Job Description: Salon Stylist

Salon stylists are professionals who shampoo, trim and colour clients’ hair, according to To advance in this field after building a steady clientele, these individuals can run their own salons or lease booth space from a salon owner, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Salon stylists must know how to use scissors or electric trimmers effectively to cut a person's hair to a desired length and to create a style that is fitting for her face. They additionally can make hair curly by applying perms, as well as wash and condition hair. They also provide scalp treatments for clients or assist them in choosing and shampooing hairpieces such as wigs. In addition, they might keep track of which clients decide on various hair colours or styles so that they are well equipped with appropriate supplies when their clients visit. By doing this, they also can demonstrate to customers that they know their clients' individual preferences, which his valuable in relationship building.

Other Responsibilities

The ability to suggest appropriate products for customers' specific hair issues is an important quality of salon stylists. Salon stylists can sell these products to their customers and instruct them on how to care for their hair at home. For this reason, they must participate in professional development opportunities to stay current in this constantly changing industry. Salon stylists additionally must manage an inventory of all hair care products they use to ensure they have the required materials and supplies for scheduled appointments.


Strong verbal and interpersonal communication skills are critical for salon stylists, as they often complete consultations with clients to explain their services and costs and must develop strong relationships to encourage repeat customers. Salon stylists must have a thorough knowledge of what products chemically interact with others and take proper safety precautions. They also must be able to work on their feet for long periods and be willing to work evenings and weekends. Salon stylists must be neat and professional as well.


Salon stylists must complete training programs at cosmetology schools before working for hair salons, barber shops, resorts or modelling agencies. Graduating from a licensed cosmetology program and possessing a high school diploma is necessary for salon stylists to be licensed in all states, with every state having its own licensing requirements, according to Cosmetology programs typically take nine months to complete.

Licensure involves passing a written state cosmetology board exam. More than half of states use the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology examination, which has 100 questions and takes about 1.5 hours to complete, according to In many states, individuals also must pass a practical test in which styling skills in areas such as thermal curling and hair lightening on a live model or mannequin are graded based on established criteria, according to Students in some states additionally must complete oral exams, during which students must explain what they are doing during their practical test.


Employment of personal appearance workers such as salon stylists is projected to climb by 20 per cent from 2008 to 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This can be attributed to a growing population and a rising demand for professional hair care services. Hair colouring and advanced hair treatments also have become more popular among teenagers and baby boomers. Median hourly wages of salon stylists in May 2008 were £7.20, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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About the Author

YaShekia King, of Indianapolis, began writing professionally in 2003. Her work has appeared in several publications including the "South Bend Tribune" and "Clouds Across the Stars," an international book. She also is a licensed Realtor and clinical certified dental assistant. King holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ball State University.

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