How Big is the Salon Industry?

Experts see a promising future for hair salon franchises based on years of steady growth

Styles change, but the need for hairstylists continues to be strong. The salon industry is huge, in fact. The hair care salon industry is a $75-billion-a-year industry that is growing at about 8% a year, on average. In good times and bad, hair grows. Hair goes gray. Older women want to look like young women. Young women want to look more sophisticated. Men and kids want to look good. People want cutting edge styles and services, but they want them to be affordable and convenient. All these things make our business safe, secure, stable, profitable and positioned for the long haul.


You’d be hard-pressed to find a more stable salon franchise chain than Fantastic Sams, which has been around for 40 years and has nearly 1,100 locations across the country.

“This is a category that will never go away,” says Ruth Swanson, Vice President of Marketing. “It will always take one-on-one personal skill. It can’t be automated, and it can’t be outsourced.”

In an industry that will always be in demand, Fantastic Sams stands out. We were the first franchise of our kind in this full-service salon space, and we’re still going strong after four decades in the business. Now, with our New Image Salons, we’re remaking the value space, attracting scores of new customers, and building an entire new generation of Fantastic Sams clientele.

Salon franchise opportunities: how does Fantastic Sams compete?

Forty is the new 30, right? So as people are living longer, it stands to reason that 50 is the new 40, 60 is the new 50 and so on. Taking care of their hair — especially with color — is the easiest way for aging baby boomers and Gen X’ers to look youthful. Taking their business to Fantastic Sams is the most affordable way for them to accomplish that goal.

That’s why our sleek Color Bar is the centerpiece of the New Image Salon. Customers come into the salon for a cut, and they immediately see that we do color, too. Like the Color Bar, virtually every aspect of the New Image Salon is designed to prompt customers to take advantage of our full range of salon services. They’ll chat with their stylist about shampoos, conditioners, or the latest in styling clays and sprays.

Customers already know they can come to Fantastic Sams for a full range of affordable salon services, including advanced hair color, the latest and greatest cuts, and facial waxing, but with the New Image Salon, they feel transported into a high-end salon, with the attention to detail and innovation customers truly appreciate. That’s something discount hair-cutting chains don’t offer, and that gives us an edge in the marketplace.

“Other franchises are just ‘cutting salons,’” says John Prichard, a Fantastic Sams franchisee with 27 salons in Minneapolis. “They have a few extra services, but those services are pretty minor in terms of what they provide. The guest service and training and development model that we have allows new owners to step into a full-service hair salon environment and be well supported and stronger than what I’ve seen from competitors.”

As a single-unit franchisee with Fantastic Sams, you can take advantage of a resilient industry without going all-in; you can oversee a single operation, focusing on staffing and management until you’re ready to scale up and add more salons. As an experienced investor, you can have confidence that our brand’s longevity and leadership will provide the framework you need to build your own empire of Fantastic Sams salons.

Our growing brand has nearly 1,100 salons across the country, and we are looking for more franchisees to double that number. Salon and hair-care experience are not required. Instead, we’re looking for people with business savvy and a passion for people. We were here before all the rest. We plan to be here long after they’re gone.

Want to learn more about what Fantastic Sams can offer franchisees at every level? Click below to keep reading.

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