30 (Under 30 Minutes) Profit-Driving Express Salon Services

When a repressed economy encouraged clients to S-T-R-E-T-C-H their appointments, clever salon owners responded with strategies to capture lost revenue. Across the country, express-service menus popped up, encouraging add-on sales while helping penny-pinching clients continue to treat themselves with cost-effective salon and spa treatments.

Owners quickly realized these expedited services were optimal profit-drivers. Just as a nail polish or a headband displayed at the counter encourages an impulse buy from clients checking out, an express service triggers a nod to an add-on recommendation.

The perfect formula for an express service is a service that derives a desirable benefit; is easy for both receptionists and service providers to describe; can be accomplished in 30 minutes or less; represents a low cost to the salon/spa and little extra time from the service provider; and is priced at a point that the mainstream client gives little thought to the impact to his or her wallet.

To help you design a bottom-line-building express menu, we surveyed 30 salons and spas, detailing their top-selling express services that require 30 minutes or less.

Mermaid Hair Extensions in Kirkland, Washington
Cindy Reynolds
Description: Add flair and sparkle for a striking new look. Bling is a semipermanent hair accessory that will enhance your haircolor and style or add some sparkle or contrast to any style. Perfect for special occasions, holidays, weddings, prom, a special date or a night on the town.
Products used: Bling Strands
Cost of service: $5 per strand
How many sold per month: Up to 300 (During football season and the holidays are biggest).
How it’s marketed: “When the Seahawks went to the Super Bowl the last two years, we gave away two free strands in team colors for fans,” Reynolds says.

Bling Strands at Mermaid Hair Extensions in Kirkland, Washington

Bii Hair Salon in West Dundee, Illinois
James Gartner and Adam Swanlund
Description: Increase diameter of hair up to 100 percent. Strengthens fine hair.
Products used: Surface Trinity One Shot
Cost of service: From $15
How many sold per month: 6
How it’s marketed: “At the chair, the service traveler menu is presented to the guest and we recommend the luxury upgrade most appropriate,” Gartner says.


Salon Allure in Huntsville, Alabama
Paula Lecher and Michelle McGough
Description: Everyday stresses can make skin look and feel dull and tired. The Vitamin C Facial can change that. We use the purest form of vitamin C—ascorbic acid. Your face will look alive after this facial. Excellent for smokers or sunbathers. As the enzymes work to clear and brighten the complexion, and you will be treated with a shoulder and neck massage.
Products used: Dr. Grandel
Cost of service: $16+]
How many sold per month:
How it’s marketed: Through Facebook and some print advertising.


Progressions Salon Spa Store in Rockville, Maryland
Cynthia Feldman
Description: Through a gentle, yet effective therapy, foot massage reflexology relieves tension and clears blockages by stimulating sensory receptors in the nerve fibers of the foot. This specialized treatment reduces tension and improves circulation.
Products used: Zents or Alchimie Forever products
Cost of service: $65
How many sold per month: 20
How it’s marketed: “We have marketed this in our Last Minute Club as well as our New to You promotion during specific months throughout the year,” Feldman says.


Peppers Salon in Puyallup, Washington
Sally Fink
Description: Quick skin treatment targeted for specific results. You will be amazed at the results. No gown or changing required.
Products used: Dermalogica
Cost of service: $28
How it’s marketed: “We do in-salon promotions yearly to promote them” Fink says. “We find clients who book for Microzone Treatments are ones who don’t have the budget or time for a full skin treatment. It allows them to experience a spa treatment and/or use as an add-on to a facial.”


Pure Salon Spa in Louisville, Kentucky
Laura Watkins
Description: This brow-shaping service provides a natural face lift by shaping the brows according to the face shape and hair-growth pattern. We use stencils to ensure consistency and proper growth of brows.
Products used: Aveda skincare products, Aveda eye shadow to create the brow shape in the stencil, Cirepil wax, Anastasia brow stencils.
Cost of the service: $18
How many sold per month: 135
How it’s marketed: “This service is featured on our website and in our service menu and can be scheduled as its own service,” Watkins says. “The most successful way we market it is through our upgrade menu presented to every guest who comes in for an appointment.”


Paul Kenneth Salon and Spa in Woburn, Massachusetts

Owners: Paul Kenneth and Jackie Maniaci
Description: Stimulates the scalp while increasing cellular rejuvenation. It’s calming and healing for scalp problems and balancing for dandruff. The service starts with two clarifying shampoos, then 10 minutes of stimulating conditioner massaged into scalp with a warm, eucalyptus-scented towel underneath the neck, and then finished off with two minutes of the treatment massaged into the scalp area.
Products used: PK clarifying shampoo, conditioner and Scalp Renew treatment.
Cost of service: From $45
How many sold per month: 15-20
How it’s marketed: “Our guests get this luxurious scalp treatment in salon and then they take home the two-ounce treatment with them,” Maniaci says. “The guests see the value and continue to take care of their scalp at home.”


