Grow Your Business with Barbering

By Lynelle Lynch, owner Bellus Academy

Men's grooming is booming in North America and around the globe.

Global Industry Analysts predicts the global male grooming products industry will generate $33 billion in revenue by 2015, while Euromonitor estimates that the men's grooming category in the U.S. will reach nearly $6 billion by 2016 – up 10 percent from 2012.

While men's grooming includes much more than hair – including skincare products, shaving and body care – barbering is gaining traction. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook has projected employment of barbers to grow 13 percent from 2012-2022, a difference of 83,300 jobs. Among U.S. states, California ranks third in employment of barbers.

What is driving the growth in male grooming services, particularly precision haircuts? Popular culture is a heavy influence. Movies such as The Great Gatsby, along with TV programs including Boardwalk Empire, and Mad Men feature carefully coiffed and styled male leading characters. Their audiences are turning to hairstylists for help achieving the look.

Enterprising hairstylists can leverage renewed interest in men's hairstyling to energize and expand their service menu. Acquiring a barbering license can help hairstylists diversify their offerings and attract new clients. But setting up a barbering program isn't as simple as adding a barber chair or installing the iconic striped barber pole in your salon.

As a regulated profession, barbers must be licensed in accordance with their state's barber board. The good news for cosmetologists is that some barbering programs will provide cosmetology credit hours toward the barbering license.

Barbering scholarships are available through the Beauty Changes Lives Vidal Sassoon professional beauty education scholarship program. Anthony Johnson is a 2013 Beauty Changes Lives scholarship winner and a student at Pivot Point Academy in Evanston, Illinois. He believes that offering both barbering and cosmetology will enhance his career.

"I was initially attracted to barbering because it is very technical and I was more familiar with barbering; plus I love the patience and focus that you must have to be great at barbering," Anthony explained. "But my career will be in both barbering and cosmetology. As my knowledge of this industry grows, so does my interest in all of the opportunities available."

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