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Hairdressing in a Conservative Culture, Case Study

Case Studies


The following outlines the case of a woman running a successful business in a traditional, conservative environment. The case focuses on the key elements behind her success as a business woman in a male-dominated business environment. The case also provides insights into managing employees with disabilities and responding to customers needs.

Background After finishing secondary school at the age of 18, Rehab worked as a trainee at one of the famous beauty salons in Gaza city. She developed skills, not only in hairdressing, but also in maintaining and managing good relations with customers. In 1988, at the beginning of the Palestinian Intifadha uprising, Rehab decided to start running her own hairdressing business from home. Given the political conditions of the Intifadha, which caused strikes, curfews and shops to close down, hairdressing was seen as somewhat frivolous and thus anti-national. Understandably, at a time when many Palestinians were being shot and killed, there was a general attitude against embellishing the body. Despite the risky environment and the fact that she was a woman operating in a conservative society, Rehab's business flourished. She had acquired much experience in working with customers in Gaza and was familiar with their needs and attitudes. She managed to develop a good reputation and to secure a good market share, factors which encouraged her to set up her own beauty salon in 1993, funded with her own money. Her market share increased to 40 per cent. The hairdressing market in Gaza The hairdressing business in Gaza has been developing gradually over the last 20 years. In the past, there were only three women's hairdressers' in Gaza. Most women used to have their hair cut by friends at home. During the early 80s, the population increased, there was greater access to education and businesses were set up; Gaza society was transforming, shedding the hand-cart...