Saturday, May 17, 2014

Why does it cost so much to go to a salon?

I had someone message me and ask what she should do about a hair mishap and I told her to go to a salon and have a professional fix the mistake she made when she chose to use box color. She then responded by saying that salons cost to much money, and she said "I don't understand why they charge so much just to put hair dye on your hair. It's a total ripoff." I am going to start by saying I am not offended. Obviously I work in a salon and charge those prices, but I literally chalk this up to a lack of understanding. So here it is! I am going to let you all know why we charge what we do in a salon.

First I am going to tell you what we do o become cosmetologists, and what those expenses are. I went to a very average priced school, and I am a very average hair dresser so I will be using me as an example. 

Tuition for School - $17,000
Cost of Additional Education (while I'm in school) - $500
Cost of Product and Tools Needed - $500 (and I am being very generous here, I honestly think I spent more like $800-$1000)
Cost of Taking Exams - $200
Cost of Getting Licensed - $100

So just for my education I spent $18,300 not including time, transportation, and other misc. costs. After school I am now working in a salon, they provide most of my back bar product, utilities, and inventory for retail. But I still have costs. I generally spend $50 a month on product for my clients that my salon does not carry. Most stylists do this. 

The way that hair dressers get paid is they are considered "Independent Contractors". There are three options when working in a salon. The first is to be paid hourly. Most of the places that pay hourly pay in between $8.50 - $10.50 an hour. I have never seen a place that pays hourly pay more than $10.50 an hour. The second option is to be a commission stylist. This is the most common, and what I do. A commission stylist gets paid %40-%60 of the services total, more often than not they get paid %50. The other option is to booth rent. Booth Renters pay a fee either per month or per day to use the salon's station and product and they keep all of the money they make. 

So what does this mean in respect to the question? Well when we charge you $20 for a hair cut, the stylist usually makes $10. A good haircut should take 45-55 minutes (including a wash, blow dry and style) So at $20 a haircut your stylist is making $10 an hour, which is okay. Booth Renting on average costs $350 for a full time position (8 hours a day 5 days a week). Which means you have to make at least $350 a month to pay for rent, but most stylists that choose this option make at least $750 a month or more, (otherwise they'd make more being a commission stylist).

If you pay your hair dresser $10 for a hair cut you are either getting a very rushed and sub-par cut so they can get it done in 30 minutes, or your poor stylist is making $5 an hour, which is ridiculous. Please think about what you would want to be paid after $18,000 and 2 years to get licensed to do something. I'd like more than minimum wage at least. 

Now we'll look at yearly income. On an average day I make $75. That is $1,500 a month. Which means I am not even making $20,000 a month. Something else that is important to remember is I do get tips! I generally make about $100 a day if you include tips. That's $2,000 a month and $24,000 a year. That's not so bad. Oh yeah! Right, but that isn't taxed, (and yes I do have to claim taxes on my tips). So roughly $3,240 of that will go to the government and I will also never get another tax return. I will be paying into the system for the rest of my career with not yearly bonus to get excited for.

I am not writing this as a "woe is me" piece but to educate people on why we charge what we do (because at $20 a haircut that is how much I make), but so that they also understand that we love out jobs. We have to. And I hope you also remember this post when tipping your stylist.

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Thank you for reading and then commenting on my post! I appreciate your support and I hope my blog has been helpful to you! Let me know if you have any beauty related questions or products you'd like reviewed by sending me a message using the contact form on the right (which can not be seen on mobile devices).
-Angela ♥