Three Rules To Pricing Color Services

Author: MiladyPro   |   Posted on: April 01, 2017



We work in the era of choice. Unicorn locks, mermaid waves; complex color jobs are becoming the new norm.

Every salon you walk into has colorists trained to work magic with dozens of techniques, multiple color options and methods right at their fingertips. The downside of these choices, though, is knowing exactly what to charge.


Clients that request complex color methods often don’t understand the amount of effort and product that goes into creating their beautiful looks. When it comes time to update their fading color, some get frustrated they must pay again. So, what should you charge and, more importantly, how can you show clients the investment is worth it?

Pricing for your services, all your services, is important. Once you start down the path of discounts, price reductions, bundling, caving to customers whining, etc. you set yourself up for future nightmares. It’s best to stick to the following three rules:

Know your prices and stick to them.  Before you see your next client, you should be clear about what you charge for each service. If you are doing a full highlight, then charge for a full highlight. If that price normally includes one color and you are now using three or four then you should be charging extra per color used.

Now that doesn’t mean that you should go crazy. If you normally use about four ounces of color to complete a full head of highlights and you are now using six ounces then you should charge for that extra tube of color. The service time didn’t increase but the amount of product for the service did and you should charge for that. Typically, additional color charges are double the cost of the product. If a tube and developer costs you about $10 then you should add $20 to the service.

Be crystal clear with your client.  That means you should conduct a thorough consultation and explain the process and the price before you even start. It is also critical you explain the post services, the necessary color safe products and the frequency of visits to achieve their desired results. Don’t sell yourself short or chicken out; this is where you lay the foundation for a happy client and a happy colorist. It’s better to lay it all out and let the client choose then to explain yourself and your fees after the fact. 

Avoid bundles and multi-service discounts.  Whatever you do don’t bundle your services for one low price. Unless, of course, you are running a promotion and it is for a set amount of time. Regular bundling of services for a discounted price just sets a precedence of under-valuing your services. It is a nightmare to undo and it only hurts you in the end.

You should be charging for each service you perform. That means if you add a gloss or toner then you charge for it, if you add Olaplex or any other treatment then you charge for it. Trimming your client’s hair after? You charge for that too. Think of it this way: if you go to get new brakes and an oil change for your car, you can bet the car mechanic is charging you for both.

At the end of the day consistent pricing is your professional responsibility. Short term it may sound easier to give the discount but in the long term you will regret it. The more you clearly communicate your pricing the more respect you earn.

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