Behind the Chair: How Much Is a Hairdresser Paid in the USA?
In the world of hairstyling, where creativity meets precision, understanding the financial aspect is as important as mastering the art.
Knowing the industry’s ins and outs helps you with financial planning, career advancement, and salary negotiations, giving you a competitive edge and overall career satisfaction.
In this article, we’ll discuss hairstylist salaries in the US, but we’ll also take a look at a few European countries to help you understand this subject better.
What Is the Average Hairstylist Salary in the USA?
Whether you’re starting your career in the industry or you’re a salon owner and have to make a fair job offer and pay your employees, you need to know the average salary for a hairstylist so you can do it right.
So, what is the average salary for a hairstylist in the US? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the average hairstylist salary in the United States is $38,910.
Here are some more details:
The median salary is $16.01/ hour and $33,290/ year. The median wage represents the wage estimate at the 50th percentile, where half of the workers earn less than the median, and the other half earn more than the median.
What Influences a Hairstylist’s Salary in the US?
As you’ve seen in the previous table, hairstylists’ hourly and annual wages can be different. Not everyone in this industry makes the exact same amount of money.
Here’s what influences your income as a professional in the beauty industry:
When you’re just starting out in the industry as a hairdresser, you can’t set high prices for your services because not everyone is willing to pay huge amounts of money to a beginner.
It goes the same if you’re employed at a hair salon. You won’t earn as much as someone who has years of experience.
Different states and even different areas in the same state can influence your hairstylist’s salary. This is because the cost of living and demand for services differ according to each state.
So, how much is a hairdresser paid in the USA according to location?
Here is the data we have from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics:
States with the highest employment level in Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists:
Top paying metropolitan areas for Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists:
Top paying nonmetropolitan areas for Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists:
- Type of salon
The type of salon in which you’re working also influences your pay.
- High-end salons: Hairdressers from high-end salons get paid more, thanks to the upscale clientele and the type of services the salon offers.
- Chain salons: A chain salon has its perks – you’ve got a stable gig and a regular stream of clients. However, the pay tends to be more on the standard side, according to the rules and setups of the salon.
- Independent contractor: When you’re an independent contractor, you’re calling the shots. You get to be your own boss and set your prices, but your paycheck depends on how well you hustle – building up your own clientele, putting in the effort to market yourself, and dealing with all those business expenses.
To become a hairstylist, you need a high school diploma (or equivalent) and to attend cosmetology school (this will guarantee you’re a licensed hairstylist).
These diplomas will allow you to start working as a hairstylist.
However, some choose to specialize in certain areas, such as color correction or extensions. These are not mandatory but can enhance a stylist’s skills and marketability.
In addition, hairstylists who want to advance in their careers and earn more will stay current with trends and techniques through continuous education.
A salon will use a hairstylist’s training, certifications, and experience to set up service prices and calculate their salary.
Here’s a general view of hairstylist levels:
Apprentice (Level 1):
- Fresh from beauty school.
- Knows the fundamentals of shampooing, conditioning, basic haircuts, and basic color techniques.
- Usually works under the supervision of an experienced hairstylist.
Junior stylist (Level 2):
- 1-2 years after apprenticeship.
- Handles more complex services under moderate supervision.
- Starts to build clientele.
Stylist (Level 3):
- Can work independently without supervision.
- Moves to advanced techniques in cutting, coloring, and styling.
- Has a loyal client base.
Senior stylist (Level 4):
- Achieved after 5+ years of experience.
- Starts to be very in-demand where they work.
- Can train other members of the staff.
Specialist/Master stylist (Level 5)
- Can set personalized pricing that reflects their areas of expertise.
- With over ten years of experience, they can even shape & start trends in the beauty industry.
With more experience, you’ll have more clients. Handle every appointment with ease and eliminate no-shows with Goldie, an easy-to-use app that supports your stylist career.
What Is the Average Hairstylist Salary in Europe?
So, now you know the average hairstylist salary in the US. To have an idea about hairstylist salaries in Europe and compare them with what we saw previously, we’ll look at a few European countries.
- The average hairdresser’s gross salary in France is €25,740/ year or €12/ hour.
- An entry-level hairstylist (1-3 years) earns an average salary of €22,713/ year, while a senior hairstylist (8+ years) earns an average salary of €30,673/ year.
- On top of the salary, hairstylists in France can also earn an average bonus of €3,073/ year.
- The average hairdresser’s gross salary in Italy is €23,448/ year or €11/ hour.
- An entry-level hairstylist (1-3 years) earns an average salary of €17,922/ year, while a senior hairstylist (8+ years) earns an average salary of €27,933/ year.
- On top of the salary, hairstylists in Italy can also earn an average bonus of €2,800/ year.
- The Netherlands
- The average hairdresser’s gross salary in the Netherlands is €32.408/ year or €16/ hour.
- An entry-level hairstylist (1-3 years) earns an average salary of €27.601/ year, while a senior hairstylist (8+ years) earns an average salary of €38.617/ year.
- On top of the salary, hairstylists in the Netherlands can also earn an average bonus of €3.870/ year.
Keep in mind that these are country-based average salaries. A hairstylist’s average salary can differ according to the city, area, and type of salon.
If there are any other countries besides these from the list that interest you, check them here.
Note: These estimates are based on salary survey data collected directly from employers and anonymous employees in each country.
The Goldie App and You
Now that you know the average salary for a hairstylist, you need an easy way to keep track of your income – whether you’re a salon owner or an employee.
Goldie Reports is an excellent solution, as it’s packed with many features that’ll help you manage and analyze your hairstylist salary & more:
- Download comprehensive salon reports and see your income breakdown by month or year.
- Add the forecasting feature to your reports and see projections in earnings from upcoming appointments that are already booked. You’ll have a comprehensive view of your future revenue.
- Use the Hours Report to see the hours worked by staff and the time spent on specific services.
- If you have the Payments feature activated, you’ll also have access to a revenue breakdown by payment method, whether cash or card.
💡Read more about the Goldie Reports feature and its advantages.
Understanding the average hairstylist’s salary is essential for both professionals entering the industry and salon owners who want to make fair compensation decisions.
- In the United States, the average hairstylist’s salary is $38,910 annually, with variations in hourly and fixed wages.
- In France, Italy, and the Netherlands, average gross salaries range from €23,448 to €32,408 per year.
- These salaries are influenced by experience levels, location, type of salon, and education.
- If you want to optimize the administrative part of your business, including revenue tracking, try Goldie’s Reports feature and save time for what matters: providing excellent service to your clients.