The True Cost to Open a Hair Salon | Full Breakdown

From equipment and supplies to rent and utility bills, in this article, we uncover the true hair salon opening costs. Check it out and create your estimate!

“How much does it cost to open a hair salon?” is a common question among those planning to launch their business in the service sector of the beauty industry. However, there is no definite answer to it, as the final sum depends on a variety of factors, from the size of the hair studio you wish to set up to the design style you envision for it.

Making sure you have a financial plan and sticking to it from the very beginning is vital for the successful development of your salon. This detailed guide will take you through the different price points and help you make an accurate estimate of the cost of opening a salon. 

Which Expenses Are Involved in Opening a Hair Salon?

A hair salon may seem to be like a business with low start-up costs at first sight. However, that impression is deceptive since aside from the major things like rent, utilities, and inventory, there are also hidden expenses.

Besides, there are a lot of nuances to keep in mind when opening a hair studio, so careful planning is key. One of the best approaches to estimating the required budget is to divide the potential costs into categories.

Below is an exhaustive list of all the expenses you have to be mindful of when launching your salon business.

One-Time Costs

This category features the expenses you need to be prepared to cover before your salon opens its doors to the customers. Save enough money to pay for:

  1. Licenses and Permits

Cost:  €200 - €2,000

One of the most important prerequisites for opening a hair salon is to have all the necessary licenses and permits in place. The documents needed depend on the location of your salon, yet the most commonly required ones are:

  • Salon business operation license - Without this document, you will not be allowed to legally conduct business. Every country has its own version of this license, but it is typically the first piece of documentation you have to get for your future hair salon. The costs related to receiving it range from €50 to €400.

  • Hairdressing licenses for every employee - While the potential employees will be bearing the costs of getting a hairdressing license to be able to be hired by a salon, this list wouldn’t be complete without it.

  • Seller’s permit - If you plan to have a retail point at your hair salon, where you will be selling hair care products, you are likely to need a seller’s permit. Typically, you don’t have to pay for getting it, yet security deposits may be required, so have approximately €100 reserved for it.

  • Music license -  If you play recorded music in your hair salon, the chances are you need a music license. One example is the PPL PRS license in the UK, with the pricing starting at £154 + VAT per year.

  • Street sign permit - If the sign of your hair salon is not painted directly onto a building and is greater than certain dimensions determined by the city where your hair salon is located, you will need a permit. The pricing will depend on the size of the sign you want to place, its location, and the period for which you will need it.

  • Safety compliance certification - When it comes to a hair salon business, you are most likely to need a certification that proves your premises are clean, well-lit, and properly ventilated and that your staff works hygienically and uses equipment properly. 

Remember that while some licenses and permits need to be obtained only once, others require renewal fees to be paid every year or so.

  1. Location

Cost: €400 - €500,000+

Now that you have all the documentation covered, it’s time to think about your salon’s location. There are several paths here:

  • Renting a salon suite. The pricing for hair salon suites rental ranges from approximately €100 to €500 per week, depending on its location, size, and the equipment that comes with it.

  • Leasing hair salon premises. Another option is to lease a bigger space that is designed to be a hair salon. Depending on the offers available in your area, you might be able to find a fully equipped space that doesn’t allow any modifications or a studio with cosmetic repairs that will require additional investments. While an average cost of a hair salon lease is about €2,000, you should also be able to pay up to three months of deposit upfront.

  • Purchasing an existing salon. Be prepared to pay anywhere from €40,000 to €250,000 when purchasing an existing salon, depending on its location, size, and the condition of the property and equipment. Be ready for extra costs to arise when it comes to redesigning or remodeling the space.

  • Building a hair salon from the ground up. Creating your hair salon from scratch gives you the creative freedom to make it exactly the way you envision it. However, this is the most expensive option on the list, with the costs starting from €100,000.

If you are dealing with a space that requires remodeling, keep in mind that on average, it costs at least €30,000.

  1. Equipment 

Cost: around €27,000 on average

Similar to other expense categories, there are different price points when it comes to hair studio equipment.

Here is a checklist of common salon equipment pieces, along with their typical price ranges:

  • Reception desk ~ €500 - €5,000

  • Waiting area sofa ~ €500 - €3,500

  • Waiting area table ~ €50 - €400

  • Salon chair ~ €70 - €1,200 

  • Hair styling station ~ €250 - €700 

  • Backwash unit ~ €300 - €3,000 

  • Tool cart ~ €50 - €200

  • Retail stand ~ €30 - €200

Electric equipment
  • Lighting ~ €200 - €2,000

  • Hood dryer ~ €60 - €400

  • Heat lamp ~ €150 - €400

  • Hair dryer ~ €150 - €500

  • Hair straightener ~ €100 - €300

  • Hair curler ~ €100 - €300

  • Hair clippers ~ €100 - €350

  • Washer-dryer combo ~ €750 - €4,000

  • Shears and scissors ~ €30 - €300

  • Rattail comb ~ €5 - €30

  • Wide-toothed comb ~ €5 - €30

  • Round brush ~ €20 - €50

  • Vented brush ~ €10 - €40

  • Paddle brush ~ €20 - €50

  • Hair cutting cape ~ €20 - €40

  • Salon towels ~ €30 - €150

  • Hand mirror ~ €5 - €30

  • Hair water spray bottle ~ €5 - €10

  • Hair clips ~ €10 - €30

  • Apron ~ €20 - €50

  • Salon latex gloves ~ €10 - €20

If the total sum of these costs seems too hefty for you, not to worry - keep reading for tips on how to minimize the expenses when opening a hair salon.

