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Must Reads for Beauty Professionals

LeeAnn Miley

About the author:

Drawing from her extensive background as both a stylist and salon owner in central Nebraska, and college degrees in psychology and business administration, LeeAnn is passionate about educating fellow beauty professionals on the legalities and business intricacies within the salon industry. LeeAnn firmly believes in the transformative power of knowledge when it comes to navigating laws and business dynamics. With a dedication to empowering her industry peers, she has made it her mission to disseminate invaluable insights and expertise to the industry she holds dear. Join us as we delve into the world of salon ownership, stylist rights, and everything in between!


Passing your state board exams is a significant achievement, but it’s just the beginning of your journey in the ever-evolving beauty industry. The learning never stops, especially as both beauty trends and business practices are constantly changing. If finding the time for classroom sessions or workshops seems impossible, consider the convenient option of reading books at your own pace. Books provide invaluable insights from authors who have navigated challenges and can inspire fresh perspectives. Plus, reading enhances your vocabulary, communication skills, social perception, and emotional intelligence, making it an excellent investment in your personal and professional growth.

Here is a list of good reads independently selected by The Sovereign Stylist team. Just so you know, our organization may collect a share of sales or other compensation if you purchase from the links on this page.

Salon Ownership and Management: The Definitive Guide to the Professional Beauty Business

Credit: Amazon

Avoid the mistakes that doom so many salon owners to failure with this comprehensive guide that covers everything you need to know about establishing and managing a professional salon. This book provides invaluable insights into choosing the modern salon ownership option that's right for you, ensuring legal compliance, and spending wisely while budgeting strategically. Learn how to protect your investment, create profitable service protocols, and calculate service prices effectively. Discover how to design competitive and sustainable employee compensation, advertise your services affordably, and expand your business successfully. Set your salon up for success by following this strategic planning system that guides you from concept through opening day and beyond, offering a thorough education in all aspects of the business of beauty.


What They Don’t Teach You In Cosmetology School: The Uncensored Truth About What it Really Takes to Become an Expert Stylist, Make Great Money, and Control Your Own Future

Credit: Amazon

Marquetta Breslin reveals the uncensored truth about what it takes to become a successful beauty professional. If your career as a stylist isn't matching your dreams, this book is for you. Many beauty professionals struggle not because of what they don’t know, but because they don’t know what they don’t know. This book aims to change that misconception. For too long, the struggle has been seen as part of the path to success, but Marquetta exposes how this belief is a sign that something you're doing is leading you away from success rather than towards it.

In this candid collection of advice, Marquetta highlights the essential building blocks of success that cosmetology schools don’t teach. To create more success by working less, you must learn and do things that average beauty professionals do not. You are not meant to live a life of struggle; you are here to share your gifts with the world and enjoy the rewards. If you're ready for a transformation in your life and career, you're in the right place.


Fearless Beauty: The Hair Business Blueprint

Credit: Amazon

Mikey Moran started his hair and beauty business with a single unique idea, different from anything in the industry. Seven years later, he has transformed that idea into ten brands, five retail locations, and a partnership with e-commerce giant Shopify.

In his book "Fearless Beauty," Mikey shares his journey and insights to give aspiring entrepreneurs a head start. He offers a comprehensive roadmap to achieve success more easily and efficiently. Mikey teaches you to think like an entrepreneur with practical theories that should guide every decision. He provides a step-by-step plan for taking action, core marketing techniques for maximum impact, advice on selecting the best web platform, and the importance of consistency. Whether you're just starting or already on your entrepreneurial journey, you'll gain valuable strategies for maximizing returns and enjoying every step of your business journey.


Hair Stylist Vibe: How to Grow Your Business, Keep Your Clients Happy, and Find the Perfect Salon for You

Credit: Amazon

Being a successful hairstylist goes beyond just doing hair. This book is packed with advice on everything you can do to attract clients, make them happy, and ensure they keep coming back!

Inside, you will:

  • Learn easy marketing techniques to get your name out there.

