Nail techs speak out about Price Increase Day

Published 08th Apr 2024 by Kezia Parkins

April 8, marked the first National Nail Tech Price Increase Day, an initiative to help nail pros grow, scale and charge their worth. 

The movement, started by The Nail Tech Org, has been received positively by the industry, with a wave of nail techs pledging to put up their prices today in an act of solidarity.

It comes after years of discussion about the issue of pricing in the UK and over the past few weeks and thanks to the initiative, nail techs of all levels have been joining the conversation, pushing the issue to the forefront of everyone’s minds.

We spoke to some UK nail experts to discover their thoughts on Nail Tech Price Increase Day. 

Olga Clapcott, owner of Tigerlilly nail salons in Bournemouth, three-time winner of Nail Salon of the Year at the Professional Beauty Awards:

“The price increase day is much needed for the industry to support nail technicians because it is a skill that does need to be recognised. 

“It will be interesting to see if this price increase day happens on a yearly basis or if this is a one-off initiative.

 “I think it points to a deeper issue than pricing, which is education and the need for more training. 

“Training should not just be about gel polish, pedicures, manicures and extensions; there's not really enough business training available for nail technicians to actually help them price their treatments, how to work out the cost of opening their salon doors every day, the cost of products, their wage, the margins, electricity insurance, and so on.

“There should be more training available for nail technicians as to how to price their treatments correctly. 

 “At the moment, I believe the majority of salons on the highstreet build up their pricing by just looking at the other salons in their area. But every salon will have different pricing and different costs.

 “Training should help technicians analyse their pricing on a yearly basis, taking into account what's happening with tht economy and the cost of living.

 “I would also encourage technicians to demonstrate their experience and their training and investment into their development because that should be reflected in the cost of treatments.

 “If you've got very experienced technicians, look at the training they've done – if they are at the top, they should be charging the top!

 “It doesn’t take them 20–30 minutes to do a treatment – they look at the details so it takes them longer and that’s how it should be.

 “If someone is spending one-to-two hours to do a great job, they should not be earning minimum wage. This is how we do pricing at our salons and those charging the most are the busiest, so it just shows that clients should welcome that experience and should be happy to pay for that.

 “People expect to pay less when salons are not working to standard. Salons that do work to National Occupational Standards should reflect that in their price also.”  

Nathan Taylor, mentor, multi-competition winner and owner of home salon Buff Bar Bristol:

“It's definitely something we need, especially when you break down how much we invest in equipment, space, bills products and training and how much time we put in. 

“When you actually break down how much you earn, it's not a lot. So, I think the movement is a good thing.

“What I'm concerned about is that it won't be sustainable. It will be interesting to see what it looks like in six to 12 months’ time and whether people will keep their increased prices and continue to increase their prices or if they will revert back to their old prices. It will be interesting to see how many will stick it out. 

“Pricing well is a problem we have had for a long time and there are issues around how quickly you can become a nail tech and how little you have to do to actually become qualified. The industry is oversaturated with people not charging their worth and I think that has a lot to do with how easy it is to get into it.

“Comparing the UK to the US and a lot of other countries, it's kind of crazy what we charge. I think that has a lot to do with licensing and being qualified, because in the US it's a lot more difficult and there are more rules around what you can and can't do within the salon space depending on which state you’re in.

 “I also feel like there is more respect and more opportunities for creative people outside of the UK.” 

Chantelle Vermont co-founder of nail community Clawgasmic Nail Network:

“I think we have needed a price increase day for a long time so it’s incredible that The Nail Tech Org has come forward and created such a movement.

“It's really united the industry so we all make a step at the same time, which is fantastic.

“It should have been something we saw along with all the other increases in the world – our wages should have gone up too, so I'm so happy that the movement has really pushed this to the forefront of everybody's minds and made a change for the better.  

“I think the issue of pricing traditionally comes with a lot of barriers, like having the confidence to feel that we can charge more. 

“Also, that line between nail techs and clients can get blurred and we become friends and you feel bad charging more. 

“There is also a whole narrative of being just a side business… I think the sooner we realise that we are entrepreneurs and business owners, the better.”

Kezia Parkins

Kezia Parkins

Published 08th Apr 2024

Kezia Parkins is the deputy editor of Professional Beauty. She has a background in medical journalism and is also as trained nail tech. As such, she is particularly passionate about all thing nails, as well as the science behind beauty products and treatments. Contact her at [email protected]

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