Japanese hair salons are a staple of Japan’s culture, carrying significant differences from their American counterparts. Opening up a Japanese hair salon can be a fantastic and rewarding business venture, and doing so will require the following steps:
Steps to open a Japanese Style Hair Salon:
Gather all of the necessary supplies
Hair salons require a significant amount of supplies to operate at full capacity. Thus, the first step to opening your Japanese hair salon is going to be to gather all of the necessary supplies and equipment to get you started.
Design your hair salon
Japanese style hair salons tend to have a bit of a different style to their design. So decorating and designing your hair salon to more accurately match what you would find in a real Japanese hair salon is an important step towards authenticity.
Hire someone trained in traditional Japanese hair salon styles and services
Japanese hair salons tend to offer different services and styles than American hair salons. Having someone or multiple people trained in these traditional styles and services can benefit you greatly.
Start advertising your new business
Advertising is how you are going to get customers to visit your salon in the first place. Taking this step seriously may determine how successful your new business becomes.
Gather all of the necessary supplies
When opening any style of hair salon, your first step should be to gather all of the necessary supplies
This is just as true when opening a Japanese style hair salon.
While you will need all of the basic supplies and equipment, there is also some traditional equipment found in most authentic Japanese hair salons that are also going to be essential for your business.
Essential basic equipment:
- Salon stations
- Shampoo bowls
- Salon chairs
- Hair dying equipment
All of this equipment is going to be essential for any hair salon of any style or design. Now, however, we are going to take a look at some special equipment you might want to look into that are specific for Japanese style hair salons.
Essential equipment specific for a Japanese style hair salon:
Although most equipment for a Japanese hair salon is going to be identical to what you would find in an American style hair salon, some equipment is a bit different from what you would normally find.
Drink and snack containers
Although this may seem odd to this from the United States and most of the western world, Japanese hair salons serve drinks and snacks at the customer’s request.
As such, having containers, fridges, or drink makers, is going to be essential to helping you make your Japanese hair salon seem authentic.
Water pressure controller
Japanese hair salons tend to care more about your experience than American hair salons.
This includes offering you large variations in terms of things like water pressure, which with a controller can be altered to the customer’s comfort.
Head spa scalp massage tool
This kind of tool is essential to the Japanese hair salon experience.
Just like additional pressure control, Japanese hair salons usually offer head and scalp massages.
A tool like this can help authenticate your Japanese hair salon experience with an authentic scalp massage.
Start designing your hair salon
Japanese hair salons tend to look fairly different from those you would find in America.
As such, when you are deciding to open a Japanese hair salon, it’s important to design and style your salon to resemble the Japanese style that you are after.
Here are some tips to start decorating your hair salon to resemble the Japanese hair salon style:
Add a snack bar
Most Japanese hair salons have a drink and snack bar inside the salon itself!
These bars are very common in Japanese hair salons as these hair salons tend to be more about the entire experience offering both snacks and drinks to their customers.
Adding one of these bars into your salon can help you authenticate the experience.
Design it to be more spacious
Unlike American hair salons, Japanese hair salons tend to be incredibly spacious, with most of the space reserved for relaxing rather than the actual hair cutting.
The best thing to do would be to hire an interior designer to help you create as much space as possible.
This will help you create more space in your salon, allowing you more freedom to add additional amenities to help you authenticate your Japanese style salon.
Although this may seem a bit odd, adding plants to your hair salon is something that you’ll see a lot in Japan.
These plants help create a more relaxing atmosphere for anyone who has come to enjoy your services, increasing their relaxation, and making their experience that much better.
Check out other ways to make your salon standout HERE.
Hire someone trained in traditional Japanese hairstyles and services
Perhaps the biggest reason someone might go to a Japanese style hair salon is to enjoy a Japanese style hairstyle and the extra services that come along with them.
Now it is unlikely that you are trained in such styles if your only training is from an American cosmetology school.
So, the best thing you could do if you are in this situation would be to hire someone who has been trained in traditional Japanese hairstyles!
