The Pitfalls of Salon Owners Poaching Hairstylists: An Ethical Perspective

The Pitfalls of Salon Owners Poaching Hairstylists: An Ethical Perspective 

In the competitive salon industry, salon owners often face the temptation to poach hairstylists from other salons.

Owners believe this a way to quickly expand their team. However, this practice not only has a negative impact but also reflects poorly on the salon owner’s reputation.

In this blog post, we will discuss the reasons why salon owners should reconsider the idea of poaching hairstylists. Get tips for focusing on ethical engagement and building industry relationships.

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Bad Karma and Salon Reputation

When salon owners pursue salon professionals who are already working in other salons, it creates a negative perception and invites trouble in the industry. Hairstylists talk, and these actions can quickly ruin the reputation of the salon owner.

Building a positive reputation as an ethical and respectful business is essential for long-term success.

Salon owner reputation and poaching

Salon Owners Recruiting from other Salons: What Happens When Poaching Works? 

Poachable salon professionals, while enticing in the short term, tend to exhibit a lack of loyalty.

Lack of Loyalty: Salon Poaching Practices

If a hairstylist is easily persuaded to leave their current salon, it means they may be easily swayed by external influences. This raises concerns about their commitment and loyalty to your salon.

Ultimately, these hairstylists may be more susceptible to future poaching attempts by other salons, leaving you with a revolving door of talent.

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Empathy and Perspective

Put yourself in the shoes of a salon owner whose staff is being enticed by a rival establishment. How would you feel? Understanding the emotional impact and potential loss that poaching causes can help foster empathy and guide salon owners towards a more ethical approach to talent acquisition.

Build Relationships Instead of Poaching 

Instead of resorting to poaching, salon owners can focus on ethical engagement and building strong relationships within the industry. Engage with hairstylists through networking events, educational opportunities, and industry gatherings. By fostering positive relationships, you can attract talented professionals who are genuinely interested in joining your salon based on shared values and trust.

Ethical Hiring Practices for Salon Owners

Social media provides an endless amount of opportunities to recruit and connect with salon, spa and barber professionals, ethically. Ethical engagement is a great practice to implement into your salon business and produces results, today and long term. Being consistent, friendly, thought provoking and supportive on social media creates relationships and boosts awareness for your brand when done properly.

Learn how to recruit salon professionals with our comprehensive guide.

Is it wrong to poach hair stylists?

This is a matter of opinion, generally speaking poaching causes disloyal stylists to leave salons they work in. The level of loyally when hiring a stylist is important to gauge the future in your salon.

Ethical hiring practices for salon owners
Hair salon talent acquisition strategies

Respect and Reputation are at Risk.

Salon Poaching Practices: Professional Respect and Turn-Offs

Salon professionals generally do not hold salon owners who engage in poaching in high regard. This behavior can be seen as opportunistic and disrespectful. Hairstylists value salon owners who prioritize integrity, professionalism, and collaboration within the industry. By engaging in poaching, salon owners risk alienating potential employees and damaging their reputation among industry professionals.


While the temptation to poach hairstylists from other salons may seem like a shortcut to building a talented team, the negative consequences outweigh the short-term gains. Salon owners should consider the impact on their reputation, the lack of loyalty from poachable hairstylists, the importance of empathy, the value of ethical engagement and relationship building, and the adverse perceptions within the industry. By focusing on ethical practices, fostering positive relationships, and respecting the professionalism of the salon industry, salon owners can build a sustainable and respected brand that attracts top talent for long-term success.