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Fair prices for hair

Everyone's hair is different—is it wrong for your styling costs to reflect that?

Unfair to hair?

While natural hair salons can be a life-saver to newly natural women who are clueless as how to take care of their new curly mane, some women refuse to step one foot inside of a salon because of one major factor. “I can’t get over the prices,” says Lisa Cannon, who’s been natural for two years. “Stylists are charging anywhere from $75 to $125 for a twist-out and I can do that for myself for free.” While prices are an important factor in determining whether customers are going to pay for a salon services, they also need to factor in their hair type.

Some natural hair salons are charging their clients by the type of texture they have, whether it be curly, kinky, coily, or wavy. Just Braids, a natural salon in New Castle, Delaware, lists two different prices for some natural hairstyles. Under their “Get Twisted” menu, box braids are priced at $80 and up and flat twists are priced at $45 and up. Under that menu is another menu titled “Bi-racial Textures.” In that menu, box braids are priced at $65 and up and flat twists are listed as a standard $25. Owner of Just Braids, Nicole says, “It’s about manageability.” “There is a lot that goes into servicing the hair types,” she explains. “It can be length of time... products and difficulty that go into the styling that the individual wants.” She also mentions that a woman with biracial hair can end up paying more than a woman with a kinkier hair type if that individual’s hair requires a lot of time to style. “Say your hair is short, but you have a head full of hair,” she further explains, “the average person may take up to 3 hours... depending on the texture of hair and complexity of the style you want, it could take up to 5 to 8 hours.”

Nicole also factors in the price of products she is using on her clients' hair. One product that she uses is Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding, which can cost $38 a jar. If the hair style the client gets requires a lot of product, the overall price of the salon visit will reflect that. “If you have a biracial client who has a head full of hair that’s maybe 10-12 inches long, you might be going through half of the Curly Pudding to get the hair style that she wants, and I would factor in that price with her style,” she says.

Monica, manager of Salon De Lara, in Ann Arbor, MI, agrees with charging the client based on the product, but not based on hair type. She explains that curly hair of all types requires more product because it is coarser than straight hair. “When you are doing highlights you actually have to do a little more work and you have to put in more color so the highlights looks natural,” Monica explains. “So it’s based on the product itself that you’re putting in the hair, not the hair type.”

Upon hearing about salons charging by the type of hair they have instead of the style itself, Lisa Cannon wondered if this was a form of discrimination, but Nicole says that is not the case at all. “The intention of a stylist is not to offend anyone, but it has to do with the different facets of the hair... the time, styling—everything is broken down,” Nicole said.

What do you think about this practice? Tell us below!

0 Comments
I understand and agree with the stylist charging more for a specific style or procedure, but to charge according to hair type shows a lack of practice with different hair types. If stylists would encourage clients of all hair types, textures and densities to come to their salons, not only will they become competent and faster in dealing with the variety of hair, but will gain more clients. Charging more because the stylist uses an expensive product is not fair to the customer, unless it's clear that those are the only products that salon uses. Let the customer decide which product she wants on her hair, or allow that customer to bring in the hair product.

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