Starting a Salon Business in Kenya

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A hair salon business is one of the most profitable businesses you can start in Kenya. To make the most out of this business, you will need to be creative, committed, and have a passion for making people look good. If you are thinking of starting a salon business in Kenya, here is what you need to get started.

Requirements to Open Hair Salon in Kenya

Acquire the Necessary Training

Starting a salon is flexible in terms of workforce. You can decide to run the salon yourself or hire a hairdresser. If you are going to run the salon yourself, you will need to acquire hairdressing and beauty therapy training. Colleges and Vocational Centers like Cambridge University College, Joyka College, Kivuli College, Pwani Vocational Center, Jodan College of Technology provide hairdressing training. Alternatively, when hiring a hairdresser, make sure that they have the right qualifications to offer the best services.

Draft a Hair Salon Business Plan

A business plan is essential for any business’s success since it will help you set and achieve your objectives, both short and long term. A hair salon business plan can include the startup costs, the location you intend to set up your business premises, your budget and how you intend to raise funds, services you will offer, and salon equipment with their respective costs.

Raise Startup Capital

How much do you need to start a salon in Kenya? The amount of capital needed to start a salon business in Kenya depends on the services you will want to offer, the quality of equipment you intend to buy, the location of your business premises, and the size of the business you intend to set up. Depending on your budget, you can start a salon business with as little as Kshs.50, 000 to as high as Kshs. 2 million. Alternatively, you can decide to buy an already established salon business in Kenya. However, it is essential to find out why the salon business is on sale before deciding to make a purchase.

Sources of funding for your salon business can be donations from family and friends. You can also apply for interest-free loans or instant mobile and online loans.

Choose a Suitable Business Location

The success of your hair salon business will depend on your ability to choose a strategic location. It will be best to carry out market research before you select a location. Places with high foot traffic are ideal for salon businesses as they ensure good visibility. Examples of excellent salon business premises are inside or next to shopping malls, around colleges, or in city centers. Choosing a salon business location also depends on your budget and how much you are willing to pay for rental charges.

Acquire the Necessary Business Licenses and Permits

It is essential to acquire business licenses and permits when starting any business in Kenya. You will need the following permits for a hair salon business.

Register Your Business

You need to register your business as required by law. The different forms of businesses have different registration procedures and costs, which can be paid via M-Pesa or any other supported payment method. You can register your business completely online using the eCitizen portal. Find out more about how to register a business in Kenya.

Trade License

The size and location of your business will determine how much you pay for a trading license from your local county government. Trading licenses cost between Ksh 10,000 and Ksh 15, 000.

Music Copyright Society of Kenya License

Most customers love to be entertained as you serve them. Entertainment in your business premises can be in the form of music or short films on TV. Either way, you will need to obtain an MCSK license at the local offices or MCSK officials. An MCSK license costs around Ksh 2,000.

Health Certificate

Salon service providers in Kenya are required to obtain a health certificate before they can start serving customers. This ensures that hair salon service providers are healthy and that clients are not at risk of contracting contagious diseases. You can obtain a health certificate from public or private hospitals at the cost of between Ksh 400 and Ksh 1000.

Fire Safety Certificate

Many activities involve the use of heat in a hair salon business. As such, it is essential to obtain a fire safety certificate from your local county government offices to show that your salon is well equipped to prevent or control fire spread in case of any fire accident.

Essential Hair Salon Equipment

The quality, type, and amount of salon equipment to purchase depending on your budget and how much money you want to use on equipment. The following is opening a salon checklist in Kenya.

  • Hairdryer
  • Blow dryer
  • Hairstyling chairs
  • Water heaters
  • Towels, shower caps, gloves and aprons
  • Shampoo and shampoo bowls
  • Hair conditioners
  • Scissors and tweezers
  • Sterilisers
  • Salon station mirrors
  • Waiting area chairs
  • TV or music system for entertaining customers, if possible

The list above is not comprehensive. If you have a friend with a salon, you can visit the salon and draw up a list of what you need.

Services to Offer is a Hair Salon Business

Most hair salons in Kenya offer the following services.

  • Hair services like weaving and curling.
  • Skins care services like facials and massages.
  • Nail services like manicure and pedicure.

You can also sell beauty products such as perfumes, lipsticks, shampoos, hair colours, skin moisturizers, fingernail polishes, eye and facial makeup preparations, wigs, etc.

Is Hair Salon Business Profitable in Kenya?

Yes, salon business is profitable in Kenya. However, the profitability of salon business depends on business location and services offered. Hair salons in towns fetch more money than those in rural areas. Also, some hair services bring more money than other services. It is essential to offer more hair services to tap on the market.

You can offer other services that are relevant in the industry to ensure that you are competitive. The success of any hair salon business depends on your skills in making your client’s hair. If your clients like your work, they will refer their friends to your salon.


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