Why are haircuts so expensive

What!? “SOOO” expensive? Hairdresser prices in the price comparison!

What!? “SOOO” expensive? Hairdresser prices in the price comparison!

Encouraged by a customer who complained to me on Facebook because his son, who was almost three at the time, had to pay 12.00 € for the Haircuthave asked, today I am looking into the question of whether this is really expensive.

Sure, people like to say, "Hey, this is a small child, you can't deduct that much!"
With us, children generally pay nothing up to 2 years of age ... this is a gift to parents, because it is often difficult to cut, especially with the very little ones.
But you spend a lot of time distracting the little ones and playing with them!
Often we stand crookedly behind the child who does not know and does not understand “SITTING STILL” at all!
The whole thing always with the risk of cutting our fingers or worse, always in the fear of disfiguring the wriggling child!

Back to the customer and his little one, who has really given us a lot of pleasure for almost 3 years!
At first, when the young man came to us and didn't even know what haircutting was all about, he was really happy to come to us (apparently he liked the many pretty girls) but touching the head was not his thing!
Pulling your head away or even hitting the comb was standard and the whole thing grew into a little thriller.
Sometimes three girls were then busy distracting and amusing the little one so that he could grab his head when he tried to cut something off.
Sometimes the girls were busy for 30-45 minutes ... and all of that for the Free of charge !!
Sure, we have increased our prices significantly in recent years, so the poor customer had to experience some price jumps! Our price for a men's haircut including an extensive head massage has risen from € 23.00 to € 30.00 in five years! (calculated working time 30 - 35 min.)

Today the young man has long since grown up, is as happy as a cookie and is wonderfully still.
He just learned from a very young age that cutting hair is something beautiful!
Grins all over your face and gives everyone the five highly motivated. It is really fun to cut the cute grimace's hair.
Nevertheless, now it is big and now we are slowly beginning to cost the effort that we have done so many times voluntarily for free?
It doesn't really matter whether we do this for a child or an adult, the work is done and is always worth the same and always causes the same costs !?
Nevertheless we only take 12.00 € and this is less than half what we actually need!

Price list hair architecture Lüneburg

The young man now has a regular hairdresser!
This employee is a mother herself and has two children.
She earns our in-house minimum wage of € 12 per hour! (Today every employee receives at least 14 €!)
That's not a lot, but it is customary in the industry for a fairly freshly trained employee to have a really good salary in our (industry average) poorly paid profession! Sure, everyone has the opportunity to earn more with us, but of course there are also fewer regular customers at the beginning. I believe in my employees and I think that she too will soon earn a lot more!

But that clearly requires more sales !!

I consider the statutory minimum wage to be inhumane and have decided that € 14.00 p. Std the least is what I can reconcile with my conscience! As a rule, our average salaries are 14.00 € per hour + 50% sales surplus with good additional performance.
But even with 2225.00 € gross at 37.5 hours, an adult and their two daughters cannot live in luxury ...

When I told my colleague the next day that the customer had complained about the price, she was downright shaken ... she said she cut the little one's hair for about 25 minutes and, as always, was very responsive to him.
Even if he better keep still, she has to be careful when she uses the scissors!
Afterwards she went back with him by the hand and gave him two little chocolate Santa Clauses to keep him still!
In October 2015 we still cut for free up to 3 years, but my employees complained and said that they would then no longer want to serve children, then only trainees should do that, because you cannot work without sales, because they naturally want to earn !
How often has my colleague done the whole thing with the cute guy, with the support of several colleagues, completely and without cashing in anything?

And now the parents are 12.00 € too much?
(Incidentally, the mother was informed beforehand about the change in the price and was told that it would cost something today)

But how is that supposed to work at lower prices?

  • 19% go to the tax office (VAT)
  • 40-45% wages and ancillary wage costs are common in the hairdressing trade, since we only do manual labor
  • 30% are overhead costs - coffee biscuits - “chocolate Santas” - electricity - heating - hot water - sewage - taxes - duties, but also unproductive salaries and many other costs.
12,00 €Revenue - 119%
– 1,92 €Taxes 19 percent %
10,08 €Net sales 100%
– 3,02 €Overheads approx. 30%
– 4,54 €Wage + ancillary wage costs approx. 45%
– 1,51 €Loss 15%
1,01 €Pre-tax profit


Please what? From 12.00 € turnover there is only 1.01 € profit left?

Would be nice?

We have a contribution margin from approx. € 65.00 for Services in the hour, but my employee earned only 12.00 € for 25 minutes of work, we are steering into a minus here. We can afford this minus because our services are sufficiently calculated!
For example, we also offer pony cutting for our customers as a service, we process any complaints or dissatisfaction without charge, in a calculation these costs are at a loss (makes up approx. 15%)

But what can my employees, the little customer or I do to ensure that there are hairdressers who sell their work for less than a kebab !?
What can we do to ensure that many colleagues run your company as a hobby, Wage dumping, black coffers, money laundering, micro-enterprises (without tax burden) or just ruinous cheap prices at the expense of service, Customer friendlinesst and, last but not least, lack of time and quality and always operate at the expense of the employees! Can we do something about the fact that most hairdressers have to work for the legal hunger / minimum wage?