  • Gain tips on the essential 'little things' that keep your guests satisfied and loyal.

  • Discover self-care tips specifically for stylists.

  • Get advice on creating a beautiful salon space for you and your clients to enjoy.

  • Understand the various career paths in the industry, including hourly/commission stylist, booth renter, suite renter, or salon owner.

  • Find practical tips for new stylists.

Whether you are an experienced hairstylist looking for fresh ideas or a cosmetology student eager to learn about the business, this book is a must-read.


Growth Hacking for Hair Salons: Transform Your Hair Salon, Day Spa, or Service Business into a BADASS Money Machine!

Credit: Amazon

Are you struggling with marketing and creating a buzz around your salon services, products, or brand without breaking the bank? Do you stress over how to become more profitable? Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned salon owner, you'll learn invaluable marketing and social media skills to get your business noticed and thrive in your community.

Take crucial steps to hack your way to the top! In her new marketing book, salon veteran Linda L. Chappo shares the strategies and promotional ideas she used successfully for over 20 years. This guide is perfect for new startups or stagnant salons, day spas, or service businesses needing to create a buzz around their offerings. By focusing on customer needs and utilizing both traditional and social media outlets, you'll gain more exposure and increase sales.


It’s Not Really About the Hair: The Honest Truth About Life, Love, and The Business of Beauty

Credit: Amazon

Fans of the hit Bravo show Tabatha’s Salon Takeover tune in for the straight-shooting, unfiltered commentary of its bold, stylish, and savvy star. Refusing to let others define her, Tabatha Coffey has redefined the word “bitch,” making it stand for Brave, Intelligent, Tenacious, Creative, and Honest.

In It’s Not Really About the Hair, this deeply private woman shares her life experiences to help you connect with your own inner strength. Part memoir, part business manual, and part coaching guide on achieving self-acceptance and love, It’s Not Really About the Hair is Tabatha’s raw, funny, shocking, and always inspirational story—one that encourages you to celebrate the most enduring and significant beauty of all: the true beauty that lies within you.


Hair Boss: A Hairstylists' Guide to Owning Their Career

Credit: Amazon

In HAIR BOSS, author Jamie Wiley provides beauty industry professionals with a roadmap to elevate their careers. This inspiring and practical book addresses current industry challenges and offers strategies to overcome them. Drawing from years of experience, Jamie's principles will help you find your own answers.

By applying the techniques in HAIR BOSS, you'll be able to:

  • Recognize your worth and price your services accordingly

  • Build a full book of guests effortlessly

  • Attract ideal clients and know where to find them

  • Achieve financial freedom and understand what it means for you

  • Implement business-building strategies for the 21st century

  • Leverage social media to your advantage

  • Awaken the HAIR BOSS within you

  • Uncover your full potential and take control of your career

HAIR BOSS is a cutting-edge guide to forging your own path to professional and financial freedom, helping you create the career and life of your dreams.


Profit First for Salons: Transform Your Salon Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine

Credit: Amazon

As a salon owner, you're the ultimate creative entrepreneur, driven by passion and dedication to enhance others' lives. Surrounded by talented stylists and steady clientele, your salon is profitable. Yet, you're stuck working long hours, sacrificing time with loved ones, and feeling trapped behind the chair. With burnout creeping in, how can you create the freedom you deserve?

Ronit Enos has been in your shoes. In Profit First for Salons, she shares her journey and provides a step-by-step guide to regain control of your business and life. This essential read for salon, spa, and barbershop owners introduces the proven Profit First formula, helping you build profits, eliminate debt, break free from the overwork cycle, and achieve financial stability—no matter your starting point.

Filled with real-world examples of owners using Profit First to thrive and achieve freedom for themselves and their teams, this book will inspire you to fall in love with your business again. Let Profit First for Salons be your roadmap to fueling your passions, dreams, and future!


True Color: The Essential Hair Color Handbook

Credit: Amazon

Tracey Cunningham is the world’s most sought-after hair colorist, known for working with Hollywood’s top celebrities and making a significant impact on the beauty industry. In her book, Tracey delves into the history of hair color and its cultural influence worldwide, while providing a practical guide for achieving the perfect hair color or even exploring a career as a colorist.

