How to become a mobile hair stylist
First you need to be a certified Barber, cosmetologist or hairstylist
Before becoming a mobile barber or mobile hair stylist you need to be certified. In most states you will find those 3 types of diplomas training and certifying you to be a hairdresser. Once graduated you need to apply for a license in the state you want to work in. Be careful you can not work in a state with a license from another state. Once you got the license, you are a hair stylist or a barber. To be a mobile one you dont need anything else !
How do you start a mobile stylist business ?
You are a hair stylist or a barber, and sometimes you happen to think "Gosh, commissions and fees are crushing me in the salons ?" or you wish you had "more flexibility and freedom in your lifestyle" ?
You may think of starting mobile hairdressing ...
Starting a mobile hairdressing business is not really different from starting a regular hairdressing business, main differences are obviously the store and the hardware. Let us break it down for you.
Then how to become a mobile hair stylist or barber and start a real business ?
1. Make sure you have a valid license in the state (or states) you want to work in
For any hairstyling or barbering job in most US states you need a valid license either in Cosmetology, Barbering or Hair Styling (3 types of licenses allow you to service clients hair, only the scopes are different).
License requirements vary from one state to another but the common grounds are :
studies and diploma from a beauty school,
practical exam or hours in a real salon
Be careful, in most states the license needs to be renewed every year. Check out the guidelines for the state or states you wish to work in.
In each State you can reach out to the State Board of Cosmetology & Barbers.
2. Register your business
In some states, it is not required that you register a business, however we strongly advocate in favor of the registration. Registration comes with many potential benefits : it may give you protection under the laws, it will enable you to seek for a bank loan, it allows you to register a brand, and it is often necessary for obtaining benefits from the government …
Moreover nowadays, it is super easy to register a company.
3. Get a professional insurance
You may want to get an insurance, at least a general liability insurance to protect you and feel reassured.
You can also get a Professional Liability Insurance policy to cover your professional mistakes, but you must consider the price of the insurance compared to the value of a failed haircut .
4. Consider writing a business plan
We highly recommend to write one, because the business model of mobile personal services is pretty specific.
In many ways a mobile hairstyling business model is easy to apprehend : basically their is only one main expense (your time), and one revenue (prices of services you charge your customers for.
But of course, it is not that simple, there are a few tricky issues and differences with a mobile hairstyling business model that you want to take into account :
commute time : you definitely want to accurately estimate the time you will spend in you car to go to your appointments and take that time into account when you define your prices
car expenses and fuel : using your own car to perform your services has direct and indirect costs, think to include them in your expenses and somehow in your prices
tips : that in on the positive side, you should include tips in your future revenue (some additional 15% to 20% to the revenue)
Don't forget to think specific services can bring a nice dough to the P&L, like hair extensions or braids.
5. Gather the material
There is no MOBILE hairdresser without … a car. So starting with the car - you can't afford to have a car in bad shape that might let you down easily. Your business depends on your transportation and this could be the end of your business.
And of course you need the usual your kit which should consist of the following ; scissors, combs, hairdryer, flat irons, brushes, towels … Basically everything you need to service your clients from a mobile standpoint.
We also encourage you to keep an updated inventory of your items you will need to buy or replace.
6. To start the business, reach out to your network
Your network (professional and personal) is were you will find your clients, so … get cracking ! Recommendation and word of mouth are great tools especially when starting out.
You can also decide to join our marketplace of mobile hair stylists, that will introduce customers with no front fee, the marketplace keeps only a commission on what you charge to customers and this commission in only a fraction of what a salon would take.
If you become a mobile hairdresser, how it works (video)
how to grow you business
The first order of business is to make sure the customers you are gaining are not going anywhere, they will remain your clients for a long time. Check out this post giving out pieces of advice to boost your customer retention when you are a mobile barber or a mobile hairstylist.
why becoming a mobile barber or hairdresser with DashStylists
Do your job differently
Booth rents or commission fees are too high in hair salons ?
