A hair salon is a business where men and women go to get their hair cut, styled, and dyed. Most salons employ a number of specialists to cater to the needs of customers, including hairdressers, stylists, cosmetologists, shampooers, and receptionists. Establishments usually offer a broad range of hair cutting and styling services to the general public. Some specialty salons, however, require people to make appointments to receive very particular expert treatments.
Most employees at a hair salon are licensed haircare professionals. A hairdresser with the appropriate training can provide a wide range of cutting, coloring, highlighting, and styling services. In addition, hairdressers and stylists often offer haircare advice and product recommendations so that customers can manage their styles at home. Some jobs at a hair salon do not typically require a license, such as shampooing or braiding hair. Many larger salons also staff receptionists and cashiers to ring up sales for services or retail haircare products.
It is common for a hair salon to provide other beauty services as well, such as manicures and skin treatments. Employees who receive specialized manicurist training can clip, file, and paint nails, apply artificial nail tips, and treat damaged cuticles. Cosmetologists provide facials and exfoliating procedures, and help customers make decisions regarding the best skincare products.
Prices can vary considerably for different types of services. A basic haircut may be as inexpensive as about $10 US Dollars (USD), while a full-service cut, style, and dye job can cost up to $200 USD or more. Most salons take into account many factors when setting their prices, including their expenses for products and equipment, overall demand for their services, and the fees charged by their competitors.
A hair salon business can be run in a number of different ways. Large businesses and hair salon chains often employ many workers, set regular schedules, and pay competitive hourly wages. Most salons are open to the public and accept walk-in customers. Some elite places, however, require clients to set appointments in advance in order to receive a haircut or treatment.
Smaller private businesses frequently allow licensed hairdressers to rent floor space as independent contractors. Instead of receiving a steady wage from their employers, independent stylists receive their salary based on the quantity and type of services they offer. They are usually able to set their own prices and work schedules. Some of their profits go to paying for rental spaces, equipment, and other associated fees, but they take home the majority of what they charge clients.