Requirements for starting a Salon Business in Kenya: A Step By Step Guide.

Requirements for starting a Salon Business in Kenya: A Step By Step Guide.

The salon business in Kenya is thriving currently. The beauty industry is still untapped. And there is a need for more and more players every day. It is a very lucrative industry since depending on the operation scale and where the shop is located, its profit margin ranges between 15-40 per cent.

What is a hair salon?

By definition, a salon is a gathering of people held by an inspiring host. But in our case, a salon is an establishment where hairdressers and beauticians, among others, trade. And going by the first sentence, ‘…inspiring host,’ to succeed, the owner has to offer a good service. This motivates the customers to keep coming back and to refer others probably their friends and family members.

Ways to start a salon business in Kenya.

There are two main ways through which one can own salon business in Kenya.

  1. You can purchase an already existing salon venture from someone who is on their way out of the industry.
  2. Establishing a salon from scratch. This involves buying new equipment using your own money. This allows your ingenuity, hard work, faith, and optimism to win. It can also fail and that is business-taking risks.

Also, working under someone, someone re-known and well-respected in the industry, and with a big and quality customer base guarantees you a good reputation from the jump. It also provides you with extensive marketing skills- like knowing how to run advertising campaigns.

In a hair salon, if you enjoy styling hair, it is a good business idea that you need to actualize since human hair is always growing. (Also check 11 most profitable business ideas to start with less than 10k.)
You start small and build a clientele as time goes by and grow big slowly as word about your good services and talent spreads. Here your good work is the king. It sounds interesting, right? Keep reading.

Where can a salon business be started?

Honestly, it’s a business that can be done from anywhere in the country. But it can do more better in big towns since they provide the best growth opportunities. These include but are not limited to Nairobi, Nakuru, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, and Machakos.
Also, cultures and religions are important factors to consider before choosing the location to set up your salon.
If you’re in the rural areas, then locating your business in a busy market centre is highly recommended.

Getting Started with your salon business.

The intended scale of the operation is the main factor that the starting of any business is dependent on. It determines the capital required and the appropriate source(s). For example, a big salon will require a big size of manpower and at the same time a big initial capital. In that case, you will be required to outsource the funds from either a bank, a SACCO, or an investor.
But if you plan to start small, a little capital is required that you can as well slice from your savings or be boosted by a relative. Also, if you are a stylist yourself, you do not need to hire one since you can do it yourself. Alternatively, you can hire a trusted stylist and take up the managerial role.
For small starters, Ksh150,000 is the least amount required to get off the ground. But before that, you need to have a good business plan.

Business plan

A business plan effectively allows an entrepreneur to develop a solid action plan to build the business. Therefore, to grow or to revive a salon venture in Kenya you will need one.
For instance, several factors like; business image, location, equipment costs, hair care services, and pricing among others, need to be considered for a new salon.
And as well as means and ways to getting at the competitors’ level, untipping them and your future growth.
The business plan must illustrate the current status, expected needs, projected results of new business, and every aspect of the venture needs to be described.
This does help you to navigate your business through the storm and find achievable ways to reach your goals.

A Step By Step Guide

Step 1: Identify the location and prepare your premises.

The best location of your salon business should have high foot traffic for maximum visibility. People need to notice your existence. It should, therefore, be an area with a large number of people passing by.
This, however, means you have to keep up with high operation cost (rent prices) and probably many other requirements. therefore depending on the town you are in, you should set aside between Ksh10,000 to 20,000/- as premises charges for starting.
Also, your salon needs to be noticeable. This means it has to be colourful, beautiful with an ambience that attracts. For this, a carpenter’s services will be needed for the fit-out. This combined with the other designing, it will cost you roughly an extra Ksh20,000.

Step 2: Buying salon equipment.

The equipment to purchase will depend on the size of your venture or the amount of capital you want to invest and of course, the types of services you will be offering.
For a small starter, a budget of Ksh70,000 would help in finding some basic equipment.
Below are the ‘must-have’ and their estimated price.

  • Hairstyling chairs/barber chairs – KES 25,000
  • Hairdryer – Ksh10,000
  • Flat iron and other styling tolls – Ksh8,000
  • Water heater – Ksh2,000
  • Shampoo bowls: KES 5,000.
  • Water storage tank – Ksh1,000
  • Towels and aprons – Ksh1,500
  • WAHL Kinyozi machine – Ksh2,000
  • Sink seat (Locally made) – Ksh10,000
  • Transport and miscellaneous – Ksh5,000

TOTAL Ksh70,000/=
As you grow you will also have to buy a TV to entertain your customers and keep them busy.
You can shop for this equipment and supplies from the Salon warehouse, Supermarkets, or Best Lady shop near you.

Step 3: Licensing compliance.

Setting up a salon business in Kenya, you have to follow the legal procedures. You need to have a registered business name and also required to have a business permit from your county government to operate.
Furthermore, to avoid harassment from the county government officials, you need to have a certified salon business.
For all these, you need to have at least ksh10,000/=.

Step 4: Advertise and promote your salon.

It is good to present your salon and the services you will be offering to the prospective clients by advertising to them. You can use posters, brochures, flyers, and the word of mouth. This will help your salon to reach a good demographic and generate pre-opening buzz (and thereafter) about your salon business.
Other marketing tactics you can use include; utilizing social media, offering promotional discounts, etc.

Step 5: Open your salon.

Open your shop, do a good job, and success will follow.
For the first 15 months capitalize on building a name for yourself and strengthening your foundation by re-investing the returns.

Step 6: Maintain good Customer Service.

Every market is competitive and to stand out as a new entrepreneur, you have to be different. You have to offer quality and above all maintain a good customer relationship.
Your growth depends heavily on your staff members’ dependability and efficiency regarding work performance. Your clients will have to be satisfied and in some cases, their expectations exceeded to keep them coming back. And when you play your cards well, with time, this will encourage referrals for customer’s friends, relatives, colleagues among others. And that means growth.
In Kenya, the beauty industry dominated primarily by customer satisfaction- satisfy one customer, and you will get another.


Starting your own hair salon business in Kenya is one of the best things you can do to yourself. It is the best decision you can ever make. It’s profitable and its potential is enormous. It only calls for your commitment, determination, and of course self-trust.
Everything is feasible when started. Otherwise, it will just an idea or a dream that will never come true.


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Photo credits: Lizclement beauty flash Kenya

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