Tired of spending hours in the salon waiting for customers ?
Want more flexibility and freedom in your lifestyle ?
Willing to earn extra money ? If you want to estimate what sort of compensation / revenue you can expect see this page
Make extra money on your own terms
With the flexibility of your own schedule (outside salons opening hours or while the traffic is low in the salon)
Define your services and your prices
Choose the area you want to work in
No risk, no constraint
No flat fee :
Registration is free
No membership fees
No monthly fees
No risk : you only pay for our commission when you get paid
You keep almost all your earnings, DashStylists takes only 10%
After reading all that, you may consider join the first community of mobile stylists in the South of the US.
Do mobile hairdressers need insurance ?
We are trying here to give you an answer that can't be a straight one. Wether you need business Insurance or not as a mobile hairdresser is not really up to us, or any other advisor. It will mostly depends on your very own ability to accept and tolerate risks. Therefore the type of small business you are running is not a decisive criteria.
Let's try to enlighten your decision :
1. What are the different types of small business insurances and what are the coverages
General liability insurance : it is the most common business insurance, it protects your business from liability claims from stakeholders, like accidents resulting in injuries, advertising claims, damages to someone else’s property caused by your activity.
Professional liability insurance : it covers the damages caused by errors or omissions made by you or other employees in their professional services.
Commercial property insurance : this one covers damages to your business’ equipment and property.
Business income insurance : it helps cover the loss of income due to outside circumstances.
Workers’ compensation insurance : it covers your employer and compensates them if they suffer a work-related injury or illness. It can also provide benefits to a deceased workers’ family.
There are others insurances, like Commercial umbrella insurance, but at some point your focus is to run and develop a business not making sure has the most comprehensive coverage in the US.
2. What are the types of risks in your industry : mobile hairdressing ?
This may probably be the most important question : what can possibly go wrong when you do hair at client's homes?
Issues can occur with your clients. According to our experience, we listed the following possibilities :
- You break something in your client's house inside (or outside when parking for instance
- Your client is not happy with the way you cut and styled their hair
- Your clients hair color is a fail and we mean "really fail"; the difference from the above (your client just being unhappy) is that you can not really make it up, you may just have to wait for the hair to regrow. Or you may have to for another full color which can lead to hair damage.
- You hurt /injure your client (with a pair of scissors for example or a hot tool)
- You damage to their home, like a fire or a flooding
This list may differ if you have employees, which would carry different risks.
3. What might be the most relevant insurances in our opinion
You should probably get a General Liability Insurance, like a minimal coverage. You don't want to be uninsured and you wouldn't like the feeling of it. So even if the covered risks are limited, somehow you buy a peace of mind a minimum coverage. Read and check carefully the coverage though, you want to make sure the basics are really covered.
The Professional liability insurance is a different animal in our opinion. The risk exists obviously, but the "liability value" of a haircut is low ($20, $50, $100 …). Probably the worst that can happen is an epic fail of a coloration (as mentioned above), and honestly it has happened to a lot of hairdressers in the history of hair salons, and it has been a fixable issue in 99% of cases. Therefore we wouldn't recommend to subscribe a Professional liability insurance.
Having a mobile business, you obviously don't need to cover any store or building, and the value of different items in your equipment are pretty low, so no Commercial property insurance. Just make sure your car is decently covered by you personal insurance
As for other supplementary insurances, obviously it is up to you, but unless you are in a very specific situation needing one of these, most of the time you won't need them.
What it is like in the COVID19 environment
Of course the COVID19 pandemic has changed the job of hair stylist or barber. First salons have been shut down in many states in the US. then most were allowed to reopen but with great restrictions. So we restarted business but amid safety concerns and uncertainties.
That is why Pro-Dashstylists compiles news, studies and reliable pieces of advice (from recognized scientists) about COVID19 for you > click here.
Also you should check out the CDC guidelines regarding COVID19 protection measures.