Business Education

Freelancers and Salon Stylists Can Co-exist | Elena Lavagni

June 08, 2023

Elena Lavagni of Neville Hair and Beauty for L’Oréal Professionnel gives her opinion…

Self-employment, freelancing, renting a chair and sharing income are all ways of working in hairdressing that show no signs of disappearing any time soon. Even as hair salons become more corporate and technological, these methods of working offer their own advantages ensuring that their popularity is here to stay.

Working from home and flexible hours have impacted clients coming to the salon and the requests for home services have increased. I do not believe that self-employment is an issue solely related to our industry, but rather a consequence of the geopolitical situation that evolved during Covid.

Hairdressers have the right to choose how to work; we’ve always had self-employment in our sector. The only difference now however, is that salon owners can no longer use this method of working to their advantage as the legal requirements have changed. As a result, many salon owners are getting frustrated, blaming the decrease in client visits on this system.

I disagree with this. I have several salons, and people have left to be self-employed or work at the salon next to mine; this has created discomfort but has prompted us to completely change the way we work. Long-lasting profit is the way I look at my businesses, and I will continue to adjust as many times as is required. It is not possible to run a rigid business, we need to be flexible and the business must be strong. As salon owners, we have to, make sure we offer different services; we need to research our products, treatments and tools to be original and realistic. If you rely on your income or reputation, then reality is you are not in charge –you will be very limited on how you can expand your reach.

As many consumers often seek convenience and affordability, the choice of using a salon or a freelance hairdresser can often come down to a matter of preference.

The most significant advantage of visiting a salon is that they often provide a range of services, from simple trims to more advanced styling. A salon can also provide a great customer experience, with an inviting atmosphere, skilled staff and the latest equipment and products.

Moreover, salons offer more consistency in the quality of services and often have a network of trained professionals on hand for advice or solutions. Our stylists are up to date with all the latest trends, techniques and technology and regularly attend courses and events with companies such as L’Oréal Professionnel.

In comparison, freelancers have their own advantages. If you already have an established relationship with a hairdresser and their service meets your expectations, you may stick with them long term. In addition, freelance hairdressers are often more flexible and may be more responsive in terms of adjusting or providing services that are better tailored to your needs.

However, there are also risks associated with freelancers. For example, if you no longer require services from a freelancer, there may be no recourse when it comes to dealing with disputes. Another risk is the lack of certifications or qualifications and the lack of quality control. Furthermore, many freelance hairdressers operate solo, meaning that if they become ill or are unavailable, it affects the customer.

In conclusion, I feel we should not fear freelancers or the self-employed, and we shouldn’t be worried about salons only operating on a self-employed basis. We all have a choice: I want to build a brand that I can sell in the future for a reasonable amount of money, there are landlords that live for today and want to earn as much as possible… who are we to judge?

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