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The Great Debate

Freelance Vs self-employed. It’s something the industry is constantly talking about at the moment. Personally, we think the industry is big enough and accepting enough for both! A qualified hairdresser who aspires to go out alone should not be deemed any less capable than the hairdresser who chooses an employment role within a salon.

The way we work is changing and the pandemic has had a huge effect on the number of hairdressers choosing the self-employment route. In 2020 the NHBF found that 60% of the hairdressing and barbering industry were self-employed, while a parliamentary report in 2021 found that there were 50,000 less employed hairdressers than the previous years – like Covid hasn’t been detrimental enough to these businesses, salon owners are now having to face staff shortages.

We can see why self-employment may wet your appetite – the potential to earn more, setting your own hours, choosing the clients you see and the type of work you do. However, it’s not all rainbow and butterflies; you need to file your own taxes, you won’t be paid for holidays and you need to spend our own time and money on marketing your services. In actual fact, it’s easier to find yourself spending several more hours in work mode and find yourself burning out.

But everything has it’s pro’s and con’s right? even being self-employed! When Cally Borg took the plunge to go freelance in 2013 all she had was a big dream and plenty of drive. As you can imagine she experienced all the usual challenges of self- employed life – working every hour possible and struggling to make ends meet – it was only a matter of time before she found herself exhausted and burned out.

9 years later and Cally has sussed out the formula to keep her mindset in check. Cally will only accept the work she really wants to do, that will fit in around family commitments and pay the wage she deserves. Cally is now committed to sharing what she has learned to help freelance hairdressers and home salon owners to achieve the balance and financial freedom she has achieved. This has led to Cally launching an inspiring ebook that advises self-employed hairdressers how to get their balance back and overcome success suicide.

Master your Mindset

If you want success you’ve got to know what that looks like to you, and believe you can achieve it. Then you need to make a plan to get there – one step at a time.

Block out the BS

There’s a bit of a stigma attached to being a mobile hairdresser or having a home salon, but you need to get over it!

If you have the right training – and can offer a winning experience – it’s all about offering it in the right environment for YOUR clients.

Simplify your Services

Focus on what you love to do and what you do best and then shout about your niche.

Master your Marketing

You don’t have a shop front or footfall to attract new clients, so you’re going to have to find a different way to market.

The great news is that as a creative freelancer you have special stuff to offer and can express ourselves in other ways. And when you crack the formula, social media marketing could not be more lucrative.

For more of the latest industry news, click HERE.


Respect is a hub for UK hairdressers of all ages and stages to find out what We Love, We Hearand We Seeas the best product launches, styling advice, hairtools, education training and seminars and hairshows! Sign up to our newsletter which is sent fortnightly direct to your email, so you stay up-to-date with salon styling information, trends in session work, advice on presenting on stage or progress in educating – whatever your interest, whether you’re a trainee or creative director, an educator or team leader, you’ll find all the opportunities and ideas on

We love hairdressing; we see and we hear how you can become the best hairdresser, colourist and salon owner possible. Contact us if you’d like to know more about us. If it’s worth talking about, you’ll read it here.

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