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How To Earn More Money as a Hair Stylist

Updated: Jan 11



The hair industry, despite being the oldest in the beauty sector, has never left the scene and continues to be increasingly sought after. What was once reduced to cutting, coloring and styling today encompasses a variety of innovative techniques.


Even with so much demand, there are professionals in the industry who complain about low income, or often having a lot of work for little return.


Working with hair is a profession that requires a lot of responsibility, as a simple mistake can cause enormous damage to the client, ranging from a hairstyle for an event that doesn't work out to a chemical service that can totally damage the client's hair. Therefore, before offering any new service, be sure that you really know how to perform a certain technique. Don't get tired of perfecting yourself and always be willing to grow and offer the best.


However, even if you are a super skilled professional and you are not getting the return you were hoping for, you need to understand that this is an entrepreneurial profession. You need to run your business.


You will have to take a deep look at how you approach your work. Are you a career professional, actively working on building your business? Or are you going into your “job” every day and just meeting demand?


Check out some tips to grow in the profession and earn what you desire or more.



Take social media seriously

Of course, you must use Instagram to promote yourself. If you haven't already, you should start now, because it's becoming the only way to efficiently grow your business.


Always keep in mind that your social media profiles are a reflection of you. If you're sharing your personal social media accounts with your work life, make sure you keep it stylish. If your social posts aren't all professional grade, create separate ones for your work life and limit public visibility (security settings) on your personal accounts.


Next, you need to actively put your work out there. That means taking before and after pictures of almost every job you perform. Choose the spotlights and display them for the world to see. Have good lighting, find a decent background and use the best camera you can.


While it is possible for you to acquire new clients directly in this way, the goal is to provide an easy digital portfolio of your best work to potential clients who are checking you out.



Dress up for success

Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. We know the saying is cliché, but this is as true in the hairdressing profession as anywhere else. Do you want to be a renowned hairdresser? Go to work dressed and groomed as if you were already one.


That means taking your appearance seriously and projecting yourself as the professional you are. Part of that will be the clothes you choose. Part of that will be how you keep your hair, your makeup, etc. I'm not saying you need to be dressed and groomed for a party, but dressed appropriately to make the best impression on your customers.


An investment in your work “uniform” is an investment in you and your business.



Know your numbers

It is very important for you to be clear about some metrics of your work, such as knowing how much you earn for each service offered. How much does your average customer spend each time they sit in your chair?


It's not simply knowing the amount you charge, but how much you profit by calculating the time it takes for the service, products spent, room rent and everything else.


At the very least, you need to know how many customers you have, how much they spend each time they come in, and how many times a year you expect to see them. Is it important to know how often your average customer comes to see you? What is your number of customers?


For this you can create a table with information about your current customers + new customers and lost customers.


Another question to consider is if you receive a commission, what is your percentage? If you share a room, what percentage of your income is left after paying rent, products, and other expenses?



In addition to the numbers, calculate your time

Know how long it takes you to do everything you do so you can schedule your clients in an organized way without sacrificing the quality of service provided.


Doing this well, without sacrificing the strength of your customer relationship or the quality of your work, is knowing exactly how long it takes YOU to do everything you do. Calculate the actual time you take, don't guess.


How long do your haircuts take? How long does a blowout take? How long does it take to make highlights or apply a straightening treatment?


Making beautiful hair takes time, but knowing how to calculate each service well, you end up avoiding a lot of idle time. After all, a lot of the time you spend with your salon clients is idle.


Most of your regular customers will come for services that take time, but typically there's a lot of downtime waiting, like waiting for hair to dry or waiting for hair to bleach.


As your experience level increases, you are in a position to easily work with more than one client at a time. At later stages of your career, especially with the help of an assistant, there's no reason why you can't work with multiple clients at the same time.


You need to find the balance that still allows you to maintain the personal relationships that keep your clients coming back, but hair stylists who earn more are regularly working with multiple clients at the same time.



It's no use having many customers - have loyal customers

Sometimes professionals think that the greater the number of clients, the greater the income. Wanting to serve everyone will wear you out and sometimes it won't help you deliver quality work.


It's no use having several customers in a single day who won't come back in the next few months. So try to form a loyal clientele that will always remain with you.


The vast majority of the new customers you get are expected to become customers within the next few years. Think of your own hairdresser. Once you've found someone you like and trust, you're not bouncing around trying to find someone better.


To get these loyal customers, it is interesting to develop a customer loyalty program and reward repeat customers. For example, if a customer purchases five services, he can have the sixth at a discounted price.


Or try a subscriber program. It works like this: customers pay a monthly fee to access a specific number of services offered at a discount. This will help retain loyal customers and maintain a steady stream of revenue.



Have a method for storing customer information

When you have a lot of customers, there is absolutely ZERO chance of remembering all the details that make those relationships meaningful.


Allow 2 minutes after each client to take some notes on what you said. What they want with their hair, birthdays, children's names, where the person works, places they go, whatever you say, have a method of remembering these details the next time the customer comes in.


Use technology, use a notebook, use whatever is necessary, but make sure you have a real process in place and that it's organized, so when a customer schedules an appointment, you already have the information you need to better serve them.



Raise your prices without fear of losing customers

This is a line that every entrepreneur needs to follow. What's the line between getting what you're worth and not alienating the customer base you've worked so hard to build.


You need to keep in mind that that amount you earned last year is worth 2-4% less than before. This means that if you are not increasing your prices regularly, you are going backwards. But more than that, every year you've gained hard-earned experience, and experience pays off.


We're not recommending that you cheat your clients, but know that they've likely received a raise this year to keep up with the cost of living and merit-based raises as their careers have progressed. You are not wrong to ask for the same.


A well-designed price list will help communicate your new pricing structure and give your salon credibility.



Don't settle professionally

You may feel comfortable in your current salon, but if you're not getting what you're worth or don't have a clear path to your goals, it's time for a frank conversation.


Does your comfort level with your clients allow you to justify coming to work a little less organized because, “Eh… they know me”?


Are you neglecting social media because you're comfortable with what you've earned in the past year?


In short, achieving the best reputation means staying hungry. When you get too comfortable, your career will stagnate.


Always be in search of better improvement, both professionally and personally, after all, you deal directly with people and need to be prepared to best serve all audiences along with the problems that come to you.



Try out Hair Extensions

Working with hair extension may be the service you need to boost your income stream. You could be earning $150 per hour! It's hard to find a salon or even another job that offers that much hourly pay per service. Check out our tools and training offered online to start your career hair extensions today!


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