Professional Beauty Association's News Blog Industry News From PBA Fri, 20 Feb 2015 18:34:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 PBA UNVEILS NEW AND IMPROVED PROGRAMS FOR MEMBERS Fri, 20 Feb 2015 18:30:06 +0000 The beauty industry is constantly evolving and the Professional Beauty Association (PBA) has been working hard to stay up-to-date to keep members informed. Now more than ever, it’s crucial for PBA Members to have a reliable place to go to not only get the information they need, but access essential resources as well to keep budgets under control and clients flowing in the doors. No matter what way these changes come – laws or regulations, new products and services or new ways to connect with your clients – PBA strives to provide all Business and Individual members with the resources they need to succeed.

In late 2014, PBA unveiled a new membership structure that was designed to make being a PBA Member simple and much more beneficial for businesses and individual professionals. The new membership structure, along with an enhanced website offering members a more individualized experience, is helping PBA better serve each member’s personal needs while unifying our members’ interests within the industry. Memberships were restructured into three types: Business, Individual and E-Member. The Business Membership provides benefits focused on business growth and development. The Individual Membership provides benefits supporting individual members’ personal career growth and enrichment, while the E-Members receive limited benefits around professional development and research for free just for signing up. All memberships, including E-Members, include access to a library of resources and references on the PBA website.

Adding value to membership is PBA’s first priority. As part of our continuing efforts to enhance member benefits, we have improved and added several new programs to help create an experience suited to each member’s needs.

PBA Provider Program

The new PBA Provider Program offers companies the unique opportunity to communicate with members and prospective members of the association through an array of promotional elements. Our goal is to help our Business Members drive awareness of their brands, products and services by messaging to a targeted audience through multiple touch-points. The program also gives PBA Members access to various organizations that offer some of the best products and services in the industry, providing a valuable resource to businesses, salon owners and professionals. The PBA Provider Program offers partnership opportunities at varying investment levels and includes use of PBA’s Provider Program logo.

PBA Insurance Marketplace

The PBA Insurance Marketplace is the newest resource unveiled through the PBA Provider Program. Established in early 2015, the PBA Insurance Marketplace is a private insurance exchange, exclusive to PBA Members, where they can browse and purchase insurance plans covering health, dental, vision and personal and professional and business liability insurance plans. PBA members have access to a user-friendly portal from which to shop around. The portal was created as a convenient and secure resource where members will find competitively priced insurance coverage for their needs – for themselves, home, family, and business.

PBA Member-to-Member Program

The PBA Member-to-Member Program is celebrating its fourth year. This is a special program that benefits both PBA Member exhibitors and attendees at the International Salon and Spa Expo (ISSE) in Long Beach, California. The growing program brings our Business and Individual members together through discounts and special promotions exclusively for PBA Members only and increased opportunities to build brand awareness for our member companies.

Visit to to become a PBA Member and start enjoying exclusive member-only perks. Update your profile, discover what PBA has to offer and gain access to all of the benefits of belonging to you industry’s trade association! Visit for more information.

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PBA’S LIFETIME MEMBER SCHOLARSHIP DEADLINE APPROACHING- APPLY TODAY! Thu, 05 Feb 2015 12:33:10 +0000 Whether you’re looking to expand your education to enhance your career, or you’re a student looking to break into the industry, The Professional Beauty Association (PBA) has amazing scholarship opportunities to help you achieve your goals.

PBA is currently accepting applications for both future and current professionals for scholarships to be used toward cosmetology school or continuing education.

PBA honors Lifetime Members is through educational scholarships. These scholarships celebrate the spirit of commitment to the association which has been demonstrated by the Lifetime Member through fostering the advancement and education of individual members. Scholarships will be awarded to current PBA individual and student members to use towards continuing education or cosmetology school.

A total of eight (8) $1,000 scholarships will be awarded over a two-year period (four (4) per year).

The application deadline is March 1, 2015.

Four scholarship recipients will be chosen and notified by email. All scholarships are funded by Goldwell New York and Kao USA Inc. and administered by the Professional Beauty Association Foundation. Applications will be reviewed by a committee appointed by the PBA Chair. All scholarship awards are final. Scholarship funds awarded must be used within one year of being awarded. Please click here for the PBA Lifetime Member Scholarship Terms, Conditions and Eligibility Rules. Click Here to complete the online application.

