Job Description (What the job involves)
Senior stylists are hairdressers that have spent several years on the salon floor learning their craft. On the hairdressing career ladder stylists start as junior stylists (often assisting senior stylists), then progress to stylists and after some more years experience to senior stylists.
A typical senior stylist has a minimum of 5-7 years practical experience, can work unsupervised and is therefore more experienced in all aspects of hairdressing than their more junior counterparts.
Senior stylists will be expected to carry out bespoke consultations with clients on their needs and advise on anything from hair care to cuts and colours. They are generally confident and experienced in all aspects of hairdressing; cutting, styling, colouring, barbering, highlights, extensions, hair up, foils etc) and can charge clients more for their services as a result.
They will at times be assisted by junior stylists and apprentices. This is essential to progressing and developing talent in the salon as the senior stylist will be expected to pass on their experience to more junior hairdressing staff members.
For senior hairdressers that display particular creative talent there will be the opportunity of exploring their creativity by becoming involved in photoshoots and contributing to the creative art team.
Hours and Working Environment
Senior hair stylists tend to work either on a full or part time basis. Salons are typically open on Saturdays and can often be open in the evenings mid week and therefore flexibility to work evenings and weekends will often be required.
Upsides and Downsides
- Able to work in relaxed, informal and buzzy atmospheres with like minded creative people
- More responsibility i.e. supervising junior stylists
- Sociable job meeting new people from all walks of life
- Exploring creativity
- Transforming people’s look and making them feel good about themselves
- It can be physically demanding being on your feet all day leading to leg, back and foot problems. Owing to repetitive movements when cutting and styling hair many stylists can also develop carpal tunnel and other repetitive strain injuries
- Can take time to build clientele base and good money
- Some clients can be demanding!
Skills and Personal Qualities
- Strong knowledge of classic and creative cutting techniques
- Good colour knowledge
- Strong on customer service
- Excellent communication
- Ability to build up client base and retain it
- Sales skills in recommending and selling hair products to clients and encouraging them to rebook
- Keen interest on fashion, celebrity and hair trends i.e. balayage
Senior stylists will require a minimum of NVQ level 2 in hairdressing although an increasing number of salons will require level 3 from their senior hairdressers. Senior stylists are also required to have several years on the floor salon experience
Some hair salons may also request or at least have a preference for seniors hairdressers to bring their own clientele (although this is usually desirable rather than essential)
Senior stylists that wish to take on more responsibility and commercial responsibility for the overall trading of a salon can progress to become salon managers.
Whilst others may decide that they want to directly pass their knowledge and skills onto others by becoming hair trainers at a hairdressing college
Potential Salary and Benefits
Some salons charge more for hair services carried out by senior stylists. As a result senior stylists bring greater income to the salon. By virtue of this additional salon income and in recognition of their greater skills and experience, senior stylists command greater pay than more junior stylists.
Average salary for senior stylists is between £23K and £28K per annum but can rise within London to around £36K per annum.