I teach a lot of one-on-one classes with hairstylists from all over the country. During this time, I’ve tried to emphasize one of the biggest takeaways — one I always hope stylists start once they get back behind the chair — and that is the absolute need to charge hourly for your services.
The hair color world started to make a shift a few years ago with the introduction of balayage, babylighting, shadow rooting and foilayage. As a result, color was no longer seen as a one-size-fits-all type of service. Now, we are at the point as an industry where haircuts should be treated the same way.
The time it takes to do a trim and some light layering on long hair is very different from what I spend on a long shag. The same can be said for a short cut that’s touched up every four weeks versus a high fade with undercut designs. If a haircut takes more time, you should be taken care of for the time spent.
Beyond the monetary benefits, your clients will also feel more at ease knowing there will be extra time available if they are wanting a big change. Switching over to hourly for my haircuts has made me feel like I can breathe a little more behind the chair. It took me away from that feeling of go, go, go. Additionally, I don’t try to jam as many clients into the day as possible anymore. Now, I feel validated in each cut that I’m doing, making me more relaxed and present for each client in my day.
Another major benefit to switching your pricing structure is that your haircut bookings can now be gender neutral! In the age of shags, mullets, curly cuts and other intricately detailed looks, it’s time you accounted for these types of specialty cuts.
For online booking, I base my appointments off of hair length (super short, short, medium, long and extra long) and have special options to add 15 minutes if your hair is super thick at any of those lengths. I also have options for clients wanting a specialty cut (shag, mullet, edgy, curls) or a major transformation (cutting off five or more inches or making a big shape change).
I encourage every stylist to give this a try and start reaping the benefits for themselves! Gone are the days that a new client walks in with waist length, absurdly thick hair and gives you (and me) a mini anxiety attack. Whether you’ve been in the hair biz for six months or 16 years, it’s time to take charge of your bookings. This is the future!