Servicing Upstate New York for over 35 years, Goldwell of NY has been dedicated to the salon and spa professional and a premier resource for innovative products, inspirational educational opportunities and business building programs to ensure success. Founded in 1976, the company offers everything for the successful salon and spa business, with an emphasis on continued education and training. “This program not only honors our company’s co-founder and PBA Lifetime Member Hans Neumaier, but gives a head start to a future generation of beauty professionals,” said Steven Neumaier, president. To learn more, visit

Kao USA, Inc. is the US office of an international company in constant pursuit of innovation that creates new value for consumers. Since establishment in 1887, Kao has sustained its commitment to the development and manufacture of products based on the perspective of the consumer, striving to contribute to the enrichment of the lives of people globally. Kao’s Salon Laboratory in Germany develops Goldwell and KMS brands for salon use. Visit for more information.

Goldwell of NY and Kao USA Inc., are honored to sponsor this worthwhile program which “honors the past while looking to the future,” a meaningful tradition for both companies.

About PBA Education
The Professional Beauty Association (PBA) develops and offers progressive, relevant and quality education for our members. Our live and online education and resources meet the needs of today’s busy professional and cover a range of topics. Along with our Education program, PBA provides our members with Government Advocacy, Signature Events, Charitable Outreach, Research and Business Resources. Visit for more information.

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Breaking Down the Barriers of NAHA: Entering is easier than you think! Wed, 14 Jan 2015 18:36:26 +0000


There are several misconceptions about the North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA) that often act as barriers to those curious about entering for the first time. Many assume that it’s too expensive to create an entry, and overlooking critical rules often leads to the disqualification of otherwise spectacular submissions.

The road to NAHA isn’t always an easy one to navigate. Many entrants have more than a few years of experience under their belts and are well-known professionals. Other entrants have grown up in the business, know the ins and outs of entering from friends in the industry, or word-of-mouth. Whatever the case may be, it’s easy for someone on the outside or an industry newbie to believe that only the “elite” have the means, resources, and experience to enter NAHA.

The Professional Beauty Association (PBA), producers of NAHA, is setting out to show that with hard work, vision, and a passion for the industry, you- yes, YOU can not only enter NAHA, but you can win. PBA took the opportunity to sit down with our very own Director of Education and Industry Programs, Jessi Marshall. As one of our resident NAHA experts, Jessi discusses some of the most important things potential entrants need to know before submitting their NAHA application, what it takes to win, and steps you need to take to ensure your submission is the absolute best it can be.

Q- What would you say are the most important things a first-time entrant needs to know?

One of the most important things a new (and returning) entrant needs to do is: Research. If you’re thinking about entering NAHA, be sure you have everything you need beforeyou get to the fun stuff, like photo shoots and styling. Head over to the NAHA website ( and be sure to read the complete set of rules and regulations. Print them out, bookmark them- whatever you need to do to make sure you always have them on –hand as reference, and USE THEM. There is nothing more disappointing than having to disqualify a fantastic submission due an unfortunate and miniscule oversight on behalf of the entrant.

Head over to the PBA archives of past winners and study them. Past winners’ shoots/ photographs are 100% approved content, and having those as a reference can help inspire you and serve as a guide for your submission.

Q- What are some misconceptions people have about the NAHA entry process?

We’ve come across people who believe that in order to have a good submission, it needs to be extravagant and expensive. That is simply not the case. We’ve had many entries from individuals and groups who have reached out to the community have found everything from models to locations, and even photographers without breaking the bank. I think it’s important to think outside the box and get creative. There are ways you can compromise. For starters, use local resources. Cut down on expensive travel costs by scouting locally for locations and artists. Get to know your community and seek out talent. You can also work in groups and help each other create one large shoot for multiple entrants. For example, if you’re a stylist and know a great makeup artist, you can collaborate, split costs, and each submit in your own category. As long as the photos are not the same, it’s perfectly acceptable. There are also countless of artists out there who would love to help you out and in turn have something to add to their portfolio. It just takes some careful planning, creativity, and resourcefulness. If you’re a student, look to your instructors for help. More often than not, they’ll be willing to give you pointers, helpful insight, and even do some of the grunt work on your photo shoot. Help is out there, all you have to do is ask!

