Last week, I was discussing prices increases with salon owner. He brought up a conversation that he’d had with a customer, who was concerned about the stylist’s prices. When a service provider is asked these kinds of questions—with the implication that their services are too expensive—it’s hard not to get insulted.  After all, incredible service providers often spend years studying, practicing, and perfecting their methods. The question comes down to this: what does a client think a stylist or esthetician is worth?

Profession Comparison Examples

The client has come to you to put chemicals on their head, cut their hair into enhancing styles, educate them about current fashion and trends, and keep them in the loop on scalp and hair health. That’s a pretty wide cross-section of specializations. With that in mind, ask yourself as a professional: Why would you allow a client to limit how much of a living you make for the specialized services you provide?

We always say we don’t do it for the money. While that it isn’t the only motivating factor for a career, should it then justify your complacency in accepting a lower-income status? Consider this, for comparison: plumbers make an average of $52,000 a year in Canada before overtime, with a similar requirement of hands-on technical training. An immigration and customs inspector—which requires less hands-on technical training—earns $54,000 per year. The average police officer receives $51,000 and requires about a year at an academy. A brick mason earns about $47,000 per year, with minimal training.

Take Matters into Your Own Hands

Become active in your local association board and take responsibility for your part of our industry’s growth. Actively educate your clients on the training and expertise you bring to the table, and use your expertise to get involved as an advocate with local business groups.

Did you know that at one time dentists were also grouped in with barbers and hairstylists? Just look at what they have done to elevate their profession. They have taken it to another level of expertise and customer care. Truly, why can’t we do the same for our industry? Even the manufacturers of the professional brands that you put in the consumers’ hands tend to overlook the value of the stylist. Think about this: often the products you recommend cost as much as the haircut you created for that individual.

All over the world, many believe that beauty helps them get what they want and that the relationship between happiness and beauty is directly proportional. It’s time for us—the people who populate the beauty industry,—to finally take a stand and say, “Because we’re worth it.”