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Hair stylist assistants help hair stylists with all tasks, greet customers, and shampoo and style customer hair. Salons and spas hire hair stylist assistants to work full-time, part-time, and freelance hours during flexible shifts, including weekends, in a team-oriented atmosphere. Hair stylist assistants work directly under hair stylists and are not required to travel to perform their normal daily job duties.

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Hair Stylist Assistant Duties and Responsibilities

Daily job tasks performed by hair stylist assistants vary based on the number of clients coming into the salon or spa, the services offered at the facility, and the number of hair stylists working there. The following job duties are common everywhere, however:

Greet Clients

Hair stylist assistants greet and welcome incoming clients and direct them to various parts of the salon to receive treatments.

Shampoo Hair

Hair stylist assistants shampoo client hair.

Assist Stylists

Hair stylist assistants help hair stylists apply hair color, cut hair, and apply chemical treatments.

Answer Phones

Hair stylist assistants answer incoming phone calls and schedule customers for appointments.

Style Hair

Hair stylist assistants blow dry and style hair after treatments have been successfully applied.

Clean Work Area

Hair stylist assistants clean all work areas. This includes sweeping floors, taking out trash, wiping down styling and hair washing stations, and sterilizing all styling tools after use. Hair stylist assistants also wash and dry smocks, towels, and other fabrics used.

Maintain Professional Appearance

Hair stylist assistants must maintain a professional appearance at all times. This includes wearing flattering, trendy hairstyles.

Stock Inventory Items

Hair stylist assistants stock inventory items and fill out inventory reports.

Hair Stylist Assistant Skills and Qualifications

Hair stylist assistants have outgoing, people-pleasing personalities and excellent customer service skills in addition to a working knowledge of popular hairstyles. Salons and spas seek hair stylist assistants who have the following specific skills:

  • Customer service - hair stylist assistants use excellent customer service skills to greet clients and keep them happy during their time within the facility
  • Interpersonal skills - hair stylist assistants use interpersonal skills to talk to customers about the hairstyle they want, any problems they may have styling their hair, and other hair care issues
  • Physical fitness - because hair stylist assistants are on their feet for most of the work day, some physical stamina is required to perform this job
  • Multitasking - hair stylist assistants speak with many customers at once and tend to several work tasks at the same time, which requires strong multitasking
  • Communication skills - hair stylist assistants use good communication skills to receive instructions from hair stylists and customers
  • Organization skills - hair stylist assistants keep inventory and work areas neat and well organized
  • Time management - hair stylist assistants constantly use time management skills because many hair treatments are highly time-sensitive
  • Computer skills - some computer skills are required for hair stylist assistants because many salons and spas use digital scheduling programs to book customer appointments

Tools of the Trade

Hair stylist assistants regularly work with these tools:

Cutting tools (scissors, razors)

Styling tools (blow dryers, straightening irons, curling irons, combs, brushes)

Hair products (shampoo, conditioner, gel, mousse)

Hair chemicals (dyes, permanent curl chemicals, straightening chemicals, bleach)

Hair Stylist Assistant Education and Training

Salons and spas require hair stylist assistants to have, at minimum, a high school education or GED. Some facilities may additionally require hair stylist assistants to already have a cosmetology license, but many employers will accept job candidates who are working toward their license or hope to receive one in the future. All states require licensing before hair stylist assistants become hair stylists. To become licensed, candidates must complete a cosmetology program and pass a state exam.

Because this is treated as an entry-level job by many employers, hair stylist assistants receive on-the-job training. During training, these assistants work closely with hair stylists. The length of training varies, but usually does not end until a cosmetology license is obtained. Some facilities will help hair stylist assistants obtain this license.

Hair Stylist Assistant Salary and Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that barbers, hair stylists, and cosmetologists earn $24,900 in median annual pay, or $11.97 hourly. According to information from PayScale, however, hair stylist assistants earn $9.77 per hour. The BLS predicts jobs in this field will increase 13 percent through 2026. This rate is faster than the national job growth average.

In addition to regular salary, most salons and spas provide hair stylist assistants with sales commission bonuses. Hair stylist assistants also receive tips from customers for their services. Many employers provide hair stylist assistants with discounted rates on products sold by the establishment, as well as paid vacation days. Hair stylist assistants do not typically receive healthcare benefits, even as full-time employees.

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Helpful Resources

Get beauty news updates, learn how to create trendy hairstyles, and discover other techniques for becoming a successful hair stylist assistant with these helpful resources:

Professional Beauty Association

stay up to date on beauty with news updates from this website, which also offers education information, industry event dates, and other resources for all professionals in the beauty industry

Fully Booked: The Hair Stylist's Guide to Building a Client Attraction System That Works!

learn how to get more clients and stay booked with the tips and techniques in this book

Modern Salon

browse hair styling howto guides, find hair styling inspiration, look at hair color trends, and get news updates and content for professional stylists at this online magazine devoted to all things hair

The Illustrated Guide to Professional Haircare & Hairstyles: With 280 Style Ideas and Step-By-Step Techniques

this book contains over 900 photographs of hairstyles and more than 250 style ideas with stepbystep guides for how to create them

American Association of Cosmetology Schools

find education and training programs, upcoming hair industry events, and professional beauty schools at this website for beauty professionals

The Ultimate Visual Guide to Hairstyles

this book is a gallery of 160 different hairstyles for hair of every type and length, with detailed photographs and information on good hair care and styling techniques

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