Salon Contest Ideas that Don’t Cause Competition Problems

Salon Contest Ideas that Don’t Cause Competition Problems

Salon contests and competitions are a great way to grow your business. There’s nothing quite like your entire team buying into fun and profitable salon initiatives.

Whether it’s more retail you would like to sell or if getting new salon clients is your goal, a friendly competition in the salon is the way to go. In case you don’t know me, my name is Susan Wos

I help owners hire hairstylists and I also sell salon businesses.

I regularly chat with salon coaches, consultants and mentors to get ideas on what works and what doesn’t with salon competition ideas. This blog includes several ideas and inspiration, from non-brand affiliated experts, who are dedicated to your salon’s growth!

How to Drive Salon Retail and Service Sales Through Contests

Any salon competition needs to benefit both parties, you and your staff. The key to implementing great contest ideas is finding the motivating factors that will get hair stylists to participate.

If your beauty salon staff isn’t motivated to win or participate, your contest will not be successful. Contest ideas are not limited to just the people who work in your salon!

It can actually be much easier to motivate clients to increase sales. Clients have a much different feeling and outlook about the salon business than your salon staff.

The salon competition ideas in this blog are not limited to commission or hourly salons, either. These principals work well for spas, barbershops and independent beauty professionals.

the two different types of hairdressers working in salons

How Salon Contests Can Make an Impact- What You will Learn About the People in Your Salon

A salon contest gives owners and service providers a great way to gauge engagement and feelings of loyalty. Although contests are not the ONLY way to see who is invested in your business, they are great ways to reward the people in your work life who contribute to your success, by choice.

The impact salon contest ideas have on your businesses is solely up to you. The more you promote, the better the prizes are. and the more you work to create a community, the better your results will be.

Engagement with your competitions will also help shape future contests. Creating a tiered salon or client competition allows everyone to qualify, and benefit from your ideas.

A salon contest is successful when you put in the effort, first

You could have the best prize or the coolest competition in the world, but unless people are aware, you will not be successful. Creating hype around the contest will not only motivate your stylists, it will get clients excited too!

How to do a salon giveaway

Start by determining a certain amount or prizes you will give as rewards. The more money you spend, the better your results will be.

Create a cool in-salon display that catches everyone’s attention. Spread the word and build excitement!

Plan on hitting all of the marketing channels. Social media accounts, in person conversations, flyers and signs posted around the salon. Every person you meet needs to know about the contest, how to participate, what the prize is, and when it’s over.

Find More Time for Salon Competitions

If your salon is one that has never done a contest or you just don’t know where to start- find time to have a small competition, first. The more creative you are with incentives and the contest itself, the better your result will be.

Find salon software that helps to track contest results, or Google Sheets will do just fine to keep a running total of the challenge at hand. Make sure to announce progress, daily, in the salon and on Instagram stories.

Integrate a friendly competition on a regular basis into your salon design to keep both clients and staff motivated, and engaged

Involving your client base and your team

Forcing people to participate is not the way to go to get the best results. A little social pressure is easily applied when YOU are consistent with your efforts.

Make plans to post once a week about your contest, reward clients and stylists when there are plenty of people around and buy into your own ideas. The more fun you have with contests, the more you will sell, and the better you will learn to lead.

Salon Competition Ideas List

This list is broken up into salon team and client categories. Choose which contest makes sense to start with, first.

Salon Employees and Team Contests

  1. Employee of the month. Set retail or services as a goal for most improved or top sellers.
  2. Salon teams competitions. Reward the team as a whole when they reach certain benchmarks. This motivates everyone and puts some light pressure on the hair stylists who consistently underperform to not let their team down.
  3. Rewarding retention rates and new clients. This should be two separate contests with two winners.
  4. Social media success. Encourage reposting of the salon’s content, best social media profiles, efforts in salon recruitment and reward the most fruitful accounts.
  5. Selfie and content competitions. Who couldn’t use more content for social media or your salon website? Make it a contest and get a year’s worth of content in one month.
  6. Google, Yelp and Facebook reviews. Reviews boost the salon as a whole, getting reviews is easy with everyone on the same page and a little reward to get reviews.
  7. A holiday related contest. Nothing gets people more excited than a competition centered around a holiday or event theme.

