Articles > Business > What Would You Do: Free Birthday Services
Last updated: January 14, 2019

What Would You Do: Free Birthday Services

Would you gift a client free or discounted services on their birthday?
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Have you ever felt obligated to gift a client? One of our BTC fam is drowning in guilt for not being able to treat their clients to FREE services or discounts on their birthday or for the holidays. Here’s what you guys had to say about gifting clients for any occasion. Keep scrolling for the comments!


“Hi there! Please keep me anonymous. Do stylists give discounts for birthdays, etc.? Sometimes I feel like clients will hint at wanting a free haircut or a discount on something. A lot of my clients bring me birthday and Christmas gifts—it’s just that I need the money I make. I wish I could give a gift. I sometimes feel like I should… Does anyone else feel bad if they don’t give gifts to clients? Any suggestions?”


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There’s No Such Thing As Free


I sometimes feel like bad for not discounting, too. Then again, you don’t get a discount off your shopping or any other trade when it’s your birthday, so why is it expected from the hair industry?” – @sarahbp91


No. Know your worth and stick to it. Your client wouldn’t work for free or discounted pay because their boss had a birthday. If you feel inclined to give a gift, then travel size products are generous enough.” – @anarchyinbedrock


What is it with people in this industry wanting to give things away for free? Was your degree free? Were your shears free? Do you get free gas to drive to work? Value yourself! Nothing in life is free. When a stylist gives any service away for free it shows they’re not confident in their work and they’re scared to charge the prices the salon has set!” – @me.i.amkeith


“I’m sure this is a dilemma we all face. We want to be gracious, but we still have bills to pay. I think sometimes clients forget that our livelihood depends on each client showing up and paying their fee so that we can provide for our families. Yes, we have the talent and skills to do their hair, but this is our job, not just a hobby.” – @bluesbarbershopandshaveparlor


If your salon provides you with samples or mini products, have those on hand for situations like this. But NEVER discount yourself because a lot of girls get their haircut once a year, so they’d never pay for your service.” – @coloredbysamantha


“No. Walmart doesn’t give me free groceries because it’s my birthday. The doctor still charged my insurance for well-checks. I am not obligated to give birthday discounts. Maybe a bottle of hair spray, but never the actual work.” – @amypointerphotography


“Look at it this way. Let’s say your haircuts were $45 and you gave 10 clients a month a free haircut which adds up to $450. Times that amount by 12 months and that would be $5,400 a year you’d be losing! And, more than likely your clients won’t tip you! So you would lose about $6,500 a year with gratuity included! Don’t give out free cuts. Go with a free conditioning treatment or thermal style.” – @jstev81


“There is just one of me and hundreds of them. We can only do what we can. I give them my all every time I see them. That’s my gift.” – Tomi Raynor


“No, no, no, no, no!!!! Know your worth… Are your clients doing anything for your birthday?” – Melissa Emilio Korytkowski



Something Is Better Than Nothing


“I always have a little box of mini products to gift when an event like that corresponds with the day they come in!! Never discount yourself!!!!” – @thesalteblond


“Give something that doesn’t cost you much, like a free conditioning treatment or scalp massage.” – @schneideramanda


“I only gift services for fundraising events in our little town, or for Christmas i usually give treats like toffee, truffles or peppermint bark to my ride or die clients!” – @hair.artist.court


“We offer 10 percent off your ticket if you visit during your birthday month. It ends up being a small gesture of gratitude for their loyalty.” – @myshel617


“I never discount my services, but I get them a cupcake if I know their birthday is that week. Other times I might do a small product I think would be good, which is also a way to get them using the products that you sell.” – @br_hair_and_makeup


I give cards for birthdays. Showing gratitude is always appreciated. For Christmas, I do travel size lotions or lip glosses!” – @andreamagician


“I feel like a gift would be nice, buuuuut I wouldn’t mind giving a little birthday discount. It’s only once a year.” – @yoitsbethany


“My salon sends a $10 voucher towards any service to all clients the month of their birthdays.” – @shelbynicol3


“I gift a treatment at the shampoo bowl or we offer 25 percent off of their retail purchase that day. ♥” – @samiskinnerhair


“I was always taught in marketing to make the gifts circle back to you. Keep the incentives and profits salon oriented. I give personalized birthday cards—buy them by the box and write inside. They LOVE that— it’s cost effective and thoughtful.” – @sherrittamatthewsmasterstylist


“At Christmas I always give my clients a card along with a pair of tweezers or a mini hand lotion. Something like that shows them I appreciate their business. Cosmo and Sally’s will usually have these products for Christmas for no more then a buck or two!” – @miammiebaby


“I always get them a drink, but ONLY on their birthday and while in my chair. They love it.” – @nena4ever1


“We give a discount according to age, so if they are 90 they get 90 percent off of their cut only! It’s surprising how few people use it. They must come on their birthday, or if we are closed the day before or after.” – Kelly Hatinger


“We give Christmas cards with money off vouchers for them to spend in January and February during our quieter time, but don’t do anything for their birthdays!” – Donna Marie


It’s Ok To Spoil Your Clients


“My clients are really good to me, so I do the free cut or blow-out. Not to all them, but only to my super loyal ones.” – @hairbylionam


“For really loyal, every two or three week clients, I give them a complimentary haircut. It shows them how much I appreciate them coming that often and paying some major bills for me.” – @coco.puf


“If you are financially able to offer, why not?” – @arlhm


“The only time I give free cuts is when they’ve sent me three new clients.” – @leticiadiazhairstylist


I give a free haircut on their birthday. Also, the week of Christmas I work for free. I don’t advertise it, and it’s very hush hush. So that way if I have new clients come in, they don’t get the same treatment. My clients support me all year long. Most of them come in EVERY single week and never ever miss an appointment. My perm clients are every 3 months like clockwork, and it’s the same with my color clients. The least I can do is give them a free hair ‘do twice a year. No chemical services, just a hair ‘do. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be paying my bills. So, why not give?” – Cheri Cotter



Beware Of  Scammers


“Definitely don’t do coupons. When I worked at Toni&Guy, clients would photocopy them.” – @timm.morrison


“Some people only get their haircut once a year. So basically, they will never pay for your service.” – @dakotadellaferahair


“You can get security printed coupons with holographics, watermarks, counter foils, you name it. Otherwise yeah, people are cray cray.” – @alicjamoore