As we adapt our professional lives under the shadow of COVID-19, many states have adjusted professional licensing requirements to include exemptions for working outdoors, offsite, or in mobile salons.  

This allows stylists more ways to work—but how practical are they?  

We decided to come straight to the people who know the profession best: our Vagaro businesses! Here’s what professionals just like you have to say about working offsite, outdoors, or from a mobile salon.  


 Here’s the Feedback from Our Vagaro Businesses  


Our survey was conducted primarily among California-based businesses, and included feedback from stylists, barbers, massage therapists, waxing professionals, aestheticians, and lash stylists.  


Are you thinking of offering outdoor services?

survey results of outdoor businesses


Are you thinking of doing house calls?

survey results of mobile businesses


Let’s look at the reasons behind these numbers, in your own words!   

It’s Impractical 

There are many reasons I will not be providing services outdoors. I own a studio and setting up an outdoor salon every day is not financially doable. Also, we are moving into the hottest time of year and outdoor services will become very uncomfortable. Due to the lack of a shampoo bowl, I’m also not able to provide any chemical services outside which make up the majority of my income. It’s just not a good solution.

It’s Tough to Set Up and Keep Things Clean

My establishment is next to a busy freeway exit. I’m as concerned about a client catching hepatitis from the unsanitary outdoor environment.

90% of our business is Brazilian Bikini waxing— can’t do that in the open.

I have created a COVID-Safe indoor space. What services can I do outdoors sanitarily? I would have to spend more money to create an outdoor environment that would be comfortable and sanitary.

It Costs More Than You Can Earn

We cannot perform chemical services, which is a large percentage of what I do.

95% of my business is color, so I would be losing money by wasting the gas to get to the salon.

There are too many restrictions. Cost of operating/salon rent is expensive for me. I would not be profitable.

No shampoo, no blow out, no chemical services… who’s going to pay full price for that?

Heat, Sun, and Wind

Doing hair outdoors when some climates are extremely hot is completely unrealistic. If a breeze blows the hair everywhere, how do you run around and sweep all that up? 

Sweat and wax do not mix!

It would interfere too much with eyelash extension services. Our adhesive requires temperature and humidity control, which we cannot control outside. It would also be impossible to manage hand fanning lashes with weather elements around (wind, dirt, dust, etc.)

It’s 106° in Bakersfield. No thank you!

It’s Not in the Best Interests of Cosmetologists 

This is offensive to license holders. The lobbying group Professional Beauty Federation of California pushed for this and they don’t represent me, my interests, or my business. This is a ploy to allow landlords to continue collecting rents. We will not be able to sustain our businesses with this.

It is actually very insulting to my industry to be told to move our business outside after all of the money we all spent on PPE.

This is ridiculous. We are not licensed to do hair outside. Outdoors is unsafe and unsanitary. I am appalled and disgusted by the State of California at this point.

This goes against every standard of hairstyling that I have been held to by the state board for the past twenty years, since I obtained my license. It is incredibly reckless and compromises the health and safety of the patron and stylists.

Compromises the Quality of Services 

My clients deserve better service. They’re paying good money. Not for outside services.

It cheapens our industry and makes us look desperate and unprofessional!”

It just feels wholly unprofessional to me.

Why Some Professionals Are Ready to Give it a Shot  

Despite the drawbacks, some businesses are willing to try taking it outdoors, on the go, or to customer homes. Here’s why they say that some business is better than no business.  

While this isn’t the best idea, this is what will allow us to work for now. I am fortunate have a cute patio in front of my salon studio, so I can make this happen. Not all services can be done outdoors, but I will attempt what I think can be done!” 

To best serve our valued clients any way we can we are ready and willing to adapt to new circumstances

The governor made an amendment to our industry. It’s gonna be incredibly difficult to do here outdoors in the heat, but we’re trying to keep our business afloat.

It’s Up to You – We’re Here to Help You Make the Most of It 

How do you provide comfort, hygiene, quality services and the salon experience in an uncontrolled environment? It’s a steep learning curve, but for the stylists eager to get back to work, the challenge isn’t a deal-breaker. Whether you take it outdoors or stay inside, we’re here to help you. We’ve got mobile payment solutions and our Vagaro App provides a convenient way to book clients on-the-go way. You can even enable the Outcall/Mobile Services feature and list yourself as a mobile business on, making it easy for customers to find you!  See what Vagaro can do to help you get back to work with safety, security, and convenience in mind.   



Header Image: Giorgio Trovato via Vagaro


Icons: Mia Montemayor via Vagaro