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Valuation Multiples for a Hair Salon

Valuation Multiples for a Hair Salon

The U.S. hair care services industry has more than 80,000 businesses. Approximately 77,000 beauty salons and 4,500 barbershops. This industry has a combined annual revenue of about $20 billion. Here is a quick summary of the trend of valuation multiples for a hair salon. Be sure to also check out our posts Valuing a Hair Salon, How to Value a Hair and Nail Salon, and Value Drivers for a Hair Salon

Hair Care Overview

Disclaimer: These multiples are for educational purposes only. As such, the information provided does not constitute valuation advice. One should not act on it as such. These multiples do not represent the valuation opinion of Peak Business Valuation or any of its valuation professionals. Instead, seek the guidance and advice of a qualified business valuation professional.

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Revenue Multiple

According to our data, in 2019 hair salon companies sold for an average 0.38x sales multiple.  The term multiple is a valuation metric that refers to the implied value of a business. It is calculated by multiplying the amount of revenue or sales a business makes by the valuation multiple.

Revenue X Multiple = Value of the Business

For instance, if a hair salon generates $650,000 in revenue and transacts at a 0.38x multiple, then the business value is worth approximately $247,000.

$650,000 X 0.46x = $247,000

A revenue multiple does not take into consideration the operations of a business. As such, this multiple is less frequently relied upon. Therefore, it is important to look at cash flow multiples. Cash flow multiples consider expenses that impact the cash flow. For instance, rent, COGS, and salaries.


Seller’s Discretionary Earnings (SDE) Multiple

In 2019, the SDE multiple was 2.14x for hair care companies. Apply this multiple to SDE to derive an implied value of the business. The calculation is as follows:

SDE X Multiple = Value of the Business

For example, if a barbershop has seller’s discretionary earnings of $350,000 and is estimated to sell at a 2.14x multiple, then the business is worth approximately $749,000.

$350,000 X 2.14x = $749,000

Seller’s discretionary is a common cash flow multiple used in small business transactions. Derive SDE by starting with your company’s EBITDA and adding back potential expenses that a new owner would not otherwise incur. These expenses may include owner’s compensation, manager’s salary, other expenses such as auto, and nonrecurring items or events such as legal fees, or consulting.

This approach is most frequently used as a valuation method for small businesses with sales less than $3M.


EBITDA Multiple

The average EBITDA multiple for hair salons in 2019 was 2.82x. The following is the EBITDA multiple calculation.

EBITDA X Multiple = Value of the Business

*EBITDA = Earnings Before Tax + Interest + Depreciation + Amortization

For example, a hair salon has an EBITDA of $400,000 and an EBITDA multiple of 2.82x. Using the above metrics, the company is worth approximately $1.12M.

$400,000 X 2.82 = $1,128,000

The EBITDA multiple is a valuation ratio that measures a company’s return on investment (ROI). This multiple is preferred as it is normalized for differences in capital structure, taxation, and fixed assets. Normalized ratios allow for comparisons to similar businesses. Normalization is the process of removing non-recurring expenses or revenue from a financial metric like EBITDA, EBIT, or earnings. Once earnings have been normalized, the resulting number represents the future earnings capacity that a buyer would expect from the business.


The Trend of Average EBITDA Multiples

The following graphic shows how EBITDA multiples have trended over the last 4 years in the hair care services industry.

Hair Care EBITDA Multiples By Year

Impact of Size on the Valuation Multiple

The following graphic shows how business size impacted EBITDA multiples for a hair salon over the last few years.

Hair Care EBITDA Multiples By Size


Peak Business Valuation enjoys working with small business owners to help maximize their hair salon value. We focus on providing valuable information to help you grow, buy, or sell a hair salon. We have worked with several salon owners to provide a business valuation. Questions are always welcome! Please reach out by scheduling a free consultation.


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