How Much Does a Hair Stylist Make in October 2023?

Feb 14


Jane Scaplen

Jane Scaplen

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Imagine having a career where you can unleash your creativity, connect with people, and transform their appearance, all while earning a good income. Hair styling offers all these opportunities, but how much does a hair stylist make in October 2023? This blog post will explore the various factors that influence a hair stylist’s salary, as well as the potential earnings in different work settings and regions. So, let’s dive in and discover the ins and outs of hair stylist salaries!


Key Takeaways

  • Hair stylists’ salaries depend on experience,How Much Does a Hair Stylist Make in October 2023? Articles location, and industry with a national average of $30k/year.
  • Factors such as education, years of experience & type of salon affect salary potential.
  • Maximize earnings by upselling services & staying current with trends to attract new clients.

Understanding Hair Stylist Salary ranges

When it comes to hair stylist salaries, one must take into account that earnings can vary due to factors like experience, location, and the specific industry. A hair stylist’s career path is highly customizable, allowing them to work in various settings, from local salons to high-end spas. The national average salary for hair stylists is approximately $30,000 per year, but this figure can fluctuate depending on individual circumstances.

A closer examination of the national average salary and the variables influencing a hair stylist’s earnings, with the help of labor statistics, will provide a clearer understanding of their income. This will provide a comprehensive picture of the income potential for hair stylists in different situations and work environments.

National Average Salary for Hair Stylists

The median annual wage for hair stylists in the United States is $30,220, providing a useful benchmark for understanding the average hair stylist salary. However, it’s worth mentioning that these figures have seen variations over the past five years, with average base salary ranging from $21.10 per hour to $45,557 annually. This variation could be attributed to economic factors, increased demand for hair services, or changes in the hair styling industry.

Keep in mind, the average salary doesn’t necessarily reflect the earnings of every hair stylist. Individual factors such as experience, education, and location can significantly impact a hair stylist’s income, leading to a wide range of potential earnings.

Factors Affecting Hair Stylist Salaries

Several factors can influence a hair stylist’s salary, including their:

  • Education
  • Years of experience
  • Location
  • Work setting

For example, having an associate’s degree in hairdressing could lead to salary ranges with a median of $26,613 - $29,487, whereas holding a high school diploma or technical certificate may result in a median salary of approximately $26,491. The more experience a hair stylist gains, the more likely their salary will increase.

Location factors, such as demand for hair services, cost of living, and average income in a region, can also play a role in the salaries of hair stylists. Furthermore, the work setting, such as the pay structure of the salon or the type of salon (high-end or franchise), can influence the salary range.

Some factors that can affect the salary range of hair stylists include:

  • Demand for hair services in the area
  • Cost of living in the region
  • Average income in the region
  • Pay structure of the salon
  • Type of salon (high-end or franchise)

Top-tier celebrity stylists, for instance, may have higher earning potential compared to other stylists, including entry-level ones, as they are often paid fairly more for their expertise.

Education and Licensing Requirements for Hair Stylists

If you’re contemplating a career in the hair styling industry, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the educational and licensing prerequisites. Hair stylists must complete a state-approved cosmetology program and obtain a license, with associated costs averaging around $10,000. These requirements ensure that hair stylists have the necessary skills and knowledge to provide high-quality services to their clients.

This section breaks down the expenses associated with cosmetology school and outlines the licensing requirements for hair stylists in various states. This information can help aspiring hair stylists make informed decisions about their education and better understand the potential return on investment for their career.

Cosmetology School Costs

Cosmetology school costs can vary, but the average cost is around $10,000 for a comprehensive program. Schools such as Amber’s Beauty School, Robert’s Beauty Academy, and Louisville Beauty Academy are known for their cost-effective tuition fees. However, it’s important to consider that tuition fees often do not cover additional costs, such as textbooks, cosmetology kits, registration fees, equipment, and uniforms. These additional expenses can vary depending on the school, curriculum, and location.

Grasping the expenses connected with cosmetology school allows budding hair stylists to make well-informed decisions about their education and more accurately estimate their career’s potential return on investment. It’s essential to research different schools and programs to find the best fit for your goals and budget.

