More Independent Beauty Professionals are Emerging After COVID-19

As COVID-19 closed salon doors, more beauticians and barbers were becoming independent contractors. According to Courtney Caldwell, Co-Founder and COO of ShearShare Inc., about 70% of beauticians were independent contractors in the first half of 2020 – and that increase was already disrupting the beauty industry before the pandemic. The industry had the second largest number of freelancers, she said.

After shelter-in-place restrictions were lifted in many states across the country, the number of independent stylists would continue to see growth. “People think, ‘Oh, I work for a corporation. I stay for this type of security,’ while actually, we’re seeing that there’s not,” Caldwell said.

More Independent Beauty Professionals Are Using Shearshare

ShearShare, a B2B mobile marketplace that connects licensed independent beauticians and barbers with empty salon space, has seen website traffic almost double and new users grow 150 percent from April to June 2020.

“People know us widely as ‘hairbnb,’” Courtney said. Dr. Tye Caldwell, the company’s co-founder, and CEO estimated the pandemic would close between 4 to 11 percent of salons and barbershops. This, in turn, could encourage more stylists to become independent.

ShearShare Survey Results

In June 2020, Shearshare conducted a survey which supported that 76 percent of respondents were interested in working at a daily booth rental, while only 4 percent expressed interest in working by commission.

The survey also showed that beauticians and barbers planned on making changes as they returned to work, Courtney said. These changes included shortened hours and an increase in prices.

Having experienced the 2008 recession, Courtney Caldwell said beauty and barber shops are an evergreen industry, and more jobs can be expected even in the wake of an economic crisis.

The industry is rebounding now, but some stylists remain without a workplace, Courtney said. She is glad her company can play a part in helping the industry recover by helping independent beauticians find space to work.

“Regardless of anything that’s ever happened economically, the beauty industry has always moved forward,” Dr. Tye said.

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