The economy has been bad for a few years now, everyone is looking to save a buck any way they can and often this means fewer visits to your beauty professionals. In response to this some beauty professionals have dropped prices or created bundling specials, others have stopped raising their prices, while others have held steady and are waiting the recession out.
What determines the price for your service:
For every kind of service there is a standard cost. This cost is determined by the cost of the supplies, labor/time, and the experience/education of the service provider.
The cost of the supplies can make a huge difference in price for some services. Extensions come to my mind first- the better quality the hair the more expensive the service, specially if the procedure of installing the hair requires expensive specialty tools.
Labor/time can make a big difference in the cost of a service, and labor/time costs can vary from stylist to stylist. Some stylists set their prices based on how long it takes them to complete the service. For example a perm might not have expensive supply costs, but if it is not a service the stylist does on a regular basis it will take them much longer to complete- so they will charge more. Even if a service is fast to complete but labor intensive for the beauty professional the price can be affected- pedicures often cost more than a manicure because the body position of the nail professional is crouched down and more taxing on the body than a manicure.
Most commonly a factor in the cost of hair services, experience/education can be a huge cost factor. A study was recently done by a morning news show that compared hair cuts at varied costs- one was a low end cut at around $15, another around $40, then one at $80 and a fourth at nearly $200. When strangers were asked which cut looked more expensive or better the $40 look won. This is not to say that big price tags are not worth the investment. Like I said there are a lot of factors that create prices for services, many salons impose pricing standards and dictate when, and how much a stylist can raise their prices. Sometimes the criteria for raising prices is how long the stylist has been with the company, how many classes/training courses they have attended, or how many clients they have. I feel this $40 cut won the popular vote because of the finishing this stylist put into their cut.
This stylists passion for their work out shined the other cuts, it is passion that greatly determines the outcome of any service. Everyone has a budget but take a stylists passion into account. Talk to the stylists before getting a service and find the one who you feel best understands what you’re looking for or the one you feel asks the right questions. These ‘right’ questions will be different for every one but they should all be a variation of ‘what do you want from your hair?’. Whether its about how much time youll spend on styling, your lifestyle, it should be more than just the basics of how long or short you want it.
The industry ‘standard’ is between 15-20% of the cost of the service but is all too often skipped or under done. Even if you are not 100% satisfied with the results there is a reason a stylist stops the service. It could be any number of reasons but always make sure you talk with them to find out why they finished their service the way they did.
For example, I read a lot about women being unsatisfied with a coloring service. Most often I hear of them having dyed black hair but now want it blonde and are unsatisfied with the reddish brown hair they leave with. As a cosmetologist 3 things come to my mind that justify this move by their stylists 1) Their hair would have become fried if the stylist tried to bleach the hair up that much and 2) Predicting how long it will take for hair to lift is a tricky thing to estimate- everyone’s hair is different and the stylist did not have enough time scheduled to complete the service to the clients desires 3) the labor of the service is more than they can handle in one sitting-it takes about 3 hours to bleach my hair up and while I might feel a little stiff at the end of it I know my stylist is exhausted by the end of the service from constantly moving.
There is a huge difference between a professional who is plain lazy and another who is taking the well being of your hair into consideration- this should be your basis for tipping!