VC Salonspa in Denver, Colorado

Owner: Angela Pantaleone
Description: Always use protection! Color lasts longer, stays brighter and true to tone with deeper penetration. Our Water-Protection Treatment not only blocks out external water, it keeps out everything in water including surfactants, chlorine, heavy metals, minerals, and contaminants to maintain the integrity of the hair fiber. All surfactants, whether sulfate or sulfate-free, remove color; and water is just another form of surfactant. Clarifies hair to create a clean canvas for even color distribution from roots to ends.
Products used: Umbrella Raincoat
Cost of service: $38
How many sold per month: Launched June 2014. Colorists are using it on every color client.
How it’s marketed: To all color clients.

Umbrella Water Protection Treatment, VC Salonspa in Denver, Colorado

Salon Eva Michelle in Boston

Owners: Michelle Lee and Eva Mustafai
Description: Peroxide- and ammonia-free color gloss. Lip gloss for your hair in four shades: Ice Blonde, Champagne Blonde, Vanilla Blonde or Clear. In 15 minutes, you get enhanced, brilliant shine that lasts up to four weeks. A service for those addicted to shine.
Products used: Sebastian Professionals Cellophanes
Cost of service: $50
How many sold per month: 15-20
How it’s marketed: Offered when booking or at the shampoo bowl as an add-on service. Marketed to those looking for enhanced shine.


Avenue Hair Design in Venice, Florida

Owner: Patricia Paull
Description: Experience 80 percent reduced breakage, decrease color fade by 67 percent and increase shine in the first treatment.
Products used: Awapuhi KeraTriPlex, Awapuhi Intensive Moisturizing Treatment and Awapuhi Moisturizing Shampoo all by Paul Mitchell
Cost of service: $33
How many sold per month: 97-120
How it’s marketed: Offered complimentary to anyone celebrating a birthday that month. “It’s also a great add-on service to any color service—guest service experts offer it when booking reservations and checking guests into the salon as well,” Paull says. “We also use Demandforce and run promotions in the summer, offering the service for free if they purchase three take-home products from the line.


Art + Science Salon in Chicago and Evanston, Illinois

Owner: Paul Wilson
Description: This add-on service is a simple demipermanent color process meant for blending gray hair with existing natural color.
Products used: Four color options, one developer, mixed equal parts. Appropriate American Crew shampoo and conditioner and styling product.
Cost of service: $25
How many sold per month: 30
How it’s marketed: “There is a personal element involved with its introduction, so we rely on the stylists to market the service to their clients,” Wilson says. '


Headlines the Salon in Encinitas, California
Gayle Fulbright
Description: Rejuvenating Hero shampoo, scalp massage/treatment, mini facial, aroma hot-towel treatment and clean up.
Products used: Eufora’s Hero rejuvenating shampoo, Hero shave balm, Eufora Aloe Therapy, aloe mist on hot towel
Cost of service: $30+
How many sold per month: “Forty percent of our clientele are male, and many are balding,” Fulbright says. “The service is performed on all our gents.”
How it’s marketed: “We have complimentary experience cards and hand these out during promotional events like golf tournaments, and to the ladies who come in for their services, to give to the men in their lives,” Fulbright says. “The guys just love coming in for their tune-ups.”

Headlines the Salon in Encinitas, California

Solaris in Evansville, Indiana

Owners: Amy Carter and Debbie Riegel
Description: A customized facial based on your skin’s specific needs, as revealed by Aveda’s signature Elemental Nature Consultation. From dry and dehydrated to sensitive to oily and congested skin, a truly personalized treatment for the skin.
Products used: Aveda
Cost of service: $45
How many sold per month: 30
How it’s marketed: “We do monthly promotions in-house and through social media,” Carter says. “We have our front desk scripted to up-sell to our guests as well as fun contests to get guests to try our tasting menu.”

Elemental Nature Facial for Men at Solaris Salon

Free Spirit Salon in Alpharetta, Georgia

Owner: Sandy Gallardo
Description: Mini facial that’s a restoring experience for eyes.
Products used: Aveda skin care, depending on the facial.
Cost of service: $35 and up
How many sold per month: 30
How it’s marketed: “We have a sign at the front desk, and we also have punch cards for discounts on services they’ve never tried before,” Gallardo says. “Also, when a client checks in, they fill out info and it asks if they are interested in any additional services.”


