How to Charge the Right Price for Balayage
Balayage is a painting technique that has increasingly grown in popularity over the past few years. As holistic hair stylists, transforming our client’s hair to achieve their expectations is often a timely process, depending on a variety of factors such as hair length, color, thickness, etc. At the end of the day, our client’s hair is a reflection of our work, so we invest our time and skill to ensure our clients leave the salon happy.
But the question is – how much should we charge our clients for a balayage? Pricing is a touchy subject for many clients and professionals alike, it’s important to price accordingly. We always say to charge our worth and for many, it’s easier said than done.
We are in the business of personal service, but that doesn’t mean you have to sell yourself short on pricing. In fact, knowing your value as a professional helps create a mutual respect between client and stylist.
Holistic Hair Stylist Meredith Blake of Balanced Balayage, is known for her effortless, natural balayage technique, which embraces each client’s true beauty individually. Her goal is to welcome her clients into a trusting environment of complete transparency in regards to her service and pricing. So we went behind the chair with Meredith to chat about balayage, her technique and how much she charges for the service.
What is balayage?
According to Meredith, balayage “is a technique that involves painting hair in the way the sun would naturally kiss it. The benefits are endless but the key benefit is naturally lightened hair that doesn’t compromise integrity. Traditional hair coloring lacks diversity and individualism. With a balayage and hair painting, you are able to customize every single client in a way that flatters them uniquely.”
Meredith developed her technique through “years of trial, error, and evolution.” She admires the effortless beauty of balayage, as well as the longevity. Typically, her clients come in “every 4-6 months depending on how many levels lighter they are from their natural. It’s very low maintenance especially if it’s painted and toned with intention.” She mentioned that “the average balayage, start to style, is 2 ½ to 4 hours – no heat added.”
How do you determine how much to charge for your service?
“The client’s expectations determine what I charge.” This is primarily based on the client’s hair thickness, length, and color history. Because each balayage varies in length of time, her base price is set at 2 1⁄2 hours and increases hourly if the client’s hair demands more time.
This leads to one of the most important conversations for both the stylist and the client prior to the actual service: the consultation.
Before performing a service, Meredith schedules a separate consultation interview, around 30 minutes, to discuss her client’s expectations. During this time, Meredith goes over everything a client needs to know starting with the process and closing with the pricing.
So we asked – what do you do if a client is nitpicky or hesitant about price? And how do you make them happy without discounting yourself? “That’s what the consultation interview is for!” she exclaimed. Meredith is a strong believer in protecting yourself and your business from clients who don’t value your time and work. However, she stressed the importance of knowing the difference between a client who is nitpicky versus a client who is hesitant:
“If I find a client to be nitpicky about my price, then they clearly don’t see my value and we are not the right fit for each other. If a client is hesitant, which is very normal, I rely on my experience and expertise to ensure that she can trust me and the process. My clients can rest assured that I am extremely critical and I want my work to represent the reputation it has created for itself.”
As a stylist, educator, writer, and mother, Meredith works hard to balance her passions and exerts incredible energy into her business. “It’s my routine and ritual, and I love it!” she adds. Maintaining the focus of who is in your chair instead of who is not is what keeps her mindset on track. “Understand and trust your skill enough to be able to provide what you promise.”