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How Much Does It Cost on Average to Rent a Barber Chair?

Cost to Rent a Barber Chair

Do you want to know how much it cost on average to rent a barber chair? Here is everything you need to know about barbershop chair rental.

The cost of renting a barber chair usually depends on the location, the barber shop owner and the clientele. However, a barber shop chair rental will average around $100 per week and go up from there. The barber chair has for centuries been the throne of masculine mystique, and has without doubts been the seat where revolutions have been born.

The barber chair dates back to at least Bronze Age Egypt, where razors have been found among other relics. However, it is imperative to state that renting a barber chair can get far more expensive than just the $100 mentioned above. If your plan is to rent a chair in a prime location of a large city, expect to pay a few hundred dollars a week.

It all depends on the amount the owner of the shop is paying for the space. Renting a chair will give you quite a bit of freedom. Note that you will be able to create business cards, choose your own clientele and even pursue your own style of business.

In addition, you will be seen as a business owner when you use this model, since you will be responsible for your own taxes and insurance.

But if you are starting out as a new barber, and since you probably won’t be having so many clients, getting paid on a commission or salary is more or less a better option until you build up your regulars. Note that making the transition to chair rental can be risky; if you have a slow week or month when you are doing the rental model, you could potentially dip into the red.

Take your time to consider how much you earn each day or week, and how many days you will need to work to pay for your chair/booth rental. If you can pay off a weekly chair rental in about two days or a monthly chair rental in a little over a week, then it is time to transition to the chair/booth rental model.

But also note that some barbershops may not do the chair rental model. This might be because it is financially unfeasible, or the shop owner may simply hate this model. In any case, you may need to be flexible on your pay model and evaluate what is best for you.

Barber Chair Renting Methods in the United States

As you begin to consider this route, note there are three main options when it comes to arranging a chair rental agreement between a shop owner and a freelance barber. The particular method you choose depends purely on your preference and which system works best for your circumstances.

  1. Fixed Rent

Note that as a Barber, you can agree on a fixed amount each week for renting a chair. This will work best for you if you get lots of clients as the cost you pay each week won’t increase as your earnings do.

  1. Percentage of earnings

You can agree with the barber shop owner that you will pay them a certain percentage of your earnings. Even though what you pay stays in line with what you take, barber shop owners are often less keen on this method as their income decreases if you cut less hair.

  1. Mix both methods

Some Barber shops in the United States operate a mixture of both systems in which the shop takes a smaller rental fee as well as a percentage of the take. This works well for the Barber shop but can cause resentment on behalf of the stylist.

Advantages of Renting a Chair in a Barber Shop

  1. Less Expensive

In this business model, the owner is actually receiving money for freelance barbers to work in their barber shop. Also, as a freelancer, you get to choose your own time and plan your own activities.

  1. Freedom

As the barber renting the chair, you will be regarded as being self-employed. The barber shop owner is not bound by legal dismissal procedure, maternity rights, holiday pay etc. Once the situation doesn’t work out, you can make a straightforward decision about the arrangement. If you are a barber renting a chair, you need to consider whether you are happy to take the risks of being self employed.

  1. Motivation

By being self-employed, logic would state the standard of your work will be high as the end results go directly into your pockets. And if you are on a percentage arrangement, this can result in more money for the barber shop but even if not, the professionalism will still reflect well on your business.

Disadvantages of Renting a Chair in a Barber shop

There are some benefits with renting a chair in a Barber shop, however, it isn’t all plain sailing. There are potential disadvantages to consider.

  1. Less Control

Note that as a freelancer, you do not work directly for the Barber shop owner; the owner has limited control over some issues that could affect the barber shop; what hours you choose to work for example. Also since you work for yourself, you may not get involved with critical issues concerning the shop, like marketing and attracting clients.

This can create issues surrounding team building and morale. Also, if your service or attitude does not correlate with the culture and standards of the shops reputation, it might cause issues between you and the shop owner.

  1. Competition

It is critical to remember that as a freelancer, at the end of the day, you are running your own business. Since many barber shop owners and barbers make a chair rental agreement work, it has been known to go wrong, too. It can sometimes get a bit dog eat dog, especially when as a freelancer you feel tired of handing the owner some of your profits and wants to start going it alone.

  1. Customer Poaching

Owing to the last point mentioned above, if you leave as a freelance, there is little you can do to prevent the barbershop owner from taking some of your clientele, especially since you are known to work there already.


The barber business has been around for ages and has evolved; giving barbers multiple ways to earn a living. One option that has become popular is renting a barber chair in an existing shop.

However, whether you are just getting started or you have been a barber for years, considering the barber chair rental business model could open up new opportunities for you. For many chair and booth renters however, this extra paperwork is well worth the freedom that comes with running an independent business.