State Licensing Requirements

Licensing requirements for hair stylists vary by state and typically involve completing a cosmetology program and passing a state exam. Each state’s requirements may differ in terms of the number of training hours required, which can range from 750 to 3,000 hours. Some states may also require a high school diploma or equivalent and passing a state-approved exam.

Prospective hair stylists must research their state’s specific licensing requirements to ensure they are adequately prepared for their profession. By meeting these requirements, hair stylists can demonstrate their expertise and professionalism, increasing their likelihood of finding success in the industry.

Income Potential by Industry and Work Setting

Hair stylists have the opportunity to work in various settings, such as salons, spas, or renting a chair in a salon, with income potential varying based on the work environment. For example, the average income for a hair stylist working in a salon is typically around $21.10 per hour. However, depending on factors such as location and experience, some hair stylists can make between $32,997.78 and $97,605.34 per year, with an average annual income of around $60,000.

This section examines the various work settings available to hair stylists and the potential earnings in each environment. This information can help hair stylists make informed decisions about their career paths and maximize their earnings.

Salon Employment vs. Chair Rentals

Salon employment may offer a more stable income, while chair rentals allow for greater flexibility and potential earnings. Here are some key points to consider:

  • In 2019, the BLS reported that the average income for a hair stylist working in a salon can range from $32,997.78 to $97,605.34 per year, with an average salary of approximately $60,000.
  • On the other hand, the average income for a hair stylist renting a chair in a salon may vary depending on factors such as location and the specific arrangement with the salon owner.
  • Average booth rental costs can range from $250 to $1,200 per month.

Each work setting has its advantages and drawbacks, with salon employment providing more security and chair rentals offering more freedom. Hair stylists should weigh the benefits and challenges of each option to determine the best fit for their career goals and personal preferences.

Specialized Fields and High-End Salons

Specialized fields and high-end salons can offer higher income potential for experienced hair stylists. Some of the most profitable specialized fields for hair stylists include:

  • Hair cutting and styling
  • Hair coloring and highlighting
  • Bridal Hair Extensions and weaves
  • Bridal and special occasion styling
  • Men’s grooming and barbering

Hair stylists working in high-end salons can earn an average salary of approximately $31,837 per year, potentially benefiting from the clientele and premium services offered in these settings. In fact, hair stylists earn more in these upscale environments compared to other salon types.

By exploring specialized fields and high-end salons, hair stylists can increase their income potential and further their careers. Staying current with industry trends and continuing education can help hair stylists attract new clients and maintain a loyal customer base in these competitive settings.

Job Satisfaction and Career Growth Opportunities for Hair Stylists

Job satisfaction and career growth opportunities for hair stylists depend on factors such as clientele, repeat business, and continuing education. Studies have shown that hairstylists often find their job rewarding due to the possibility of utilizing their skills and creativity, along with job security, career advancement possibilities, and the chance to develop relationships with customers. By focusing on building a strong clientele and staying current with industry trends, hair stylists can maximize their job satisfaction and career growth potential.

This section sheds light on the following topics:

  • The significance of building a client base
  • The advantages of repeat business
  • How continuing education plays into hair stylists’ job satisfaction and career advancement.

Building Clientele and Repeat Business

Building a loyal clientele and encouraging repeat business can lead to increased earnings and job satisfaction for hair stylists. Strategies that may be beneficial to hair stylists in cultivating a loyal customer base include:

  • Leveraging social media advertisements and marketing
  • Forming partnerships with local businesses
  • Relying on referrals
  • Exhibiting professionalism and friendliness
  • Providing clear communication
  • Offering consultations
  • Defining target clientele
  • Creating a pleasant salon experience
  • Refreshing the salon interior
  • Maintaining an up-to-date online presence

Effective customer service is essential for maintaining hair styling clients and encouraging repeat clients. By establishing trust and loyalty through exceptional customer service, hair stylists can ensure a continuous flow of revenue and a strong, dedicated client base.

Advancement Opportunities and Continuing Education

Advancement opportunities and continuing education can help hair stylists stay current with industry trends and increase their income potential. Hair stylists may pursue various advancement opportunities, such as:

  • Managing a salon
  • Leasing a booth in a salon
  • Owning a salon
  • Teaching at schools
  • Becoming sales representatives

Continuing education courses are also available to hair stylists, ensuring they are equipped with the most current techniques and services to offer their clients.

