Service Pricing: Stylists Share How They Set Their Prices – Career

From gender-neutral pricing, to hourly, to per-service pricing, to raising prices, emotional discounting, and even gratuities, our February webinar: “Pricing Is Personal: Navigating the Art of Service Pricingis a discussion among three stylists and salon owners on their pricing strategies and how it aligns with their professional goals and personal values.

Here were some of the key takeaways: 

Joshua Lucero 

Joshua Lucero

Joshua Lucero, owner, Lucero Hair and Wellness: We are a time-based hair studio in Salt Lake City and we’re all about inclusion. I’m able to accommodate all types of people with all types of hair and it’s really helped us grow our clientele and learn how we can cultivate better practices for other guests.

Paula Peralta 

Paula Peralta

Paula Peralta, coach, podcaster, stylist:  While pricing is personal, it’s not actually about you, it’s about your business. My target as a salon business coach, as a wellness coach, is to get people out of their heads and to see it’s about understanding your worth and your value in the beauty industry.

Allyson King 

Allyson King

Allyson King, co-owner, Hair & Co BKLYN: When it comes to pricing for our salons, we take a very mathematical approach. I think it’s important to know, what’s your market and what are you trying to be in your market–the highest end, the lowest end or somewhere in between? Also, what’s your cost of goods, and what margin do we want to make on services?

On Gender-Neutral Pricing

JL: We talk about gender affirming hair care because it’s for men, women, people who are non-binary or wherever they’re at in their own expressions. You’re already booking on time, whether you’re booking a full head highlight, whether you’re booking a haircut, whenever someone books it on your calendar, they’re always booking time. But I have clients who identify as women, and they have short hair and I have clients who identify as men, and they have long hair. We’re really trying to be able to accommodate all clients.

AL: We’ve been doing gender-neutral pricing since we opened, which was prior to it becoming a law. It’s all about hair, right? It doesn’t matter what color you are, how tall you are, what gender you are, we just want to do your hair, right? Let’s just talk about the fabric we’re working on.

PP:  Beauty professionals have an incredible opportunity to create safe spaces and to celebrate the diversity of people, and that’s truly the business that we’re in. Yes, we’re doing hair but we’re also creating spaces where people know they can walk in and they’re not going to have to deal with gender identity slurs, they’re not going to have to deal with racism, with fat phobia, whatever it is, our space is free of judgment.

On Raising Prices

AK: We have what is called our Translucent Pricing Guarantee. We charge a service price and a product price to all our customers. And while I know that’s controversial and there’s many salons that do it, it’s not the norm yet. What I really love about this pricing structure is I can look at my business very differently, right? If I have a cost of good increase, I can drop that right into VISH and immediately my product cost is covered  in what I’m charging to my customers. And so what that was allowing me to do is to have very specific thoughts around why I raise my service price each year and how much I raise my service price.

Communicating a Price Increase

PP:  In my coaching sessions I say to my clients, ‘anything you avoid controls you’ and it will be this program running in the back of your head. So if I’m too scared to talk about raising prices or to look at my numbers,  I’m still going to be thinking about it all the time while I’m doing the haircut, the hair color, the blow dry, whatever that is. I’m a huge believer that the conversation needs to be in person. Posting on social media that your prices are going up January 1st or sending out an email–those are secondary forms of communication– but the primary form of communication needs to be in person with your guests.

On Knowing Your Numbers

JL:  I’ve asked people, do you have a profit-and-loss statement? They don’t even know what that is. I’ve had people tell me they were too afraid to do it because they didn’t want to know how much money they were making.

AK: A mentor of mine said, ‘Whatever is measured improves.’ If you don’t have the data, you’re just dancing in the dark.

Watch and listen to the entire webinar.

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