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What does a Hairdressing Business do?

Jessica Ellis
Updated May 17, 2024
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A hairdressing business, sometimes called a hair salon, can provide a variety of hair-related services for men, women, and children. These businesses can vary greatly in terms of services available and clientele focus. While some may combine with a spa to offer a great range of luxury treatments, others choose to offer quick, no-nonsense cuts at a low price. A good hairdressing business can provide a local community with relaxation and style and be a wonderful place of employment while remaining a lucrative business.

Basic services available at a hairdressing business usually include haircuts, processes such as perms or straightening, hair color applications, and special occasion hairstyles. Other common treatments include waxing services, makeup application, and deep conditioning or glossing processes to increase shine and hair strength. In most countries, hair salons must be licensed to operate, and most professional hairdressers go through a training program before being allowed to work at a salon.

Because even small towns may have multiple hairdressers, many find it wise to specialize in a certain type of clientele. Some hairdressing businesses specialize in children’s cuts, providing soothing and even fun services for young clients who may be frightened by the idea of a haircut. Children’s salons often feature toys to play with and special seats shaped like animals or merry-go-round horses to help create a safe and fun atmosphere for nervous kids.

To create a luxury experience for discerning clients, a hairdressing business may partner with a spa to provide a full list of treatments for the body, skin, and hair. These salons typically offer services a la carte or in packages. Salon/spa combinations are a fun choice for pre-wedding or event festivities, and many offer hairdressing and makeup packages tailored to bridal parties.

In large cities, a hairdressing business can even take on the allure and mystique of a couture designer. Some hairdressers work extensively with celebrity clients, and may charge very high prices for a basic cut. For those who must be on the cutting edge of style, a cut by a celebrity or famous stylist may be a regular routine.

There are a variety of jobs available in a hairdressing business. Many hairdressers work freelance, renting out a station at a hairdressing business and giving the owner a percentage of their fees. Hairdressing businesses also typically need receptionists to greet clients, book appointments, and act as cashiers. Some also require cleaning staff to maintain the salon and sanitize equipment.

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Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for WiseGeek. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.
Discussion Comments
By drhs07 — On Jun 29, 2011

@YougurtPark - Thanks so much for sharing your story. I have just opened my first salon in a city that I am not very familiar with. As of now, I have very few loyal customers. I tried placing ads in local newspapers to market myself, but that does not seem to be working very well.

I think I will try reaching out to the community, just like you did. I never thought of doing that, and it might help to get my name out there. Hopefully I can reach the same level of success as you someday.

Again, thanks for sharing, and congratulations on all your success.

By YogurtPark — On Jun 29, 2011

I have been a salon owner for about thirteen years now. I love being my own boss, and being able to rent out booths to hard working individuals. I feel great being able to foster the growth of some of the people who are the future leaders in the beauty world.

For a long time, I struggled with salon marketing. My vision for my salon was for it to be a place for people with limited means to have a chance to experience luxurious skin and hair care. I think my pricing was cheap compared to salons that offered similar services, but the people I was trying to reach must not have thought that they could afford them. For the first year, I really struggled developing a clientele.

I decided to start marketing myself to local community organizations, like churches, community colleges, and even night clubs. I wanted people to know that I was a part of their community, and I was in the business of making them feel special at an affordable price. After about six months of hard campaigning, business finally started to boom.

I think the best way for hair salons to grow is through word of mouth. If people have a good experience with your business, they will tell their friends. Through my direct marketing, I was hoping to attract just a few individuals, and pray that they told everyone they knew just how great I made them look and feel. It worked, and now business is better than ever!

By Oski — On Jun 28, 2011

@Testy - I think your story brings up a good point. In many parts of the country, hair salons and barbershops are a very big part of the community.

I come from a small town, so everybody knew everybody else, and their business. Often times, if you wanted to catch yourself up on the latest community gossip, you could go to the hair salon. The people who worked there knew all the business because the customers would tell them. Hair dressers were like counselors. Even if you did not necessarily want their advice, they would give it to you. Because of this, it was very hard not to share your problems with them.

Where I live, being a barber or a hairdresser was a respectable position. Not only that, but the people who worked as beauticians made a good living for their selves. Seeing their status and success encouraged my younger sister to attend classes at the local hairdressing academy. She graduated about ten years ago, and now owns a salon in a city about twenty miles south of where we grew up.

It's great having a sister who does hair. As long as she's in business, I will never have to pay to get my hair done again!

By Testy — On Jun 27, 2011

I have been going to the same hair salon since I was a little girl. My parents did not have a lot of money when I grew up. Thus, I would only go to get my hair done right before special events, like the first day of school or Easter Sunday. Because I did not go that often, I cherished every visit to the salon.

I think hair salons specialize in making people feel good about their selves. When you look good on the outside, you feel good on the inside. For some women that I know, going to the salon is a form of therapy, or a way to relieve the stresses of their lives.

It was especially enjoyable because I know everyone in the salon by their first name. The women, and sometimes a few men, who worked in the salon became a part of my extended family. They knew me very well, and I got a chance to know them as well. I cherish the times I have spent getting my hair done by these amazing individuals.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
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