Conditioning treatments, bonders, glosses—add-ons like these can be quick and profitable boosts to a service provider’s bottom line. Not to mention they keep clients’ hair looking healthy and gorgeous! To make these extras as profitable as possible, establishing correct pricing is important. Here are some common and not-so-common strategies for charging for your add-on services.
Time + Cost of Product
One of the most popular approaches is to charge by the amount of time spent performing the service, plus the cost of the product used. “I charge by the hour for any service, starting when I begin the application and ending when I’m finished styling the hair,” says Aoife Carr, @blendedblondes. Agrees Kim Bruce @themisfitblonde, “I charge by the hour. That way I do what needs to be done, not what the client thinks needs to be done.” For solo artist Heidi Del Muro @heidischmoe, it’s all about keeping things simple. “My minimum is $10,” she explains. “Anything that takes more than five minutes is charged at an hourly rate for my time, plus the price of the products. I might charge $10 or $20 per add-on, depending on hair length and density. Remember, easy numbers work better for clients, and they are more comfortable during the service if they know what you will be charging in advance.”
Taylor Dodson @_tldesigns believes in building the cost of extras into her color services. “I always include the cost of one bowl of gloss in the price for my lightening services because in my opinion every client needs it to achieve the perfect tone!” she explains. “I also have an option on my service menu called custom lightening which includes balayage, ombré, faux balayage and ‘platinum cards.’ With custom lightening I build in the price of two add-ons. For example, a custom lightening client may need a root smudge and a gloss, and that would be covered by the overall service price. If the client only needs a gloss, I might do a deep condition and stay within the base price. This way I’m compensated for the extra product and extra time and can customize my approach for each client as necessary.”
A La Carte Maintenance Options
Lanisa Godlove @hairpaintingdiaries has hit upon a strategy that promotes add-ons, and also increases the frequency of client visits. “My balayage service menu is all inclusive,” she explains, “but guests have the option to add on services such as bonders, treatments, extra blonding etc. But I feel my most successful add-on options come from my a la carte maintenance menu. I recommend returning for a gloss refresher in 4-5 weeks after the initial color service. The cost is about $45, but they have the option to add a bonder to the gloss for $15, a bang trim for $10, a blow dry style for $45, or a shine treatment for $25, and it’s all completely customizable. Offering this exclusive menu for returning guests means clients come back more often, which is helpful because today’s blended and rooted color trends look good for so long without retouching.”
Bonder Always Included
At Joseph Hair Salon in England, bond builder is included in the price of every lightening service. “We don’t feel it should be optional,” says Salon Director Charlotte Lathbury @josephhairsalon. “Then, for every other add-on service, we charge extra as it requires more time. We make sure our clients know how much everything is so they can make informed choices and I can ensure the bookings are timed properly.”
The Same at Every Level
At salons employing various levels of stylists (seniors, masters, etc.) pricing varies at each level. However, at Urban Betty Salon, add-on pricing for bonders, conditioning and luxury treatments remain the same across all levels. “We do not adjust these prices per stylist level because we feel it does not necessarily take a certain skill level to apply them,” explains Salon Manager Hallie Spurlin. “The initial prices were set by our Summit coach based on a demographic study. Every year our coach reevaluates our demographic and we raise the pricing accordingly.”
When Phillip Rosado and his wife Alicia opened Educe Salon in Orlando, FL in 2012, they wanted to establish themselves as market leaders. “The first thing we looked at was pricing,” says Phillip, “which can vary from market to market. So we considered three major things: national averages, local averages and L’Oréal Professionnel brand recommendations since we’re a L’Oréal Professionnel salon. With those numbers in mind we calculated our pricing.”
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