Let’s Talk About Attitude and Getting Paid (More)

Hello lovely readers! Today’s post is especially for the hairdressers, but some of this will also be helpful to the makeup artists, estheticians, and even the freelance photographers, models, wardrobe stylists, etc. Particularly those new in the industry.

Let’s talk about money. We all need it to live, and yet, amongst creative people there is a tendency to be ashamed of this fact. Sometimes I see an internal struggle within them, like it is immoral to charge what they feel on another level is the right amount to charge. I don’t claim to not have these feelings. But I recognize them and understand that if I say, “That will be $115 today,” like I am embarrassed, ashamed, or afraid, people will obviously feed off that energy and feel like it is too much. You can’t talk about money with an apologetic tone or else people feel like you might not be worth it. Which is never the feeling you want people to have. If you say, “That will be $150 today,” in a decisive, confident tone, people will generally be fine. Sure, there are some cheap clients out there who always feel like they are getting slighted, but you can’t treat everyone like that, or people who weren’t otherwise cheap and distrustful might start to act that way.

I am not saying overcharge. I am just saying, don’t undercut yourself or the other professionals around you, as that devalues the hard work we put into this industry.

My mother lives in a small coastal town in Oregon and the market for cutting hair is quite different. She pays $15 including tip for her haircut for a very experienced hairdresser with a substantial clientele. There is not reason for her not to raise her haircut from $2 every couple of years. The only reasons I can think of are fear of losing clients or making them upset or being doubtful that it would make a big difference. Who is really going to be that upset over $2? Not many people, and some who grumble will still come back anyway. You might love a small handful, but you would probably still be making more money and working less. Also, people will tip more.

Above all, people want to see confidence in their hairdresser. As I said before, I am still new at all this and this does not come easy, but it has always been important to me to examine the most successful people I meet and see what makes them different.

As beauty professionals we need to have pride for our work and truly believe it is worth what we are asking. If we don’t believe that to be the case, we need to find what is missing and add it into our services. If it means more education, get more education. If it means a more thorough consultation, spend more time! Even go Vidal Sassoon style and take voice lessons if you think that will make a better, more luxurious experience for the client.

Now, my last point is one very important to me! It is related to not speaking with an apologetic tone about money. Don’t talk to clients about your money problems! Never, never, never! On some clients it will make them tip better or feel less bad about paying more, but you never want the client to feel like you are unreliable, like your mind is on other things than their hair, that they are paying because you need it not because the service is worth it. Clients will feel that their hair doesn’t look as good, even if that is not remotely true! They will look for excuses to go to someone else. They will feel like a burden. And most importantly, they will not feel recharged!

People don’t want to give money to someone who needs it. They want to give it to someone who deserves it. They are paying for experiences and for compliments.

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