Episode 091

Sandy Chong

Podcast Length: 48 min | Date Published: 25th May 2021

What’s Happening in The Australian Hairdressing Industry?

The salon industry is predominately a collection of small businesses, and in many cases, the owners of those businesses are often overwhelmed with tax and legal issues, health and safety updates, and a raft of employment problems, as well as all the other fun stuff that comes with being a small business owner. 

Luckily, in many countries, we are supported by industry associations that are there to help owners navigate their way through the maze and offer solutions and a sense of community.  

This podcast is the first in a series of ‘three’ episodes where we talk to the key representatives of associations in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia to get an overview of the hairdressing industry in each of their respective countries, the challenges they face and the solutions they have.  

My guest on today’s podcast is Sandy Chong; she is the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Hairdressing Council. (Which I highly recommend you join if you are a salon owner in Australia.)

 In this podcast, we discuss the hairdressing industry in the Australian market.

Thanks for listening!

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Special thanks to Sandy Chong for sharing her thoughts with me for this week’s episode. Until next time!


In This Episode:

[02:51] Welcome to the show, Sandy!

[03:24] Sandy shares her background and what she is doing now.

[05:19] Sandy explains what the Australian Hairdressing Council (AHC} is and what they do.

[07:38] What percentage of the salons in Australia are a part of the AHC.

[10:14] Sandy says that Australia is trying desperately to find quality hairdressers because they have a shortage right now.

[12:00] Is there a shortage of hairdressers, or are there too many salons fighting over the hairdressers that are available?

[14:51] They talk about how many hairstylists and how many salons there are in Australia.

[16:30] What is the average size in terms of staffing levels throughout the country?

[18:05] Sandy discusses which model is more prevalent: the apprenticeship or the school-based.

[21:15] Sandy believes all industries are changing, and work-life balance is the key thing people are looking for.

[22:10] How is the salon business model changing in Australia? 

[24:15] Sandy speaks about salon suites and how many stylists are gravitating toward them.

[26:52] Are the rules governing stylists different from state to state in Australia?

[29:01] Sandy shares the employee benefits available in Australia.

[31:48] They get paid 17 and a half per cent to take a holiday, which is more than they get paid when they work.

[32:48] What is a ballpark on what stylists make per hour in Australia?

[35:52] Making three times your weekly wage allows you to receive a commission.

[38:19] Sandy discusses the impact that organizations like AHC make on the industry.

[41:01] Are hairdressers respected in Australia, or do they get dismissed as frivolous?

[43:16] Sandy speaks about how they are making hairdressing a career of choice with parents, schools, and students.

[45:14] Sandy talks about the things that she likes about the hair industry in Australia.

[47:15] Thank you for being on the show!


Links and Resources

Grow My Salon Business

Club House @antonywhitaker 


Sandy Chong


The Australian Hairdressing Council

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