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Hair and Beauty Salons

The United States has many thousands of hair salons, beauty shops, hair stylists; the names change but they all essentially do the same thing: cut and color hair. Larger shops offer additional “beauty” services such as manicures, pedicures, facials, body wraps, hair removal, and massages. Simple barbershops remain in some communities to cut men’s hair, although for many decades “unisex” shops have catered to both genders.

Hair salons serve every community, including all immigrant communities, at every economic level. In many cities, you can spend $20 to have your hair done, or splurge on a $100 styling, often right next door. Tipping is customary, at 15% to 20% level, more if you are very pleased. In addition to cutting, coloring and styling hair, nearly all hair salons sell shampoos and hair conditioning products to take home. These are relatively expensive, compared to similar prices in retail and discount shops.

Although a few large national chains run hair salons in shopping malls, in cities and in suburban areas, most of the thousands of hair salons in the United States are small owner-operated shops. An average American town or suburban center might have two, three, or even half a dozen hair styling shops, some run by a single owner, some offering a full staff. Some shops build devoted followings in their communities; others appear quickly and disappear just as quickly. Many customers feel comfortable with a particular hair stylist and ask for that stylist by name when booking a hair styling. When popular hair stylists leave for a competing salon, or to start their own shop, often they take many of their fans with them.

Hair salons and related personal care businesses are regulated and licensed by the individual states and local communities.

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