The book offers essential tips on nutrition and lifestyle habits for maintaining healthy hair, the vital foundation for any dye job. It includes a thorough pre-salon checklist, an abundance of hair color inspiration, and exclusive photos and interviews with her celebrity clients. Tracey also offers a glimpse into the mind of an expert colorist and shares her inspiring entrepreneurial journey. With Tracey Cunningham’s True Color as your guide, you’ll gain a new understanding of hair and leave the salon happy every time.


Blowing My Way to the Top: How to Break the Rules, Find Your Purpose, and Create the Life and Career You Deserve

Credit: Amazon

Hailed by the New York Times as “the most influential hair stylist in the world,” Jen Atkin is a renowned businesswoman, influencer, and stylist to A-list celebrities like the Kardashian-Jenners and Chrissy Teigen. However, Jen's success didn't come overnight. Her glamorous, jet-setting lifestyle is the result of years of hard work, humility, and hustle. In Blowing My Way to the Top, Jen dismantles the myth of effortless, instant success often portrayed on social media, revealing the real sweat, dedication, and drive behind her achievements.

In this inspiring, insightful, and laugh-out-loud funny book, Jen shares her remarkable journey and the lessons she’s learned along the way. From growing up in a conservative Mormon community where girls were discouraged from pursuing their ambitions, to striking out on her own and finding success on the celebrity style circuit, and building the cult-status brand OUAI, Jen candidly reveals the lessons, mistakes, and memorable moments that have shaped her path to success.

Jen also provides insights into the values that have helped her thrive in the digital age, such as creating authentic content, investing in community, and embedding social consciousness into business practices. As a trailblazer in a male-dominated industry, Jen speaks openly about the challenges she’s faced and offers crucial advice for other women. She emphasizes the importance of running your business with a feminist approach, building camaraderie amidst competition, and navigating the work-life issues that uniquely impact women.

Jen’s message is simple: If she can do it, you can too. Blowing My Way to the Top is set to become the must-read career guide for a new generation, empowering readers everywhere to dream big and providing the tools to turn those dreams into reality.


UnCloned Marketing: How to Challenge the Norms with Profitable Marketing Campaigns

Credit: Amazon

Your company might have the most innovative, jaw-dropping product or service ever, but if it’s lost in the sea of marketing messages bombarding consumers every day, it won't achieve its full potential. So, what’s a business owner to do?

When it comes to marketing, there’s one solution: figure out what’s never been done, put a strategy behind it—and do it.

UnCloned Marketing by Audria Richmond provides a comprehensive blueprint for creating cash-generating marketing campaigns. In her fourth book, the Marketing and Launch Strategist reveals the exact proven framework her firm uses to disrupt industries and drive sales. This book offers bulletproof advice, repeatable step-by-step strategies, and proven case studies from popular brands to help you master marketing like a pro.

Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur with just a laptop or running a large team, by the end of this book, you’ll know exactly how to:

  • Establish yourself as an authority

  • Create offers your audience can’t wait to buy

  • Structure and launch an innovative marketing campaign from start to finish

  • Impress new clients and customers post-sale to position them for their next purchase

Get ready to transform your marketing game with UnCloned Marketing.


The Successful Hairstylist: A Guide to Earn 6 Figures Like a Pro

Credit: Amazon

In The Successful Hairstylist, author Stephanie White, a licensed cosmetologist specializing in haircuts, color, hair extensions, and business development, shares her expertise on how hairdressers can achieve and maintain a six-figure income annually. Based in Gilbert, Arizona, Stephanie works as a hairstylist, doing what she loves while passionately helping others succeed. She lives by the motto, “Be true to yourself and stay motivated to succeed in building your business and brand. Remember that critics do not pay your bills, and you are the only driving force to your success.


