The cost of colour | What YOU can do to save

July 28, 2022

Jonathan Littler, Managing Director of Alan Howard and Distributor of Quif, looks at the soaring prices of hair colour and what you can do to save.

According to latest research, UK inflation has hit a 40 year high with National Insurance contributions upped by 1.25%. Fuel, food, electricity…everything is going up and the coming months don’t seem to be any brighter. In fact, we definitely are facing one of the worst cost of living crises in recent years. This is affecting both our home and work lives across all sectors, including the hair and beauty industry.

Due to factors such as Covid 19, Brexit and the war in Ukraine, many companies have faced supply chain issues when sourcing vital ingredients and packaging. This has particularly resulted in delays and massive disruptions throughout businesses across the hair and beauty industry.

That is the reason why the NHBF (National Hair and Beauty Federation) determines that as a sector, hair and beauty has been hit worse than most sectors by the pandemic and still faces an uncertain future. Some salons have claimed to be spending approximately an extra £1,000.00 per month on utilities, stock and wages, for example. As a result of this, around 43% of businesses have raised their prices over the past few months with a further 58% to follow.

At a glance, from 2019 to 2022 most colour brands have raised their prices by about 7%. With the usual yearly price increase of between 1% and 2%, this figure over a three to four year period might be tolerable for most hairdressers. However, certain brands on the market have risen their prices by an almighty 20%costing customers around £1 extra per tube of colour. As well as this, more frequent price increases have occurred with some brands raising their prices twice to three times a year.  If we take the case of two salons in the UK with Salon A spending £1,000 a year on colour and Salon B spending £15,000 a year on colour.

If there is a 20% increase on their colour tube, which is likely to be twice as much as the current UK inflation, the same order on colour would cost salon A an extra £200 a year while salon B would be paying an extra £3,000 a year. So whether it be a small or big salon, the price increase will impact every business across the industry.  In a nutshell, like we have seen in different industries, many suppliers in hair and beauty have increased their prices lately, and will probably continue to do so.

However, some retailers like Boots or Superdrug have announced recently that they will freeze prices on many products for at least a year. With regards to the salon industry, the distributor Alan Howard is leading the way on this topic. As a matter of fact, as a long standing partner of hair and beauty professionals in the UK for nearly fifty years, to show their continued support to their passionate and creative community of hairdressers, Alan Howard will not increase prices on particular exclusive colour brands until 2024.

To find out how much you can save on colour per year, get in touch with your dedicated Alan Howard Business Development Manager or Advisor in your local store. You also can find the information on their website –


Energy & Insurance –Regularly look for the best deals available on the market.

Disposable towels –Many salons are able to make cost savings by switching to disposable towels

Colour usage –Measure and monitor how much colour is being used on each client so you can cut down on wastage.

Marketing –
Look at what return you are getting on your marketing and reduce or remove any that doesn’t show a return

Price of the products you use –Make sure your product suppliers are offering a good balance between the price they charge and the level of education and business support they offer.