Q- What advice would you give NAHA entrants?

Once again, I think it’s crucial to reiterate just how important the rules and regulations are. We’ve had some very talented artists who’ve gone just a little too far with Photoshop and have been automatically disqualified. The misuse of Photoshop is the biggest culprit for disqualifications and it’s something that is easily avoided. Don’t underestimate your potential and your talent.

I also feel like it’s also important to have a mentor. If you know a seasoned artist or someone who knows the industry inside and out, ask them for advice. Sometimes all you need is an outside point of view and a little direction. Most importantly, believe in yourself!

The decision to enter NAHA is an important one, but it doesn’t have to be so daunting. PBA is here to help prepare you and make the process as stress-free as possible. If you still have questions and need more information, watch our 3 part NAHA Web Series, An Insider’s Guide to NAHA. We’ve teamed up with Hollywood’s favorite stylist, Michael Shaun Corby, to introduce NAHA to emerging stylists. Visit to watch!

Whether you’re a NAHA veteran or new to the competition, one thing is for sure: Each professional pours their heart into the competition and it reflects in each and every submission. Remember that you don’t have to go through the entry process alone. PBA is here to help! For the latest, most up-to-date information on NAHA, you can also follow PBA onFacebook, where we’ll be providing exclusive tips and other insider news on NAHA. Don’t forget, all NAHA entries are due February 19, 2015. Now is the time to define the rest of your professional life. Brainstorm, get creative, stay organized, and make it happen. Your NAHA is waiting for you!

About PBA

The North American Hairstyling Awards is owned, operated and managed by the Professional Beauty Association. PBA advances the professional beauty industry by providing our members with education, charitable outreach, government advocacy, events and more. PBA is the largest organization of salon professionals with members representing salons/spas, distributors, manufacturers and beauty professionals.

*PHOTO CREDITS- 2014 NAHA Finalist Chrystofer Benson – Avant Garde, 2014 NAHA Winner Paul Pereira – Men’s Hairstylist of the Year’ 2014 NAHA Finalist Brad Van-Dyke – Makeup Artist of the Year, 2014 NAHA Finalists Loretta Tom – Haircolor, 2014 NAHA Finalist Lisa Vann – Texture

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Upcoming Webinar: Salon Strategies. Planning & Preparing for 2015 Fri, 09 Jan 2015 22:53:24 +0000 webinar_1_12_15Looking ahead to the New Year can be daunting for business owners… but it doesn’t have to be! Through reflection, goal setting and calculated planning, you can move into the New Year with confidence and excitement.

Steve Gomez, Professional Development Manager and business coach for Milady is joining the Professional Beauty Association to bring you a web event designed to guide you from the realities of 2014 and into the resounding potential of 2015. Whether you are a diligent planner or just making it through each day, you will benefit from addressing the following areas:


– The benefits of year end reflection
– Employee performance assessment
– Leadership development
– Financial and operational goals
– Tools available to help strive for better business in the year ahead

Wouldn’t you love if this year was your best year? Register today!

Remember to convert this web event into your own time zone to ensure you join us. This webinar takes place at:

1pm Eastern
12pm Central
11am Mountain
10am Pacific


About PBA Education
The Professional Beauty Association (PBA) develops and offers progressive, relevant and quality education for our members. Our live and online education and resources meet the needs of today’s busy professional and cover a range of topics. Along with our Education program, PBA provides our members with Government Advocacy, Signature Events, Charitable Outreach, Research and Business Resources. Visit for more information.

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Participate in PBA’s 2015 Distributor Benchmarking Survey Tue, 06 Jan 2015 18:30:44 +0000 The Professional Beauty Association (PBA) conducts and publishes a semi-annual and a biennial Distributor Benchmarking Survey; the only one of it’s kind in the industry. Through the survey, manufacturers and distributors can discover if their business is keeping up with their competitors overall and how well they are keeping up with changes in what their customers want and industry trends; stocking the right products at the right time.

“I have used the information gleaned from past reports to make fundamental changes in my business. Those changes have included HR, shipping policies and inventory management.” –Survey Participant

The survey includes information on five primary business sections: sales, product lines, stores, employees, and education. PBA encourages all members of the manufacturer/ distributor sector of the beauty industry to participate in the survey and help advance the industry by collectively providing this valuable information. The data collected will help manufacturers and distributors benchmark their organizations against others as a useful tool in making important business decisions.

