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Sector Spotlight: Barber Shops

Think you have what it takes to own a barber shop? Here’s what you need to know to help determine if you make the cut!

The hairdressing sector includes salons and barbershops that provide a range of hair-related services, such as hair cutting, colouring, and styling, as well as facial hair grooming.

This industry, however, can also include additional grooming services such as manicures, pedicures, facials, skin treatments, tanning, hair removal, and non-medical hair restoration techniques.

Facts and stats

  • Rising image consciousness, increased male grooming, and an upsurge in population have fuelled growth in the barbershop sector.
  • An IBISWorld report predicts that the men's grooming boom will contribute to the growth of the hairdressing and beauty services industry to a forecasted $5.1 billion in 2021–22, up from $4.8 billion in 2017.
  • This same report shows that barber shops contribute 6.3% to the $4.8 billion hairdressing and beauty services industry—a small but rising market share

Hair-raising industry trends

  • Virtual imagery: Innovative services and apps are revolutionising the hair care sector. For example, augmented reality apps like L'Oréal's “Style My Hair” allow users to sample a new hair colour through an instant 3D simulation before fully committing to it. In addition, Henkel’s SalonLab Analyser is a handheld, Bluetooth-connected device that stylists can use to analyse their customers’ hair at a molecular level to evaluate details like strength, moisture content, and true colour. The device then runs that data through an app to determine how the stylist can best treat the hair, and it can even create a customised shampoo formula for each guest.
  • Organic and holistic approach to hair care: Aussies are seeking vegan, natural, and organic hair products. To meet this ever-increasing demand, hairdressers should research and use purely organic products extracted from botanical ingredients.
  • Environmental concerns: Owners need to be conscious of their salon’s footprint and aware of their clients’ environmental concerns about chemical-borne hair colours and the ingredients and biodegradability of hair styling products.

Barbershop business benefits

  • Increased male customer base: Australia’s male grooming sector is worth more than an estimated $500 million annually and is projected to continue to grow as more men become concerned about premature ageing and the condition of their skin and hair.
  • Valuable connections: Ownership in this industry can be very rewarding as you have the opportunity to build lasting relationships with your loyal customers and make a positive impact in their lives.
  • Intrinsic rewards: Helping people look and feel great on a daily basis creates a lasting emotional benefit for both you and your clients that will likely become your greatest “job perk.”

Challenges of good grooming

Before buying any business, it’s important to not only be aware of the benefits within the industry but the challenges as well. When it comes to the barbershop sector, an economic downturn, for example, can negatively affect any business in the personal service industry.

As consumers reevaluate their budgets and try to find “extras” to cut, many of them will opt to postpone their use of hairdressing services by increasing the time between haircuts.

In addition, hair services like colouring, styling, and facial grooming are typically considered to be non-essential expenses and are more likely to be eliminated when patrons have to reduce spending.

So, to achieve success in this industry, it’s essential to be strategic in your marketing efforts and to retain your customers. Create a loyalty program and reward your committed clients with a free service or product after several visits to your shop.

Essential skills

  • Conversational skills: Take time to hone the fine art of listening without interrupting and asking good questions to show that you’re engaged with what your customers are saying.
  • Exceptional customer service: You need to understand your customers’ wants and needs, offer suggested styles, provide quality service, and respond to any suggestions for improvement.
  • Creativity: You should be a creative innovator who’s not afraid to suggest several styling options for unsure and indecisive clients.
  • Technical skill and training: You should seek continual education to stay abreast of current styles, techniques, and trends. With a growing male customer base in this sector, you should also be trained in facial hair grooming and wet shaving.

The barbershop industry is full of opportunity and potential. With the proper training and personality, you can build a thriving business that will not only help make your clients look great, but feel great, too.

Visit here to take a look at the barbershops currently available for sale, and let us help you find the perfect fit for you! If you'd like to broaden your search, take a look at other opportunities available on our site.

Faye Ferris

About the author

APAC Sales & Marketing Director for, the world’s most popular website for buying and selling businesses globally and attracting over 1.2 Million visitors each month. To contact Faye please email [email protected]