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French Hair Salon Market Shows Signs of Recovery

Key indicators were up in 2015 over 2014 for the country’s second-largest artisanal industry.

PARIS – The hair salon market in France is starting to show signs of recovery, according to the national hairdressers’ network, the Union Nationale des Entreprises de Coiffure, or UNEC.

The activity is on the rise: Between Dec. 31, 2015, and the same prior-year period, the number of salons increased 0.5 percent to 83,199 establishments. Meanwhile, the 95,372 people employed in the sector by year-end 2015 represented a 0.2 percent gain.

“These positive figures mark an inversion of the trend, in particular after the year 2014, when all the indicators were in the red,” said Bernard Stalter, president of UNEC. He said the climate remains difficult and that the reversal is fragile.

“We surpassed the threshold of 1,000 enterprises that went under this year,” continued Stalter, adding that the number of trainees entering the field was down.

The executive emphasized the importance of remaining vigilant about the economic health of salons, the training of young people and the flexibility of the business in regard to new economic issues, particularly when it comes to digital.

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Hairdressing remains France’s second-largest artisanal industry after masonry. Each day, almost 1 million people in the country go to a hair salon, according to UNEC.