What is a Hair Salon?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2019
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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.


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Post 3

My sister got married last week and a bunch of us-- all the bridesmaids plus my mom and aunts -- made an appointment with our favorite hair salon before the ceremony. We had our hair done, our makeup and manicures as well. We basically had the whole place reserved for ourselves and they had all of their hair stylists come in so that we all would be ready in time. It worked great and it was a lot of fun too as we all had some extra girl time before the wedding.

Post 2

@fify-- I'm sorry to hear that you've had such bad experiences. My suggestion to you is to ask your friends and family for recommendations. The current hair salon I go to, I discovered them through my friend. My friend's hair always looks great and her haircut suits her very well. So I asked her where she gets her hair done and she recommended her hair salon to me and even made an appointment for me with her hair stylist.

I met with the stylist and together we came up with a look for me -- hair cut, color and style-- that would be best. My hair turned out great and I love it. I will be returning to the same hair stylist next time.

So don't give up. Ask for recommendations and if you have a specific look or hair cut in mind, print some pictures to take with you.

Post 1

A good hairdresser and a good hair salon are difficult to come by. I've always been unlucky in this regard and I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I usually go to hair salons that are not very expensive but they're still considered higher-end. I make an appointment and everything but I rarely come across someone who actually listens to me.

The problem is usually that the hairdresser does whatever he or she wants regardless of what I ask for. What's the point of asking me what I want if they're just going to do what they're comfortable doing?! I've never understood this. I usually leave hair salons frustrated and upset. I'm starting to think about learning to cut my own hair so that I don't have to go to hair salons any longer for simple things like a trim.

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