Studio Be Salon in Fort Collins, Colorado
Owners: Ian and Beth Weber
Description: Extended-length invigorating scalp massage, complete with steam towel and essential oils (added to any shampoo experience).
Products used: Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Lavender Mint shampoo + conditioner and essential oils.
Cost of service: $10
How many sold per month: 200+ via our two locations
How it’s marketed: “This service is performed in the salon’s Wash House Tranquility Room,” the Webers say. “We use our Studio Be Experience Menu to market all Be Pampered add-on services.”


Myra J A Salon in Defiance, Ohio

Owner: Myra English
Description: This is a wonderful appetizer to your full-body massage. Using exfoliation mits, a friction application is applied to stimulate the skin and promote circulation. This clears the surface of your skin to allow maximum glide for your massage treatment that follows. Add an additional 10 minutes to your main treatment.
Products used: Various scrubs and oils by Aveda based upon clients’ aromatherapy preference.
Cost of service: $10
How it’s marketed: Offered by massage therapist when beginning each massage.


Havana Spa in Chicago

Owner: Sandra Plasencia Casanova
Description: Eyebrows are shaped using Nufree to remove excess hair from the upper and lower areas surrounding the eyebrow as well as the area between the two brows.
Products used: Nufree Finipal
Cost of service: $12
How many sold per month: 500 to 600
How it’s marketed: “Performed at the spa’s brow bar, the service is promoted on our website, through social media and word of mouth,” Casanova says.


Eye Candy Salon and Blow Dry Bar in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Owner: Annette Cummings
Description: Our blow-out specialists bring back the social history of getting ready with our modern techniques and dryers to make the experience relaxing, quick and easy. Why not pamper yourself with a price of only $25 for your introductory blow dry? That price is flat, no matter the date or the length/thickness of your locks for your first visit.
Products used: Pureology Hydrate Shampoo and Pureology Hydrate Hydra Whip Deep Conditioning Masque
Cost of service: $25 for first visit. Subsequent visits based on hair thickness, length and the level of stylist.
How many sold per month: 65
How it’s marketed: “Our trained professionals have taken classes specifically targeted to create a remarkable blow out that lasts for up to two days,” Cummings says.

Eye Candy Salon and Blow Dry Bar in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Frank Gironda Salon & Spa in Wheaton & Naperville, Illinois

Owner: Frank Gironda
Description: The Express Hairline Retouch is applied around the entire perimeter of the hair and two to three inches at the part line.
Products used: Redken Fusion and Cover Fusion, Redken Chromatics and Beyond Cover or Redken Shades EQ Cover Plus
Cost of service: Half the price of a retouch—about $23-$31 per application
How many sold per month: 85
How it’s marketed: “The reason our guests love this service is because they can come in more often to keep their gray coverage but do not pay the full color retouch price,” says Emily Schabacker, salon manager. “This works great for the guest and increases the service provider’s revenue, by upping the guest’s frequency of visits.”


Salon Laurie & Company in Baltimore, Maryland

Owner: Laurie Schroeder
Description: Grooming at its best! Includes a relaxing massage, cuticle clean-up and moisturizing, nail trim and buff for a natural finish.
Products used: SpaRitual Instinctual Indonesian Ginger Moisturizing Lotion for the hand massage, OPI Matte Top Coat for a natural finish
Cost of service: $16
How many sold per month: 15
How it’s marketed: Marketed to male guests.


Craig Berns Salon Spa in Delafield, Wisconsin
Craig and Mary Beth Berns
Description: Focuses on diminishing fine lines, puffiness and dark circles in the delicate eye area.
Products used: Green Science Eye Cream, Intensive Hydrating Masque
Cost of service: $18
How many sold per month: 10
How it’s marketed: Added to facial service during consultation.


Lavish Salon and Spa in Webster, Texas

Owner: Kristi Brehm
Description: Beautify your hands and feet with essentials. Everything you need on a weekly basis to keep your hands and feet in great shape. Includes nail shaping, cuticle work and choice of polish.
Products used: Aveda with SpaRitual polish
Cost of service: $20 mani, $30 pedi
How many sold per month: 139 mini pedicures; 76 mini manicures
How it’s marketed: “We use scripting when scheduling and/or confirming appointments as well as upselling,” Brehm says.


Karma by Erwin Gomez, Washington, D.C.
Erwin Gomez
Description: Pre-warmed mask is applied to the hair and massaged into the scalp and hair.
Products used: Unite U Luxury Intense Mask
Cost of service: $45 and up
How many sold per month: 50
How it’s marketed: By stylist prescription and the front desk at time of scheduling appointment.