Does the dear father who has been troubled by us go to work for 12.00 € an hour?

Does this father even know what it means every day - partly about 40 hours a weekMentally extremely challenged and physically, due to the many static loads, to do this incredibly strenuous job and then to run to the office because the money is not enough? Is it fair to rant and argue about a price for a service that is almost given away? Just because we have so much fun showing these little people on earth how to cut their hair?

Is it fair if parents get this work for free for more than 2 years and then, at some point, when they have to pay (half) the price, complain and consider it too expensive? We are already disappointed and do not know how to deal with this situation ...


Aren't we a craft profession?

What do you get today for 12.00 €?

  • In the car repair shop I pay 25.00 € + VAT (approx. 10 min work with an impact wrench) for the winter tire change, because there you pay around 100.00 - 120.00 € per hour
  • Children's shoes? Why do you actually pay double for small shoes?
  • Children's clothing… why do you often pay more for a children's T-shirt than for a large one?
  • Painting a child's room ... ask the painter if he can paint the child's room cheaper too ... you will reap a cold grin! 🤣
  • Quite a few mulled wine at the Christmas market? Sorry, partly the cheapest booze from a 10 liter tetra pack and I have to pay € 4.00 for such disgusting stuff? I don't even get drunk for 12.00 €, but I have a guaranteed headache!
  • A schnitzel in many a Lüneburg restaurant ... greasy mushy fried potatoes and a frozen pork schnitzel from the deep fryer ... is on the table in about 10 minutes! partly for 10-12 €
  • Key emergency service - washing machine emergency service - for 12.00 € they just answer the phone
  • Haircut at a discount hairdresser - all 13.00 € and I hardly believe that someone there takes such a long and self-sacrificing time !?
  • Children's haircut at a large German hairdressing chain - see picture!
    (2013 a comment on their Facebook page for the price of 13 € for a child's haircut)
  • Doner kebab, around the corner from the Turkish. 4.00 € for a kebab with about 1 minute of work and about 0.50 € material, the kebab actually costs an incredible 240 € per hour!

I could go on like this for hours!

If you are still interested, feel free to read on !?
It's about the future of the hairdressing industry

The whole thing goes much deeper than this unpleasant situation at first shows!

Why do my employees and I have each other for that Premium concept decided and why did the poor family man have to endure several hefty price adjustments?

How does it look in our beautiful job? If you are honest, really dark!
Hardly anyone is still training (apprenticeship rate below 20%) and you can hear that people in the industry only complain!

Nobody is satisfied:

  • Skilled labor shortage - sure, who wants to do such hard work for the starvation wage?
  • no more trainees to be found - At the same time, there is hardly any training anymore - I am almost the only one in Lüneburg who takes on 1-2 trainees every year on a large scale and on a regular basis
  • empty schooln - Vocational school classes with 5-6 students
  • Wage dumping - Despite the minimum wage, employees are hired for 3 days and then have to work for up to 6 days - thus sometimes hourly wages of less than € 3
  • unpaid overtime - In order to make sufficient sales at cheap prices, many hairdressers have to work unpaid overtime
  • many semi-skilled workers - Hardly any hairdressers, partly trained housewives (see here)
  • acutely falling Employee level
  • barely further education (too expensive)
  • More and more micro-entrepreneurs with just € 17,500 annual turnover and no tax burden.
  • More and more entrepreneurs who top up their office - survive without sickness, sick days and other insurance or only by making black money.
  • Money laundering - Companies with contact with drugs and red light milieu, where hair is cut for € 5 - € 10, but the cash registers ring in the evening after work
  • Dissatisfied employees - lousy salaries, piecework, hardly any breaks, unbelievable pressure - sect-like conditioning and exaggerated sales targets

Here, too, I could go on like this for hours

Where will it go !?
Because the prices are far too cheap, the shortage of skilled workers will be dramatic in the future…. it inevitably leads to acute hairdressing death!
But will the industry really shrink back to health?

Hardly - it'll get worse before it gets better!

My employees and I made our decision for ourselves and will continue to educate ourselves. Establish our quality - our service - our wages - and our prices at the same high level.


What kind of decisions do price-conscious customers make?

To be honest, I can't afford these thoughts!



Do you also want to learn to calculate a sufficient price and then confidently represent it in front of your customers !?

Follow the link! www.friseur-coaching.de

Master hairdresser and owner of the hairdressing salon in Lüneburg. Lecturer and examiner in the master school of the Chamber of Crafts Lüneburg (Braunschweig-Lüneburg-Stade). Specialist author, social media expert, independent specialist trainer, coach & consultant, seminar leader for the beauty industry.