Sola Salon: A Different Way To Run A Hair Studio

Written by Sierra Hamilton | Reviewed by Linda Simko Last Updated: March 16, 2024

Sola Salon consists of several smaller salon spaces in one large retail space. Each space is owned and run by a different stylist. You see your stylist in a separate space with an entrance. And that, you are waiting for your stylist in a large open space with clients waiting for other hairdressers.

The stylist pays rent for the business space. And so, instead of for a chair in a salon owned by someone else. So, if you’ve ever had a hairstylist you liked in an overpriced salon, there is a new studio concept that may be for you.

Sola Salon Hair Studio

The salons are like small offices in a co-working space. The hairstylists are one-person businesses. And so, the stylist has an office. They don’t need to follow the rules. Also, the business hours are set forth by a salon manager. Then, they set their own rules.

Hairstylists have many services from a Sola Salon franchise. It includes Wi-Fi, electricity, gas, and water.  The company offers several different layouts for its salon studios. Oversized mirrors, hydraulic chairs, cabinets, shampoo bowls, and retail shelving are included in the studios.

Salon studios also have insulated walls. It is to keep out noise from adjoining studios. This padding is a relief for any stylist. Also, the client has had to overhear chatter from other customers. Since the salon is a large open studio.

Sola Salon History And Growth

About the Company Sola Salon
Photo credit to American Salon

It is one of the best franchises on Forbes’ 2015 list. Sola Salon Studios has a 10% turnover as opposed to 100% for a traditional salon like Supercuts. Founders Stratton Smith and Matt Briger. It opened its first “co-working”. Then, it owned a salon in 2003 in Denver.

As of 2018, the company has over 400 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. And now, it is over 10,000 stylists at those locations. Sola Salon recruits the top-grossing stylists in a given area.

Top stylists may have their opportunities. However, limited by a salon owner’s rules or the salon location. Many high-earning stylists may not want to open a traditional salon. Owning a salon is usually the only way a good hairdresser can exercise more control over their income. A co-working arrangement allows hairdressers (or barbers) to become entrepreneurs. And so, it does not spend money on buying or renting a full salon.

Some franchises may offer benefits for stylists. Such these are disability, medical insurance, and life insurance. Even though they aren’t employees.

Most stylists can expect a 50% to 100% increase in take-home pay. It is right after opening a hair studio with this ground-breaking company. Stylists also receive a retail credit to stock the shelves with products good for their clients.

Sola Salon Advantages For Stylist and Client

As a customer, you go to the salon to see your favorite stylist. (It’s rare that all the stylists are employed by a salon. You will know how to do your hair the way you like.) When the stylish moves to another location, you go to the stylist’s new salon. Unless it is too far for you to travel.

The advent of “mini-salons” in one location lets more stylists with large followings start their own businesses. With that, they open a traditional salon. This business model gives stylists. And so, clients have lots of reasons to work in (or visit) the franchises.

Some stylists bring in coffee machines, flat-screen TVs, or other amenities. It is to make clients more comfortable. Stylists and their customers can enjoy their time together. And then, it is without contending with other stylists and their clients, background noise, and piped-in music or TV they can’t control.

Stylists and clients can have a long, one-on-one conversation. And so, it is without being interrupted by other stylists or customers on the discussion.

Stylists can sell retail products. They receive much more than the customary 10% commission they’d get in a traditional salon.

For everything from eyebrow threading in Virginia to hairstyling in Lubbock, Texas, you’ll speak (or text) directly with the person performing the service. It is not a receptionist who may not be able to answer your questions.

Sola Salon Stylists

More Freedom Makes Stylists Happier Sola Salon
Photo credit to Forbes

Stylists at a Las Vegas location personalize their spaces. They do some of their own decorating and molding of the ceilings. Also, they own painting the space any other color they like. The salon suites let manicurists, masseuses, and waxing specialists rent spaces. With that, every location has many beauty services available from different providers.

A Boston Globe article highlights the experiences of an immigrant from Nigeria. They are the ones who once worked in a studio. But now, they love the creativity and freedom he gets from working in his own studio.

