Tony Mintos: Hairstylist Running Successful Barbershops In Mombasa, Nairobi With Over 50 Staff

Tony Mintos is the proprietor of Mintos Saloon and Barbershop located in Mombasa and Nairobi.

The businessman set up his first barbershop in Mombasa using salary savings from a barbershop he had been previously employed.

Here is Tony’s story as told by WoK.


In an interview with the Daily Nation, Tony disclosed that he is the owner of Mintos Saloon and Barbershop which has branches in Mombasa and Nairobi.

He noted that he is self-taught and he was employed for two years before he decided to establish his own barbershop.

“I never attended any beauty school, this is a self-taught art. I was employed for two years as a barber in Mombasa, and would save part of my salary, savings I later used to open my own barbershop,” Tony said.

Tony partnered with his friend who majored on nail

services while he focused on haircuts, and together they established Mintos Dimples.

With time, their business boomed and the space they had rented became small to accommodate both their clients.

“We started getting more traffic and the space became too small for both of us. Since it was his shop, I left and opened mine. That was the start of my journey,” Karanu said.

Mintos noted that intensive market research was a huge contributing factor to the success of his barbering business.

“First I did some research since I was not born and raised here in Mombasa. When I ventured into the beauty industry, I saw a huge gap in the dreadlocks services

“Only one barbershop was doing dreads in the area, so I knew that it was a good business opportunity,” he said.

By the time the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Tony had employed 30 staff who worked in his two saloons in Mombasa.

“As our clients increased, the space became small and I decided to open another branch, which meant employing more people

“The government introduced the one-meter distance directive, and since I had many clients, I had to open another branch to comply with this directive. Unlike other businesses, barber services were doing well during the lockdown,” he said.

He had to adjust and have the business under one roof although in a different location.

In 2021 when the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic eased, Karanu opened a new branch in Nairobi along Kimathi Street.

He currently works with over 50 staff in both branches.

“I feel more motivated when I see young people employed and working hard. I want to create as many jobs as possible for the future generations,” he said.

Karanu has also employed his mother who works with women based in Eldoret to supply his business with artificial dreadlocks which they produce themselves.

He has also incorporated his wife in the business, and runs the Mintos Royalty Salon which has services costing up to Ksh 15,000.

Services offered at Mintos Saloon and Barbershops include sista locks, artificial locks, dreadlocks, braiding/cornrows, hair relaxing, pedicure, manicure, facial, body scrub and body massage.

They also offer permanent make-up services, such as ombre brows, micro blading brows, lip blush and stretchmarks cover.