Pro Takes: how to price your blending services

Pro Takes: how to price your blending services

There’s more than one way to price a blonde. As a matter of fact, there are almost as many ways to approach pricing your blonde looks as there are techniques to create them. In this blog post, we will cover a few different ways of pricing blonding services and ask a few milk_shake PROs to weigh in. 


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Ways to price blonding services 

While many salons elect to have a simple service menu with flat rate pricing based on service type, it’s not the only way to do business. Here are three alternative ways to approach pricing blonding services: 

Service-based model/ this is the traditional method. You would figure in the average cost to perform a specific blonding service by adding cost for color and your desired profit margin. If you are an independent stylist, you would also figure in your business-related costs into this model (ie. Utilities, towel service, chair/suite rent, etc.). This approach treats bonding service like a stand-alone product. Cost to perform + profit margin = cost of service.  


Hourly Pricing model/ this up-and-coming pricing model takes a little more work on the upfront but simplifies your salon service menu moving forward. Hourly pricing takes costs into account before any service begins. What does that look like? You would sit down and determine your average cost of doing business for a month and break it down into an hourly rate. Then, break down your desired annual salary into an hourly rate (ex: $100,000/yr ÷2,080 hours=$48.07/hr) 

You would then add your hourly costs to your hourly pay rate and that amount would be your hourly pricing for your guests. You would then provide your guests with a quote for time per service.  


Parts + Labor model/ Have you ever taken a close look at the receipt from your car mechanic or appliance repair tech? Have that in mind while we talk about this relatively new (to salons) pricing structure. Essentially, you would itemize the cost of materials plus an hourly rate for service. You would itemize the cost of color, foils, shampoo, conditioner, and styling products used, add a surcharge for cleaning (towels, capes, etc.) and add an hourly rate for your labor. The final amount would be the price to the client.  


Level-based model/ This approach is pretty novel and blonding specific. Essentially, you would charge a flat rate based on the client’s starting level. For example, if you had a level 8 client looking to become a level 10, you would charge less than if that client were a level 5-6. The real cost differences come in when prelightening comes into play or if a client needs multiple appointments to get them to the level of desired blonde.  


What our PROs have to say 

Gerard Caruso, milk_shake North America Creative Director of Education, opts for a hybrid pricing model in his salon. “We start with a base price per service and then provide a final price that factors in the colorists’ level of expertise porosity, length, and starting level. This allows our stylists the freedom create, while keeping everything accounted for—from a business standpoint.” 

Eloy Villareal, milk_shake North America Market Manager, highlights the flexibility of pricing per foil. “Often times, clients are just looking for a little brightness around the face or a money piece. Charging for a partial would be over kill, but some clients need more “brightness” than others. Pricing per foil can make sense depending on the clients’ needs. 

Shana Bachman—milk_shake content creator and independent blonding specialist with more than 95% of her business coming from blondes starts her blondes at a base price that includes a gloss and blow dry and style. She increases the price based on product used—meaning the price goes up for every additional bowl that is mixed. This could be for grey coverage, low lights, shadow root… etc.  

The only exceptions to this model is if it’s a color correction or platinum card and the service will take more than 3 hours. Anything after the three-hour mark is shifted to an hourly rate.  


No matter how you choose to structure your blonde service pricing, having the right tools is a must. With milk_shake PRO Light Catcher family of lightening products, you can create a full spectrum of radiant, healthy blondes. Learn more about light catcher HERE >>>