The Salary and Job Description of a Hairstylist

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Hairstylist Salary

A hairstylist’s salary may vary significantly based on the location of the salons where they are employed along with the experience and client base of the stylist. Know more about the job description and the salary of a hairstylist, right here.

At the hairdresser's.

As a hairstylist, it is a gratifying experience to style a person’s hair and make a considerable change in his/her appearance. Along with hair styling, the stylist is also responsible for hair care services, like shampooing, conditioning, and rinsing the hair and using styling techniques, such as tinting, permanent waves, straightening, foils, and highlights to change and enhance a person’s look.

Job Description of a Hairstylist
The common job description provided by major salons includes shaping, combing, perming, conditioning, coloring the hair, and performing other hair styling services as required. In addition to these, the stylists are expected to keep their work area clean by drying towels, sterilizing combs and brushes, and maintaining the shampoo area. They are expected to recommend and confer with the customers regarding the haircut styles and ideas that they want to get. Stylists have to train constantly to be up-to-date with the new fashion haircuts and styling trends.

A junior hairstylist’s job description may not include all the above-said things. Most of them are entrusted with the responsibility of keeping the salon clean and tidy while assisting the stylists at work, including observing and learning from them. As a senior stylist, the job demands creativity and precision. This reflects in the salary as well. The stylist can either be paid on a commission basis, by receiving a percentage of the money made from the services they provide, or on an hourly basis. Here is the salary structure of a hairstylist.

Average Salary of a Hairstylist

Range: $15,815 – $51,817

* Source: PayScale as of March 2015

Salary Range

According to Experience
0 – 5 years $23,000
5 – 10 years $27,000
10 – 20 years $29,000
20 years and above $31,000

The table above gives median salaries that include tips, bonus, and overtime. The figures have been sourced from PayScale.

According to Location: Average Salary
Alabama $20,000
Alaska $14,000
Arizona $16,000
Arkansas $20,000
California $21,000
Colorado $17,000
Connecticut $19,000
Delaware $19,000
Florida $18,000
Georgia $22,000
Hawaii $12,000
Idaho $13,000
Illinois $22,000
Indiana $19,000
Iowa $19,000
Kansas $18,000
Kentucky $17,000
Louisiana $17,000
Maine $17,000
Maryland $20,000
Massachusetts $23,000
Michigan $20,000
Minnesota $17,000
Mississippi $20,000
Missouri $19,000
Montana $16,000
Nebraska $14,000
Nevada $15,000
New Hampshire $19,000
New Jersey $21,000
New Mexico $17,000
New York $24,000
North Carolina $19,000
North Dakota $17,000
Ohio $19,000
Oklahoma $18,000
Oregon $19,000
Pennsylvania $19,000
Rhode Island $18,000
South Carolina $19,000
South Dakota $15,000
Tennessee $18,000
Texas $19,000
Utah $15,000
Vermont $17,000
Virginia $20,000
Washington $20,000
West Virginia $18,000
Wisconsin $17,000
Wyoming $16,000

* Source: Indeed as of May 2015

Note – It is important to know that these are average salaries of hairstylists. These may vary based on the salons, or spas the hairstylist works for. Mid- and high-end salons offer more than lower-end salons.

Salary of a Self-employed Hairstylist

Range: $25,767 to $41,992 per year

Salary on Commission and Hourly Basis

Apart from a fixed salary, some hairstylists work on a commission basis. This is based on the number of clients each stylist has. Therefore, a stylist who has more number of clients can earn a better commission than others. Others work on an hourly basis with experienced hairstylists earning around $15.63 in an hour and novices in the field work for around $7.25.

Tip Offered

The stylist may be handed tips by the customers. According to PayScale, the hourly tips of a hairstylist range from $1.20 to $8.30.

Work Hours and Training

If you are a full-time hairstylist, then you would be working for more than forty hours in a week; often on weekends, like Saturdays, or even in the nights. The job can be hectic, and the most experienced stylists are on their feet for eight hours in a day. Customer relations and client interaction skills are extremely important.

To work as a hairstylist, a person needs to have a license, or should graduate from a licensed cosmetology school. If you have passed out from a cosmetology school, then hands-on training would have been provided during the education.

A hairstylist’s job is one of the most lucrative ones in the industry. With the knowledge of current fashion trends and by making good, informed suggestions to your clients, you can soon have a loyal clientèle and earn a great salary as well.

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