Shift your thinking about charging more for time, quality, and expertise.
One of the challenges most stylists face after learning a new, typically high-ticket technique like beaded-row extensions, is shifting their mindset about what they should be able to charge for it when they are actually doing it - and doing it well - behind the chair.
Let me guess how it all plays out. You learn how to do hand-tied hair extensions with a beaded-row method and you’re super excited to start offering it because you’ve been sold the dream of earning more and working less. So get you get back to the salon, you don’t feel super confident but you are busy with all your other clients and don’t think you have time to take “models” off the books, so you price the new service low (just to start, you tell yourself), and lo and behold, a few of your current clients DO show a little interest - woohoo! You get a few hand-tied hair extensions appointments under your belt and feel a little more confident but the appointments take so much longer, and since that you’ve gotten your current clients (and new inquiries, too) used to your discount pricing, you’re nervous to increase! And now your books are even more overloaded because you’re doing your best to offer the highest quality service but quality takes time, and you can’t afford to hire an assistant to help you speed up because you never raised your prices. So you’re burnt out AND not making any more money than you were before you started offering this service that is basically now COSTING you money because you can’t fit in any more clients and you’re not even close to getting any closer to the golden promise of earning more while working less. Yeah. Right. That is NOT happening. SO you decide it's not worth it and don't recruit any more new extensions business, and actually hope that your current extensions clients will decide to take them out so you can just go back to double-booking color clients and making more money... with less back pain.
That may or not be the exact picture of what has happened with you (or what might happen if you haven’t yet learned) but chances are, it’s not that far off.
And let me tell you, I get it! I’ve been there. And it has taken a lot of mental reasoning to get to the point where I can comfortably and confidently charge luxury prices for my services… especially after having people tell me “you can’t charge that” or actually be nervous on my behalf that my prices are publicly listed on my website for all to see. I laugh at that now - as a consumer interested in a product or service, isn’t the FIRST thing you want to know how much it costs?
I digress. The reason you’re here is because you want to know, what is the BIGGEST thing to consider when pricing your hand-tied hair extensions services, right? The truth is, there are a lot of things to consider and I’m sure you’ve heard most of them. The COSTS involved… the extension hair, the supplies required, the high quality products you use, the TRAINING you went through to be certified (and lawd, it is expensive!), your marketing, the hair color, the time it takes, hiring someone to help you, etc, etc, etc...
But if I could sum up for you what I thought was the BIGGEST thing to consider when shifting your thinking about pricing your hand-tied hair extensions services, it wouldn’t be any one of these things.
It would be that, as long as you’re not skimping out on the quality of the service you offer, and you’re not rushing through your service and being sloppy about it just to cram another client into your salon factory line (which I hope you are not doing)… get this: your hand-tied hair extensions services are essentially the equivalent of you doing two heads of hair in one appointment.
Hold on. Read that again. Now stop, and think about that for a minute.
I understand that some stylists break up their color and extensions services into two appointments or apply hair color to their clients with extensions already installed which simply isn’t how I work... and, well, that's a whole other post for another day. I’m going to walk you through my process so you can see exactly what I mean.
My initial installation appointment involves an in-depth consultation, selection of wefts, getting to know my client and often doing much more with her hair color in this visit than at any subsequent appointments because it’s her first visit with me and she’s looking for a change. While her color is processing, I’m coloring and prepping her extension hair for installation.
My maintenance appointment is similar - I remove my client’s extensions, address her color, and while she’s processing, address the color and condition of her hand-tied wefts. Do you see the pattern? The care taken on the extension hair is essentially the equivalent of a second client... and it certainly prevents me from double booking another client in that time.
Is anyone having major “a-ha” moments right now?
If offering this service means you are unable to double-book clients as you have in the past, why would you even offer it if you weren’t planning on charging more for it? It simply does not make sense. If you can only take care of two hand-tied hair extensions clients in the time that you could typically take care of four or more color/cut clients, what would be the advantage in adding this to your service offerings?
When you’re ready (which is sooner than you think), you can hire an associate or co-stylist to help you reduce your appointment time, which is where the earning more, working less part comes in. With the help of another stylist, those dramatic transformations that used to take 6-8 hours on your own and had you sweating in the back room now take you half the time, AND you CAN do more than one in a day (and get your “after” photos before the sun goes down!), and maybe stop working weekends or take another day off during the week! Imagine that!
So I want to know, what does this mental shift change for you? Have you been undercharging for the time and care and QUALITY that you put into your extensions services? Do you think you can feel more confident charging luxury prices for a luxury service that is basically the equivalent of taking extra special care of two clients in one? Let me know in the comments below!