A small salon suite featuring a theme of black, white, and pink colors is shown.

When to Choose a Salon Suite vs a Traditional Salon 

How to Decide What's Right for You

A salon suite vs. a traditional salon–which is the better option?

Listen, the important thing to get out of the way is that every cosmetologist is different, every goal is different, and every pain point is different.

All that to say, we very much view this as not a one-size-fits-all solution.

That being said, there are some general pros and cons to choosing a salon suite and some general pros and cons to choosing a traditional suite.

Ultimately, this guide is here to help you better understand what a good fit for you might be–not what’s considered to be the only right choice.

If you’re thinking about striking out on your own and doing the damn thing, it’s time to start considering which of these fits makes the most sense for you.

Not sure how to tell which is right?

Keep reading–we’ve got a few guidelines up our sleeves to make this a little more streamlined.

When to Choose a Salon Suite Instead of a Traditional Salon

There’s no wrong answer here–some spaces are just better fits for wherever you’re at in your cosmetology career.

So, how can you tell when is the best time to choose a salon suite over a traditional salon space? These scenarios below should give you a little insight.

You’re Striking Out on Your Own for the First Time

If you’re just now dipping your toes into the starting your own business thing, it can be a much more streamlined step to opt for a salon suite instead of an entire salon.

Why? Because, yes, you’re still biting off a big chunk of “being your own boss,” but you’re also making that bite a little, teeny-tiny bit more manageable.

Smaller space, smaller problems, as we always say. (OK, we only say that sometimes).

Maintenance Isn’t Your Thing

Sometimes, salons come with the expectations that you’re going to handle all the maintenance and upkeep.

Salon suites, on the other hand, are usually rentals among other rentals, which often means a landlord or management company is going to do all the upkeep.

That means you don’t need to worry about landscaping, fixing things when they break or doing small updates throughout the space. Someone else has that covered for you.

A small salon space is shown featuring minimalism decor, browns, tans, and neutral colors.

Furnishing & Decorating Overwhelms You

If esthetic isn’t your thing and you just don’t enjoy it, opting for a smaller salon suite can often be the saving grace. You infuse a touch of minimalist style without going overboard.

The result? A tiny space that’s uncluttered and perfect for you! And there are lots of ways to make a small salon space feel bigger without breaking the bank.

Taking a minimalist approach to a bigger salon can sometimes make that space feel empty, cold, or sterile.

A smaller space is, inarguably, easier–especially if decorating or planning esthetic isn’t your jam.

You’re Interested in Minimizing Expenses

Salon suites do sometimes come with a higher rental price tag, but they often do not come with all the other overhead costs as a salon itself.

For example, it’s likely that in most salon suites, you’ll be linked up in an area with surrounding suites–that means there’s likely to be laundry, resources, bathrooms, etc.

You also likely don’t have to handle electricity, WiFi, water, and beyond. Usually, that falls on the landlord you’re renting the suite from, keeping your costs to a minimum.

It’s Just You, Yourself, and Well, You

We’re not saying you can’t hire another employee in your salon suite space (especially if you’re cool with staggering hours), but it is a lot harder to have multiple employees in a small salon suite.

If it’s just you running the game, then guess what?

A salon suite is maybe the perfect place for you! Why? It’s a smaller space and perfect for one person at a time (plus a client!). A bigger salon feels a lot bigger when it’s just you running the game.

Renting Makes More Sense Than Buying

Don’t misinterpret us; you can totally rent/lease an entire salon or buy a salon suite–it’s just more common to rent a salon suite in space and buy an entire salon.

If you’re in a position where renting makes a lot more sense for you, it’s likely a better idea to opt for a salon suite.

The good news about suites? They vary in size, don’t require years of commitment, and if you change your mind later, you can always try to buy something else. Renting isn’t necessarily non-committal, but it is a little non-committal.

For career, industry, and cosmetology updates on the reg, be sure to subscribe to Elite Beauty Society.

Every time we drop a piece of hot gossip, helpful tip, or career-boosting advice, we’ll send you a quick lil email to give you the heads-up.