Celebrating 40 Years: The Hair Cuttery Story
In 1973, newlyweds Dennis and Ann Ratner were having dinner at a restaurant when the conversation turned to their jobs. Dennis had been working for his father’s chain of Washington area beauty parlors, Louis Creative Hairdressers, but he was ready to venture out on his own. Ann was uninspired by the conservative cuts at the downtown Washington beauty salon where she was a stylist. The couple agreed—it was time to break free.
Together, the Ratners drew up a rough business plan on a napkin detailing a new kind of hair salon where you could walk in without an appointment and get great service for the whole family for a fraction of the cost. Unsure their idea would fly in a generation conditioned to fussy beauty parlors and clubby barber shops, the couple opened the first Hair Cuttery in West Springfield, Virginia in 1974. Before the year was over, they opened two more. “We knew we wanted to change the industry,” says Dennis Ratner. “And, there was nothing holding us back.”
After successfully opening a few more salons, Ratner decided to ramp up the Hair Cuttery business. He started opening more locations and establishing the foundations for continued growth by establishing the Resource Center and districts/regions with leadership positions to continue steering the direction of the company and increasing its growth. Today, the company represents the largest, family-owned and operated salon chain in North America. The brainchild of Dennis and Ann Ratner, Hair Cuttery now encompasses nearly 900 salons in 16 states, employing approximately 12,000 associates. The phenomenal growth of the company can be traced back to its original business model which consisted of three concepts—convenience, price and consistency.
In addition to Hair Cuttery, Ratner Companies also is the parent company to BUBBLES, a mid-priced/fashion-forward salon chain; Salon Cielo & Spa, a chain of upscale sophisticated salons; ColorWorks, salons that specialize in color services; and Salon Plaza, independent beauty studios for rent.