Welcome back No Label babes! This week we wanted to expose and explain some of the most common misconceptions about hair salons and stylists.
“It’s just hair and shouldn’t be so expensive.”
The differences in pricing depends on the target market, the skillset and experience, and education. The difference between our pricing is that our prices are competitive with salons that share a similar goal, image, and clientele, and that’s how the pricing is based. Products and other expenses have increased by about 22% these past couple of years, so the rising costs are due to covering the product fees and charging an hourly rate for the stylist’s time. We configure prices to ensure our stylists are making a living wage with everything that the stylists put into perfecting their craft; with education and the level system, it is imperative that they make a wage that is reflective of that work. For example, when getting a styling service, you need to account for the product used, the salon commission, and what the stylist takes away, so they aren’t making the total amount charged to the client.
In some cases, the amount they take away may be lower than minimum wage, so rising prices account for the stylists’ ability to live comfortably. With No Label being an elevated salon, stylists put a lot of time and effort into their careers and should be compensated for that work behind the scenes. Hair is expensive, just like a specialized attorney is more costly compared to a court-appointed lawyer.
“If the assistant is helping so much, why am I paying stylist prices?”
Being a stylist is a physically demanding career. Stylists stand all day, working with their hands above their heads for 8-10 hours daily. Blow drying with a three-pound hairdryer for 45 minutes doesn’t sound too hard, but it is very tiring and can be difficult on stylists’ bodies. Making the same motions over and over, hinging at hips, and squatting when washing a client’s hair multiple times a day is a list of some physical demands stylists face every day. Hairstylists can have bad backs, shoulders, necks, carpal tunnel, arthritis, and more. The reason stylists have assistants is to minimize the physical strain on stylists’ bodies. You pay the same amount even if an assistant is doing all the work because the direction, the formulations, the placements, and the key things you are receiving are coming from your stylist directly. A stylist should be able to stand there and tell their assistant what to do, and the hair will come out very similar to what the stylist would have done. The look would be identical because assistants have a ton of training before they can work with clients and have acquired all the appropriate and necessary knowledge to work with clients.
An assistant might be doing the physical work, but the stylist directs every single movement and step of the process when doing a client’s hair. At No Label, assistants will do the shampoos, blow dries, and apply toner and root touch-ups. The stylists will be doing all the formulations and foiling placement which are the areas that require a deep skill set and knowledge. Therefore, that is the reason you are paying for the stylist, even with assistants helping during the service.
“Stylists are always trying to upsell me.”
Let’s say you took your car into the shop for low transmission fluid, but when you bring it to the mechanic, there is an issue with the brakes that need to be fixed. Stylists are doing the same thing because clients bring what they see as their problem areas, but once stylists look at your hair, they can see more areas that need improvement. Stylists are trying to help resolve the hair problems you wish to be fixed, which sometimes requires more than one product. Rio, the owner of No Label, has five different shampoos in her shower for different purposes and hair goals. But, they all serve a purpose, and she finds that necessary to her hair routine and to keep consistent with a routine.
From appointment to appointment or season to season, your hair will have different needs, which may require different products. Hairstylists are doing their best to prescribe what products will elevate clients’ hair to the next level, and that may require new products.
“My appointments take forever.”
Hair has evolved and changed so much throughout the years. Terms, knowledge, and techniques have changed so much over time, and clients now bring pictures of styles they want to achieve. These styles often require hours of work with multiple stylists to achieve that desired look. An average appointment will take three to six hours due to the work and numerous steps necessary to achieve that beautiful, Pinterest-looking hair. If you are doing something simple, the appointment shouldn’t take too long, but it will take more time for a more detailed look.
Why hourly charges, and why are you a commission-based salon?”
For all the hair stylists out there, commission salons have traditionally been associated with control and power from the salon owner, and you’re working exactly how they want you to work. Traditionally commission salons have been unfair pay, but things have changed over the years. Commission salons are now the future because if you focus on building relationships with your stylists, the more loyalty and longevity stylists will give you.
Booth renting is also being kicked to the curb because you are the only one working, which can be challenging if you have other priorities. As a commission salon, you have other stylists to rely on if you need help, and everyone is learning from each other, which provides growth. Rio used to have to triple-book herself to make a decent living, so now she has switched to hourly charging. Hourly charging allows Rio to work with her clients one-on-one to build that relationship. She also had to figure out what to charge to make a living and not lose money with her hourly rate. Hair is the most prominent accessory on your body, and paying an experienced and professional stylist will only help your biggest accessory shine and get the results you want.
In the future, every stylist at No Label will be hourly based. Hourly-based stylists allow clients to receive a very intentional service and get the best results possible. No Label is also a fully commission-based salon. All of our stylists are proud to receive more education daily and are proud to work for No Label Studio.
We hope that after reading this blog you have a better understanding of our process when it comes to pricing and appointments. Hopefully cleared up some common misconceptions about hair salons and stylists. Come back next week on Friday for another No Label Studio Blog!