From damage repair to clarifying treatments, add-ons are that something extra that should be offered during every service. Whether a stylist upsells treatments or charges a higher upfront cost and includes built-in treatments, giving clients more is the key to profit growth and client satisfaction.
To know where to start in marketing add-ons to clients, think seasonally. Winter is the time to address parched strands and static flyaways. Industry NKY, a salon in Newport, Kentucky, offers two types of botanical hair therapy treatments that address dry, damaged locks.
“These $15 add-on treatments are applied during the shampoo,” says Jordan Hoffmann, a colorist at Industry NKY. “I let the treatment process for five to 10 minutes while the hair is wrapped in a hot towel. During processing, we give guests a stress-relieving mini-facial. Both of the hair therapies are color- and texture-safe, making them a universal service. Not only do they provide a boost as an easy add-on service for me as a stylist, the guest feels amazing and knows I am going above and beyond for their hair.”
In addition to offering clients seasonally appropriate treatments, assess each client’s individual concerns and treat accordingly. During the consultation, listen to clients’ goals and frustrations, plus get your hands in their hair and use your expertise to make recommendations for enhanced conditioning. For instance, complaints of dandruff or dull strands can be improved with a clarifying treatment.
“I offer clarifying treatments to clients for two reasons: product buildup and mineral buildup,” says Alexis Thurston, stylist and owner of Butterfly Loft Salon in Los Angeles. “Using a clarifying treatment helps remove the buildup and restore shine and manageability.”
Just as Thurston examines the hair for signs that a clarifying treatment is needed, she also listens to her clients for clues about their lifestyle and what effect it could be having on their hair.
“Whenever I have a client returning from a trip where they could have mineral-deposit buildup, or if they have well water at home, I use a mineral-removing treatment,” she says. “When there’s heavy mineral-deposits in the hair, any kind of lightening service can be dangerous. If you’ve ever felt the hair getting hot while bleaching, chances are there are mineral deposits reacting with the bleach.”
Add-on treatments can be the ideal way to boost ticket sales. But another option is to charge more upfront, then provide built-in treatments throughout the appointment. This eliminates the need to upsell every add-on and gives stylists the freedom to deliver the best possible result.
Lo Wheeler, owner of Wheeler Davis Salon in San Clemente, California, and a CosmoProf team member, charges a minimum cost for every client, even for less complicated services like a single-process color and hair cut, but makes all services upscale with add-on treatments that create a lavish experience.
“I put therapeutic-grade oils on the neck while consulting with clients,” she says. “These are not just about aromas; they help transform the client’s mood and my own. I book three-to-four-hour appointments, and if the client won’t meet the minimum cost with the services requested, I add on treatments like toning glazes and treatments masks. These all add value to the service at minimal cost to me.”
Wheeler has built a huge following (more than 45K followers on Instagram) and an impressive reputation in the industry, but she assures that any stylist can require a minimum charge and include built-in services. They just have to meet clients’ expectations.
“With all-inclusive services, everything is up front,” Wheeler says. “Clients know the cost and are comfortable with it. I have artistic freedom with the budget to do what’s necessary. The thing I’m selling first and foremost is my artistry.”