The Business Side of Beauty: Why You Aren’t Making the Money – Career

The Business Side of Beauty: Why You Aren’t Making the Money – Career


Many hairdressers see themselves solely as artists, but hairdressing is also a business. Until you approach it as such, financial struggles will persist. There’s a business aspect to hairdressing that can be learned and mastered. Here are the main reasons why: 

Failing to find a profitable niche

General hairdressing skills may not yield significant profits. Identify a niche you can dominate, such as bridal styling or men’s grooming. Combine your skills with a specialty you enjoy to become known as an expert in that niche. Then, you can charge premium rates as a specialist.

Discounting and offering free services

Starting with discounts or freebies in hopes of gaining paid work is often ineffective. Freebie clients never really recommended me. You just get a reputation for being easy to be had. Let unpaid work strengthen your portfolio only if it serves definite financial goals. Have a strategy in place.

Not charging enough for services

Undercharging is a common pitfall—research market rates in your niche to avoid undercutting yourself. Know your worth and refuse anything below it, ensuring your services are valued appropriately.

Inability to build and retain clients

Finding clients is the difficult part; once they walk in the door, it’s your job to keep them coming back. But don’t act needy; there’s a happy medium for this effort. Watch and learn from experienced hairdressers as they interact with their clients. Take a class on proven salon client retention techniques to ensure a continuous flow of clients.

Lack of sales or marketing abilities

Even exceptional hairdressing goes unnoticed without effective marketing. Hone your sales abilities and learn cost-effective marketing tactics like social media promotion. Self-promotion is essential for success.

Waiting to be “discovered”

Word-of-mouth works, but it can take a while to kick in. Waiting to be discovered is not a viable strategy. Proactively put yourself and your work in front of potential clients. Network aggressively and promote yourself shamelessly.

Here’s your cheat-cheat on how to overcome financial obstacles with the right mindset and strategies:

  1. Prioritize hairdressing as a business and a career.
  2. Choose a niche you excel in and enjoy.
  3. Develop a portfolio showcasing your best work.
  4. Adopt a sales mindset and negotiate fees confidently.
  5. Set income goals and track progress regularly.
  6. Charge rates that reflect your expertise.
  7. Seek business education and mentorship.
  8. Expand your network and connect with industry influencers.
  9. Promote yourself shamelessly to attract more clients and opportunities.

Get started. 


Carlos Valenzuela is an author, educator, and a retired beauty professional who loves sharing...

Carlos Valenzuela is an author, educator, and a retired beauty professional who loves sharing lessons learned during a long career. 


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