 “The PBA Distributor Benchmarking Survey offers distributor principles a direct insight into current distribution houses, both big and small. It allows us to gauge and compare education, sales, and operation data. This enables us confirmation or modification of our own business plan.” -Survey Participant

While company names are kept anonymous, this silent collaboration between participants is incredibly beneficial to all distributors. In the most recent semi-annual survey, seventy-nine percent of responding distributors reported increased sales while sixty-two percent also reported increases in salon customers. Results like these shed a positive light on the beauty industry as a whole as it alludes to overall industry stability and growth. The upcoming 2014 Biennial Survey needs participants and PBA urges you to take the time and give back to the industry. There has been a steady increase in participating companies over the past few years, but participation is highly encouraged as the additional data collected helps give an accurate read on the industry as a whole.







All participants of the 2014 Distributor Benchmarking Survey will be eligible to win free tuition to the DEC meeting in Hammond, IN, as well as a ticket to the DEC Forum in Las Vegas, NV in July. To learn more about membership in the Professional Beauty Association, call 800.468.2274 or visit



The Professional Beauty Association’s (PBA) purpose is to advance the professional beauty industry by providing our members with education, charitable outreach, government advocacy, events and more. PBA is the largest organization of salon professionals with members representing salons and spas, distributors, manufacturers and beauty professionals/NCA. Visit for more information.

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PBA Member and State Captain, Lynn Glaze, Delivers POwerful PBA Advocacy and Membership Message Wed, 17 Dec 2014 22:39:06 +0000 lynnThe Professional Beauty Association (PBA) Government Affairs (GA) team works tirelessly to advocate for the rights of industry members. Aside from tracking, introducing, and responding to legislation at both state and federal levels of government, the GA team is responsible for the I Am A Professional. I Am Licensed movement, and the State Captain Program.

Through each of these programs, industry members are given the unique opportunity to get up close and center with government officials and fellow industry members in order to ensure the industry is protected. PBA and the GA team are proud to recognize a few stand-out professionals who go above and beyond their duty to ensure their message gets across and makes an impact on the industry. PBA had a chance to talk to Lynn Glaze, an individual who is committed to improving the industry, about the MasterPeace Retreat, an event she recently held.

Tell us a little about your event, and why you wanted to include PBA Membership and the I Am campaign as part of the program?

The MasterPeace brand of MasterPeace Consulting Group and MasterPeace live software foundation is called Empowered Guidance (R), and we focus on helping owners, managers and any service providers in a salon be the best they can be. We encourage salon professionals by asking questions that trigger a positive outcome and empower the provider and guest to get on the same page. PBA Membership is an important tool in bridging the gap between being just another member of the beauty industry to a true, well-rounded professional. PBA Advocacy helps our entire industry be informed. It is “empowered guidance” from a legislative standpoint. We were able to deliver the information to the attendees and get them excited about getting involved in a professional organization that helps protect our industry.

What was the feedback you received from attendees when discussing the I Am a Professional. I Am Licensed. Campaign?

Many salon owners and managers who attended the MasterPeace Retreat were not aware just how serious the threat of deregulation is, or  the effect deregulation can have on cosmetology schools and the cosmetology board. They were excited about getting involved in the I Am Campaign, and look forward to learning more about PBA and current and future projects.

Do you have any suggestions for other PBA State Captains who may want to include PBA Advocacy as part of their programs?

If other State Captains want to promote PBA Membership or Advocacy, I would highly encourage them to involve PBA and ensure they know what the association has to offer. Bridget Sharpe, PBA’s Manager of Government Affairs, and Carissa Hocevar, PBA’s Manager of Membership and Association Programs, and their team did such a fantastic job of getting me the materials I needed in a very timely manner. The quality and quantity of the materials that my team and I received was amazing and so much more than what we expected. I look forward to collaborating in the future and advocating on behalf of PBA and the entire beauty industry.


