What goes into the price of a haircut?

It’s a reasonable question.

There is so much that goes into answering that.

* First – Competition time!

“What did Stephen pay for his last pair of scissors?”

“How many pairs of scissors does he have in his kitbag?”

Hint the make of his scissors are Akito and the website is

The winner will receive a Redken retail size Shampoo or Conditioner of their choice and a voucher for a free in salon treatment with any in salon hair service. The competition closes on 30th June 2022

Akito scissors

The salon stylists kit bag will also consist of brushes, dryer, combs, clippers and detailers to name the most common items. That gives an additional cost per stylist of about £350.

Let’s look at the big numbers.

If you rent a premises in rugby town centre and are VAT registered and employ a team of 15 people, the following costs are a reasonable reflection.


That’s a lot of numbers, what do they mean.

Well firstly, I am proud to say that our business is run like a “John Lewis” concept, where you will see that 62% of any income goes straight back into the team, who are the heart of our business.

As a VAT registered business, 20% of all income goes to HMRC. I always used to panic over this bill, but when I look at the things that taxes pay for like NHS & Education, I feel incredibly proud that our small business in Rugby pays such an incredible contribution to society – nearly £70,000 per year in VAT alone. Small businesses serve the community in more than just the service they provide. Their taxes support the community. Employing is the most expensive way to run a salon as it only leaves 18% for costs which means that you need a tight control on running costs. We could choose not to employ and contribute less taxes, but then you contribute less to society.

Hair stylists do more than provide a hair service. They earn trust and can build confidence. We are part of the community, and our small business contributes back to that community. The employed model is a safe way to guarantee that skills are passed on to future professionals. We are already starting to see in some industries (including our own) the problem with a market that does not have a plan in place to share knowledge. So many industries are facing skills shortages. Creating future professionals is a core part of any industry and that cost plays a part in the price of your hair service.

If you click on the link to our previous blog “The Journey of becoming Bespoke Hairdressing Rugby” you will see that our small business has created £145,000 in 29 foundation degrees for team members since we opened. Since that blog in 2020 another 3 team members have qualified. Whether you are seated in the salon chair or standing behind it, looking after people is at the heart of what we do.


At Bespoke, we work in partnership with Bespoke Hairdressing Education and dedicate one day per week to teaching and training. We also support other salons with education. If you are interested in finding out more about Bespoke Hairdressing Education, please go to the website:

Bespoke education

We support our team with flexible working hours and in doing so, hope to adapt and change as their needs adapt and change. We are looking to be even more flexible in the future and are working on a training scheme to help people return to the industry after a career break.

Please watch out for the launch of this which is expected by the end of summer 2022. If you are interested in being contacted, please email us at

bespoke hairdressing team

As the Business Director for team Bespoke, it’s easy for me to see the value in the charge for our services. Our team are incredible professionals that are qualified to foundation degree level, so I believe they are some of the most amazing professionals I have met. They then go on to complete colour house degrees (our team have 2-3 of those each). Some have also studied additional skills in anatomy and physiology, Business Management, Team Leader, Marketing and Customer Service. People come to us for expert advice because they know how much we invest in skill that cover more than just hair. Our aim is for your hair to be the best that it can possibly be. We can only achieve that for you if we are the best professional that we can be. Remember that feeling when you came out of lockdown and had that call to tell you when your hair appointment was booked in for. Our industry needs to get better at promoting just how professional we are.

So, what goes into a hair qualification?

Health and Safety

Yes, I know that they are dreaded words, but you let us stand behind you with six-inch sharp blades or put chemicals on your skin! Be reassured that every person in that role has covered this area in detail and it forms part of every hair-based qualification. Training in this area is updated all the time. At Bespoke we revisit this during our in-salon training days that are attended by the whole team.

Develop strong work practice

You need to be able to communicate and work as part of a team in a busy environment. That can be daunting at first. I always say if you can finish a shift, with an aching foot and back, where every minute has been so busy that you were never bored and as you pack your kit away be laughing with the team, knowing that tomorrow will be just as varied as today was – this is the place for you. It’s not easy and there is nowhere to hide (well we can all grab a sneaky ten minutes in the staff room for a daydream) but it’s full on in effort and full on in awesomeness. You get taught how to harness the skills to achieve this.

Shampoo, condition and treat the hair and scalp

Style and finish hair

Set and dress hair

Cut hair using basic techniques

Colour and lighten hair

You can choose optional units to cover areas like texturised hair, barbering, smoothing, extensions.

 Our team do level 2, 3 and 4 and each level takes 2 years to complete. So that six years of training to become a senior stylist / technician. That’s based on one training day per week. Sometimes we give more. That’s a cost that must be factored into each service.

Hannah Bespoke Hairdressing

Advise and consult with clients

This unit is so important. No stylist wakes up in the morning and thinks, it would be great to ruin my day and the clients. Every stylist wants to make each client feel great. If the education in practical skills has been done correctly, then the only area that can go wrong is the consultation. Most stylists believe that they give one, only a few clients believe they have ever had one. Clients wish they were told more about products and after care advise. Stylists think that clients don’t want to know as the client is there for the hair service. So, you can see already, how things can be misinterpreted.

So, this is our advice for a good consultation. As a guest you are coming to us for either a change, or to maintain what we have done before, or a combination of both (i.e., maintain the colour but change the cut or vice versa). Our job is to help you to communicate that to us.

“A picture can say more than words”

 We love pictures, honestly, we do! Screen shot as many as you need. You might like the fringe in one picture but the length in another. Pictures do help.

“I don’t know what I want”

 It’s not always easy to say what we want. We might not know. So, start from a different viewpoint. Tell us what you don’t want. It’s amazing the conversation that can flow from discussing what you don’t want. By the time you have avoided everything you dislike, you will find you have got to a good place.

Don't forget your treat points

“Be honest, how much time will you actually spend styling you hair yourself”

This is so important. We want your style to work for you when you are at home. If you tell us what you will do at home, it can help us to get it right for you at home. It’s about more than what we do when you are in the salon chair. We can give you that ‘wow’ look, but it only truly works if you love it as much when you leave us. This is where we should be giving you styling advice. There is no stylist that can create great hair without using products. Our stylists are bashful and don’t want you to feel that we are selling products to you, but that’s not the point. If we can’t create that look without using products, then how can we expect you to do it.

If you are a Bespoke client, you earn treat points which our stylists will watch and give you products to try when your points are at the right level. We also have sachets, so please ask if you haven’t been offered. We are looking to price match online promotions where possible, so please ask about online promotions. We are aiming to get these updated by a QR code shortly, but for now, please follow our Facebook page and our Instagram page. You can get online deals, by ordering your products in advance so that they are ready for collection when you come for your appointment. Please do this by visiting us at If you go online and try a product and don’t like it – it will sit, unused on a shelf because you can’t return it. If you try a product with us and return it within 7 days and no more than four applications, we will exchange it for another product of the same value. There is no additional postage when you click and collect from us, so it’s worth asking.

click and collect

We are always looking at stock buying deals that allow us to run promotion prices on retail or treatments, so please follow our Facebook page, Instagram or Website for updates.


So that’s just a quick overview of what goes into your salon service price. There is a lot to it, but we think it’s worth every penny and we hope that you do to. Xxxx