Articles > WWYD- What Would You Do? > WWYD: How Hairstylists Are Navigating Inflation
Last updated: February 29, 2024

WWYD: How Hairstylists Are Navigating Inflation

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What Would You Do? Tips To Increase Prices, Refresh Your Service Menu & Keeping Busy 

From groceries to gas, everything is more expensive. Owner of NYC Balayage Studio Asilcan Simsek (@asil) sparked a needed discussion after sharing a receipt of two small boxes of hair products—which totaled almost $800. “What is your pricing strategy for 2024? Do you have anything planned out? If not, you better have [one] because nothing is getting cheaper,” Asil shared on IG.


So, we had to ask our audience: Are you raising your prices this year because it’s time for an increase? Or are you trying to combat “hair”-flation? Learn their tips for knowing if you need a price increase, what to do if your prices are accurate and tips to keep your spirits high despite inflation—because this too shall pass!


Hairstylists: Are you raising prices because you're due or because of inflation?
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Photo Credit: Instagram via @asil


Question #1: Why Is Everyone Talking About Price Increases…How Am I Supposed To Know If I Should?

“You should only raise your prices if you’re over 85 percent booked—if you are not, you do not have the demand to justify a price increase. Increase your marketing and focus on building before increasing your prices. When you raise your prices, the amount you raise them is the percentage of clients you want to lose. If you raise them 10 percent, you will lose 10 percent, etc. Productivity rate is key to make sure you have the demand.” -@iamginabianca


“Use the 80/20/10 rule. When you are 80 percent booked, raise prices 20 percent which covers the [clientele] loss of 10 percent.” -@allan.allenhairco 


“Knowing your cost per application is a great way of figuring out if you are charging the right price. If you know what your cost per application is for all services you can ensure that you are profiting. Price increases should not be absorbed by stylist.” -@iammarcocastro


“Finding the perfect price point is HARD! Look at your close competitor rates, along with their skill level training. That helps a lot to ensure you’re being competitive in the market.” -@emjcosmetics


Question #2: I Don’t Want To Lose Clients, But I Need To Raise My Prices. Help!

“Definitely raising around 20 to 30 percent and be willing to lose some old clients. That will open more space for more new clients. Don’t forget: While everything gets more expensive, most of the clients will get a raise, as well. If you are booked out six plus weeks and not raising your prices once a year you’re doing it wrong.” -@fuckinghair


Phil Fennel advised me to raise prices by 20 percent in September each year. 1. To allow the client to prepare for the increase before holiday spending. 2. You will likely lose 20 percent of your clients. 3. You will work 20 percent less. 4. You will gain 20 percent more clientele who will pay you 20 percent more. I have done this for the past 6 years now. The first year I was afraid, but now I trust the process and it works.” -@hairby_malibuaimee


“I often wonder if raising my prices would make me lose clientele, but I found that I only lose people who weren’t loyal to begin with or were just looking for a discounted service. I also found out that raising your prices for the right reasons, like what you personally think you’re worth, brings in more high-end clientele or people who CAN afford the services with no issues! Also, more loyal clientele that will stick with you for taking care of their hair.” -@najjbeautyworld


“When you are booked out at least three weeks in advance, and you haven’t raised your prices in a few years, put a sign on your station that says: ‘Because of inflation, the cost of my supplies have increased significantly. Because of this, my color prices have increased $10. Thank you for your understanding and support.’ You don’t need to discuss it. The best thing you can do in times like this is get more education! Up your game, and your clientele will grow. Your clients like it when you go learn new things. If you are building your clientele, never say no. You can outprice yourself if you aren’t busy or if you haven’t honed your skill. I’ve been doing this for 43 years! It works, I promise.” -@color_makes_me_happy


Learn how to combat inflation from salon business expert @iamginabianca!


Question #3: My Prices Are Staying The Same, So What Is Next?

“…The best thing stylists can do now… is going a la carte. Offer express services, mini services and find ways to cut expenses!” -@adeimyhair 


“Make adjustments as needed: Cut costs where you can. I will stop offering retail products after the holidays. They can just go elsewhere for their products. I’m just tired of having $1,000 or $2,000 tied up in retail that they just stare at or try and take a pic of or try and memorize to buy somewhere else.” -@iriscurlsallout 


“When things were busier, I did more package pricing. Now that things are slower, I do more a la carte to save time and money. Love my color and extensions but I have been more open to blowouts to make quick money and people get a salon experience without spending a lot. Blowout clients will also come often and it doesn’t cost me hardly anything.” -@brittanygoescosmo


“I raised prices, but also created other economy-friendly options like a partial root touch-up or a six-foil option, so that my color clients with tighter budgets have options that can work for them until things get better. I’m not making as much money as before, but I’m staying booked out more than some fellow stylists around me that charge way more…they are talking about closing shop and I’m thankfully comfortable even with the slight pay cut. I’m holding hope that this is temporary and things will boom again.” -@hairwizzardry


“I’ve decided not to raise and decided to make appointments a bit shorter with less foils, less work, for the same price. Using exactly the amount of color needed mixing small batches of lightner. Reusing color gloves per client application and washout. For project clients, charge per hour. And do not buy anything that isn’t helping you make money. Spend on education, pick wisely.” -@xrystal222


I made THE most money in my career charging reasonable prices and double booking. I also worked much less and was able to train and give back to the beauty industry. If you have the gift of demand, consider double booking and hiring an assistant. You also likely have enough demand to open your own space! Just a thought.” -@iamginabianca


“Truth is, a lot of people are ditching these services because they have to decide between beauty and paying their bills. What about coming down slightly on basic services like cut/full color (not including balayage, hand painting) and increasing other services like hair extensions? It takes thinking outside of the box. Or running a 20 percent off haircut with full foils? These strategies are important to think about in the middle of a financial crisis.” -@emjcosmetics



4. If You’re Still Feeling Hopeless, Remember: This Too Will Pass!

“I was actually thinking about decreasing my prices to relieve my clients from the financial stress currently, but I snapped right out of it when I remembered that cheaper prices attract the most difficult clients 😫 I’d rather have to weather the storm, for this too will pass. As a hair loss and extension educator for over 20 years, I know this is just a season. If you need encouragement and ideas, I’m a click away” -@thehairv.a.u.l.t_taneashahines


“I’m holding my prices and raising a few, but definitely feeling the impact in my salon and personally. I’ve seen it before and feel confident we will get through it. My grandmother was a hairstylist and a single mom of four. She always said through the hardest economic times. Hairdressing had always been really good to her. I hold onto that 💕” -@_colourauthority 


“While there is a lot going on in this country and the world we can’t control, there is also a lot that we can control—and feeling safe in our profit margins, pricing and demand is one of them. If anybody is in need of clarity, advice or guidance I’m here to support but there is a strategic way to navigate rising cost of goods and shifts in consumer behavior and I have tons of free resources on both.” -@brittseva


To read more responses, click here to see the original IG post!


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