Everything You Need to Know About Being a Mobile Hairdresser

Having your own salon is one of the greatest accomplishments many beauty professionals will achieve as an independent business owner, but having your own place doesn't need to be the only means of making a successful career as a hair stylist. In an economy where rents aren't getting any lower, some professionals just don’t see the need in going to a salon every day – plus paying the costs to run it. Whether you’re looking to make going mobile your primary business model or add it on as a premium service that complements your brick-and-mortar business, sometimes it pays to take your services on the road and start making house calls.

Ahead, we get into the pros, cons, and everything in between regarding what it means to take your hairdressing services on the road.

Should I Start Offering Mobile Hairdresser Services?

As you ponder whether or not you might want to extend your menu to include house calls, consider what types of clients you may be servicing as a result. Offering house calls not only expands your opportunities for profit growth, but in some cases, it may be a thoughtful service you can extend to those who have mobility or health issues. Offering to travel to those who may otherwise not be able to get out of the house or may find it difficult to get around gives you an edge over your competitors, and more importantly, shows your commitment to supporting a variety of communities.

Other types of clients who may be interested in hairdressing house calls may include large parties, such as bachelorette or wedding groups, who have several individuals who want to get their hair done together or all in one place where an itinerary of events might be underway.

These are some of the pros and cons of becoming a mobile hairdresser:

Advantages as the professional

  • No overhead: You can say goodbye to inflated rent rates and monthly utility bills if you opt to go fully mobile. 
  • Additional income stream: Whether you make your mobile hairdresser services a full-time option or not, you’ll be setting yourself up for an increased profit margin because you’ll be able to upcharge for premium services and include a travel fee to cover your gas and additional time.

Disadvantages as the professional

  • Travel time: Making time to drive from location to location will take away from the number of clients you’ll realistically be able to serve on a daily basis. 
  • Toting around equipment: Packing and unpacking your supplies regularly can become tedious and time-consuming. You’ll want to keep a separate travel kit packed if you plan to offer both in-salon and offsite services so you can reduce the amount of time spent preparing for house calls.

Advantages for your clients

  • Convenience: Having any beauty or wellness provider come to your home always feels like a luxury, and clients will appreciate the time saved and level of service offered by having a hair stylist come to their location.
  • Privacy: Though you may provide a great in-salon client experience, some clients may feel more comfortable and relaxed with their trusted professional, and without other staff or patrons within earshot.

Disadvantages for your clients

  • Limited services offered: Depending on your expertise and the environment or supplies needed to perform your services, you may not be able to offer all of the menu items you would in a fully operable salon. 
  • Distractions: The time spent at a salon often feels like a pampering experience, and while having a stylist come to their home may feel like a luxury, the environment may not be as relaxed as a proper styling space – pets, spouses, children, and other household interruptions may create distractions to the client during an at-home appointment.

Whether you offer services in-salon or on the road, you can still treat all clients to an elevated experience even when you start with a strong first impression from your online booking process.

What Do You Need to Be a Mobile Hairdresser?

Certain supplies, safety equipment, and a mode of transportation are obvious necessities for offering traveling services. Still, there are a few other logistics and actions you’ll need to contemplate as you start up your mobile hairdresser business.

Bring your salon on the road

As demand for more client privacy and less ownership overhead became prevalent during the pandemic, many beautypreneurs got creative with their definition of a salon. Making house calls doesn’t always mean working out of someone’s house – consider taking a cue from many of the beauty pros who renovated AirSteams or outfitted old vans or trailers to create a chic option for making their services mobile.

Create a mobile hairdresser service menu

When performing services outside of a brick and mortar salon, you’ll need to put thought into what types of services you’ll be able to provide. Depending on the conditions of the home or venue you’re visiting, certain services may not be possible or easy to complete. Consider, too, that you won’t have the same access to shampoo basins or hooded hair dryers across different locations as you would in your own salon, so certain procedures may not be as wise to offer. Services like blowouts, up-dos, haircutting, and at-home keratin treatments might be easier to include on your menu than things like shampoos or coloring.

Get your legal affairs in order

It’s important to know that making house calls as a stylist is not legal in every state. Laws are often changing, so be sure to check your region's legislation to ensure that you’re not breaking any laws by offering at-home services. And, it’s a good idea to double-check that you have all the proper permits and documentation to do so, too.

Take proper safety measures

Although things on the pandemic front seem to slowly be getting back to normal, public health is still very much a current concern, not only for you as a professional but for clients as well. Be thoughtful when entering a client’s home, and you may even want to ask what their preference is around mask-wearing, vaccinations, or sanitization protocols.

Outside of health concerns, staying safe is of the utmost importance as a traveling independent beauty professional. Make sure someone always knows which clients you’ll be visiting and take extra measures to ensure that you feel safe in any location – keep your cell phone charged, turn your live location on, keep your gas tank full, and trust your gut should you feel any hesitation about entering a space that doesn’t feel comfortable to you. 

Update your insurance

Though you might already have liability insurance squared away for your salon, entering people’s homes and working in an offsite location may require an extra level of coverage to keep you free from any messy conflicts in case of an accident. You’ll want to consult your insurance provider to inquire about updating your policy in order to cover any damage to the location you’re visiting or any injuries you could incur while onsite.

Set up your billing

A mobile card reader is essential to doing business and getting paid on the road. GlossGenius makes client checkout simple and stylish with our Chief Money Machine card readers – clients can tap or swipe just about any type of payment, any time, any place, with our card readers. And, even though you’re outside of a salon, you can still represent your brand with a variety of styles designed to create an experience that feels elevated and professional.

Start an expense strategy

While being offsite frees you up from some salon-focused costs, there will be a set of unique expenses associated with being on the road (gas, mileage, extra insurance, etc.) GlossGenius gives you the tools you need to easily organize business expenses so those piles of receipts won’t creep up on you again when tax time comes around. You can track all of your outgoing transactions in one place – categorize them, store receipts digitally, set up recurring expenses, and keep an eye on what you’re spending, all at your fingertips.

Ready to hit the road? Sign up for your free trial of GlossGenius today to make sure you have all the tools for success when making your salon services mobile.

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