You can’t walk into any industry and earn fat cash right off the bat, but it’s not uncommon for hair and cosmetology students to have misconceptions about the average salary for a hairstylist. Don’t get it twisted. Working with hair is a lucrative career—in the right hands, it’s even an art form. However, no one’s going to start working at Super Cuts and turn into Vidal Sassoon or Sally Hershberger overnight.
Breaking Down a Hairstylist’s Salary
You can’t just ask, “How much do hairstylists make?” That answer differs from stylist to stylist, salon to salon, state to state, and style to style. Demographics and location play a part because you always have to consider your customer base and target market. Take a look at a breakdown of the factors that go into determining a stylist’s salary.
#1: The Average
The average salary for hairstylists in the United States is roughly $23,660. However, stylists aren’t salaried; their wages vary from day to day. That total is based on an hourly wage of $11.38. On the low end of the scale, hairdressers can make as little as $17,620 a year, but conversely, the highest paid hairstylists can make as much as $47,410.
#2: The Style
What a client wants to be done will also affect how much a stylist makes. A simple haircut shouldn’t cost much, so you won’t earn much. For a complete package, such as a cut, bleach, color, and style, you can charge anywhere between $75 and $120. The time you put into the coiffure makes a difference. The length, texture, and thickness of the client’s hair can impact your prices, too—highlighting long, thick hair takes longer and uses more product than applying all-over color to short hair, for example.
#3: The Extras
A stylist can earn a little extra with the extras. Try to up-sell a blowout. Ask your customers if they want you to style their hair after you cut it. Offer shine serums and conditioning masks. If your salon sells products and you earn a percentage, encourage clients to buy shampoos or styling products that will genuinely help their hair.
#4: The Tips
It’s customary—and deserved—for clients to tip their hairdressers, particularly if they love the result. Tips can inflate a hairstylist’s salary a significant amount. It’s also a way for experienced, talented, and innovated stylists to earn what they’re worth.
Before this, how much money did you think hairstylists made?