
Trends Are Expensive
We all know that the basic principles of pricing are based on supply and demand—If a product or service is in high demand, and there are not a lot of people who can provide it, it gets more expensive. This is why trendy hair color techniques can be priced higher than more traditional ones. Typically, a cutting edge hair color technique requires a unique skill set to perform and there may not be many colorists available who have that skill set.
If you have taken the time to learn and perfect an in-demand color service (like balayage, baby lights, creative color, ombre, sombre, etc.) and there are not a lot of other people offering that service, go ahead and charge a little more for that than your other color services. While the type of technique being offered and your market will likely dictate how much more you should charge, somewhere between 10-25% more than a typical service is a good place to start your calculations.
Bottom line: If you are an expert in an in-demand technique that is not offered by other salons in your area, you can and should charge more for that service.
Time is Money
A lot of colorists choose to charge by the hour for their services. This is a pretty straightforward pricing model and it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. For example, if it takes you 2 hours and three bowls of color to complete a typical balayage, you simply add your hourly rate to the cost of the products used and use that to price your service. Easy right?
While it may seem like an easy fix to charge by the hour, it’s not just your time spent painting and foiling to consider. You also had to spend time to learn that technique.
If you have to spend extra time learning how to use a new color product, or how to execute a new hair color technique in order to provide a better service to your clients, the cost of that investment should also be reflected in your service price.
There are many ways to incorporate the cost of expertise into your pricing model, from increasing your hourly rate to adding a little extra to the end of certain services (namely the ones that required extra training time). Choose the way of reflecting the value of your expertise in whichever way feels the most authentic and comfortable for you.
Bottomline: If it took you extra time to learn a specific technique or how to use a particular product, that service increases in value and therefore, cost.
An Interesting Alternative
One other creative way to account for the cost of hair color, time and technique in your service pricing is to center it on your clients’ base level of color. For example, let’s say that you have a client that is already a level 8 who is looking for a pastel shade. It will take less product, time and expertise to make that happen than if a level 4 client came in requesting the same end result. This can help to create a standard pricing model that cuts down on custom pricing during a consultation—saving you and money.
Did you know that z.one concept has a color buyback program? If you are looking for a cost-effective way to switch to a high-quality, full range of hair color that improves hair health, this program is for you.>>>