You’ve put in the time, gone to school, or received your certifications, and you’re ready to get started on everything from single-process colors and kids’ cuts to weaves and inversion braids.
But now you’re wondering how to charge for hair services.
This is one of the most pressing questions hair professionals have when they’re just getting going. But it’s also a question you’ll revisit annually as your years of experience grow, the economy fluctuates, and the right pricing list changes.
We know figuring out your expense list and service pricing strategy can be overwhelming, but with some simple strategies, you can come up with the right costs for your business and be well on your way toward making a stellar profit.
In this article, we’re breaking down the basics of how to price salon services. From knowing the going rate in your area to analyzing your use of supplies and your most popular time slots, we’ll help you find that pricing sweet spot.
Look at Similar Rates in the Area
A main component of how to price your salon services comes down to what the going rate is for stylists in your local area.
Competition in the salon services industry can be steep, and familiarizing yourself with the range of hair salon rates in your area can be a good place to start. It doesn’t mean you necessarily have to charge the same rate as your neighbors. You may choose to charge more or even less in the chance that lower pricing increases your volume of clients.
As you work on the location-based component of your salon pricing strategy, ask yourself what makes you stand out from the crowd. You might offer braids or bridal makeup services. You might even have a nail salon in the back. Knowing what you offer can not only help to increase your service prices and eventually, your revenue, but it will also ensure that you’re drawing in the right customer base. This idea will give you a good range, though, of what the local market is used to paying for their salon experience.
On your quest to know how to calculate salon service prices, remember that each stylist is unique. Coming up with the right pricing strategy takes a magical mix of intuition, research, and budgeting, but reviewing the local rates will give you a good general idea of where to start.
Determine Your Cost & Use of Supplies
If you’re looking to cut costs as part of your salon pricing strategy, supply use is a great place to start.
The cost of everyday supplies for your services like hair color and hair extensions can really add up fast. Hairdressing tools, like blending shears and curling irons can, too.
Whether you’re a freelance pro using StyleSeat or you’re a business owner starting your own salon, it’s important to map out your numbers and keep track of them on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis.
Startup costs for salons can be steep, so here is a general supply list to keep in mind. Once you know what you need, you can map out the costs and your budget, which will give you a better idea of how to charge for hair services. As a general rule of thumb, the more pricey your products, the more you’ll charge for your service to increase your gross profit.
Basic Hair Stylist Products
- Hair dye
- Leave-in conditioner
- Hair spray
- Hair oil
- Prep spray
- Shine spray
- Leave-in product
- Styling cream
- Braid balm
Basic Hair Stylist Tools
- Blow dryer
- Curling iron
- Flat iron
- Blending shears
- All-purpose shears
- Brushes (roller brush, paddle brush, etc.)
- Sectioning clips
- Shampoo bowls
- Salon chair
- Dryer chair
- Utility carts
- Aprons and cutting capes
Consider Your Budget & Time Spent
When you’re a service-based business, coming up with your hourly rate is tough. However, it’s always a good idea to calculate your budget and your overall time spent on each client. Mapping it all out will help you narrow down the correct hair salon price list. Remember, there’s a lot that goes into a haircut or hair color service before the actual hair cutting and coloring takes place.
Depending on where you work and whether or not you own the salon, you’ll spend extra time studying the latest hair salon trends on your off-days, putting all the right sanitation measures in order before opening and closing the salon, and doing your share of administrative duties (like processing payments and paying salon rent and utilities).
So, as you’re crafting the best way to price salon services, it’s helpful to draw out your budget and your schedule.
Lean on StyleSeat to Save Time
Time is money and if you need some help maximizing your schedule, StyleSeat is here for you. We’ve found that on average, stylists waste more than 10 hours a week on various tasks. With our easy-to-use scheduling app, we put your business online and help you manage it.
Here are just a handful of ways that StyleSeat can help with your budget and time management.
- Clients book their own appointments: With your service menu online, clients can book your services all by themselves 24/7. This means no more missed calls and no more missed opportunities.
- Online payments: With StyleSeat, clients pay at the touch of a button with their saved on-file credit card. This is a quick and seamless process that gives you more time to do what you do best — making people feel beautiful.
- No show-policy: The average stylist deals with 1-2 no-shows a week (which can add up to almost $5,000 per year). With our no-show late cancellation policy, you get paid when clients don’t show up.
- Recurring appointments: Streamline your time and your salon pricing strategy by booking recurring appointments for your clients.
Consider Your Experience and Expertise
In general, when figuring how to calculate salon service prices, a master hairstylist is going to charge more than a junior stylist. Your experience can be based on your level of schooling and certification as well as the years you’ve spent in the industry.
Your skills are another thing to keep in mind when fine-tuning your plan for how to charge for hair services. These skills range from listening skills to time management to physical stamina. It’s also important to be able to sell your services and your salon products.
Passion, personality, and your enthusiasm for the work you do is another thing to consider, as many clients are more willing to pay a higher price for someone who puts them at ease.
Account for Salon Space
Salon space is a big component of maximizing your profit margin. If you have your own salon, you know that every square inch of space matters.
If you’re looking to keep up with your neighborly competitors, factor your physical space into your salon pricing strategy. Can you make your reception area a bit smaller to accommodate one more hairstylist in the salon?
Perhaps your products are taking up a hefty amount of square footage. Hang some cute shelves on the wall and display them in an aesthetically-appealing way to engage your clients and make the upsell easier.
Charge More for Popular Appointment Times
One of the most important parts of how to price salon services accurately is to set higher prices for your most popular time slots. In some cases, your midweek appointments may be slow to book up, while your late morning weekend time slots are constantly filled.
Charging more for popular appointment times is an easy way to increase your revenue.
StyleSeat Smart Pricing
We know figuring out exactly how to price your salon services can be tricky. But we also know how important it is to come up with the right price, so you can improve your cash flow.
That’s why at StyleSeat, we implemented Smart Pricing. Smart Pricing analyzes your business and identifies your most popular time slots. From there, it raises the prices slightly to match their true value. This helps those loyal clients who really need your prime booking slots to get them more often. Those clients who are more flexible, on the other hand, can get one of the regular booking times for a standard price.
The best part about this salon pricing strategy is that it happens automatically, so you can make more money, without doing any extra work.
From Smart Pricing to fine-tuning that supply list, we hope this article puts you on the right track for salon success. Knowing exactly how to price your salon services can be tough at first, but once you nail down your plan, it’s smooth sailing ahead!