Read on Salon Today – By Lauren Nelson

Ron-Love-188-Salons

Ron Love – Co-founder 18|8 Salons

When Ron Love opened the first 18|8 salon in 2002, he didn’t set out to build a franchise.

After decades as a hairdresser and salon owner, in 2000, he noticed something about his clientele—37 percent of them were men. He began to wonder why they were visiting his salon and paying the same amount for a hair cut as his female clients.

After doing some research, he realized the options were few for men. If they went to a value salon, they would not get the same experience. And in the traditional salon, they were paying a lot for a service they received every four to six weeks.

“There was a huge void in the market,” he says.

So Love partnered up with Scott Griffiths, who had spent his career building companies and directing successful brands, and they started doing research.

Love and Griffiths spent 18 months in ideation and figuring out what would be their salon’s big differentiators to make their target client happy. They formed the company in 2000, opened their first location in 2003, and by 2008 had four locations in California.

“Our salons are a sanctuary for men,” Love says. “Each station is semi private with a shampoo bowl at the chair.

“Clients get consistency of service and results. They also enjoy extras like a hot towel finish and nice shampoo,” he adds. “It’s a fine men’s salon.”

Another bonus for clients and the hairdressers who work at 18|8 is a menu that features multiple services.

“We wanted to attract hairdressers, so we took the multi-service model of a traditional salon and applied it to a men’s salon,” Love says. “The grooming services make it more than just a cut-and-shave barbershop, and they make the salon more interesting for the stylist—not to mention a multi-level opportunity in new income.”

The business model was such a success, that Love and Griffiths decided to franchise the brand, with the goal of opening 20 salons. In 2012, the two opened their first franchise in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“We look for a pocket of demographics to support our salons,” Love says of finding franchise locations.