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I am currently going through schooling for cosmetology and even though hair dressing isn't my first choice I would like to know if it is easier to rent a chair long term or own a your own salon long term?

I have always been interested in different hair styles, but my dream career is Special Effects Makeup ( monster makeup, fake scars, etc. ) I am currently going through cosmetology school to have some experience in another field if that doesn't work out. Cosmetology has so much to offer but hair catches my eye the more than nails, lashes, waxing, etc. So as a backup I would like to know what is best long term when it comes to hair dressing. hairstylist hairdresser

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Carole’s Answer

The owner ship in any business usually needs more money invested, because of all of the overhead expenses that you will incur as an owner. If you rent a chair and buy your own products that will be the basic expenses for you, and a lot less money is needed up front. If you decide that you want to open your own salon you need to know that it will take some time to get some of your money back and to start to see a profit. If I was going to own my own salon I would definitely rent a chair first and watch how the owner does the business and take some ideas away with you when you are ready for the big ownership. Experience is necessary to become an owner in any business, and a big part of learning is just doing it for awhile without all the financial pressure. You will also build up your clientele to bring with you when you decide to become an owner.


  1. Have a viable License so that you can work any salon. If you want to eventually own your own business then you would need a business license.
  2. If you choose to open a business it is very wise to take a business course in owning your own business so that you are aware of everything needed and how to keep your ledger and your sales.

Carole recommends the following next steps:

1. Make sure your license is up to date and make sure you renew it when necessary.
Take 1 or 2 or more business classes so that you will have more information going into becoming a business owner.
Make sure the people you interview to work in your salon have the proper license to work there. If they are finishing school don't hire them until they have that license. Sometimes businesses can get fined if the workers don't have the proper licenses.
I know you will make the right decision for yourself, but please remember some of the points suggested for you. I know you will make a great business owner when the time is right for you to do.
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Tatiana’s Answer

Hi Madeline,

Opening a salon will require you to invest a lot of money upfront, to pay for rent, furniture, utilities, equipment, hair products, marketing, etc. It’s a feasible option if you can warrant a steady clients inflow right away after opening; otherwise, your business may not last for long. Of course, you can open your own salon! Pretty sure you’ll get there one day, but before you go solo, I suggest you rent a chair in another salon, practice and learn the ins and outs of the job and customer service, attract and develop your clientele. When you feel confident enough, start your own business. Best wishes!

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