For the ladies: 10 things your hairdresser won’t tell you!
1. Money grows on you.
Hairdressing is often described as “recession-proof” because it is one of the last purchases consumers give up during tough economic times. People will wear old clothes but find it difficult to skimp on a good haircut. Indeed, despite the recession of 2008, the number of mom-and-pop hair salons increased by nearly 8% between 2008 and 2009.
2. Your hairline may be receding, but our prices aren’t.
The Federal Reserve has worked to keep inflation low over the past year, but Chairman Ben Bernanke — who probably doesn’t need many haircuts — doesn’t seem to be having much luck with the salon industry. The cost of a men’s haircut and blow dry jumped 46%, to $42, in 2011, according to an online survey of salons published by American Salon Magazine. A women’s cut rose 29%, to $56.
3. …except when we feel like negotiating.
Some hairdressers will advertise a high price to make them look like they’re in demand, but when pressed will charge a lower fee. Even hair stylists that aren’t doing a brisk business may start advertising and charging higher prices to make up for low volume.
4. The hair products are the real moneymaker.
That pyramid of shampoos, conditioners and hot oil treatments most consumers must dodge before leaving the salon aren’t there for decoration — that’s where salons earn the big bucks. Around 57% of salon/spa owners reported higher retail sales between the first quarters of 2010 and 201. The sale of hair-care products hit $1.9 billion in 2010, up 2.3% on the previous year.
5. A cosmetology license doesn’t really cut it.
Cosmetology licenses are given out based on hours spent cutting hair, and in some states, a written examination. Skill, and style, are not required. It’s a piece of paper that gives you the opportunity to practice legally, but after that you have to find your way in the business yourself whether it’s a $10 haircut or a fancy place.
6. We sometimes gossip about you behind your back.
According to a survey by Pivot Point, a company that creates educational products for hairstyling schools, some 52% of people have been seeing the same hairdresser over three years and over 38% of all respondents admitted to discussing their relationships with their hairdresser. People don’t talk to their dentist or doctor about their relationships but they do talk to their hairstylists, experts say.
7. You depend on us for way more than your hair.
Hairdressers come armed with a pair of scissors and a crimper, but their real talents lie in how they manage their relationship with clients. Gossip aside, some 81% of people in the Pivot Point survey rated their relationship with their stylist as one of the most important reasons they choose their salon, with nearly 80% seeing the same stylist each visit.
8 .We’re not sorry for the delay.
There’s a reason why the salon is stacked with the latest edition of Vogue. Hairstylists — keen to squeeze in as many customers as possible — frequently run late. The trick for many busy hairdressers is to make customers wait — without them realizing they’re waiting. Stylists may overbook on purpose in an effort to make more money and then juggle clients and make people wait. Any wait times over 15 or 20 minutes is unacceptable.
9. We screwed up.
Good hairdressers are trained to keep a poker face, experts say, whenever the stylist’s and client’s eyes meet in the mirror. You won’t know from their expression that they’ve just given you asymmetrical bangs or used a blonde dye that’s too brassy.
10. We get very sensitive about clients who stray.
Hairdressers admit they take client defections personally. They are very sensitive and very competitive.