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Industry • Community

4 Top Associations and Communities for Women in Beauty

There are about as many salon organizations as there are ways to cut hair, all with different ways to be of service.

When thinking about how to grow your salon business, don’t overlook salon associations. These organizations for beauty professionals offer valuable resources that can accelerate your businesses’ growth. Salon associations offer opportunities for networking and education. Some even have annual conventions with speakers or classes covering new techniques or business trends. Whether you have a single chair or an entire enterprise, it’s smart to belong to a salon association. But which one(s)?

There are about as many salon organizations as there are ways to cut hair, but as part of Women’s History Month, we’re going to focus on groups that are particularly beneficial for women. Most of these associations were founded by women and/or are women-operated. Given that the beauty industry is more than 90% women, they’re well-positioned to be in tune with what your business needs. 

Before you join anything, think about what you want most out of your membership: education, networking, business advice, job leads? Once you know that, start your search. Here’s a list of some of the best salon associations for women:

Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW)

CEW is an international association with more than 10,000 members across the US, UK, and France. While its awards are considered the “Oscars of the beauty industry,” it also offers a great deal of support to small businesses. Its Small Business Advisory program provides an Advisor who counsels members on subjects like PR, finance, and HR, all free of charge. As of this writing, CEW has plans to offer virtual seminars throughout 2021 on topics ranging from “Building Your Luxury Brand on LinkedIn” to “Getting to the Root of the Hair Care Boom.” 

Professional Beauty Association (PBA)

When it comes to continuing your beauty education and helping women be successful, it’s hard to beat the PBA. Executive Director Nina Daily says that “As a woman in leadership it’s my responsibility to help redefine what it means to be successful. Gender shouldn’t determine success so I want to build on the successes of the amazing women that inspired me.” The association’s list of yearly events, including the International Salon + Spa Expo (ISSE), is a cornucopia of knowledge, and they offer a number of scholarships as well.

Associated Hair Professionals (AHP)

AHP’s library of instructional videos may make it the most appealing organization for beauty students. The association’s AHP Student Life newsletter showcases new videos, techniques, tips, and discounts each month, with all archived videos accessible with membership. AHP also provides a great deal of support when it comes to liability insurance, not only connecting members with vendors but also detailing the legalese to help stylists understand what their contracts really mean.

Black Beauty Association (BBA)

The BBA is a group dedicated to elevating and supporting the Black Beauty community. It doesn’t have as many resources as other associations — much of its business advice consists of links to the IRS website — but the networking opportunities it provides are worth exploring. As the site puts it, “Though industry norms make excuses for a lack of diversity and opportunity, Black creativity continues to influence the masses through raw talent.”

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