"Sorry, you said HOW MUCH?"
Everybody has been there. You find someone who appeals to you, you stalk their work, you pick apart their website, and at some point you're ready to take the next step. After contacting them --*ping* -- you finally get an email back with the estimate you requested! You open it and your stomach hits the floor. Uhhhh, did they mean to add that extra zero?!
I know it seems crazy when all you see is the number on the screen. Let's be real, you probably don't know very many people who make more than $30 or $40 per hour and if you do, your friends are doing way better than mine! The truth is that stylists aren't bringing home as much as you think. Here's why.
As the cost of living rises in the USA, so does the cost of everything else. Just to list off a few of my own expenses as a suite owner: Rent, retail products, color, developer, shampoo, conditioner, conditioning treatments, gloves, foils, combs, Barbicide, clips, brushes, color brushes, plastic caps, towels, neck strips, capes, hot tools, tool maintenance, shears, razors, etc. etc. etc. My list could go on for DAYS but you get the picture! In addition to the tools you can see and hold, we are required to hold multiple licenses to be allowed to offer services and some of those licenses require regular continuing education hours to be completed. Beyond the basic requirements, the beauty industry is ever-evolving and requires all involved to invest in constant education in order to remain relevant and avoid being left in the dust by those who are willing to consistently up their game. For those of you who hate numbers, I apologize for what follows. For those of you who love them, enjoy!
Below are some expenses with approximate amounts (things vary based on the stylist's area and their needs)
Suite/Loft/Booth rent: $800-1300 per month
Retail products: $500 per month
Color and other related supplies: $1000 per month
Tool maintenance: $25-50 per month
Education: $500+ per month
Licensing: $20 per month
Booking system: $20+ per month
Card reader/fees: $150+ per month
Computer/iPad/technology: $50-100 per month
Total: $3,065-3,640 per month
For a stylist working 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year, that comes out to about $18.40-21.85 per HOUR. This includes NO living or personal expenses. On the low end, expect to be paying your stylist at least double that per hour. This will increase based on demand and will likely increase at least annually along with the cost of everything else.
In short: Yep, you heard your service provider correctly! That IS the price!