As a salon professional who has lived and built her entire career in an independent salon world, I have definitely had my fair share of stereotypes about the big, wild salon chain world. Until one day, I had a slight career change that required me to…wait for it…. move! Still in the industry, I accepted a role with a company doing education for independent salons. It was a dream come true.
After several years on the road working with salons and salon professionals (and having added to my family once again), it came time to hang up my travel hat. I faced a dilemma. We were settled in a new city that had independent salons, but I was unfamiliar and had no clientele. No family, no friends. Nothing. No one was really interested in bringing onboard the stylist with “all this experience and no clientele”.
So, I did some research. From there, I swallowed my pride and applied at a chain salon. At first, I was a little blushy-cheeked about it, but let me tell you…I have flourished in the chain salon arena. It was a great decision for me to make.
Here are the top 3 reasons why I believe chain salons could be an awesome career move for any level of stylist:
Chain salons have built their reputations on instant gratification - a quick in and out. Most chain salons are located in high traffic shopping centers generating walk-in salon traffic or they are a part of a large cosmetics retail store. This helps to minimize the effort you have to put in promoting yourself.
You can service a guest, issue your business card, ask them for the gift of a referral, and prebook their next appointment. You’ve had to do nothing extra to gain a new guest except show up for work and be the awesome stylist you are. Literally, the business comes to you.
In my independent life, I had some help and support from my employers through the years. I still came out of my own pocket to pursue my advanced education. Many chain salons have their own in-house education and/or their own design/color teams.
I cannot tell you how much this spoke to me. Education is a passion of mine. And to work with companies that offer advanced education? Yes! At no additional cost? Yes!
Most of the design teams for chain salons are composed of or have been trained by some of the most sought-after stylists in the industry. Their level of advanced education is the same quality as if you had paid five hundred dollars out of your own pocket for FREE. The bonus? You probably will get paid for attending an in-house educational class.
Chain salons offer a large variety of upward mobility within their companies and brands that go beyond behind the chair. These can include Design Teams, Color Teams, Education Teams, or Market Trainers just to name a few. Supercuts, for example, will only hire stylists into their design team that they have built from within. The ability to flex your leadership skills does not always stop once you hit numbers. Chain salons can allow you to move up as you grow (and they’ll support you every step of the way).
Chain salons are a fantastic place for salon professionals at many different skill levels and professional levels. Most are reputable and consistent. Chain salons can offer a fast-growing guest list, offer free in-house education, as well as the potential for growth beyond the chair. They may also offer many perks & benefits such as flexible hours, paid vacations, health insurance, etc.
If you’re newer to the industry, looking to change the direction of your current career, or starting over fresh in a new city... whatever your change is, being part of the team in a well-researched chain salon should be worth considering.
Cheryl Towne has been a licensed cosmetologist for 20 years. Education has always been her passion. She has immersed herself in numerous courses and continuing education classes throughout her career including training in New York City, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. She's worked under some of the industry's most skilled and sought-after stylists.
In addition to being a certified colorist, Cheryl is also an expert in the field of color and design. She has worked behind the scenes during Fashion Week, editorial shoots, and commercials. Cheryl has also been a professional educator for one of the top hair color brands in the United States.
When she's not behind the chair serving her salon guests, she's a boy mom of three and a Navy wife. Though she currently resides in Alabama, Florida will always be her home.