Mobile Hair Salons Is This a Good Idea?

Mobile Hair Salons, Is This a Good Idea? Start a Mobile Hairstylist Business

Mobile hair salons provide freedom, the ability to work for yourself and opportunity to make money galore… but is this a smart move? Hi there, my name is Susan Wos and I was super curious about the mobile salon movement, so I dug into this modern day offering to see what it is all about!

I would be remiss if I didn’t let you know that we sell all kinds of salons, including mobile salons! If you are in the market to become a mobile hairdresser, make sure to check out our where to buy a salon business on wheels page before you pull the trigger.

We also have mobile hair salon jobs if a startup is a bit too much for you at this time!

What do you need to have a successful mobile salon business plan?

First, you need a business plan. I say this for a number of reasons… In order to get financing for your salon, lenders will want to see that you know what you are doing.

Now, if you plan on just hopping in your car and going from house to house doing hair, proper planning for a business may not be needed, but marketing will always be important.

You may be fully booked right now, thinking you don’t need a marketing plan. I can assure you, you will need a solid strategy in place to funnel new clients and in order to to expand.

Focus on which platform you are most comfortable on, first. A website, Pinterest, Instagram or whatever your preferred channel is for advertising and connecting, get one down pat to start!

photo showing a mobile hair salon

Table of Contents

creative advertising ideas for salon services on wheels

Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Booking Clients

Believe it or not, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook are great places to post for a mobile beauty salon or mobile barber shop. Outside of a great salon website, these social channels allow for excellent discoverability.

Starting to promote mobile hair services before you have a van is OK.  This is a great way to get a head start before you get too deep in starting a mobile salon business by going to clients’ homes for pampering.

Once you feel satisfied with your research & your business and marketing plan is in place, it’s time to search for funding and handle the legal stuff.

Funding to Start a Mobile Hair Salon

Now that you are jazzed and ready to start searching for resources to finance your haircuts on wheels business, lining out the right vehicle to perform the services you need is the key to success.

For instance, if you are planning to not need a shampoo bowl or you are providing services like make-up or basic nail treatments, you may be able to get away with something simple.  If you are strapped for cash and don’t want to get a loan, try using your own vehicle, first and making housecalls.

Getting enough money in the bank, knowing how long it will take to turn a profit and a clear plan for getting more appointments is the key to getting funded.

Legal, Permits and Customer Service Stuff 

Depending on where you live, check into the state’s regulations for the proper licensing needed to legally provide stylist services in a vehicle. Most of the time, the cosmetology state board is the first place to look for the information about mobile business you will need.

Next step is to ask the cities you will be working in as a self-employed stylist providing a salon experience in a vehicle. You’ll need to find out if you need a permit, where you can park and restrictions cities and counties may place on running a mobile beauty business.

Check to see if your county or city requires a business license to operate.  Remember, a brick-and-mortar business may differ from quality mobile style services!

Get Your Mobile Beauty Salon Legal

An employer identification number or EIN is needed to operate a legal small business. It’s easy to get one, go to the IRS website to apply to receive an EIN.

Next, you will need to have the necessary insurance to operate legally.  There are a lot of options out there for liability insurance insured coverage. Most beauty pros use GILD for salon’s insurance needs.

It’s important to be compliant with licensing, insurance and legal requirements to operate a salon on the go. It can be disastrous if you don’t protect yourself against accidents, client’s injury or accidental property damage.

details on the legalities of offering massages in someone's home
why charging people to make house calls for haircuts should be more

Pricing for Hairstylists on the GO

Having your stylist come to you is a HUGE perk, and running a mobile salon can get expensive. Housecalls should be more than services performed when clients come to you.

One of the best, (and free), marketing tactics is to park your truck in a parking lot on a well travelled, main road. Put your contact us info on your truck, hand a open for business sign and snag drive bys or clients who have a special event. Bonus points for parking close to busy salons like Sports Clips or barbershops!

Make it super easy to make an appointment with you and ALWAYS do a great job on the clients’ hair. Find out how much you need to make on potential clients before you choose pricing. A stylist who always does a good job will be in constant demand!


I hope you have found this blog about opening a mobile hair business, helpful!  While a mobile salon is a big undertaking whether you’re an experienced stylist or not, it is most certainly a rewarding career.

Mobile beauty attracts all types of clients and can be very profitable when structured, correctly. There are not many competitors in this specialty quite yet, either!

Should you grow and need to hire, please keep our salon recruitment services in mind.

I wish you the best of luck with your new venture!

Yours in service, 

Susan Wos

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