Traits of the most successful hairdressers

Did you know that 20% of hairdressers make $100,000 or more annually? While the average hairdresser is making between $25,000 and $35,000 a year, the outliers at the top are making three to four times that amount. So, what makes them different? Here we will reveal what the experts say about this matter and, hint, you don’t have to be a celebrity stylist or even the best colorist in the town to make it into this category. It’s, luckily, much simpler than that.


Possibly unbeknownst to many, including professional hairdressers, salons are rated as some of the most intimidating places for a consumer to enter along with doctors’ and dentists’ offices. And, if you really think about it, this makes sense. Much like at a doctor or dentist appointment, a salon client is placing the trust of their physical body, not to mention their appearance, in the hands of another person. This can make anyone feel judged and vulnerable. One trait that the most successful hairdressers have in common is an uncanny ability to make clients feel at ease. The clients of these hairdressers return time and time again because they are comfortable, and enjoy the experience their hairdresser is giving them. Now, while you can’t magically make clients like you and feel at ease around you, you can take some proactive steps to becoming a top tier hairdresser who excels at interacting with clients. With respect to this, some tips are to always maintain a calm and professional demeanor, be attentive and responsive to any questions or concerns your client has and never become distracted from the task at hand. If you are texting away while hair color is processed on your client, they may be inclined to think that you are not properly paying attention to the service you are providing for them. 


The salon environment, apart from your interaction with the client, can also have a large impact on how the client feels about their experience at your business. The environment should be clean, organized, modern and allow for at least a small level of privacy. For instance the people who are sitting while they are getting their hair color processed should not be inches away from another client who is getting their hair washed. Privacy curtains are preferable but, at the very least, the client should be able to have a conversation with their hairdresser that other people are not inadvertently hearing. Additionally, relaxing music and pleasant aromas can subtly enhance the client’s experience without them consciously being aware of it.


If you are inclined to go the extra mile for your clients, which you should strongly consider if you want to be in the top 20% of hairdressers, you can provide extra accommodations such as coffee, tea or light snacks to make the experience that much more enjoyable. Providing these extra accommodations can help put your clients at ease and smoothen the overall experience for them as well as you.


While the overall result of the hair service your client is receiving needs to be high quality, the client should also feel like they got special attention in the process. You don’t want to take forever to complete the task at hand to the point that the client is bored about how slow everything was. However, you also don’t want them to feel like they were rushed in and rushed out as this will negatively change their perception about the overall experience and the results. If they feel like you rushed, they will consciously look for errors in their results which they will attribute to you wanting to get the appointment over too quickly. Therefore, the key here is to find a good balance where the client feels like they got more than they were expecting but, you were also punctual in the process. 


Becoming a top 20% hairdresser, and increasing your wage accordingly, is far from an impossible task. So, if you are eager to move up into this echelon of hairdressers and aren’t there yet, there are simple, actionable steps which you can take. It really all comes to your own determination and persistence in the process. It won’t happen overnight but, if you make a habit out of implementing the traits of other top 20% hairdressers in your own practice, there is no reason why you won’t eventually make it there.