One of the most crucial parts for the success of any salon is good staff and, among the most important parts of that staff, are hairstylists. Hair services have the tendency to retain clients if they are done skillfully and lose clients if they are performed poorly. This is because the results of haircuts, dye jobs and other hair services tend to have a long shelf life and, if done incorrectly, can be difficult, or take a long time, to undo. If a hair service is performed poorly, there is very little chance the client will be willing to give the stylist another chance. By the same token, once people find a stylist who gives them the results they are looking for, they tend to stick with that stylist unless something like moving or relocating forces them to change. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that you get and retain staff that will do their part to get and retain clients.


One of the best and most effective ways to ensure that you get and retain top talent at your hair salon is by creating your own apprenticeship program. Apprenticeship programs can be beneficial to both the salon and the new hairdresser in that the hair stylists can earn a little money while gaining experience and the salon providing the apprenticeship will have extra staff on hand that is not costing them the full amount which an ordinary hairdresser would. Then, at the end of the pre-arranged apprenticeship period which is usually around 1 year, the salon can decide to hire the hairstylist for a full time position or allow them to find other opportunities if the partnership is not a good fit.


If you aren’t quite ready to commit to a full on apprenticeship program, another great way to see what your potential employees can do before you hire them is to incentivize them to show you. This can be done with a hairstylist contest held at your place of business where the contestants participate in the contest by performing hair services on mannequins. You can set the stipulations like having everyone perform heartthrob bob haircuts and then offer a prize and job opportunity to the winner (or even have more than one winner if your contest happens to be full of talent).


One thing potential stylists, and all employees for that matter, will want to be sure about the place where they will possibly be spending the majority of their waking hours is that this place has a positive culture and environment. This does not mean that the attitude of the salon should be lax or lazy. However, there should also not be backstabbing, zero-sum competition between employees or, worse, abuse between employees or between employees and management. To create a positive working environment, you need to strike a balance between high expectations and hard work and not being toxic or overly-punitive when someone falls short of those expectations. Doing this will help ensure that you get and retain the talent you need to run your business.


If the search for new talent becomes cumbersome, reach out a little more on social media. Recent graduates of beauty schools use platforms like Instagram, Facebook and TikTok to showcase their abilities. Therefore, do a little searching in your local area and reach out to the people whose work impresses you.


All employees have their place and importance inside of a salon. However, due to the nature of the services they provide, hair stylists are a little different, their impact on a salon may be a little greater and you may want to go the extra mile to ensure that you are hiring quality stylists. You may be able to pick a business manager based on a degree or certificate but, since there is an artistic element to hair styling that a piece of paper cannot communicate, you will want to examine a body of work from your potential hair stylists before hiring them. This way you can ensure that they are a net positive on your business.