How Much Do Successful Hair Stylists Make per Year?
At first glance, you may not think of a hair stylist as a high-earning profession. The average hair stylist salary in the U.S. is just over $50,000 with a relatively wide range across the country. Of course, high-end celebrity hairdressers can charge astronomical fees for their services. But, let’s face it, those are extreme outliers. What we’re interested in here are those normal, hardworking hair stylists that regularly earn over 100K per year. This is an attainable aim for all hair stylists, but it requires a lot of hard work.
If you want to earn more than $100K the usual way, by getting a high-paying job at one of the top salons, you’ll need plenty of skills, experience, and qualifications. And you’ll need to highlight these in a well-crafted cover letter and a tailored hair stylist resume.
Whether you land a role at a salon or you open your own salon, you need to view your clients with business sense, and that means knowing your numbers. Let’s take a look at some calculations.
Knowing Your Numbers
How your money adds up as a hairstylist isn’t rocket science. You need to be aware and keep track of four different numbers:
- Average client spend per visit
- Your commission per visit
- Frequency of client visits
- Number of clients
Successful hairdressers who earn over $100K religiously keep track of these numbers and use them to ensure they make enough money.
Once you start to keep track of these numbers on a monthly or yearly basis, you build a picture of your earning potential. You can also set goals to help achieve that $100K mark.
Let’s use this as an example of getting to that magical $100K barrier:
- You charge $120 per ticket
- You take a 45% commission
- You get an average of 20% tips
- You serve 25 clients per week (5 per day)
Any hair stylist looking at these numbers will think they are realistic. $120 is a perfectly reasonable price at a mid-range salon for a cut and full-coverage color. You would expect to get around 20% in tips in most places in the U.S. Many hair stylists work a 4-day work instead of a 5-day, but 5-6 clients per day is also a reasonable expectation.
If you plug those numbers into a formula to calculate your annual salary, you’re looking at $97,000 before tax. Factor in the potential sales commission you get from in-store products, and you can easily take it over the $100K mark.
Once you see these numbers for a mid-range salon, it’s not too far a step to imagine how reaching for those higher-paying clients can take you well over the $100K threshold. You can be taking home six figures even after tax.
Getting Higher-paying Clients
We’re not painting this as an easily achievable aim. There are a lot of ifs and buts here, but we think it’s important to understand that, with the right approach, a $100K salary as a hair stylist is possible.
Of course, the easiest way to get there is to land a dream role at a salon with regular clients at higher ticket prices per customer. If you land a role at a salon with an average customer spend of $200 with minimal customer turnover and decent commission rates, you’ll get past the $100K mark with no problem.
However, these jobs are competitive. If you’re providing services on your own, you’ll need to build a reputation for quality, professional service over time. You’ll need to be vibrant and upbeat, taking care of your clients, knowing that they are your best asset as a business. Your reputation is often still the best way to land new clients.
Building a loyal, high-paying customer base is crucial to becoming a high-paid hair stylist.