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Last updated: February 09, 2024

Here’s How Much Cancellations Can Cost Hairstylists Each Year

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Last-Minute Cancellations Could Be Costing You Thousands Of Dollars

Are you a hairstylist with a cancellation policy in place? If not, the cost of cancellations is probably affecting your income. How? Think of a last-minute cancellation as a client sticking their hand in your pocket and taking the money you’d make from that service. If you can’t fill the appointment in time, then you lose time and money. But you don’t need us to tell you that. What you may not realize, however, is just how much cancellations are costing you.


Ahead, we’re putting a price tag on a year’s worth of last-minute appointment cancellations broken down by popular cancellations policies.


Do you want to lose thousands of dollars each year?

If you don’t have a cancellation policy in place, then you lose 100 percent of the income from the cost of the appointment. Depending on the appointment type and cost, this can end up costing you thousands of dollars a year. See below for how much one cancellation a week can cost you in the long run.



Need help creating a cancellation policy? Here’s what you need to know:

  • Choose how many days or hours in advance a client must cancel before getting charged a fee.

  • Avoid confusion by creating a custom message about policies that lives forever on your salon’s profile—this is the perfect place to explain to a clientele why a policy is necessary. 

  • Choose services that deposits/fees will apply. You can exclude anything that makes sense, such as a consultation.

  • Create a list of “trusted clients” who always show up to exclude deposits/fees.


Non-refundable deposits will reduce last-minute cancellations.

Requiring clients to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure their appointment will drastically reduce the amount of last-minute cancellations. While the deposit ends up going toward the cost of services, clients will be less likely to cancel as they don’t want to lose money.


Now that you saw how much last-minute cancellations can cost a stylist without a cancellation policy, see below for how charging a $100 deposit toward $300 a service increases your income when facing the same number of cancellations.



Tired of no-shows and last-minute cancellations? Reduce scheduling issues with these few tips.


Cancellation fees can recover at least half of your lost income.

Some clients may choose to forego requiring a deposit in favor of charging a cancellation fee. The fee amount and terms can vary, but many salons will charge a 50 percent cancellation fee if the client cancels within 24 hours of the appointment time. See below for how much this policy can save clients on a yearly basis compared to the above policies.



Pro tip: Require clients to put a card on file upon booking so cancellation fees can be easily enforced.


No call, no show? Charge the entire cost of the appointment.

If a client just doesn’t show up for their appointment without any notice then many salons will charge a no-show fee which is often the full cost of the missed service. While a no-show policy doesn’t lead to any lost income, like a cancellation policy, it can only be enforced if the policy is clearly communicated at the time of booking and the client has a valid card on file.


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