House of J. Henry in Portland, Maine
Owners: Jaison Henry, Cynthia Brainerd, Adam Huntley
Description: Erases symptoms of dryness; amplifies nutritional power, nourishes and perfects hair cuticle.
Products used: Immersion Nutritive by Kérastase
Cost of service: $15
How many sold per month: 40
How it’s marketed: “At only a $15 add-on charge, it’s an easy addition to our single-process guests who are getting just their regrowth retouched,” Henry says. “We discuss the benefits of Immersion Nutritive, especially when used in conjunction with Kérastase’s post-shampoo fusio-dose treatments, with guests during initial consultation.”


Trés Auraé Spa at Wyndham Garden Hotel in Williamsville, New York
Description: The Seaweed Facial On the Go is the express ticket to hydrated and healthy skin. This anti-oxidant rich and rejuvenating treatment begins with a soothing massage with Repêchage C-Serum Seaweed Filtrate, a concentrated seaweed serum that acts as a multi-vitamin supplement for the skin. A cooling and soothing seaweed mask of fresh, European seaweed follows. Skin is left clean, refreshed, healthy and vibrant.
Products used: Repêchage C-Serum Seaweed Filtrate, Repêchage Seaweed Treatment Mask, Repêchage Eye Rescue Pads
Cost of service: $55
How many sold per month: 20
How it’s marketed: Through local newspapers, magazines, local TV and through our affiliation with a plastic surgery office.

Seaweed Facial at Trés Auraé Spa at Wyndham Garden Hotel in Williamsville, New York

Neroli Salon & Spa in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Susan Haise
Description: Reveal supple, luminescent skin with our invigorating, full-body treatment using dried herbs and sea salts to exfoliate, cleanse and refine your skin. Aveda’s Replenishing Moisturizer is applied to hydrate the skin, leaving your entire body feeling smooth and soft.
Products used: Aveda’s Smoothing Body Polish and Replenishing Body Moisturizer.
Cost of service: From $65
How many sold per month: 24, but increases during seasonal shifts.
How it’s marketed: As a seasonal necessity for dry, weathered skin. A great option prior to any tanning service.


Segro’s Lancaster Hairport in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Owner: Al Segro
Description: Entire head parted in opposing triangles. Two or three different, but complementary, shades put in each triangle, which delivers a dramatic shadowing effect.
Products used: Goldwell color with the Dennis Bernard Power Tools Additives including CFI for porosity filling, STB for sensitive scalps, CBC for controlling unwanted warmth, and TCA for quick development of color.
Cost of service: $50-$90
How many sold per month: 150-200
How it’s marketed: Service add-on and as seen on YouTube at Dennis Bernard color technique.


Signature Color Studio in Palm Harbor, Florida
Owner: Nicole Emiliani
Description: The Customized Mini Malibu MakeOver by Malibu C is a two-step service that works by gently, yet effectively, removing hard water mineral build-up that is considered a primary cause of major hair challenges, including damage and discoloration, and also repairing damage to restore hair to peak condition.
Products used: Malibu C Un-Do-Goo Shampoo, Customized Malibu C Wellness Remedy, and Miracle Repair Reconstructor
Cost of service: $10-$15
How many sold per month: 60
How it’s marketed: Marketed to all clients


Three Cutters Salon in Denver, Colorado

Owners: Brad Van Dyke, Justine Williams
Description: The Glow service is part of Three Cutters’ Beauty on Demand, which represents a suite of express services you can add on to existing treatments for $35 or less. While you wait for your new hue to develop, skip the magazine in lieu of a scalp, neck and shoulder massage. Glow is a plant-based exfoliating peel for the face.
Products used: Aveda, specifically Perfecting Plant Peel followed with Green Science skin line.
Cost of service: $35
How many sold per month: 5
How it’s marketed: In-house menus located on stations, offered as add-ons during phone booking, online through website and social media.


Pure Natur Salon & Spa in Fairview Heights, Illinois

Owner: Derek Fatheree
Description: This haircolor application will balance your color from scalp to ends; infusing every hair with incredible shine and fade-resistant haircolor.
Products used: Aveda color
Cost of service: $50 to $80+, depending on level of colorist
How many sold per month: 230
How it’s marketed: “We want every haircolor guest to leave with beautiful color,” Fatheree says. “We can color treat the mid-lengths and ends of each guest’s hair without the worry of creating excessive porosity or making the color too dark. Our stylists and guest-service team are trained to sell all color services as a color-balancing service.”  


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