This is a topic that has been on my mind a lot over the last year and I haven’t been sure if I wanted to post it or not on here…
I posted something similar on my Facebook earlier this evening and the response has been overwhelmingly positive so I’ve decided to re-vamp it slightly and write it here as well.
It’s unrealistic to expect hair salons and stylists eat every additional cost when companies we purchase from raise their prices or technology changes for the better and old tech is no longer able to be purchased.
Salon products have changed a lot in the last almost 20 years since I got my license originally. Hell, they’ve changed a lot in just the last few years. Services that used to be available may no longer be, and products we use now for services are heavens above what was used even as recently as last year.
Olaplex is less than 5 years old. Olaplex is a product designed to mix with lighteners to reduce and repair damage to your hair by maintaining and even rebonding the disulfide bond within the structure of the hair. If you want healthy hair you want this mixed with your color services. If you want mermaid hair, or even hair just a few shades lighter than your own you NEED this.
Balayage is a hair painting highlighting technique that isn’t particularly new, but there are new lighteners available within the last few years that contain kaolin clay and other thickening/softening/blending agents in them to reduce bleeding (the term for when highlights run out of foils or onto nearby hair). Can balayage be done with traditional lighteners? Yes, but the ability of your stylist to transform your hair with accuracy is levels above when we get to use products designed for the task.
If you want to go to a salon that has high quality lightener for balayage and uses olaplex every time it’s not going to be 20 bucks.
Hair extensions are another area where it’s hard to understand the value until you’ve had poor quality. All of my favorite companies and constantly coming out with new tech tools and better application methods. When I started doing hair extensions right out of school the only options were a sew-in weave, a quick glue weave, and hand rolled fusions (which were brand new at the time).
Hairdreams started with a dual power machine for hand rollings, and now they have a machine called the LaserBeamer Nano which can apply FIVE perfectly smooth flat fusions at the same time. The quality of their hair has been consistently amazing, but this new tool makes it much faster meaning less time in the salon chair. Cost drawbacks? Yep, the LaserBeamer Nano required a three day class marketed at over $5,000 and uses nano sticks every time an application is done (those aren’t free either).
Hotheads (sister companies with Hair Talk) was first on the scene with tape-in hair extensions. They now create color melts and rooted pieces, as well as producing THREE different sizes of tape-in tabs. Are they the same price as they were 15 years ago when I started using them? Nope.
If you want to get hair extensions that don’t come from Sally’s Beauty Supply it’s not going to be 20 bucks.
What if all you want is a blowout? Well, shampoos, conditioners, and styling products have all changed a lot too. People used to come in and get a roller set with “Lotta Body” setting lotion, the product was inexpensive and the client spent minimal time with the stylist because the client was under the dryer most of the time they were in the salon.
Now everyone wants some amazing, time consuming, rough dried, recurled, smoothed out, heat protection treated, shine serum coated, glitter roots, three braids on each side to look like a viking princess at Coachella, with hairspray that doesn’t’t feel like hair spray and it has to be vegan and animal cruelty free and no CFC propellant, and it has to last a week…
If you want to have your hair blow-dried and flat ironed with heat protection products after your chemical services and you want to leave looking like a princess it’s not going to be 20 bucks.