how the hair industry is changing

Business Evolving: How the Hair Industry Is Changing

Going Through Changes

The hair industry is one of the fastest growing industries.

It has evolved in more ways than anyone can even think over the past 20 years. There used to be a time when hair was beyond basic. Most people only knew about finger waves, hot combs, and micro braids. Oh, how times have changed! Finger waves have even evolved since then.

Hair companies, hair color, and even hair salons have all evolved. Continue reading below as I go through the many changes that have and are currently taken place in the hair industry.

finger waves

Selling Hair

I remember back in the day when the local beauty mart was the only place you could purchase hair extensions from.

Store hours were normally Monday through Saturday 9 am-7 pm. If you needed anything after or before that timeframe, you were stuck! But times have changed since then! Of course, you can still purchase extensions from hair stores, but there’s a ton of more options now too.

At this point in the game, all you need is a computer and the Internet, and you get hair mailed right to you. For example, my favorite online distributor is a website called Private Label Extensions. When you go to their website, you will see a wide range of hair types. They have different lengths, closures, and curl types. It makes buying hair a breeze.

There’s no more going to the hair store and only being limited to the hair they offer in the store. Selling “bundles” as most call it is a huge business these days too. Also, some people have traveled to certain countries to pick up their hair directly.

In some cases, you’re able to design the hair a certain way and have it made just for you. So if you’re looking for a side hustle, investing in extensions is a great business to get into.


There was a time where you could be standing in line at the grocery store and see if someone had extensions in their hair or not. The type of hair used and installation method, just made it easy to tell.

\Now, there are so many different ways to have it installed that sometimes if you’re feeling risky, you have to ask the person if that’s their hair or not! Just don’t try that with everyone though.

Years ago most people got their extensions glued in or sewed in. They didn’t know any other techniques. But now there’s a wide range of them. For those who may not want their hair threaded or glued in, there are options such as; micro links, bonding, crochet, clip-ins, just to name a few.

Some people can be extremely particular about their hair, as they should. Others may not want to endure a long process of removing their hair or even be worried about the sensitivity of their hair. Having more options means more people will be able to get that certain style they want without being limited.

Some people wish they can have extensions, but their hair is too damaged from glue or a sew-in. As time evolves, techniques become better which allows healthy hair to be the main focus.

healthy hair

Mobile Stylist

Oh, you’re not able to travel to your local salon? Have no worries; some hairstylist come to you!

It’s one of the greatest business out and becoming more popular. One major thing that you see are salons having a no kids allowed rule. That’s stopping some Moms from keeping up with their self-care because they can’t find a sitter. The mobile styling, of course, solves that issue.

They can arrive at your home and save you plenty of time and money. It’s also more personal than a hair salon. Some salons are focused on getting your hair done and getting out of their salon but being personable and putting the customer first again, is a good chance in the hair industry.

Long Hair

Hair Steamer

A hair steamer was created to add moisture back into the hair by sitting under its dryer attachment.

Many women suffer from dryness, especially during the winter months. The hair steamer may cost a pretty penny, but it’s a great investment. Now a day if you have natural hair, some salons say it’s a mandatory service depending on the hair type.

They want to make sure while you’re in their care they take total care of your hair. But this wasn’t around years ago; hot oil treatments were what people used to moisture their hair. Although people still use them, there will be a lot less mess with the hair steamer.

Hair Steaming

All Natural

The natural hair community has been growing for quite some time now.

More people are seeing the benefits of returning their hair to its natural state. Decades ago, it was almost a sin if you were seen having your natural hair out. Some thought it was nappy, while others thought you didn't do your hair at all.

But as the hair industry changes more people are becoming more conscious of what healthy hair is. Then, you have others who just want to experience embracing their natural hair, and it’s nothing wrong with that either.

healthy hair

Celebrity Status

When it comes to appearance, celebrities are known for enhancing themselves because they have to portray a certain image.

Often, that image is unrealistic to the regular folks of the world. However, there’s now a good amount of celebrities putting their extensions up for a little while and embracing their natural hair.

You wouldn’t see much of that years ago. Superstars such as Viola Davis, Janelle Monae, and Jill Scott, to name a few, are most times rocking their born given hair. They are truly changing the status quo of what it means to be you.

So many people think wearing their natural hair is a bad thing and it’s just not. It’s a great thing when you’re in-tune with your roots. Natural hair is becoming more accepted in today’s world, especially in Hollywood.

Janelle Monae Updo

Expanding Hair Labels

In 2017, the popular hair brand line Shea Moisture was under fire because they released a new commercial that showed some Caucasians using their hair products.

The purpose of the video was to introduce the change that was coming from their corporation. The problem that so many people had was that Shea Moisture was a hairline specifically for women of color. However, when interviewed, the owner talked about how they wanted to expand their business to be able to reach all hair types.

If you think about it, that’s not a bad idea at all! Shea Moisture has changed the natural hair community and hair industry in more ways than one. For many years they have dominated it and now its just time for a change.

Typically if you have a certain type of hair, you stuck with a brand that catered to it. Now, a lot more brands are getting away from limits and reaching all hair types.

Food for hair

Earlier I mentioned that more people are becoming more aware of the health of their hair.

Some are realizing that if they can’t eat the products that go on their hair, then they don’t need it. The hair products created now are more healthy and safe than back in the day. It’s now easier to understand the ingredients that are in your favorite hair brands.