  1. Initial Supplies

Cost: €1,000 - €5,000

Before opening the doors to your customers, you’ll have to fill up your back-bar with supplies. 

When it comes to creating an estimate, it comes as no surprise that the final costs will differ greatly depending on the hair treatments you are planning to offer and your brand preferences. 

To make an estimate, write down all the items you will need for the first several months and check their prices from the chosen suppliers’ sites. It’s a good practice to round up the numbers to have a guarantee you’ll fit in the budget even if the prices change.

  1. Initial Inventory

Cost: €1,000 - €5,000

Retail shelves are a great additional source for your salon’s potential income, so make sure you have something to fill them up with by the grand opening.

It is advisable to offer only the products of the brands you trust and include items appealing to people with different levels of income within your target audience.

Similar to the supplies category, it is best to create a list of items and search for the suppliers that offer them at the best price.

  1. Computer and POS system

Cost: €1,500 - €4,000

Be prepared to pay quite a significant sum to get a reliable computer, set up an Internet network, and purchase a modern point-of-sale system to accept payments and print receipts. It is not recommendable to try to opt for lower-quality equipment for the sake of it being cheaper, as it probably won’t serve you that long.

Keep in mind that, aside from the upfront expenses, you are also likely to face monthly or annual fees, depending on the Internet and payment service providers.

  1. Website

Cost: €300 - €700

Every hair studio needs a web presence to look reliable in the eyes of potential clients and provide information on the salon’s services, location, and contact information.

There are free website builders available, yet it’s usually best to leave it to professionals and focus on other important matters related to opening the salon.

  1. Signage

Cost: €100 - €500

An outdoor sign is an important element of a hair studio. Great signage should ideally feature the salon’s name and logo, draw the bypassers’ attention, and be easy to spot for first-time clients. 

One of the factors on which the sign’s pricing will depend is whether it has to be designed from scratch. For instance, hiring a professional graphic designer to create a logo for your salon will bear extra costs, yet the result is most likely worth it.

Also, expect to pay more if you need the sign to have lights or need it to have an unusual shape or texture.

  1. Cash Balance

Cost: ~ €500

It’s important to have at least €500 in cash on your salon’s opening day to ensure that you have enough change for clients and avoid interruptions in the workflow.

Optional Expenses

There are some costs that you simply can’t avoid, and there are those that may not even arise. Below is the list of expenses that are optional and depend on the type of salon you’re opening, as well as your personal preferences.

  1. Legal and Consulting Fees

Cost: ~ €200/hour

You never know for sure if you are going to find some aspects of opening a salon challenging until you get started. Maybe you will need professional help negotiating your lease or closing a property sale, or, perhaps, the paperwork with licenses and permits will get too confusing. 

If you will have to turn to professional help, expect to pay approximately €200 per hour.

  1. Space Remodeling

Cost: ~ €32,000

Space remodeling is not on the list of mandatory hair salon expenses, yet it is not an uncommon initiative among salon owners. While some wish to change the whole layout of the future hair studio, others stick to mere cosmetic repairs.

The scale of changes determines the remodeling expenses, but the average cost for a refreshed look of a middle-size salon is approximately €30,000. This typically includes such changes as:

  • Repainting the walls

  • Rebranding

  • Updating some equipment

  • Getting new decor pieces

Remember the importance of creating a clear plan before you get started with any remodeling works. This will help you stick to the budget and achieve the best results.

  1. Employee Uniforms

Cost: ~ €100 - €200 per person

Do you want to see all your employees wear a uniform? Or maybe a matching element like an apron  can tie everything together? If that’s your vision, make sure you set some budget aside to make it happen. A typical price range for two sets of professional uniform per person would be approximately €100 - €200.

If you want uniformity of your staff’s wardrobe but aren’t prepared to spend that much, consider introducing a dresscode for the employees.

  1. Bookkeeping

Cost: €150 - €400

If you choose not to do your own bookkeeping, you will need to hire an accountant. What’s more, many salon owners agree that it’s a good “insurance policy” to cooperate with a professional either way, especially before filing the taxes.

Recurring and Ongoing Costs

These are the expenses that you will bear on a regular basis. While it might seem like you don’t have to worry about recurring costs and focus on the first weeks after opening, it’s critical to have a financial cushion big enough to cover the recurring expenses of the first several months.

  1. Mortgage or Lease

Cost: €700 - €5,000+ per month

Purchasing a commercial space is an excellent decision that will save you money in the long run. Besides, monthly mortgage costs are typically a lot lower than lease payments. 

Thus, if you have approximately €15,000 - €70,000 for the down payment for a €100,000-€700,000 property, it will leave you with approximately €700 - €1,000 of monthly payments.

