Why NOT to do discounted hair, & what to do instead.


If you’ve followed me at any point you might have already heard me say that I don’t believe in discounting your services, but I do believe in doing hair for free. Let me explain.

What do discounted services do for you?

  • They lessen the value of your service.

    In the same way that we see the dollar store as having less valuable products than Target, your client is going to think that your discounted service is less valuable than one of full cost. That’s absolutely not what we want our clients thinking.

  • They give you clients who aren’t your ideal client.

    Often, people who shop for discounted services, always do just that: shop for discounted services. If you offer them a discount on their first service, they may wait to return until you have another special, or price shop for someone closer who offers the same service at a lower price. They may just buy group-ons for different salons every 6 weeks. Filling our chairs is great, filling our chairs with people who want discounted services isn’t.

  • You open up the price conversation.

    When you get someone in the door with a discounted service, you automatically open the door for the point of the service to be the price. It’s no longer about the value, the outcome, or their experience. It’s simply about their price, and it will be the next time, too.

Now, there are ways to market and get more clients in your chair without devaluing your services. The answer: Free hair. Sound crazy? Keep reading.

You don’t advertise it as a discounted service, you advertise it as needing a hair model. This gets people really excited and they feel like they can take advantage of getting their hair done by someone they’ve admired for a while - whether they have the money or not. The bonus: You put in your guidelines that you reserve creative freedom, and you have the best marketing tool you could find. Want more balayage clients? bring in two people, balayage them for free, and blast your social media with the awesome pictures you got out of that.

Another bonus of using hair models is that they’re typically understanding that they will be at the salon for a while, so you really get utilize that time and get as much material out of them as necessary. I did this when I wanted to do more vivids, and over the course of 6 months I found myself with almost too many vivid clients (is that even a thing?)

Of course, you can take pictures of discounted services as well - but you’re on a timeline, you’re working for them, and you don’t have the creative freedom you want to use it as a marketing tool. You’re on their dime and their time, and that is way less exciting/beneficial.

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Esther ChapmanComment