A stylish contacts clients directly if he or she needs to reschedule or cancel an appointment. Especially, due to an emergency. This approach is much more personal.

All locations have an overall manager to receive rent. Sola Salon makes sure the building and studios are maintained. Each stylist is responsible for decorating and maintaining their studios. They make sure their advertising for and retaining clients. Also, their other tasks are learning new styling strategies, setting appointments, and managing websites and social media pages.

Stylists can contact their closest location about studio rates. And also, the individuals interested in opening franchises can email the company. You can also fill out their website contact form.

Tips for Stylists Going Solo

The company offers lots of tips for stylists going solo. The blog on their website is updated with information. Thus, in the day-to-day operation of a salon new styling. Also, it includes beauty techniques and marketing strategies.

Recent entries coached beauty entrepreneurs on how to do taxes, relieve stress, and get more client reviews. Also, you can use the company’s app.  So, they also offer ongoing seminars to keep stylists, manicurists, and others informed of the newest strategies. They keep the salon improving its business.

Stylist Spotlight

Even though each stylist is responsible for their social media and website, the company features stylists on its website regularly. This publicity boosts the hairdresser’s or esthetician’s profile. In this way, it helps them attract new clients.

New clients who want to visit one featured stylish, from North Carolina, have to wait two to three months because she is so busy. A barber with 30 years of experience in a traditional setting pays his rental with money from selling retail products.

A happy stylist means a happy client. So, the spotlight pages show that the entrepreneurs at these “co-working” spaces are good with their decisions to work for themselves.

Industry Coverage

Modern Salon featured an interview with Randall Clark. He is the new CEO of the company. He talked about expanding education. Thus, it is for the community for the 10,000 plus members in the salon’s franchises and to continue the fun place for stylists and their clients.

Salon owners from Park Ridge, Illinois gave several reasons why stylists should own a hair studio in a Behind the Chair article.

Industry Coverage Sola Salon
Photo credit to Pinterest

Sola Salon Reviews

The reviews critique the stylists. It is not the salon or salon management. So, you’ll find fewer poor reviews. Clients go to a stylist, not a salon. So, this fact accounts for the best reviews.

Every location has several top stylists got from the corresponding city or region. Also, unmotivated stylists won’t last long. They won’t get recruited in the first place.

Yelp reviews of a franchise in Irvine, CA compliment several stylists. Also, 72 reviews have an average five-star rating.

Estheticians and stylists have their own websites, phone numbers, and payment methods. All private salons have their own rules. And so, you contact the stylist or technician you want.

Most beauticians who work in these salon suites are motivated. You wouldn’t commit yourself to such a business arrangement. If they weren’t – that’s why you see so few poor or even average reviews for stylists in these “co-working” locations.

Clients no longer need to waste time at a salon. They hate to get their hair, nails, or eyebrows done by their beautician. The reviews on Yelp and social media concentrate on the stylist and their skills.

Customer reviews of traditional salons often have nothing to do with the beauty treatment. Such rude or bad staff, long waiting times, and similar factors. A salon suite run by a stylist eliminates these frustration and other issues for the consumer.

Other Sola Salon Concerns

Most stylists offer online booking and cancellation. So, you don’t need to waste time on the phone to make an appointment.

The service, the cost, studio cleanliness, and décor vary. It is according to the stylist in the studio suite, and to a lesser extent. It is the franchise owner who oversees each location.

A few other hair salons you should check out on our website articles Great ClipsJCPenney Salon, and Sport Clips.


  • Sierra Hamilton

    Hi, I'm Sierra Hamilton, the founder and main author of My journey began as a salon enthusiast, and over time, I came to recognize the challenges many face when comparing services and prices across different salons. Tired of the opaque pricing in the beauty world, I was inspired to launch My mission is simple: to offer a platform where visitors can access accurate and up-to-date price listings for a myriad of beauty services, streamlining the decision-making process. I'm deeply committed to ensuring everyone can make informed and confident choices about where to indulge in their next beauty treatment.

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