Stop Budget Judging

Let's start with the 3 don'ts

1. Don't assume

2. Don't assume



Why is it so hard for hairdressers to enter this industry with the confidence necessary to be able to state proper pricing?


Is it because as hairdressers we normally start our careers with debt of our own, or perhaps we have financial issues of our own? Maybe we grew up in a home that didn’t talk about money. No matter what our reason it creates an issue when charging our worth.

I had a guest who dressed like a social security pensioner from Ft. Lauderdale who used layaway at Kmart.  I later found out that this same person also owned half of downtown. Lupe Voss, platform artist for Aveda and founder of Haircolormagic, once shared a story with me about going to Nordstrom to buy shoes after a workout.  The clerk, based on her post-exercise casual look, made assumptions about her ability to afford the shoes she asked to see.  

To quote Pretty Woman: “BIG mistake.”

 Do not spend your clients' money for them

Don't assume you know how much they are willing to spend.  It's like a stylist version of mansplaining.  This is not kindergarten, this is business.  Run your business successfully in 2019.

  • Give each client options for their hair service and communicate the price for each choice. Let them decide.

  • Tell each client what you recommend they use to maintain and recreate their look at home. Let them decide.

  • Don't be afraid to talk money. This is business but it is a business that involves connection and nurturing. Listen with a caring heart, offer options if budget is a concern. But have that conversation. LET THEM DECIDE.

Share your stories and thoughts with us in the comments below! 

Kate Wright, lead blogger


Failed Consultations

There's one rule of thumb that we don't discuss when it comes to consultations and it is this:




Why is that?

Indecision, indecision indecision.  There is a difference between offering options to a client, and a client having too many ideas and is unwilling to decide on an option.  You will know these clients from their behavior:

  • Shows multiple pictures each with a different look.  Includes phrases such as 'I like this but I also like this.'

  • Needs constant reassurance about their choice.

  • Fusses with hair while talking, doesn't meet your eyes.

  • Indecisive even after agreeing to a look.

  • Might use industry terms to describe their goal but those words and what they want do not match up.



What is the best way to work with these clients? Start at the beginning. Instead of asking for pictures, ask how the client wants to feel. Younger? More modern? Happy? Bohemian? Sexy? Who doesn’t want to feel sexier…

If the client doesn’t know how they want to feel, be assured they know how they DON’T want to feel. ‘I don’t want to feel like a soccer mom’ is a phrase we hear often.

Avoid industry terms. This client does not care or even know what amazing technique you just learned in class. Keep it simple. Use feelings, use names of hues (opal, buttery, wheaty, chocolate) instead of what level you want to take them to. Don’t use specific measurements in a cut, use ‘collarbone’, ‘below jawline’, ‘shoulder blades’. Why? You are a craft hairdresser. We don’t go into restaurants and tell chefs how to make their entire meal. We don’t tell doctors what treatments to use.

If the clock is still ticking down and an agreement has still not been reached, remember to stay in control.  Sometimes these clients will require you to reschedule their appointment.  There have absolutely been situations where the client is so indecisive that they talk their way through the entire color consultation and the next client is waiting.  Stay in control. Control can mean saying ‘no’. This is not the end of the conversation; know the skills of the stylists near you and refer the client to them if it is within their specialty or reschedule the client on your books at a different time. ‘No’ does not have to be the final answer.

It's not called being a hardass.  It's called being a professional and refusing to be bullied into services that wont work.  Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and kindness, even the indecisive clients.  There is also a difference between being reasonable and being a doormat, and we give you permission to be open and honest with the client in your chair.

Kate Wright, lead blogger