Loading... Please wait...


Is it time to go pro? The Pros And Cons Of Box Hair Color!

Posted by Hair Studio 322 Downingtown on

Is it time to go pro? Knowing the average cost of box of color is $89.15. Clients say: Wait?

Facts for stylists:  Should I go to the salon? This is the questions most consumers ask themselves just before they buy box color at the store. And yes, they really do just as we did before we (stylists) learned the facts about hair coloring. Now, a study on consumer spending has been done by the National Retailers Association pointing out "trigger" words like professional, salon, stylists recommended, makeover, beauty isle, etc, make consumers feel all better about purchasing these products over salon services. Sound familiar, that's marketing and we see it everywhere! The retail industry has been using the professional beauty industry wording to gain consumers trust and feed off of the relationships that salons have developed with them too undercut your salons business. The fact is the professional beauty industry is being marketed against by smart retailers who want to take away your business. Which means we as an industry must look at the whole picture from a consumers prospective to better understand and educate them back into your chairs.

  So as an industry what do we do? What? I believe we need to educate ourselves with the facts first to better educate our clients whom are being directly marketed too by the retailers using our "trigger words". Many salons try to offset their "lost services" color income in many ways instead of discussing the true "costs" of that box color with their clients while mentoring their stylists on how to discuss it with your clients.

  Now, if salons take a different approach with their clients; breaking down the true costs of at home hair color with their clients everyone will see the average single process in the salon is less expensive then the average cost of coloring ones hair at home. Did you know the average national cost of a consumer coloring their hair at home is $89.15! Yes, many stylists understand hair coloring costs more then the cost of the box or tube at the store; but we never directly discussed this with our clients. Why? We go on with our color lasts longer, safety, looks better, etc, but no one touches on the costs. Now, that box has a greater cost to it then anyone thought about before really; so let's breakdown the true costs and what you need to know upon addressing this with clients. I know some of you may think there is no way the average costs is $89.15! But wait we will break it down similar to the way we develop our menus.

  Now, many salons use retail, other services, up-selling, add-on services, etc, to offset their lost revenue from their color business which are great. But they should be used to further your net profitability and employees income and not used as a crutch to off set your lost color service income. These areas are separate profit centers and should run on their own operating budgets and forecasts.

  We all have heard that box color is bad and to stay away from it, but what is the real facts and costs of box color? Some of you may have read our salons corrective coloring , diversion, social media, and building the business articles elsewhere over the years so this is nothing new. But I want everyone to understand the true costs of box color from another marketing advantage, how we are being marketed against, and why retailers do not want you to inform your clients on the real costs. Because you will win the consumers back!

Note:  All the following information in this post is based on a national average and must be adjusted based on your regional costs since the're different around the country. This can be used as a training tool or as we use it to help our clients understand on a consumers level the true costs of box color. Since the industry is being marketed against directly you may need to sometimes take this extra step to educate your clients, but that is your choice if you are having a box color issue.

Here are some numbers to help your clients think twice about that box color in the stores and yes on-line.

  On average we perform 2 corrective color visits out of every 9 clients who use box color at home. Out of these same 9 clients we will preform on average 5 repair services ranging from dried hair, over processed, over porous, fried hair, heavy coating with metallic salts and dies, dangerous reactions and more. So, on average for every 9 clients who use box color at home we will repair 7 of these clients with a more time consuming and sometimes costly salon service. And most of the time this will be an emergency visit because of an event the client will be attending which caused the client to perform their box color service at home in the first place, thinking their going to save money. Sounds familiar? Then you are not alone. Saying that we don't want to totally discourage clients from using home box color since on average 2 out of every 9 clients will not have any issues at all. But knowing the truth can save your clients more money annually then you would think if you just add up the true costs of coloring your hair from the box. The saving will then be spent in the salon increasing your coloring services and this information may just make you think about increasing your prices.

The Pros & Cons Of Box Hair Color

PROS Of The Box:

Costs less: (or does it see cons)

Saves time: I can go on-line to check my social sites and watch TV at home during processing. But, you can also do this in the salon.

Privacy: I don't want people to know I color my hair. If it turns out a little off then trust me everyone knows.

CONS Of The Box:

Privacy: Most at home box colors show a unnatural metallic finish that says I use box color.

Costs more: If I fall into the 7 out of 9 clients on average, then box color costs more then salon color services. If I am 1 of the 2 with no issues then congrats we will see you for your cut & styling.

Costs even more: I have damaged so many clothes and towels. Now, " I have over $400+ in damaged cloths, towels, bathroom rugs, curtains, walls and stains all over the place."

Costs more again: On average a corrective color is 3-4 times more expensive then having a professional color my hair in the first place. (For the 7 out of 9 clients)

Socially slacking: You miss talking to your friends, neighbors, team members and meeting new people during your salon visit which is fun and priceless.


Here is a national US average break down of costs on doing box color at home:

Product: $9.90 to $49 depending on the product used. Note the cheaper the product the less expensive and more dangerous the chemicals are used by the manufacture to save costs. It is a simple fact of life which everyone learns in one way or another that you pay for what you get.

Utilities: $2.12 - $5.92 depending on you utilities costs electric, water, sewer costs per application.

Your labor Costs: Setup, application time, clean up, $10 to $100+ a hour for 1.5 hours depending on what their gross hourly rate is worth. What's your clients time worth at work?

Time: On average box color will take 35 minutes longer then going to a salon.

Damages: $3 - $85+ per application depending on what clothes, towels, shower curtains, shoes, walls, rugs, etc, get stained. This depends on replacement costs of damages avg. per application.

Total Costs: $ 30.02 to $213.92 depending on the grade of the products used, utilities, clients hourly time is worth and all the damages added. This will give you the total cost per application.

  National the average costs of coloring ones hair at home is $89.15 per application which is well above the national average of having a single process done in a salon. These numbers reflect true costs which can be adjusted depending on products that were used and what your gross hourly rate is worth (What do you earn an hour at your job?). Also adding into the fact that salon color is safer while lasting longer (on average 2-3 week longer). This will result in an average annual costs saving that will cover the costs of hair cuts for a family of 5 per year. So does box color save its users time and money as advertised, in short the answer is no. But please do the math yourself with your clients.

   So now you know that it's time to go pro with the real facts that will save you money, time, and aggravation. Call your local salon today and enjoy the saving while having fun and looking great!

 Thank you,

Hair Studio 322

Corrective Color Department

1233 Horseshoe Pike

Downingtown, PA 19335

What Does Your Doctor, Dentist, Barber And Todays Modern Salons Have In Common?

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.0"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); You've Asked: What Does Your Doctor, Dentist, Psychologist, Barber And Today's Modern Hair Salons Have In Common?  The answer might surprise you! As history shows; professional barbers and [...]

Read More »

Sign up to our newsletter