color correction

Properly Pricing Color Corrections: 

Everything You Need to Know

Corrective color. 

Whether those words send chills down your spine or get you straight-up hyped for a tough challenge, there’s no denying one simple fact about color correction clients—pricing them right can be tricky AF.

Maybe you’ve already got your color correction rate formula down to a science, maybe you’ve got a whisper of a strategy cooked up in your brain, and maybe you have no idea where to even begin the rate discussion—no matter where you’re at, we encourage you to read this article.

Here, we’re going to dive into some color correcting pricing strategies, facts, and tips that we believe are going to be hugely beneficial for your pricing process.

Ideally, this article is going to give you the insight you need to find that sweet spot for corrective color rates—you know the one we’re talking about, where your clients don’t run screaming but you also don’t end up spending hours on correcting someone’s horrible dye job without getting properly compensated for it.

So, buckle up beauty queens and kings, because we’re diving straight into the controversial topic of color correction pricing.

First Things First—What Do YOU Consider a Color Correction?

Obviously, you understand the basics of a color correction, but if you’re going to price out your services appropriately, you need to qualify what counts as a color correction by your standards.

Ask yourself a few important questions to figure out what you count as a color correction:

  • Did the client come in from another salon in desperate need of some help?
  • Did your client try to dye their hair themselves and end up with a cosmetology disaster?
  • Did the client come from your salon (AKA, from another stylist)? If so, were they just unhappy with their color or is there actual damage that was done?
  • Did a client dislike your work on their hair? If so—was it what they asked for, or did you actually accidentally mess something up?

Typically, most of these scenarios are going to file themselves under the need for color-correction pricing. But the last question—you know, the one about your potential error—is one you’ll want to consider carefully before you throw a color correction rate at your client.

Otherwise, you’ll want to make sure you’re charging appropriately for your time—as you know, color correction is a ton of work, takes a ton of time, and isn’t always a ton of fun.

Considerations for Color Correction: How to Make Sure the Price is Right

Math it All Out

If you hate math, we’re sorry—your teacher was right, you did need to use it eventually. Start with your regular coloring prices and then math it all out by considering things like:

  • What will cover the costs of time and material used? You’ll want to be sure that the work you do on this correction is going to pay for all of the product needed (and trust us, sometimes color corrections require a lot of product) and the time you’ll be spending fixing something that you could be dedicated to other services. This isn’t an unfair consideration. In the time you spend fixing one client’s color, you could have likely taken care of three others. You need to account for that.
  • Figure out your profit margin. You deserve to make money here, not just cover your costs. You’re providing a skill and a service—you need to be paid for that.

These considerations will help you take that base color rate and make adjustments as needed, ultimately helping you find a fair, logical price point.

Opt for Hourly

Charging for your time is a totally acceptable way to price out your color correction clients. Why? Because in your case, your time is money—and you need to be compensated for that. Most color correction clients will end up taking a few hours, so you’ll want to be sure you’re being properly compensated for the amount of time you’re working on them.

If you don’t think that an hourly rate is covering enough of your costs, you could always start with your hourly rate and then tweak this offering based on other factors.

Perhaps consider offering hourly rates + products used or hourly rates + additional services needed (like deep-conditioning or clarifying), etc. This way, you’re getting your hourly rate and covering the additional services or products needed to get the job done right.

Base Price + Additions

If you want, you can even create a base price for color corrections that you typically abide by. If you think a certain color correction will take more time than normal, tweak the formula a bit and add in extra rates for time, services, or products needed to get the job done.

Ultimately, no matter what pricing strategy you go with, it’s crucial to be as upfront with your clients as possible. Transparency about price (and your workflow, too) is absolutely vital for developing a relationship with your client—and often, that directness is going to be what brings that client back to you next time they need a cosmetologist.

Hopefully, our insight gave you a few easy-to-apply strategies for your color correction pricing structure. With any luck, you won’t run screaming the next time a client comes to you in need of correction and if it all goes according to plan, your client won’t run screaming when you quote them a price.

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