High St. salons cooperate for business success

Some may think this is a hairy situation.

Three newly opened hair salons, all on High Street in Waynesburg and within one block of each other. In such a competitive field, businesses need to cut down the competition.

But here, the opposite happens.

“It’s really nice with everyone up here, because we all get along, all work together,” said Dayna Bell, co-owner of The Hair Studio.

Three hair salons – ManKind Gentlemen’s Cuts, The Hair Studio and High Street Hair – have formed High Street into the hairline of Waynesburg. They aren’t the even the only salons in the area.

“There’s around 17,” said High Street Hair Owner Jason Kenner.

All three salons agreed Waynesburg is a center of commerce for Greene County. Shops want to gravitate toward areas of such influence, and customers are drawn to the lower prices the salons offer.

“Waynesburg and Greene County pricing is usually a little bit lower than Route 19 area, Washington area or Morgantown area,” Kenner said.

Outside Greene County, someone could get a Brazilian Blowout for $400, Kenner explained. In Waynesburg, the same haircut could be arranged for the low price of around $250.

Even before Waynesburg grew into the cheapskate fashion model of the county, Kenner said there have always been hair salons galore.

“Oh my, yes. There’s always been a lot in the area,” Kenner said. “If you look at the hair world; it’s a billion-dollar industry. If you look at it at a smaller scale, you’d think Greene County. There are thousands of people who have to have their hair done. So, there are a lot of salons in the area, but they are all booked.”

Clear-cut niches are how hair salons succeed. While there are a couple of similarities, each shop on High Street focuses on different aspects of hairstyling. ManKind is the only barber shop in Waynesburg. The Hair Studio focuses on the latest trends in ladies’ hairstyles. High Street Hair constantly promotes themselves by showing off their continuous education in the hair industry.

“I do believe as the education continues, and the techniques continue, there are salons that do focus on just that one area and really hone in on that one area to make yourself a standout compare to everywhere else in the area,” Kenner said.

Stylists also build a committed client base. If someone likes how a stylist cuts their hair, there’s a good chance they will return.

“Starting out in this industry, I think it’s good to start with a chain because your getting a lot walk-ins, to where private places, most of the time, people there have been doing hair for a long time,” Bell said.

Edward Boice - The Yellow Jacket
Dayna Bell, co-owner of The Hair Studio, works with a client. Bell said loyal client chains are key to success in the competitive hair business.

Some clients stay with stylists for years. For example, Bell said she has had a client who has been loyal for the past 12 years. Another client, Jenna Hellen, has stayed committed to Kenner for nine years.

Keeping an established clientele when establishing a private salon isn’t  difficult. All three salons’ stylists kept many of their clients with the tactics ManKind co-owner Heather Jefferies described.

“We did a lot of social media, a lot of word of mouth,” Jefferies said. “My mom owns her own restaurant business, so a lot comes from there too because a lot of people know me through my parents.”

Because the three salons have dedicated clients, they don’t need to fight over each other’s.

“If we can’t get somebody in, we’re like ‘try there,’” Bell said. “Everybody up here are business owners, and everyone really works together to help each other out.”

For Brittany Miller, High Street Hair salon manager, the hair salon business is whatever a person makes it. A successful private hair salon takes time and hard work to establish.

“When you become a cosmetologist, you don’t just go to work and clients just fall into your chair. It is hard work when you first start out,” Miller said. “If you work hard, you continue to do what you love and your passionate about it, it’s a job for some people; it’s a passion for others.”