From a customer’s point of view, visiting the salon is a one-on-one interaction with their stylist. In reality, the beauty experience is often made possible by many salon employees, including receptionists and assistants. (And in a small, privately-owned salon, you’d better believe each stylist is wearing many different hats to make it work!)
So before you start hiring, it’s essential to understand the different job roles that keep everything running in a beauty salon.
A stylist is the beauty expert who manages and maintains your look for everyone to enjoy. Depending on the nature of your salon, this position covers hairdressers, cosmetologists, and even manicurists. Most job postings will require stylists to be professionally trained and licensed. If an employee in a salon is making any physical contact with a client — whether it’s trimming hair or adding gel to nails — you know they’re filling a stylist’s role!
Managers can double as stylists in many salons, particularly small businesses and startups. But managers have additional responsibilities as an immediate team leader of salon employees. They will be responsible for hiring, training, scheduling, and occasionally disciplining employees in their department. In larger salons, there may be multiple managers supporting various teams instead of a salon owner acting as the sole manager.
When every stylist is with a client, who answers the phones? Many salons have dedicated receptionists who manage the front desk, take calls, respond to emails, and most importantly, manage bookings. While a receptionist won’t pick up scissors or a curling iron on the job, they need to keep organized and line the right clients up with the right stylists.
Salon assistants fill a crucial support role, especially in large salon operations. These are the individuals sweeping and cleaning workstations between clients, grabbing towels from the back, and sometimes washing hair or mixing colors. In short, the assistant helps the salon thrive by setting up the conditions for stylists to succeed.