Prize ideas for salon employees

Mix up prizes and rewards to keep stylists motivated! Here are a few ideas on rewards to offer salon staff:

  1. Paid time off or the option for a more flexible schedule.
  2. Cold hard cash or increase in pay for a limited amount of time.
  3. Salon industry classes, events or specialized training..
  4. Trips, vacations or weekend getaways.
  5. Queen or King for a day. No cleaning, everything done for them and a much easier day for accomplished stylists who could use more help.
  6. Gift cards to the stylist’s company of choice.
  7. Free salon retail.
  8. Awards, certificates, trophies and plaques. These tend to only motivate those who like to brag 🙂

Salon retail contest ideas

The following are fun ways to have a variety of contests for selling more retail. Remember to provide more opportunity to spend money in your salon with EVERY prize you give away.

Spin the wheel

Spin the wheel is my favorite of all salon retail contest ideas. Why? Because it’s loud, exciting and attention getting, without a ton of effort.

Explore table top spin the wheel games for salons.

Putting a big wheel in the salon reception area is sure to get the attention of almost everyone who enters the salon. Give all clients the opportunity to spin and give more spins away with additional services and products purchased.

Create a backstock of retail to give away during sales at the distributor.

Customer Review Contest

Pick a popular chosen product or two to give away for each positive review given, online.

ideas for hairstylists rewards in a salon competition

Tabletop salon games held in the front desk area give clients 2 opportunities to participate. Checking in for an appointment and when they go to leave.

Salon competitions that can move around the salon are great ideas for morale boosts and to create excitement while clients process. Set these salon contest ideas outside to attract new salon clients into your business!

competitions for hair salon clientele

Best Salon Customer Makeover Competition

This is another fun one and really gets clients involved. Allow clients to nominate a friend for a makeover or let them enter the contest for themselves.

What better way to get a new customer than to collect phone numbers and email addresses of potential clients, who already have a close friend who loves your salon! This is also pretty easy to track. Make your clients work harder to grow your business without them even knowing.

Make a big damn deal out of the winner’s results and plaster it all over social media.

A Stylist’s Wheel of Fortune

A wheel of fortune is a perfect game for both retail products and services. Decide which is more important, and designate small prizes for each time a stylist accomplishes your target goal.

Trivia games

No matter if your contest is geared around guests or stylists, trivia games are always a good time. Trivia is a fun way to test stylist product knowledge or get conversations going about who knows what about your salon with clients.

Focus on Social Media Accounts for Salon Giveaways

Engaging and fun posts on social media are a must for fruitful salon retail contest ideas. Tag stylists who work in the salon as well as businesses you have a good relationship with.

Create stories and get guests excited about new retail and strive to be the big winner to reap the glory!

Hair Salon Contest Ideas: Re-engage Past Clients with Giveaways

Email marketing is a great way to get clients who haven’t been in for awhile, back into your salon. I would even go as far as implementing salon giveaway text message marketing and phone calls for bigger contests that appeal to a wide variety of people.

Best Salon Business Sales Teams (For Owners Who Have Multiple Salons)

If you have more than one salon, consider making internal contests with big prizes to empower achieving teams. Encourage management to be your hype crew and offer them additional incentives if their team is the winner.

Most Clientele Increase

Sales are great but an influx of new business adds up to more sales, fast. Find tips on how to get more salon clients and make this a standalone contest, regardless of the size of your salon.

Why Do You Need Salon Competitions and Sales Games?

Salon competitions and games are needed to add extra motivation to achieve. By creating contests, you incentivize not only stylists to increase sales, but client competitions are equally as effective. The best competitions are fun, engaging and motivating to participants.

How do you compete with other salons?

To compete with other salons, first understand where your competition may be, outside your salon. Offering things like a sense of community, better salon culture or unique products and services is a great place to start when you want to outpace competing salons.

What attracts customers to a salon?

What attracts customers to salons depends on the individual guest. Here are factors customers may consider when choosing one salon over another:

  1. Price point
  2. Status
  3. Service offerings
  4. Products used
  5. Reviews and levels of expertise
  6. Location
  7. Convenience factors such as immediate availability or proximity to work or home
  8. Recommendations from friends, family or co workers
  9. Great social media
  10. Marketing initiatives such as contests, search optimization on salon websites or paid advertising


I hope you have found our salon retail contest ideas and competition suggestions, helpful! If you have a unique contest that was productive, we encourage you to reach out, we would love to include your salon business in our blog.

Make sure to check out other free salon business ideas and tools in our blog. Thank you for reading and we hope to see you on Instagram!

Yours in service,

Susan Wos


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