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Beauty salons in the USA: How to open and salaries

Sailun Tires

The main segment of the beauty industry in the United States is represented by beauty salons. Despite the wide variety and choice of services, this line of business is one of the most demanded. With the rise in per capita income, since 2018, the beauty salon industry has grown rapidly.

Traditional hair salons and barber shops are the trendiest types of businesses in the beauty sphere. Classic beauty salons with a wide range of services are also in great demand. Nail salons, SPA, tanning studios, depilation and sugaring, and cosmetology centers are widely spread in the United States now.

The average percentage of retail services in the United States is 13%. However, beauty salons have a high-profit margin of 20%–25% on retail product sales. You can buy or rent a commercial premise for your saloon. Prices range from $20,000 to several million. For example, the price of an average salon in Miami starts at $100,000.


In the United States, you must have a business license to provide beauty services. Salon employees must also be licensed. This applies to stylists (haircut, styling, hair coloring), manicure and pedicure masters, cosmetologists and masseurs, tattoo artists, etc. Rules vary by state, which is why you should check them with your local Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. 

The penalty for not having the necessary license to work in a beauty salon can be different. It can range from $500 to $15,000 in fines up to serious criminal charges if a cosmetologist inflicted damage to the client that led to dire consequences.

Please keep in mind that a medical license from a hair stylist in the US adds 55% to a monthly salary. As the owner of a beauty salon, you need to have a license for cosmetology. You also need to make sure your new salon can pass the Health Inspection.


The beauty salon owner must get business insurance under the state business insurance requirements. To do this, you need to purchase General Liability Insurance or Professional Liability Insurance.

You also need to employ qualified and trained personnel. Cosmetic procedures performed by untrained employees can cause health problems for clients. It is important that you only hire qualified and well-trained beauticians, stylists, and other employees.


According to financial analysts, the average annual income of a hair salon is $245,000. The total income of a beauty salon in the United States is the sum of the total salon services and selling retail products. The average margin is 8.4%. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that barbers earn an average of $26,900 and salon owners – between $42,000 and $65,000.

The average range of monthly salaries for cosmetologists across the country ranges from $2,500 to $5,000 per month. In small towns, as a rule, they pay 30% less. The highest salaries in the US beauty industry are paid in California, Nevada, New York, Florida, Washington, and Pennsylvania.


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