7 Steps to a Six-Figure African Hair Braiding Business

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Are you ready to turn your hair braiding side hustle into a full-blown business? (We can’t wait!) You can start an African hair braiding business and make more money doing what you love.


Keep reading! We teach you how to build a successful hair-braiding business.

How Much Money Can I Make Braiding Hair?

Hairstylists typically make about $50,000 per year (including tips) working in a salon. But you have the potential to earn six figures a year by starting your own African hair braiding business. 

The path to a 100k year depends on your rates and how many weekly clients you see. Let’s say you charge $200 for a set of box braids. That means you would need to take 11 braiding clients a week (for 49 weeks) to hit six figures a year.

This infographic shows how regular hairstylists can achieve a six-figure year:

As a business owner, you’ll set your rates and control your schedule. Clients are willing to spend hours in a salon chair and pay well for a perfect set of braids. So, know your worth and price yourself fairly!

How To Build A Six-Figure African Hair Braiding Business

African hair braiding is an old form that’s in high demand. Many skilled braiders have turned their passion into a profitable business. And you can too! 

Here’s how to get started.

#1 Complete an African Hair Braiding Course

Before you open up shop, make sure you have the right skills under your belt. 

A lot of iconic hair braiders are self-taught. You’ve probably practiced on yourself, friends or family members. Still, it’s good to have formal training, so you can give your clients the best service possible.

Not to mention, a few states require you to complete hours of training before you can receive your hair braider license.

Whether you’re self-taught or a total newbie, you can learn African hair braiding by taking a specialized course at a cosmetology school. Cosmetology school helps you master your craft and teaches you how to manage a hair business.

Expect to spend many long nights practicing on a mannequin and to pay anywhere from $3000 to $25000 in tuition.

#2 Get a Hair Braider License (if it’s required)

Most states require regular hairstylists to earn their cosmetology license before they can start a business. Thankfully, hair braiders have a bit of breathing room. In the US, 32 states exempt hair braiders from receiving a license.

Still, some states, like Pennsylvania, require you to complete 300 hours of training at a licensed cosmetology school, take an exam and pay a fee to earn your hair braider license.

And you might have to take additional courses every couple of years to renew your license. 

#3 Write a Business Plan

To bring your African hair braiding business into reality, you need to write it down. Consider your vision for the business, competition, and potential setbacks. 

You might start hair braiding as a side hustle, while you work or go to school full-time. This way, you get experience, a portfolio, and a client list before diving all into your business. 

The best thing about hair braiding businesses: low start-up costs. Clients usually buy their own hair for the appointment. So you really only need equipment and a comfortable place to work your magic. You may have to get a loan or look for investors if you want to open a hair studio. 

Commercial space is great for privacy and work/life balance. But don’t feel pressured to invest in a studio right away. It’s okay to start from your home or make house calls. It saves you time and money, and some clients prefer it. 

Or, consider renting a booth from a local salon. You can learn from other hairstylists and get exposure for your business. 

#4 Choose Your Braiding Services

If you’re just starting out, it’s okay to stick to basic braiding services. Hair braiders charge anywhere from $75 to $450 for a standard set of box braids. So, you’re sure to earn a lot. African hair braiding salons typically offer:

  • Box braids
  • Kinky twists
  • Cornrows
  • Dreadlocks
  • Weaves
  • Knotless Braids
  • Crochet Styles

Try to stay on top of trending hairstyles, like goddess locs or micro braids, so you don’t lose out on business if a client makes a request. 

Many salons offer more than standard hair braiding services (and it pays off!) You can sell homemade or retail products to your clients. Or you coach aspiring stylists on starting their own businesses.

Also, you can teach African hair braiding courses to earn extra income.

#5 Get Insured

You’re almost ready to start taking clients. But first, you need to protect your African hair braiding business with insurance. You put a lot of time and money into your business. A salon insurance policy can help pay for damages, medical bills, repairs, and replacements if an accident happens to your clients, employees, or property. 

Salon insurance gives you peace of mind. Also, it may be required by your state, so check your local guidelines. If you have a commercial salon space or rent a booth, you’ll likely be required to get General Liability Insurance. And most states require businesses to get workers’ compensation insurance if they hire a certain number of employees.

#6 Market Your African Hair Braiding Business

With all your braids in a row, you can start promoting your African hair braiding business. A clever marketing strategy is key to attracting high-paying clients. 

The first step is to get online. Create a professional website where clients can easily find and book you. Or build dedicated social media pages for your business. (It’s better to have both.) Create a Facebook page, launch an Instagram, and list your business on Google.

Social media marketing gets your name out there, fast! You can post client photos to show off your skills or give hair maintenance tips. And once you have a decent following under your belt, you can earn extra income as a hair influencer. Brands will pay you to promote their products like shampoos, hair clips, or braiding hair. 

But social media marketing is just one piece of the puzzle. To maximize your income, you should use a mix of social, content, and email marketing strategies. 

And don’t forget about referrals! Referrals are the best way to land high-quality clients. You can get referrals from current clients or other pros in your industry, like makeup artists or nail techs. 

#7 Try Business Software 

Once you land clients, the trick is holding on to them. To get repeat bookings, you’ll need business software or a booking app that can handle the nitty-gritty of running your African hair braiding business. 

A good booking app allows you to: 

  • Book clients and schedule appointments 
  • Accept multiple payment types and receive quick payouts
  • Send contracts, forms, and personalized communications to your clients
  • Create bundles and subscriptions, or sell products, to earn more money 

Business software makes it easy to manage clients, so you can focus on your craft.

The Final Step

If you’re ready to take your hair braiding skills to the next level, you can start an African hair braiding business. It will take time to build a loyal client list and hit six figures per year, but it’s worth the wait! 

PocketSuite can help you along the way. PocketSuite is an all-in-one to manage your hair business. You get appointment scheduling, contracts, and payments all in one place.