The Book: The Fall of the Hair Salon: And What to Do About It

Publisher: Amazon

Flip over Mario Verrilli’s book The Fall of the Hair Salon: And What You Can Do About It, and the author gets frank right on the back cover:  

“The devastation from Covid-19 has left us with opportunities to rethink, reimagine and rebuild what the hair salon could be. It has always been the starting point for people to learn. Unfortunately, that is all it is perceived as for many newcomers—a place to learn. It is not considered a place to earn a respectable income and a place one could retire from. Government education departments must understand how our industry works and differs from other trades. The production system for many top salons that train the rest of the industry. This book is the culmination of everything I have learned over the years in theory and put into practice. It is the manual I wish I read 22 years ago when first starting my business. I have also included what the future salon should look like so that we rid the industry of the cutthroat, scarcity mindset so that it is celebrated by society, they way it should be.”

We invited Antony Whitaker, author of the Grow series and founder of the Grow My Salon Business program, to review the book for SALON TODAY:

ST: What is the book about?

Whitaker: This is a book written by a hairdresser for a hairdresser and is a personal journey from Mario’s perspective of how the salon industry has evolved throughout his career. Mario highlights the changes both positive and negative that the industry is dealing with and offers many practical insights and thoughts.

ST: What did you like best about the book?

Whitaker: What I liked best is the passion and genuine care that Mario has for the industry—combined with how he draws on the wisdom of many of today’s popular business authors and speakers and integrates their thoughts into a hairdressing context.

ST: For you, what was the biggest takeaway message?

Whitaker: The biggest takeaway for me was that as a generalization the traditional commission-based salon needs to continually evolve. And for that t happen, salon ownerd and managers need to be questioning ‘how it’s always been done’ and look for new ways to adapt their business model and management practices in order for salon businesses and the individuals in them to prosper in an ever-changing business environment.

For example, here is one passage from page 153 that stood out for me and got the highlighter treatment:

“Investment in people is the #1 factor in beating the competition. Help them grow or watch them go! Fewer people who are paid better and are more aligned with the business’s mission will translate to higher productivity than several people who are not aligned with your mission. Everyone needs clarity on how each employee affects the clients, contributes to the bottom line, and helps achieve the company mission, or you don’t need them.”

ST: Why would recommend the book to peers, colleagues or team members?

Whitaker: It’s easy to point out what’s wrong with the industry and the impact that changing business models and generational attitudes have, but Mario takes it to the next stage and offers helopful and practical steps that salons owners can put in place as their businesses evolve.

The book can be found at

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