3 Ways To Stop Wasting Hair Color (And Start Making More Money)
Sponsored by Vish
3 Ways To Stop Wasting Hair Color
Salon owners and suite renters, it’s time for real talk—you are probably pouring money down the drain.
The average cost per color application ranges from $5 to $8. If a salon wastes 25% to 40% of haircolor (which is generally the industry average), that means about $1.25 to $2 is being poured down the drain every time a stylist mixes and applies color. Add that up…and the wasted money is scary. Plus, think about all those times a colorist decides to do a last-minute toner and DOESN’T charge for it. That’s even more money walking out the door.
We have some ideas on how your salon can stop wasting haircolor and start making more money. Keep scrolling for the tips!
1. Get a color management software system.
You won’t know how much product you’re wasting until you start to track it. A color management software system like Vish can automatically record and organize formulas as you work, intelligently refining formulas based on previous waste and recalculating them to the exact consistency your client needs.
The proof is in the bowl. “I was amazed at how much of a standard formula mixture was wasted,” Alishia O’Hare, an expert colorist at Luxe Color Lounge in Conshohocken, Pa., said after using Vish. “Many clients only required HALF of a standard mixture. Huge savings!”
“I would typically mix 40 grams of color for a retouch,” shared Charmaine Edwards, owner of CharMarie Salon in Christiansburg, Va. “Now I’m mixing about 17 grams of color, and there is no additional color left in the bowl when I’m finished.”
Watch the video below to see Vish in action!
2. Make data-driven decisions.
Once you have actual data on how your salon is using (or over-using) color, analyze it to ensure you’re not dumping money down the drain. Vish provides perpetual inventory tracking, instantly communicating reorder quantities without the need for manual counting. You can use the data to price services by experience level and baseline weight of color. And the time-saving aspect is huge—everything mixed is updated directly to guests’ profiles, so you can always see if a client will require more or less of a standard formulation and deliver consistent results.
This data is extremely valuable to making business decisions. “The Vish system more than pays for itself each month,” said Joelle Rombough, owner of Glam at the Grove in Thornton, Colo. “We are up 58 percent in color services alone, but our color orders are down 35 percent.”
It’s important to trust the data and really use it to your business’s advantage. “One of my assistants came to me and said ‘Vish is saying to only mix 4 grams of lightener for this highlight retouch. Do you want me to mix more?’” Charmaine said. “I told her to follow the software, and I had a very small amount left over at the end. We would have wasted an entire bowl of lightener on that client previously!”
A software management system can also track color mixed for add-on services (think toners or treatments) or missed extra product charges that a colorist might mix up but forgets to tell the front desk about. This means that all services are accounted for…and PAID for. On average, Vish salons see an increase of about $2 per service in extra product charges.
3. Encourage competition and accountability.
Team morale and company culture are two crucial factors to a successful business—and both can benefit from friendly competition and transparency in data. Colorists can see exactly how much money and product they are saving with the Vish web application. “Having the system in place has made my stylists hyper-aware of the amount of product they use. No one wants to be the employee that is wasting product. In fact, the team gets competitive in trying to see who can have the lowest waste percentages,” said Joelle.
Another benefit to using a color management software? “It’s a fool-proof way to cover each other’s guests if a service provider has to be absent that day,” Joelle added, making it easy for everyone to deliver consistent results to all salon guests.
What are the results?
Colorists using Vish can reduce the cost of color to less than $3 per application, with waste being at less than 25 cents per application. By preventing over-mixing with Vish, a salon can save $150 a month per colorist.
At the same time, increasing a service by $2 in extra product charges adds another $150 extra per month, per colorist. All this money definitely adds up. Vish’s modest estimate is that a 6-stylist salon will see an extra $27,000 per year.