The Secrets of a Great Hairapist: Lessons I've Learned Along the Way

Credit: Amazon

This book is written to inspire and remind you to NEVER QUIT OR GIVE UP. It's light-hearted, whimsical, and funny! Kim Constantineau believes everyone will enjoy it. Packed with life lessons and great bonuses, this book is perfect for hairstylists, rising stars, salon owners, and even customers who want to laugh at some juicy, crazy, and happy stories from the salon chair. She also wrote Simple Salon Solutions with salon owners in mind, providing systems, strategies, and effective organization for planning. It focuses on maximizing your strengths and minimizing your weaknesses for greater profit.


Scissors Make Cents: Business, Ethics & Empowerment Essentials for Running a Hair Salon that Thrives

Credit: Amazon

Choose to be the person, small business owner, and professional you aspire to be by putting your best out into the world and expecting nothing but the best in return. This isn't entitlement; it's grit, hustle, and hard work with a dedicated focus on systems, strategy, and life goals. You can have goals, or you can achieve them. What will you do with yours?

Salon owner and award-winning stylist Kelly Cahen is at the top of her game. In Scissors Make Cents, she shares the behind-the-chair secrets she wishes she had known from the start. This hands-on, detail-oriented guide, Scissors Make Cents: Business, Ethics & Empowerment Essentials for Running a Hair Salon that Thrives, reveals what it takes to run a hair salon business with integrity and joy while achieving great success.


Culture Fox: How to Cultivate a Lasting Culture. My Path From Hair Stylist to International CEO

Credit: Amazon

You have the skill, passion, and drive to build a thriving salon culture, but you might not know how to bring that vision to life. Lorean Cairns, through the launch of her brand Fox and Jane, developed a proven formula that transformed a three-chair salon into an international powerhouse. With nine salons, 150 staff members, and $14 million in revenue, Lorean realized that establishing a deep-rooted culture was the key to creating her dream environment.

Get ready to shift your leadership perspective! This honest and irreverent look at the beauty industry will make you question everything you thought you knew. You'll journey through the toxic, terrific, and hair-raising work cultures Lorean encountered on her way to the top. Most importantly, you'll learn how to build a work environment that attracts top talent and empowers your staff with a sense of success and fulfillment.


Profitable Salon Owner: Rise Above the Chaos In Your Business and Reignite Your Passion and Profits

Credit: Amazon

Many salon owners enter the business with the vision of creating an incredible salon environment free from the drama and chaos of their previous workplaces. They strive to build a space where people love to work, often at a personal financial sacrifice. In their pursuit of perfection, they sometimes forget to ensure the salon works for them, too.

International speaker, business coach, serial entrepreneur, and cofounder of High Performance Salon Academy, Jason Everett has helped salon owners worldwide rediscover their passion and reignite their salon's success. In Profitable Salon Owner, Jason will teach you how to:

  • Pay your team – and yourself – well

  • Expertly design your salon's culture so it will last beyond you

  • Inspire your team to become high-performing leaders without risking a walkout

  • Sell your salon for a profit when you’re ready

  • Get your staff to promote retail without constant nagging

  • Unlock the secret code to running a million-dollar salon

  • Add thousands of dollars of profit to your pocket per month with one simple tweak

If you're ready to become the salon owner you've always wanted to be, with a dream team of service providers and all the financial success you desire, then make Profitable Salon Owner your new best friend.


Salon Branding Guide: Stand Out from the Sea of Salons!

The Cool Factor Lab’s Guide to Salon Branding is a no-nonsense crash course for defining and refining your salon's brand niche. This book covers the key elements of creating a standout brand identity and helps you clarify your salon's unique persona.

Building a clear brand image is essential and requires intentionality and careful curation. This guide is designed to help salon owners achieve just that.

In the Salon Branding Guide, we break down the crucial elements needed to create a cohesive and stylish salon brand. You'll dive deep into your business with a 37-page brand workbook, helping you identify your niche, understand who you serve, and develop a distinctive brand identity.

Get ready to elevate your salon with the Salon Branding Guide.


Have you read any of these books? What did you learn? Let us know in the comments below!

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