If mortgage is not an option, you will have to stick to lease. As mentioned earlier, costs will vary greatly, depending on the hair studio’s location, size, and state. However, be prepared to pay approximately €2,000 per month for a medium-sized space.

  1. Insurance

Cost: €300 - €700 per year

The need for an insurance for a hair salon cannot be overstated. Besides, in most countries it is a mandatory prerequisite for opening and running a business. one of the most important hair salon requirements for opening and running your business.

Insurance costs depend on the provider, the services you offer at your salon, and whether or not insurance plans for the employees are included.

  1. Booking System

Cost: ~ €0 - €200 per month

Software that is responsible for setting appointments, managing bookings, and monitoring salon performance is often on the list of recurring expenses for hair studio owners, with the pricing ranging from approximately €15 to €200 per month. In the long run, this can cost you a pretty penny!

Luckily, it is possible to get all the booking software functions for free without compromising on usability and convenience. With Noona HQ, you can enjoy a plethora of useful features without paying anything. Our free plan includes:

  • Unlimited appointments

  • Online bookings

  • iOS and Android apps

  • Permission to add unlimited staff members

  • Email reminders

  • Client list

Sign up for free to explore the functionality of Noona!

  1. Marketing

Cost: €50 - €4,000+ per month

Marketing efforts can cost a lot, yet there are affordable options, too. What’s important is not to neglect this aspect when opening and running your hair salon and have a dedicated budget for it. After all, carefully implemented modern ways of promotion through social media, email marketing, and paid ads will definitely pay off both in the short and long term.

  1. Wages

Cost: ~ €5,000 - €15,000 per month

Employee wages are usually among the highest monthly costs for a salon business. An average yearly  salary of a hairstylist is approximately €22,000 in Europe. In addition, keep in mind the costs associated with other staff members like receptionists and cleaners.

  1. Taxes

Another major recurring expense category are taxes. These will vary according to your business model, country of operation, and business revenue. 

Remember that taxes typically need to be paid quarterly and make sure you have enough funds reserved.

  1. Supplies and Inventory Restock

Cost: ~ €1,000 - €5,000

When estimating the costs of restocking your salon’s inventory and supplies, you can take the estimate you created before the opening day as a basis. While it’s hughly unlikely that the items will be running out simultaneously, the sum you invested initially will be a good point of reference.

  1. Utility Bills

Cost: €400 - €700

If you are renting a commercial space, your lease agreement might include utilities. However, in most cases, electricity, water, heating, and Internet come as a separate expense.

On average, an electricity bill for a hair salon equals approximately €150 per month, water is likely to cost €45 - €150, depending on the size of your salon and the number of customers you have.

The Importance of a Financial Cushion

Now you have an idea how much money you will need to get your hair studio ready for opening and know what to expect during the first months of its operation. However, there is one more important things you need to keep in mind be completely prepared for the launch of your salon business / a financial cushion.

When opening a salon, repair costs hardly cross one’s mind. However, even brand-new equipment can break and even a freshly renovated space might need additional maintenance. Make sure you have enough reserved funds to handle unexpected expenses in case they arise.

How to Make the Business Launch Process More Affordable?

If, after calculating all the expenses, you see that the resulting sum is way beyond the budget you were hoping for, not to worry - there are still ways to cut the costs.

Here are some things you can do to make the hair salon opening process more affordable:

  • Cut down as many optional expenses as possible

  • Purchase second-hand salon equipment in good condition

  • Use multifunctional furnitue instead of buying separate pieces

  • Try to negotiate a good deal with your product supplier

  • Implement sustainable practices to ensure you’re not wasting electricity and water

  • Check out Noona for free appointment booking software that will not only pevent you from making extra monthly payments but also boost your salon’s revenue.

With these tips in mind, you are sure to be able to get closer to the desired budget.

What Is the Total Cost of Opening a Hair Salon?

Hopefully, the cost breakdown provided in this guide gave you a clear understanding of the expenses involved in creating your hair studio.

To sum it all up, here is an overview of the approximate ranges for the total costs of opening a salon:

As you can see, there is no single answer to the question “how much does it cost to open a hair salon?” due to the plethora of factors involves in the business launching process.

Fortunately, as you can see, the range of costs is wide, so there is a suitable option for any wallet. All you have to do is plan carefully and stick to the budget you determine.

Best of luck with opening your hair salon!

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  • Point of sale

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    Appointment calendar

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    Appointment reminders

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Talk to a human

Schedule a guided walkthrough of Noona HQ

Watch the Demo

Learn the how & why of Noona in 30 mins

Get more bookings with less scheduling

  • Point of sale

    Online appointments

    Appointment calendar

    SMS campaigns

    Unlimited client history

    Appointment reminders

    Custom fields

    Flexible giftcards

Talk to a human

Schedule a guided walkthrough of Noona HQ

Watch the Demo

Learn the how & why of Noona in 30 mins

Get more bookings with less scheduling

  • Point of sale

    Online appointments

    Appointment calendar

    SMS campaigns

    Unlimited client history

    Appointment reminders

    Custom fields

    Flexible giftcards