PBA State Captains have gone above and beyond to help get the word out to their networks regarding legislation. To view a list of current State Captains, visit If you are interested in representing the industry in your state, become a State Captain by contacting Bridget Sharpe at

About PBA Government Advocacy

The Professional Beauty Association (PBA) advocates for the rights of every member and is dedicated to tracking, introducing and responding to legislation at both the state and federal levels with potential to affect the beauty industry. Along with our Government Advocacy program, PBA provides our members with Education, Signature Events, Charitable Outreach, Research and Business Resources. To learn more about PBA’s Government Advocacy, visit

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Attention Students: Submit Your Entry for Beacon 2015! Sat, 13 Dec 2014 18:21:08 +0000 Attention current cosmetology students – Here is your chance to set yourself apart from the rest! Jump-start your career by competing for a coveted seat at #BEACON2015! The PBA Beacon student program provides the nation’s most promising cosmetology students with specialized education on the business of beauty and opportunties to network with the industry’s elite during PBA Beauty Week, July 11-14, 2015, in Las Vegas, NV.

Beacon students attend specialized classes with the biggest names in the industry, get up close and personal with NAHA winners and finalists and get a firm understanding of the business of beauty. Enter to win! Beacon is open to students enrolled in an appropriate program (cosmetology, esthetics, nail technicians, etc.) in the U.S. or Canada between September 1, 2014 and March 19, 2015. Former Beacon winners and honorable mentions are not eligible to re-apply.

The cost of entering is $50 for all applicants.

All entries must be submitted online by 11:59 p.m. EST (8:59 p.m. PST) on March 19, 2015.

Beacon winners will be announced on May 4, 2015 on Facebook! 

Thousands of students will apply but only 300 total will attend. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to kick-start your career, expand your education, and get up close and personal with NAHA finalists! Learn More.


Professional Resume
The most crucial document for a young professional trying to get their foot in the door, your resume will hold high value in the judging process. Resumes are judged on quality and professionalism, not how much experience you’ve had. It’s important to balance your creativity with professional presentation.

Letter of Recommendation
Submit a letter of recommendation from a school administrator (Instructor, Director, Career Counselor, etc.) telling judges why you are a good candidate for the Beacon program. As a new job seeker, having a professional reputation is an important asset.

Portfolio of Images
Submit three images, showcasing your talent in the career path you would like to follow (hair, nails, skin, etc.). We know students will be at varying levels in their schooling, so you may use mannequins or live models for this portion of the application process. This is an opportunity to start or add to your professional portfolio.

Professional Marketing Piece
Here’s your opportunity to be creative and tell future employers and clients who you are, what you can do, and what your career goals are. Create a marketing piece to sell yourself as a future salon/spa professional or to sell an industry idea you are passionate about. Examples of promotional pieces include a website, brochure, storyboard, or a 30-second commercial. If your marketing piece is a commercial or website, simply submit the link. If you choose to make a brochure or flyer, save it as a Word document or PDF and upload the file. For any physical object, such as a storyboard, submit up to 3 images of your completed project.

About PBA Beacon

The Beacon Educational Program gives cosmetology, nail and esthetician students a strong foundation for a career in the beauty industry. By entering the Beacon competition, students develop a professional business portfolio that aids their transition into the workplace. Top students who are invited to attend the Beacon program during PBA Beauty Week learn the business of beauty by networking with top salon owners and by attending industry events such as the PBA Business Forum, the North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA) and Cosmoprof North America. Beacon also features specialized educational sessions that give students training in resume writing, interviewing, leadership and entrepreneurial strategies within the professional beauty industry. For event dates, application tips and an entry checklist, please visit

About PBA Events

The Professional Beauty Association (PBA) is a leading producer of industry trade events and competitions. Our renowned events are a catalyst for forging industry relations and advancing beauty careers. Along with our Signature Events, PBA provides our members with Education, Government Advocacy, Charitable Outreach, Research and Business Resources. Visit for more information.

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groupsofyouthsThe Hairbrained Teach In is an event you won’t want to miss! Instructors from diverse educational backgrounds will be present to share their passion without promotion. Don’t miss out- attend this event and immerse yourself in valuable education designed to influence and raise standards!

After the Teach In, stick around to network and mingle with your peers face-to-face at the Hairbrained Meet Up. This annual tradition allows you to come together and network as a professional community after the ISSE show floor closes. Get some one-on-one time with both old and new friends who share your love for your art and career. Meet Up attendees also have a chance to win great prizes, including tools, DVDs and classes- all compliments of Hairbrained and our supporters.

