Why is the Salon Industry such a mess? Words from Susan Wos, owner of Salonspa Connection and Enlightened Hire.

I love the Salon Industry with all my heart and soul…

This industry has provided me with such amazing opportunities, career satisfaction and unlimited earning potential.  

While my love for the industry is strong, my perpetual frustration with how chaotic, disorganized, and polarized the salon, spa and barber world, is nags at me on a daily basis.

From the moment I graduated Cosmetology school in 1995, I felt confused by my opportunities, pulled in every direction by product companies and needed serious insight and guidance. Back then, our resources were more limited to who you knew and how diligent you were at researching what was out there for you. Trial and error were my go-to for figuring out what the heck I needed and where I fit in.

Susan Wos judging a hair competition for a Kansas City Cosmetology School

The introduction of the internet, social media and savvy tech skilled industry professionals should have improved this chaos. 

Unfortunately, the access to so much information has only led us to more polarized feelings, increased confusion and overwhelmed us with offerings we are not sure we can trust.

We have conducted a massive amount of industry research for our new software program, Enlightened Hire. This research has provided us an incredible opportunity to not only learn about the salon, spa and barber industry as a whole, but to analyze organizations and seek out facts.

The chaos starts at the state level. 

Requirements for hours, testing criteria, licensure processes, statistical reporting and website capabilities vary as widely as your choices in nail polish. 

Some states have their act together. Some states are drowning in ineffective protocols, lack of implementing current technology, miscommunication, wavering or low standards and government policy. It has been unbelievably difficult to ascertain accurate information from each state. 

The fluctuating levels of standards, technology, organization and communication state by state is nothing short of appalling. 


Product companies, manufacturers and distributors fuel industry chaos.  

Industry polarization starts with aligning yourself with brands and corporations. 

Exclusively finding resources from influencers, product companies and distributors cuts off tons of potential educational opportunities and the ability to provide a full spectrum of offerings for your clients and staff. Yet, most of us choose sides early on and only open our eyes to new offerings when something goes wrong.

It feels like our offerings and resources are swirling around us in a wild hurricane of social media, opinions and the ability to position yourself in the right light. There are no standards that translate across the board. The ability to open a salon, be a brand ambassador, sell products or become an independent service provider is an option for almost everyone who wants it. 

There is often little thought as to what works, why it works and how to fix what is broken when dollar signs are placed before us.


My personal contribution to the industry, thus far, has also contributed to the chaos. 

I have had MANY struggles with technology, organization, communication and effective + solid strategy. 

Taking on the wild unicorn of industry employment and booth rental has been no small task and provided me with an education and insight I never imagined possible. I have failed, many times. I have tried several things that have not worked. I have struggled to please everyone and provide an invaluable, neutral, non-brand affiliated resource for anyone looking for representation and assistance in finding ideal job and booth rental opportunities.

My failures, successes, trial and error, experimentation and experience are paying off… I am extremely determined to provide the most valuable thing we desire when looking for answers and insight into finding the right fit for a salon, spa or barbershop. 

I refuse to further contribute to the chaos and mess of the salon industry.

I refuse to align myself or my businesses with companies and people I do not believe in or trust, just to get ahead.

I refuse to accept that our industry is unable to have standards and clarity in employment and booth rental offerings.

I refuse to accept that I am unable to help our industry on a large scale.

I refuse to accept that salon hopping, and high turnover is our industry standard.

I WILL change the way we determine if potential job and booth rental opportunities are a good fit, for the entire industry.

I WILL provide an extremely valuable resource to industry owners who care about who works in your businesses and to hire (or rent) to only those that align with your personal goals, vision, culture, and values.

I WILL provide the ability for ALL hairstylists, barbers, nail techs, estheticians and massage therapists to have insight into employment and booth rental opportunities, throughout the entire industry.

I WILL provide ALL industry schools and students with a resource that helps determine what kinds of opportunities will lead to long term success and career satisfaction.

Our acceptance of the chaotic mess of the salon industry ends with Enlightened Hire.

Demand more for your career and business. Demand insight, clarity and transparency on what you offer, what you need and who you are.

Demand your best fit with Enlightened Hire, coming Spring 2022.

Follow us for updates on this revolutionary, national offering that will change the way we hire!