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How to Start a Profitable Salon Business in Kenya

salon business in kenya

Do you want to start a salon business in Kenya? If that is the case, this article is written specifically for you. We have made sure to include everything that you would ever need in order to build a salon empire in  a few months.

Many young people are currently doing all they can, working day and night, tirelessly, in an attempt to secure themselves a source of income. I am certain that almost all of us aspire to be financially independent. But the question is, how can you make this disturbing dream a reality? Is it really possible?

With regard to this, let’s talk about how to start a salon business in Kenya. Can a hair salon business make you a millionaire?

Here is a little salon business success story to inspire you.

There was this man by the name Nick Munyao who was featured in Daily Nation 14th November in 2014. He had the same dream as everyone, to be rich. He was an employee at the Le – Chique Unisex Beauty Salon in Upper Hill, Nairobi. He had a dream of one day owning his own multi-million salon.

This day came to pass when his boss decided to sell the salon. This, to him, was an opportunity of a  lifetime. With the help of his family members, he loaned from them 3.2 million Kenya shillings and bought the salon. He did some refurbishing and two years later, the salon brought him a whopping 12.5 million Kenyan shillings and has been growing ever since at the rate of 1.3 million every year. So, again, can a salon business make you a millionaire?

Food for thought.

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What do I need to start a salon business in Kenya?

Before starting  a salon business in Kenya, you need to ask yourself the following skills:

Do I need a Salon Business Plan in Kenya?

If you really want to start a serious salon business, you might want to consider drafting a business plan. This will be very important in ensuring that your beauty business achieves its objectives and thus become profitable. 

Do I need training to acquire Hairdressing skills?

Hairdressing and other related works require skills and expertise. Remember, good skills bring more customers and more customers mean more profits. 

This, therefore, calls for a need to go for training. A one year course in a college offering Hairdressing and Beauty therapy is all you need. The fee for this training ranges between Ksh 10,000 – 15,000 per term. Upon completion of the course, with no doubt, your hairdressing skills will be intriguing.

Alternatively, you can also find someone who is already skilled in salon operation to teach you on agreed upon terms. This is more convenient if you don’t have the money to go for formal training or want to start your business as soon as possible. 

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How much Capital do I need to start a salon business in Kenya?

I know the first thing most people would usually want to know is the cost of starting a salon business in Kenya.

Depending on the amount of start-up capital one has, you can go the Munyao way and buy an already established salon business and build on it, or you can just start from scratch.

A startup capital of between Ksh 100,000 – Ksh 200,000 will do if you want to start from scratch. This will cater for the salon equipment needed and rental charges.

What Salon Equipment do I need to start  a salon business in Kenya

The following are the essential salon equipment needed for a salon business or cosmetic shop in Kenya:

i). Furniture equipment

Hair styling chairs/Barber chairs

Most people prefer the adjustable chairs. Choose the one that the customer will feel comfortable and that will make you have an easy time during your operation. It should also be durable.

The barber chairs costs from as little as Ksh 6,000 up to Ksh 20,000. Plastic chairs go at 600/- each.

Hair styling station

Your salon should have a hair styling station fully equipped with the storage drawers, mirrors, tools holders, tools compartments, electric sockets etc.

Furniture work and setting up the station can cost approximately between Ksh 10,000 to Ksh 20,000. You can get mirrors at Ksh 2,000.

ii). Hair salon supplies

Sink seat

Usually used for hair treatment, washing and conditioning.

It costs around Ksh 12,000. A local made sink seat can be found between Ksh 8,000 and Ksh 10,000.

Hair dryers

They cost around Ksh 3,000.

Hair brushes and combs

They should be of different types and sizes.

It’s cost ranges from Ksh 300 to Ksh 1,000.

Water heater

You cam get one at Ksh 500.

Scissors and hair clippers

Equip your salon with different types of scissors and hair clippers.

Hair styling tools

They include blow dryers, diffusers, curlers, and multi-styling kits. This gives you a wide range of hairstyle preferences the customers want.

Aprons and towels

These are also important to keep you and your customer from dirt or being stained during the operation.

Salon Products in Kenya

You will need a variety of salon products in order to start your business. These are essentially products you will be using during your operation.

If you are looking for a list of salon equipment with price in Kenya, here is a small list, you can go and research on this business in order to learn more about them, that is their contact information and where to find them.n

List of Hairdressing equipment and supplies dealers in Nairobi

  1. Barcha Brothers Enterprises Limited.
  2. Dubai Beauty Centre (K) Ltd.
  3. House of Braids.
  4. Jodge and Kith International Limited.
  5. Prestige Global Link Ltd.
  6. Salon Quip.
  7. Salon Warehouse.
  8. Salonquip.
  9. Stripes Industries Ltd.
  10. Superior Barbershop and Salon Equipment.

The above businesses will provide you with a variety of salon equipment for sale which should be able to start you off.

If you don’t have the money to buy new equipment you may also be able to find second-hand salon equipment in Nairobi. These may not be as effective and reliable as new ones but will do a great job until you make enough profit to afford new ones. 

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For maximum profit, you have to be innovative enough in terms of the services your salon offers. The services offered go hand in hand with the demand from the customers. The following are some of the services which can be offered in a salon:

a). Hair services

  1. Cuts.
  2. Relaxers.
  3. Curling.
  4. Weaving.
  5. Shampoo.
  6. Conditioning.
  7. Reconstruction.

b). Nails

  1. Manicures.
  2. Pedicures.
  3. Polish.

c). Skin care

  1. Massage.
  2. Facials.
  3. Body waxing. Etc


Deciding on the place to start your salon business in Kenya is very crucial. Your location will also depend on the amount of capital you have. For those with a high amount of capital, malls located at high traffic will be your most preferred choice.

For a beginner with a lesser capital, a free-standing building, definitely with a high foot traffic is much better. Some of its advantages are that they are highly visible, it is cheaper and one has control over some costs such as electricity and water bills. This makes it more convenient.

Community survey before deciding on a specific location is also important. For example, putting up a salon close to an institution like a university is more likely to generate a lot of profit.

Salon Business Competition in Kenya

The salon business in Kenya is with no doubt one of the most competitive. For you to bring high profit from your business, you have to do something more than just the normal operations done at the salon.

For example, you can take the services to the people, rather than the people coming for the services. This means that the customers will get the services at the comfort of their homes. Of course this will be more realistic after your business have picked up and you have your own employees.

This will make your business more marketable. Your relationship with the customers also matters a lot. And lastly, the quality of service and products you offer will determine if the customers will come back another day.


I hope the above guide has helped you learn how to start a salon business in Kenya. With the right mindset, capital, training, and equipment, you will be on your way to starting a very successful salon business in Kenya.

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Written by Dennis Opondo


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