Hair Salon Assistant Jobs

Hair salon team, including an assistant
Hair salon team - Photo: Bigstock
If you live for hair and have always dreamed of becoming a cosmetologist, you may wonder how you can dip your foot in to the waters of a salon life before you take the full monetary leap towards cosmetology school which can be a full-time commitment. It is actually a great career. Several friends of mine went into the hairdressing field and absolutely love it plus they make great money, have built an amazing clientele, and are fortunate enough to have bosses who treat them phenomenally well.
It is always a good idea to dip your foot into the water of the type of job you are interested in pursuing for the rest of your life. Colleges offer internships and being a salon assistant is somewhat of the same concept. If this is something that you are thinking might be the right fit for you, here is what you should know about being a salon assistant before you make your final decision.
Being a salon assistant means being a master of all trades. You are essentially the baby-sitter of the salon, and you have to make sure that everything runs smoothly and that no one leaves upset nor that any of the hair stylists feel shafted or somehow gets lost in the shuffle of a busy day.
I know what you are thinking; don’t they have salon managers to oversee all of these specific operations? Yes, they do, but even the managers need a fall guy and that person is going to be you. You will be the one to run the errands and place the orders and do the counting and so much more but if this is truly where your heart belongs, it will so be worth it.
First off, being an assistant is a phenomenal way to get hands-on experience not just in a school and classroom but in a highly functioning hair salon. In some states, working as a salon assistant can suffice as being a student. You can essentially work in a salon over going to school to gain the hours that are needed as a certain number are needed in order to graduate and take the final exam.
If you are being supervised by a specific stylist and doing a lot of hands on cutting, coloring, styling, and setting, they can then report to the state and you can avoid much of the classroom time. Obviously this is something that needs to be carefully researched as it varies from state to state but again, it is a great option for those who can take full advantage of it.
As for pay scale, the average rate is around minimum wage, on the lower end but again, it really depends on the traffic of the salon that you are working in and how generous the owner will be with you. You will have a lot of tasks, so you will most definitely be earning your keep.
Here are just some of the things that you will be required to do as a salon assistant: laundry; announce client arrivals; promote and sell services as well as salon products; report any safety hazards; attend employee meetings with your own list of concerns or positive reviews; client shampooing; color mixing; and sweeping floors.
You will also be responsible for keeping the salon clean, making sure that the stylists are happy as well as the clients, schedule future appointments to ensure that the retention rate stays up, handle any issues that may arise and possibly forward them to management, and do whatever the stylists ask of you. You are there to watch and learn from them and if they need you to hold some foils, that is what you will do.
Basically, this is your grooming ground (no pun intended) so that you can become the best possible stylist you can be because the more you learn, the better the job you can get. Furthermore, if you get on well with the salon you are assisting at, they could offer you a job right out of the gate or help you with job placement and what is better than that? They will see your worth and will not want you going someplace else with all the tricks that they have taught you.