How to Start a Hair Salon

Starting any type of business can seem like a daunting task, but with the right plan and research, it can be done. A kind of business that many individuals love to start is a hair salon business. This can be started from home or an outside office. When starting a hair salon, factors like finances, training, location, and the right stylist are the necessities to having a well-run salon business.

Taking Ideas to Reality

The first step to starting a hair salon business is to think about the theme of the salon, whom the clientele will be upscale, business types, or a mixture. The targeted market should be decided, and the location should be an area that is a high traffic area but does not have an overabundance of similar salons.

What type of stylist will there be, will they be employees or independent contractors. What about rental fees, booth fees, and equipment. Advertising and merchandising have to be considered. All of these things have to be considered and finalized, and then a plan should be created on paper.

How to Start a Hair Salon

Creating a Plan

The next step after the major decisions have been made is to create a financial plan that includes income, or working capital, expenses, product, inventory, services, fees, cost, etc. There should be at least three months of working capital available to start the business.

Products should be available, the personnel, staff, and the type and cost of services should be determined and written down. The cost and type of salon equipment, training fees, professional and licensing fees, insurance fees, utilities, accountants, lawyers, advertising marketing, signage, etc., should all be listed in the plan.


The funding for a hair salon can come from personal savings, loans, family friends, or local and state grants or community grants. The first places to start are with the small business association and see what the local and state funding is available.

Many salons are started from home if there is available space inside of a house that can be licensed and aesthetically turned into a salon. This alternative can cut down on costs substantially. The cost of setting up a salon can range from $10,000 to $100,000 depending on the area, the type of salon, the equipment, etc.

Filing Paperwork

The proper paperwork has to be completed before any business can start to operate. Operating licensing and permits have to be obtained. The place to start that procedure can be at a local business agency or the local courts.

Depending on the type of business, a self-proprietorship, or a partnership, the correct license and business name needs to be listed and licensed. The name should be something that stands out but also describes the type of work that is done in that salon.

Additional Tips

The main things to consider when starting a hair salon are that the clients should always be kept happy and comfortable. This can be done by providing free coffee, or tea, or smoothies. Or it can be done by offering free massages while they wait. The salon should be kept spotless and sanitary throughout the day.

The salon should be aesthetically pleasing, client-friendly, and accessible. The staff should be highly trained, and regular training should be provided for all staff, to keep them up to date on all procedures. At the beginning of the business, some staff could work on the commission until business picks up.


Starting a hair salon seems like a difficult task, but with the right idea, plan, and licensing, it can be accomplished. The location, staff, stylist, products, and the correct prices will bring in customers and increase business. During the first years of business is time to work out all of the kinks and bring a business to its proper place.