By John Grossi
There’s a trend spreading quickly throughout the salon world regarding how stylists charge their customers. The switch is from paying for various services a la carte to paying one’s stylist for their time. And like many changes, this one came about thanks to COVID. However, according to RaChelle Daniels of Static Salon, the new pricing is here to stay.
Static Salon has already switched to an hourly-rate structure and RaChelle expects that many other salons will make the switch by 2022. “It’s a blown-up conversation in the salon world on the internet. Most salons are doing it. Of course there will always be a few of the more corporate generic places that don’t, but any salon dedicated to consistent growth, training, and education is going to know their worth and switch to an hourly rate.”
Customers can now go into a salon such as Static, choose a stylist with the desired expertise who fits their budget, get a time quote, and sign up to get the hair service they desire. Static Salon has also eliminated tipping to even out the price for the average consumer and to make the whole process more transparent. The goal is to be open and fair about pricing, value, and price structure. For years, stylists have kept their rates stagnant and been one of the most underpaid and overworked professions in the service industry. “Stylists got by, by toggling
between 3 or 4 clients at the same time, running between chairs, and working their butts off,” explains RaChelle.
But then COVID hit and the days of seeing multiple clients at once went out the door. It was a golden opportunity to re-evaluate the whole system and understand each stylist’s true value. Charging for their time not only allows stylists to earn a more realistic and stable income for their families, it also removes unfair pricing for many customers.
“It’s gender affirming which is a huge factor for us,” says RaChelle. “Why should a man’s haircut be $35 if a woman has similar length hair and is charged triple that price?”
RaChelle requires her nine stylists to do extensive training, classes, and education each year that add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Some of her senior stylists with over 20 years of experience (including the ongoing education courses) and full booking charge between $125 to $150 an hour. Static Salon is home to newer stylists charging lower rates as well.
Probably the biggest factor that triggered the pricing change can be ascribed to Instagram and Pinterest.
“These days there are so many mega-influencers on Instagram who our customers follow. Customers come in, hand our stylists a picture and request the exact same hairstyle. Well, depending on the client’s hair color, these treatments can take four, five, even six hours! Not only that, our stylists have to go through constant education and training, costing thousands of dollars annually, to keep up with the Instagram hairstyles and trends.”
This reality, RaChelle maintains, is why she and many other salon owners have switched their prices to hourly. The new model values their stylists, who work so hard and invest so much time and money into constantly improving their craft.
“I have extreme confidence to charge these prices because my girls are worth it and need to be paid sufficiently to support their families. The industry is changing but the value is here already, and clients are fine with it.”
RaChelle encourages anyone with questions to reach out to her at Static Salon. And remember, even though the price is tied to a stylist’s hourly wage now, a prospective customer can still get an estimate ahead of time based on what services and treatments you desire!