Also, more people are aware of the benefits that regular food has on their hair. Foods like avocado, eggs, and honey are some that provide great benefits. Even extra virgin oil provides great moisture for your hair.

The direction of healthy hair is taking a new route for sure.

healthy food

Hair Specialist

Your favorite hairstylist used to take care of all your hair needs but as the hair industry changes you will find specialists handling certain hair needs.

For example, there’s a certain haircut called the ‘DevaCurl’ where you need special training on how to cut curly natural hair into a certain form. There’s also hairstylists who are only specializing in certain hairstyles.

For example, they may have a “Master Braider” and “Master Colorist.” Having specific titles is a great change since not ever hairstylist knows or is great with every style or method. This way allows the customer to have more trust in finding the right person in the hair industry who can handle their needs.

For many years, most salons only knew how to service a press and curl and install extensions in a basic way. But as the hair industry grows, hairstylists have to become educated on all the new ways of styling hair.

Of course, it’s not mandatory but if that hairstylist wants to be the best it would be great for them to stay on top of all changes.

Digital Education

Because the days you have to ask people if they can teach you how to do hair are long gone! Youtube has grown to be one of the best platforms for entertainment and education purposes.

People are making Youtube their online teacher! There you can find so many videos on how to learn to do hair. There are videos on how to braid, how to make a wig, and even how to simply take care of your hair.

More people are even becoming a hairstylist for at home because they are learning so much free information on how to do hair and don’t want to pay for it. They are capitalizing on free; learning a skill and turning it into a business.

Now, it is illegal to do hair without being certified, but I will save that for another article! However, the people are taking full advantage of the free resources on doing hair.

You can even find celebrity hairstylist videos showing you their favorite tips and tricks that they use.

There’s nothing wrong with going to school and doing things the right way, but if you’re good at teaching yourself something and can get the information for free, why not? Some people also take that info and educate others on doing hair as well.



When people say there’s an app for that, that’s because there is!

There is seriously an app for just about anything that crosses your mind. One major resource that isn’t popular now is hair magazines. I remember growing up, and my Mom would always buy them so we could flip through pages to find our next style.

However, there are easier ways to that now. One of my favorite apps that I use for hair information is called Pinterest. Although it’s an all-purpose application, it’s great for hair needs. If you want to see pictures on a pixie cut or feed in braids, all you have to do is key those words in the search bar on Pinterest, and it will show you hundreds of different styles!

How cool and convenient is that? As long as you have a smartphone or computer, you can take advantage of that free hair app!

Mobile social media

Instyle Hairstyle Try-on

This app allows you to upload an image of yourself that's matched with a celebrity who has a similar face shape, and you will be able to shift through different styles to see how it looks on you! The app would have saved many people time and money back in the day; instead of getting a style done and them not liking it!


Let's not forget about social media either! Instagram has a great section on their app where you can search through ‘#’ hashtags to find certain hairstyles or anything hair related.

Making Appointments

Hair salons are making things easier for their clientele when it comes time to set up appointments. The most popular app out is called Style Seat. On the app, you will be able to see hairstyle pictures that your stylist has done, set appointments, and even leave a review!

So many people run a busy life to where they even have to find time to make a phone call, so this new innovative app is a good win.

social media

Hair Color

Who would have ever thought that rocking gray hair would be a thing? As you can see, this new generation did! Hair color has come a long way, especially in the hair industry. It's no longer looked at as a bad thing.

You see people purposely changing their hair color to grey all over or even in patches, and it’s the cutest style ever.

Ombre hair is another hair color look that many are sporting. Ombre hair means the hair color is becoming shaded either darker or lighter, as it goes through the hair shaft. Most people may get a dark-colored root, and towards the end of the hair shaft, it will become lighter.

It’s a cool visual to see people with loud colors like blue and seeing all the different shades of it throughout the hair. These hair color upgrades are changing the game and allowing people to express themselves in new ways and to always know, in the hair industry, that it’s okay to be creative.

gray hair

Genderless Beauty Standards

Oh no, women are not the only ones dominating the hair industry as we've seen before. Men are also hopping on the bandwagon and making sure they are also making a name for themselves. Society isn't used to men taking care of themselves how women do, but they sure are making a strong effort.

Barber Community

We’re used to seeing men be known for just getting a haircut and trimming up the mustache but barbers are now making a conscious effort in making sure their clients are healthy.

Especially when it comes to the beard, no one thought it was important to care for it. But hair is hair, right? You can now find men creating beard oil that helps keeps the beard moisturized.

They even offer hair color fillers for men who’s hairline doesn’t connect fully, or the hair may not be as full as other parts. The hair color usually comes in a pump bottle for easy use.

The days of men running to get a haircut and come home are gone, for the most part. We’re seeing men understand how important their hair is and that it deserves proper maintenance.

barber haircut

New Year, New Hair

The hair industry has evolved so much over the years as you can see.

It seems that each passing year you can bet on about three or four new methods that will have been created. It’s also great to be able to look back because it says that hair companies and people aren’t getting stagnate in what’s important to them.

Change is a great thing whether it’s for good or bad purposes because it’s a learning experience. Times are different and what may have seemed easy years ago, now is hard because there’s a more efficient way of doing certain things.

As we wait and see what new changes will happen in 2018, tell me in the comment section what you think about the new changes in the hair industry!

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