How to Hire a Hair Stylist

Does your growing business need a hair stylist? A hair stylist creates and styles customers’ hair, following the new and innovative trends.

Here are some tips to help you find great hair stylist candidates and make the right hire for your salon.

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Hair stylists searching for jobs on Indeed*

67,610  

Job seekers that clicked hair stylist jobs

4,508

Total number of employers with active hair stylist jobs

16,651   

Hair stylist jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring hair stylist?

  • Common salary in US: $15.10 hourly
  • Typical salaries range from $7.25$44.90 hourly
  • Find more information on Indeed Salary

*Indeed data (US) – April 2021

As of April 2021, hair stylist jobs in the U.S. are very competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 4.1 job seekers per hair stylist job.

Why hire a hair stylist?

The need for new staff can affect both your existing team and your bottom line. A great hair stylist can help you by:

• Warmly welcoming customers and discussing and understanding their choices and preferences
• Suggesting haircuts and styles, keeping in view the customer’s hair quality and face shapes
• Clean, wash, rinse and dry customers’ hair based on the nature of their scalp

Deciding between a full-time vs freelance hair stylist

Some salons hire full-time hair stylists who are paid a salary plus tips and work a regular schedule. The salon sets the policies and procedures, including pricing, hours, discounts and preferred products. Hiring full-time hair stylists gives you more control over what the stylists do, ensures you have appropriate coverage and provides a consistent experience for clients. 

Another salon model consists of individual booths or chairs that stylists rent. Each stylist is an independent contractor and makes decisions on things like pricing, services offered and hours of operation. This model is less work for the owner. Each independent stylist is responsible for their own taxes and other basic operational tasks. It also offers consistent income since booth renters pay their set rent every month no matter how much business they do.

What are the ranks of hair stylists?

Hair stylists typically perform the same types of services, but some salons assign varying levels for stylists. The ranks often indicate the stylists’ experience and training. Services usually cost more when performed by higher-ranking stylists. Those stylists might also earn more for their work. Some of the stylist ranks include:

  • Junior hair stylist: An entry-level stylist is licensed but typically has little experience. They might only handle basic hair styling services or work under supervision from more experienced stylists.
  • Hair stylist: Some salons call all their employees hair stylists without associating any rank with it. Other salons use the hair stylist designation as a middle level to indicate some experience.
  • Senior hair stylist: Senior stylists typically have years of experience, work independently and do all types of services.
  • Master hair stylist: Master stylist is a designation used for the most experienced employees. They might have advanced training in addition to years of experience. Master stylists sometimes train or mentor junior stylists.
  • Owner/stylist: Many salons are owned by hair stylists. They might still style hair in addition to owning and running the salon.

Where to find hair stylists

To find the right hair stylist for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Promote internally: Some salons hire stylist assistants or shampooists who assist other stylists. If you have assistants who are licensed cosmetologists, consider promoting them.
  • Partner with cosmetology schools: Work with local cosmetology schools to recruit new hair stylists. Volunteer as a guest speaker or mentor for the students.
  • Attend cosmetology events: Network at cosmetology conferences to meet new stylists. Take speaking opportunities at cosmetology events to gain exposure for your salon.
  • Network in the beauty community: Alert your suppliers and other contacts in the beauty industry that you’re looking for hair stylists.
  • Ask your staff: Your current stylists likely have friends from cosmetology school who might be interested in new opportunities.
  • Post your job online: Try posting your hair stylist job on Indeed to find and attract quality hair stylist candidates.

What are the ranks of hair stylists?

Hair stylists typically perform the same types of services, but some salons assign varying levels for stylists. The ranks often indicate the stylists’ experience and training. Services usually cost more when performed by higher-ranking stylists. Those stylists might also earn more for their work. Some of the stylist ranks include:

  • Junior hair stylist: An entry-level stylist is licensed but typically has little experience. They might only handle basic hair styling services or work under supervision from more experienced stylists.
  • Hair stylist: Some salons call all their employees hair stylists without associating any rank with it. Other salons use the hair stylist designation as a middle level to indicate some experience.
  • Senior hair stylist: Senior stylists typically have years of experience, work independently and do all types of services.
  • Master hair stylist: Master stylist is a designation used for the most experienced employees. They might have advanced training in addition to years of experience. Master stylists sometimes train or mentor junior stylists.
  • Owner/stylist: Many salons are owned by hair stylists. They might still style hair in addition to owning and running the salon.

Writing a hair stylist job description

A thoughtful description can help find qualified hair stylist candidates. A hair stylist job description includes a compelling summary of the role, a detailed list of duties and responsibilities, and the required and preferred skills for the position.

When writing your hair stylist job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on hair stylist jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • Hair stylist
  • Salon
  • Cosmetology
  • Hair salon
  • Stylist
  • Barber
  • Hairstylist
  • Hair
  • Cosmetologist
  • Beauty

Interviewing hair stylist candidates

To hire a suitable hair stylist, take the time to vet candidates and ask detailed interview questions to understand their knowledge and skills.

• Expertise in interacting with and discussing hair and skin issues with customers
• Proficiency in creatively making different hairstyles according to face shapes
• Ability to develop a loyal customer base for the salon by efficiently providing their hair styling and hair cutting services

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of hair stylist interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQs about how to hire a hair stylist

When should I hire a hair stylist?

Deciding when to expand and add a new hair stylist can be tricky. Check availability on your schedule to see how many openings you have on a regular basis or how far out your stylists are fully booked. If you’re turning away new clients or your current clients have to wait weeks to get in, look at the cost of hiring an additional stylist compared to the potential revenue increase.

What does a hair stylist wear?

While some salons have uniforms for their stylists to create a consistent look, most let their stylists choose and wear their own clothes. Creating a dress code is a way to allow individualized looks while upholding standards and fitting your salon’s style. An upscale salon in a trendy downtown location might require hair stylists to wear dressier clothes that match the aesthetic. A small-town salon with a relaxed environment usually has a more casual dress code. Stylists typically wear clothes that are trendy but comfortable enough to let them move around well while cutting and styling hair.

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