you're reading...


Hair biz growing at a good clip

Hair styling industry growing at a good clip

Prestige Barber Institute opening in Rivens Business Center on Catawba

By Dave Yochum. Hair is big and growing. Statista, an online statistics portal used by businesses around the world, says the hair styling industry was a $79 billion business worldwide last year, and by 2021 it will be worth $94.5 billion. So it just makes sense that Patrick Anderson has brought the Prestige Barber Institute to Cornelius. The new business opens this month in about 2,000 square feet of space on Catawba Avenue in the Rivens Business Center, in the same building as Rivens Barber Shop, one of the original black-owned barber shops in Cornelius.

Rivens is a household word in Cornelius. Ausie Rivens was the first black barber in Cornelius. Granddaughter Tonya Rivens is the radio and TV personality in Charlotte.

“I felt there was a need to bring the school this way; I’m hoping I can also capture the people from Mooresville, Statesville and Concord,” said Anderson. North Carolina law requires that barbers pass an exam and complete an apprenticeship before they earn a certificate.

Tuition at the institute, which first opened in Charlotte in 2005, runs $6,525. Attending full-time, aspiring stylists can complete the 1,528-hour course in a little over 10 months. Barbers and stylists might make $20,000 a year just starting out, but before long it’s possible to bring in $40,000 to $60,000 a year after a few years, Anderson says.

He should know. Anderson, a member of the Barbers International trade association, began cutting hair for friends as a teenager, charging all of 50 cents. Anderson got his N.C. certificate in 1993 and landed his first job at Barringer Drive Barber Shop.

Jobs for barbers, cosmetologists, and other personal appearance workers are growing much faster than the average. For one thing, the population is growing. For another, Baby Boomers are apparently trying harder than previous generations to hold onto their youth, and that means more highlights and coloring.

Haircuts by Prestige students are $5. On Wednesdays, you can get a free razor shave.

Anderson’s business goal is to ensure a quality education while providing “stellar competencies” for success in life.  His passion: “To be of service and do good work by using my hands and teaching my trade.”