Sunday, January 25, 2015
Teach in: 6:30pm- 7:30pm
Meet Up: 7:30pm- 8:30pm
Location: Bogarts (Inside the Long Beach Convention Center)

Admission: *No ticket necessary, however, RSVP is required. To RSVP, send an email with your name and email address to Limited spots available.

Be ready to have a good time, make new friends and share your passion! Directly following the Hairbrained event is the official ISSE Night Out Party at Sevilla Nightclub!

About ISSE Long Beach

Produced by PBA, ISSE Long Beach has become the West Coast’s largest and most influential cash-and-carry beauty event open exclusively to licensed beauty professionals, students and instructors. With more than 40,000 beauty professionals expected each year, ISSE Long Beach has evolved beyond the traditional “hair show” to a complete beauty event for hair, nails, cosmetics, esthetics and advanced education.  For complete show information, please visit


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Last Chance to Compete for a Spot on Team USA at OMC Hairworld! Wed, 10 Dec 2014 18:20:09 +0000 Students and professionals: Prepare to show off your skills, gain prestige, and advance your career at the International Salon and Spa Expo Long Beach hairstyling competitions. Open to students and licensed professionals, these competitions will allow individuals to show off their skills, win prizes and gain career prestige. Additionally, ISSE Long Beach will be hosting NailPro and the Hot Hands Barber Brawl Competitions again in 2015.


Seniors & Juniors Long Hair Bridal and Avant Garde by NAHA



  • Technical: Creative
  • Technical: Hair by Night
  • Fashion: Day Style
  • Fashion: Evening Style


  • Technical: Creative
  • Technical: Hair by Night
  • Fashion: Progressive Cut
  • Fashion: Evening Style

Compete for a chance to be on Team USA at OMC Hairworld 2016 in Seoul, Korea! OMC Hairworld is a bi-annual global competition inviting the world’s most talented hairstylists to compete on creativity, skill and the ability perform under pressure. The USA will be represented by 4 teams in 2016: Senior Ladies’ Technical, Senior Ladies’ Fashion, Junior Ladies’ Technical and Junior Ladies’ Fashion.

Register by January 22, 2015.

*Only 1 spot available on the Senior Ladies’ Technical Team. There are no spots available for the Senior Ladies’ Fashion Team.
*All four (4) spots are available on both Junior Ladies’ Teams
*OMC Categories are open to all contestants.
*Competitors must participate in both Technical Tests or both Fashion Tests to be eligible for the Team USA try-out.
*OMC Junior Definition: This competition can be entered by all young hairdressers who are no older than 22 years of age and will not reach the age of 23 by March 27, 2016. Anyone born before March 27, 1993 are not eligible to enter the junior OMC categories.

Click here for details, and stayed tuned for registration information! VISIT PROBEAUTY.ORG/COMPETITIONS FOR MORE INFORMATION!

About ISSE Long Beach

Produced by PBA, ISSE Long Beach has become the West Coast’s largest and most influential cash-and-carry beauty event open exclusively to licensed beauty professionals, students and instructors. With more than 40,000 beauty professionals expected each year, ISSE Long Beach has evolved beyond the traditional “hair show” to a complete beauty event for hair, nails, cosmetics, esthetics and advanced education.  For complete show information, please visit

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Are Salon Suites Marketing to You? Is the Grass Really Greener on the Other Side? Wed, 26 Nov 2014 16:28:14 +0000 By Myra Irizarry, PBA Director of Government Affairs

Becoming an independent contractor is a valid career option and there are many successful independent contractors who take pride in operating a professional, compliant business. Most importantly, they are not disillusioned about the financial gain or the amount of work and the number of clients they must maintain to make a clear profit.

Some licensed beauty professionals explain that their current employee-based salon environment does not offer enough of a financial gain to stay: they do not offer enough benefits, such as continuing education training or mentorship, or a strong opportunity to grow a consistent clientele. The risk of leaving to become an independent contractor seems low. So it is not a surprise that licensed professionals are being targeted by misleading advertisements that portray a “Grass is Greener” mirage of life as an independent contractor.