By taking advantage of advancement opportunities and continuing education, hair stylists can:

  • Demonstrate their dedication and professionalism
  • Attract higher-paying clients
  • Lead to increased income
  • Open up new career paths
  • Facilitate networking within the industry.

Top-Paying Cities and States for Hair Stylists

Top-paying cities and states for hair stylists include San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles, with regional salary variations based on factors such as cost of living and demand for services. The highest-paying states for hair stylists in the U.S. are Washington, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Illinois, and California. San Francisco, CA has the highest average salary for hair stylists at $43,511.

This section delves into the regional salary variations for hair stylists and the influencing factors, offering a thorough understanding of which US cities and states pay hair stylists the most.

Regional Salary Variations

Regional salary variations can affect hair stylist earnings, with higher salaries often found in larger cities and more affluent areas. Factors such as cost of living and demand for services can significantly impact regional salary variations for hair stylists. For instance, the mean wage for hair stylists in Colorado is $40,420, whereas the mean wage for hair stylists in New Jersey is $39,160. Hair stylists in San Francisco earn 44% more than the national average.

Understanding regional salary variations can help hair stylists make informed decisions about their career paths, taking into account factors such as cost of living and demand for services in different regions. By choosing to work in higher-paying cities and states, hair stylists can potentially increase their earnings and achieve greater financial success in their careers.

Tips for Maximizing Hair Stylist Earnings

To maximize their earnings, hair stylists can focus on upselling products and services, staying current with industry trends, and building a strong clientele base. These strategies can help hair stylist make the most of their skills and expertise, leading to increased income and job satisfaction.

This section offers practical advice for hair stylists to boost their earnings, facilitating career advancement and financial success in the competitive world of hair styling.

Upselling Products and Services

Upselling products and services can help hair stylists increase their overall earnings by providing extra services and products to their customers. Some effective upselling techniques for hair stylists include:

  • Offering add-on services
  • Utilizing waiting time to suggest additional treatments or products
  • Upselling during the appointment by recommending styling products or tools
  • Tracking client preferences to personalize upselling recommendations
  • Training staff on upselling techniques

By implementing these strategies, hair stylists can maximize their profits and provide enhanced services, including hair treatments, to their customers.

By focusing on upselling and offering additional products and services, hair stylists can:

  • Boost their income
  • Provide a more comprehensive service to their clients
  • Increase customer satisfaction
  • Encourage repeat business
  • Grow a loyal clientele

Staying Current with Industry Trends

Staying current with industry trends and continuing education can help hair stylists attract new clients and maintain a loyal customer base. Some of the most popular trends in the hair industry in recent years include increased demand for natural and organic hair care products, a rise in the popularity of hair styling products, and a focus on hair versatility and trying new styles. Hair stylists can utilize resources and platforms such as social media, Hairdressers Journal, online blogs and resources, salon management systems, and online communities and forums like Salon Geek to stay informed of industry trends.

By staying up to date with industry trends, hair stylists can offer the latest techniques and services, attracting new clients and retaining their existing customer base. This can lead to increased earnings and job satisfaction, helping hair stylists thrive in their careers.


In conclusion, a hair stylist’s salary in October 2023 can be influenced by various factors, such as experience, education, location, and work setting. By understanding these factors and pursuing opportunities for career growth, continuing education, and staying current with industry trends, hair stylists can maximize their earnings and achieve greater job satisfaction. Remember, the key to success in the hair styling industry lies in adapting to changes, building a strong clientele, and continuously honing your skills and expertise.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the highest paid hairstylist?

The highest paid hairstylist is a Color Specialist, with an annual salary of up to $61,000.

Can you make 6 figures as a hairstylist?

With the right strategies, it is possible to make six figures as a hairstylist. However, only 20% of stylists achieve this level of success, which can be attributed to mastering the client experience and taking them on a journey from beginning to end.

Where do hairstylist make the most money?

Hair stylists can make the most money in District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Washington, and Hawaii, with average salaries ranging from $42,270 to $72,530.

What is the national average salary for hair stylists in the US?

The national average salary for hair stylists in the US is around $30,000 annually.

What factors can influence a hair stylist's salary?

Experience, education, location, and work setting can all impact a hair stylist's salary.