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for our industry. What we currently have are 1.2



. Those individual voices aren’t

nearly as powerful as a collective shouting a uni-

fied message.

Just because half of beauty professionals con-

sider themselves independent, does not mean we

can’t all work together to keep this industry at a

standard we’re all proud to represent.

So how do we get our voices together? There

are already organizations within our industry

working to unite us. All we need to do is decide we


want to take an active part in elevating our

profession and get involved.

Some professional associations working to

support the beauty industry include Associated

Hair Professionals, Cosmetologists Chicago, Profes-

sional Beauty Association, Intercoiffure, Interna-

tional SalonSpa Business Network, and American

Association of Cosmetology Schools. Each asso-

ciation has a slightly different membership focus

(i.e. individual professionals, independent salons,

manufacturers, chain salons, schools, etc.) and

offers different benefits tailored to those members.

All of these associations, however, are ultimately

working to improve the beauty industry.

For example, Associated Hair Professionals

(AHP) is a national association supporting indi-

vidual hairstylists and barbers. All of the benefits

included in AHP membership are geared towards

supporting, protecting, and enhancing a hair pro-

fessional’s individual career with benefits such as

marketing toolkits, advanced education, liability

insurance, and discounts on everything from credit

card processing to comfortable shoes.

Similarly, Cosmetologists Chicago is a more

local, Illinois-based association for beauty profes-

sionals, providing in-person education, scholar-

ships, and America’s Beauty Show while the Ameri-

can Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS)

is a national association that provides education,

conferences, and legislative advocacy for cosme-

tology schools. These associations, the benefits

listed, and the support they provide are only the

tip of the iceberg. Each association has its place,

a role in elevating our industry, and every beauty

professional can benefit from being a member of

at least one association.

We are fortunate in our industry to have a

number of professional associations that want to

support each aspect of our industry, from individ-

ual beauty professionals to salons, manufacturers,

and schools. The beauty industry has the frame-

work in place to have one seriously powerful voice;

to do that, each of us just needs to get involved so

we really are 1.2 million-strong.

Ali Davidson is the Director of Associated Hair Professionals (AHP), which provides advanced ed-

ucation, business resources, marketing materials, career support, and liability insurance to hair-

stylists and barbers. For more information visit or