However, just because you are operating as a Japanese hair salon does not mean that you should only focus on Japanese hairstyles, instead, you should offer all kinds of hairstyles, including those you normally find in the US.
It’s also important that you have someone on staff who is trained in other services offered in Japanese hair salons.
These hair salons include things such as head and shoulder massages and waxing and eyebrow plucking.
Having someone on staff who is trained in these services can greatly increase the experience of your customers and make your salon seem more legit.
Start advertising your new business
Now that you have everything you are going to need to get your Japanese style hair salon started, the next step is going to be for you to start advertising your business!
Advertising your business is how you are going to start getting customers.
As such, advertising is quite crucial to the success of your business.
To help you with this crucial aspect, here are some helpful tips for you to gets started advertising your Japanese-styled hair salon!
Explain what exactly a Japanese hair salon includes
Most people who are going to be viewing your advertisements will likely have no idea the difference between a traditional North American hair salon and a Japanese style hair salon.
So it’s incredibly important for you to explain some of the extra aspects that your hair salon incorporates to try and draw customers in.
Japanese Hair Salon Experience by Qhayo Quest
Reference reviews of prior customers of Japanese hair salons
Ideally, you would want to reference a customer review from someone who has been a patron of your hair salon in particular, but if that isn’t a possibility as it maybe if you are just opening.
If that is the case you find yourself in, find someone who has had a great experience at a different Japanese style hair salon, and use their review of the experience they had.
While this isn’t as effective as if you have a review of someone who has visited your salon, in particular, you can still use their review as a way of showing how positive an experience visiting a Japanese style hair salon.
This is especially helpful when dealing with people who have never been to this style of hair salon, as it gives them a point of reference for what they may expect.
Give them a reason to visit your salon
This advice is not necessarily specific to advertising for a Japanese hair salon, but instead is a good step for any start-up business.
Offering customers a reason to visit your salons, such as a coupon or a grand opening event, is a great way to get customers in the door which is the first step to any successful business.
How much should you charge for your services as a Japanese style hair salon?
Ultimately, how much you decide to charge is a decision that you as the owner have to make.
But when making your decision, you should decide between one of two bases on how much to charge; the average price for the services you are offering in your area, or the average cost for your services in Japan.
If you are going to base your costs on the average price of your services in your area, you may wish to upcharge a bit.
This is because while the services you are offering are very similar to those being offered around you, you as a Japanese hair salon are a bit unique in the way you go about offering them.
On the other hand, if you are basing your costs off of the average cost for those identical services in Japan, you will need to convert your prices from Yen to USD.
Thankfully, this conversion is fairly simple as 1 Yen equals about .01 USD.
Of course, you can always make your prices for your services, but these are two reference points for what you may decide to charge.
What requirements will you need to open a Japanese style hair salon?
Before you decide to open your Japanese hair salon, you will need to meet a few basic requirements.
Thankfully, these requirements are fairly simple and essentially identical to what you’ll need to open a normal hair salon.
Requirements to open a Japanese style hair salon:
As long as you are operating your salon in the United States, you will need to obtain a business license from your state government.
This license is what will allow you to legally operate within the United States as an official business.
Meeting OSHA requirements
OSHA requirements are the basic requirements to establish that your work environment is healthy and safe for both your customers and your employees.
This specific requirement may change depending on where you are, but most states will require you to possess a salon license if you plan to be the owner of your salon
While a cosmetology license may not be necessary if you never plan on actually working in your salon, it is still a very good idea to have one as most salon owners do plan on working in their salon.
Looking to start your own Salon? Get the documents you need to get organized and funded here.
Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.
Shawn Chun is an entrepreneur who has owned several types of businesses from a coffee shop to an import and export business to an online review business plus a few more and now creates online resources for those interested in starting a salon business. It is demanding work he loves to do it. Shawn says “I do it for those passionate about their business and their goals. I know how hard the struggle is to obtain and retain clients, finding good employees all while trying to stay competitive.”
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