Take Two®

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

FaceHaus, Drybar and the beautiful business of single-service salons

by A Martínez with Leo Duran | Take Two®

A Martinez getting a facial at FaceHaus while conducting an interview. Leo Duran/KPCC

Beauty is a hugely lucrative business, and a growing number of salons are finding a niche by cutting back to offer fewer services, not more.

For example, Drybar opened during the midst of the global recession. However, it broke expectations despite offering only blowouts.

"When Drybar started in 2010, they had four locations with about $1.5 million in revenue," says Michelle Tyree from Fashion Trends Daily. "End of last year, they had nearly 40 locations with $40 million in revenue."

More salons are following that model by opening up locations focused on just a single service, too.

FaceHaus is one of them, and it only offers $45 facials.

"The model is to be really good at doing one thing," says co-founder Jenn Worley. "By doing that, we're able to be really good at what we do and also keep our costs down."

Worley says she and her business partners wanted a more affordable alternative to day spas.

"We wanted to make a luxury service something that can just be a regular routine service," she says.

It's proved to be popular: FaceHaus' second location recently opened up in West Hollywood. Similarly, Michelle Tyree says another new salon in Los Angeles offers just make-up applications.

"Single-service beauty salons are what Sprinkles did for cupcakes," she says. 

It seems counter-intuitive in a world where people love superstores like CostCo with one-stop-shopping, but Worley says customers are really drawn to salons like hers.

"I don't think people have the money or the time or the patience," she says about day spas. "[Our place] is where people can spend their money."

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