Articles > Business > What Would You Do: Hire Someone Who Wants To Open Their Own Salon?
Last updated: March 30, 2021

What Would You Do: Hire Someone Who Wants To Open Their Own Salon?

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Should You Hire Someone Who Will One Day Leave Your Salon?


If a potential new hire told you their goal was to one day open their own salon, would you be glad—or would it be a red flag? That was the question our community answered from an anonymous person who slid into our DMs. What are your thoughts? Check out the advice below!


“I wanted to ask your thoughts around interviewing a stylist that says their ultimate goal is to open a salon. A part of me is super excited for them because I know how they feel, and I feel like they would also take great ownership of their book of business and be more professional. The other part of me wonders how much time and money I will put into growing this person before they leave me. Thanks so much!”


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Let’s Pull Each Other Up

“I think it’s incredible. First and foremost, they already know what they want and they’re asking you for your guidance to help with that. Why wouldn’t you want to give someone a chance or opportunity to grown in their passion? At the end of the day…this journey you’re about to step into, isn’t for you anymore. It’s about someone else, believing in them, trusting in them and most importantly helping them and watching them grow in life, passion and career. Take all the negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. If you’re in a position to help someone…why wouldn’t you?” – @donovanmillshair


“Pay it forward! When we give, it always comes back 10-fold. Help build them up to reach their full potential and give them your full support and blessing! There is enough to go around for everyone😊” – @goffer111


“That’s just it, put your time and money, be a mentor help them grow let them leave the nest when they are ready, be proud of them and what you helped them accomplish. We need to stop normalizing salon owners thinking they own their stylists and toxic competitive energy in the industry. We need start supporting one another!” – @flthygorgus_


“We have to remember as salon owners we once were the stylist we’re interviewing with the same goals! Support and be encouraging. You never know what my flourish 😊” – @raqpowers



“I’ve actually had two of my stylists open their own salons and have supported them from the interview until today! It’s an extraordinary feeling when you can be a launchpad for your stylists’ dream! Our community has praised us for this, as it is not the ‘norm.’ Every salon owner had the dream of becoming a salon owner. Why would we not want their dream to come true. Those stylist still call with questions and I’m always there to answer them 😍” – @cameronkepford


“We’ve got to start wanting the biggest and best for all the stylists around us. Teach them, learn with them and from them and be happy to see everyone succeed, however that ends up.” – @stephannsings


“You should support their goals. Clearly they are thinking ahead in the future and aren’t planning to dip out in a year or two. it’s going to be a long road before they even can think about opening their own salon, so I don’t see how you could take that as a negative thing. Support their goals and mentor them without expecting an indebted stylist for life.” – @erikjonhair



Look At This As a Business Benefit

“Sounds like a person with ambitions, probably with a lot of great ideas and a person you can guide and bounce ideas with 😊 Who knows, plans change!” – @hairs.raggy


“Might make a good successor!! You could help this person grow and be certain that you’ll be leaving your business in good hands when you decide to retire.” – @the.nirvana.zia


“That person wants to make money, you will benefit. Some of their clients will stay behind when she leaves, along with lending to a good salon reputation so you can attract more good stylists.” – @sgeyser


“Have a reasonable non-compete in place then be the best role model to them. We need more successful salon owners to elevate the industry. You could also open a second location together and have that stylist manage it if you have a good relationship with them. Win-win.” – @courtneychisholmhairstylist



Don’t Expect A Lifelong Employee

“It’s hard enough just to fill the chairs. Worry about the present. I don’t think anyone’s goal is to work for someone else forever.” – @mistymewing


“Can we please normalize the fact that no stylist is going to stay working for you forever?…The point is to evolve! The salon owner should want that for everybody, not just themselves. That is the problem, why can’t we leave a salon without there being a ridiculous amount of drama, unfriending the entire salon on social media, etc. Why can’t we do better with this? Why can’t we wish each other well? Why can’t hire a new person, build them up, help them build their book and wish them well on their way if they chose to move on? There are a million stylists out there—younger stylists, hungrier stylists, stylists that need help. I think that if we went into this knowing that they will eventually leave at some point we can save ourselves a whole lot of heartache and unnecessary drama.” –


“Everyone will eventually leave and grow. You should want that! You take part of their earnings while they work there. That should be enough, or your heart is not in the right place. Most stylists will move on.” – @glamqueen44



Adjust Your Mindset

“A good salon never worries about someone taking part of their clientele. There are always people moving into town, the next generation coming up, and the ones that stay bringing friends. No salon or stylist can serve everyone.” – @luv.of.colour


“If you hire a stylist who wants to open their own salon and are a great boss and mentor to them, you’ll become a positive part of their story as someone who supported their dreams. If you refuse to hire them because of their ambitions, or hire them and act weird and possessive, or hire them and refuse to be a good mentor because you’re afraid of their growth, you’ll become part of their story as a cautionary tale and someone they never want to be like or recommend other stylists or clients to. Decide whether you want to be encouraging or discouraging and conduct yourself accordingly.” – @laquim_irl


“There’s no such thing as competition in my book. The world of hair is so large, and there are clients of plenty. Now is a perfect time for self reflection to make sure your business is making the statement you want… train her and elevate her, but she’ll have to define her own unique place in the market… when your neighbor sells their home, you want them to get a good price to increase your value, same thing in business.” – @cactusrosesalon



Listen To This Real Talk

“Everybody thinks that they want to open their own salon in the beginning. Many change their mind after working in one! I would think somebody with that much ambition would be an asset.” – @luftlocks


“If that is their goal, give them responsibility in the salon. Entrepreneurship is no joke. The stylist should learn to operate their day-to-day at a high professional level.” – @b54pretty


“Honestly, you just gotta trust your gut. If you get a good vibe from this person, hire them. If something puts you off, don’t hire them. I gave this answer to an interview question once, and I was hired anyway. I worked at that salon for 9 years before branching out and opening my own salon. Just because someone wants to own their own shop one day, doesn’t mean that they’re gonna peace out within a year. It takes time to achieve goals, as well as goals can change over time. At the end of the day it comes down to what you feel comfortable with and the vibe you get from this particular stylist.” – @habitat.ecosalon



“Pay fairly and have systems in place to foster a healthy and functional salon environment. If you’re at a salon without enough support staff and no systems for making things work and you’ve been there for years at 40% or less commission, the choice to go rent and make 75% of your money and do everything the way you want is pretty strong. I sometimes think about opening a salon someday and I’ve come to the conclusion that if I want to be a good owner, my goal needs to be to make a small profit creating my dream place to work, and that part of it is my stylists getting their share of that dream. As opposed to paying the bare minimum to get others to show up and do their job/over working people so I can squeeze out as much profit as possible, not realizing how much turnover it causes and how bad it makes the salon look.” – @_hair_alchemist_


“Speaking as someone with that goal who worked for someone who didn’t support it…I benefited in the end. I got fed up and left. All she saw in me was dollar signs and didn’t support my want to grow there. So I looked for a better place.” – @ashley_rose_esthetics


“This is the reason for contracts.” – @tobey918


“If you decide to hire, just make sure they are committed to their time with you and not on building out their own vision. In this moment, the focus is your salon and supporting/growing your business. Make sure this is clear. Have end dates and deadlines in place (for both of you) to make preparations to help both of you to grow and for when they leave so you are prepared. Definitely have a non-compete in place to protect you and your business. (Saying all of this from experience.) Hope everything works out.” – @saloncrie



“This comment section passed the vibe check 🙌” – @gabyextentionista