These marketing techniques are targeting stylists with the lure of easily making more money while working with a smaller number of clients in an independent contractor salon suite rental setting. The problem is these advertisements fail to provide key relevant information, including failing to explain processes for tax withholding, tip income and mandatory health insurance costs, as well as other costs, which does not support the professionalism or integrity of licensed beauty professionals.


Many licensed beauty professionals express the potential for financial gain as their number one motivation to leave an employee-based salon environment. For example, if a stylist believes he or she brings in $100,000 a year to a salon but only takes home less than half of that, they feel the opportunity for financial gain is worth the transition to work as an independent contractor. What may not be fully understood, or has even been vetted, is the compensation associated with running an employment-based salon versus the income of an independent contractor. There are numerous existing factors to consider in addition to direct income.


An independent contractor can operate in different environments, in addition to a salon suite rental.  There are factors outlined by the IRS to help determine if you are truly independent. A few factors include:

  • A key to your own establishment
  • Setting your own hours
  • Purchasing your own products
  • Paying your own state, local and federal taxes
  • Establishing your own business name
  • Determining your own pricing for services
  • Incurring all business expenses, of which you may be able to deduct certain business expenses
  • Fully reporting your income (including tips)
  • Having your own telephone number and line

Fulfilling obligations as an independent contractor means you will operate your business as a serious, professional business owner. You must abide by all the legal local, state, and federal tax laws, report all income (including tips) and maintain the appropriate licenses, as well as personal liability insurance for your independent business. Visit for a complete list of tax resources.


W-2 Salon Employees Commonly Receive:

  1. Unemployment benefits and worker’s compensation
  2. Short-term disability, health, dental and vision insurance
  3. Personal liability coverage through the salon
  4. Mentorship, training, continued education
  5. Access to brand-name, high-end professional and retail products
  6. Retail commission
  7. Profit sharing
  8. Staff managed payment processing and appointment scheduling
  9. Employer shared cost of employee tax responsibilities
  10. Bonus pay
  11. Housekeeping (towels, capes, materials) and supply orders
  12. Consistent client base and opportunity for walk-ins or front desk referrals
  13. Maintenance of salon, including utility expenses
  14. Consistency and reliability

A successful licensed independent contractor:

  1. Reports and pays product retail sales tax
  2. Reports all income, including tips, and pays local, state, federal taxes (quarterly tax payments)
  3. Obtains personal liability insurance to protect yourself from being held financially responsible for injuries that may occur at your business
  4. Successfully retains clients
  5. Maintains appropriate healthcare insurance coverage as required by the Affordable Care Act
  6. Manages client scheduling and payment processing
  7. Develops and manages self-marketing
  8. Purchases and maintains adequate products, materials, and tools
  9. Seeks out continuing education and stays on top of current market trends


The number one fear of a stylist considering a transition to a suite/booth rental opportunity is the ability to build a new client base and maintain their client numbers. Although salon rental ads targeting stylists may include messaging such as “you only need to retain 60% of your clients…,” stylists know this is not quite that simple. Are you a stylist that signed an employment agreement, or non-compete agreement provided to you by your current employer? If you are, then you know taking your clients with you is not an option.

So how will you maintain and build clientele from inside a salon suite? The appeal of becoming an independent contractor can be very progress_sept_diversionalluring, but it is important to plan ahead on how you will build the level of clientele needed to exceed your current earnings.

There are successful independent contractors that have correctly managed to build clientele, correctly operate their business, and meet the legal tax and reporting obligations required by law. If you decide that this is the path for you, know the facts and have a concrete plan of action. Familiarize yourself with the appropriate forms you will need to establish your business, a business name, quarterly tax payments, specific licenses, and other business obligations before you make your transition.

Most importantly, understand that like any major career move, taking the leap to becoming an independent contractor has many risks and benefits. If you do decide that stepping out on your own is what you want to do, be prepared and take an honest realistic inventory of what it will truly take to be successful as an independent contractor. For more information, visit

About the Author

Myra Irizarry is the Director of Government Affair for the Professional Beauty Association (PBA). PBA advances the professional beauty industry by providing our members with education, charitable outreach, government advocacy, events and more. PBA is the largest organization of salon professionals with members representing salons and spas, distributors, manufacturers and beauty professionals/NCA. Visit or call 800.468.2274 (480.281.0424) for more information.

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