Career Development

What Does a Salon Assistant Do?

Find out what a salon assistant does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a salon assistant.

Salon assistants are the behind-the-scenes workers that keep salons running smoothly. They help stylists and other salon staff with everything from shampooing hair to sweeping floors, but they also play an important role in interacting with clients.

Salon assistants may be tasked with greeting customers as they enter the salon, answering any questions they have about services or products, scheduling appointments, checking out payment information, etc.

Salon Assistant Job Duties

Salon assistants have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Cleaning work stations and equipment at the end of each workday
  • Providing customers with beverages and snacks while they wait for appointments or services
  • Receiving payment for services rendered and issuing receipts to customers
  • Setting up appointments with clients based on their needs and preferences
  • Providing basic salon services such as shampooing, cutting, and styling hair
  • Helping to create new hair styles and recommending changes to existing ones
  • Working with manicurists to provide nail care services such as filing nails, applying polish, and removing gel polish
  • Helping stylists shampoo client’s hair before cutting it and styling it
  • Drying client’s hair using a hair dryer after washing it with shampoo and conditioner

Salon Assistant Salary & Outlook

Salons assistants’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the size of the salon and the geographic location of the job.

  • Median Annual Salary: $36,000 ($17.31/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $58,000 ($27.88/hour)

The employment of salon assistants is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

The need for hair stylists and barbers will continue to grow as more people seek services in specialty areas, such as hair coloring and straightening. However, the increasing popularity of do-it-yourself hair coloring products may limit the demand for hair stylists and barbers.

Related: Salon Assistant Interview Questions and Answers

Salon Assistant Job Requirements

Salon assistants typically need to have the following qualifications:

Education: Most salons require their assistants to have a high school diploma or GED. Some salons may require an associate’s degree in cosmetology or another related field. Cosmetology programs typically take about a year to complete and include both classroom and practical instruction. They cover topics such as hair cutting, coloring, styling, nail care, skin care, business practices and ethics.

Training & Experience: Most salons will provide on-the-job training for new employees. This training will typically include how to use the salon’s equipment, how to clean and disinfect the salon and how to handle customer payments. The training may also include how to handle customer complaints and how to handle difficult clients.

Salon assistants can also receive training through internships. During an internship, a salon assistant can learn how to handle customer complaints, how to clean and disinfect the salon and how to handle the salon’s equipment. They can also learn how to handle scheduling appointments and how to handle customer payments.

Certifications & Licenses: While certifications are not usually a requirement for a salon assistant role, they can be useful for people who want to become a salon professional and want to get more theoretical and practical knowledge of the industry.

Salon Assistant Skills

Salon assistants need the following skills in order to be successful:

Organization: Salon assistants should be able to keep their work areas clean and organized. This is important because it ensures that the salon maintains a professional appearance and that the salon’s tools and products are safe from damage. It’s also important for the salon assistant to keep track of their own work schedule and the schedules of their coworkers.

Communication: Communication is another important skill for a salon assistant. You may be working with a team of other salon staff, so it’s important to be able to communicate with them effectively. You may also be communicating with clients, so it’s important to be able to speak to them in a way that makes them feel comfortable and ensures that you understand their needs.

Customer service: Customer service skills are an important aspect of a salon assistant’s responsibilities. You may be the first person a customer interacts with when they enter the salon, so it’s important to be friendly and welcoming. You may also be responsible for answering questions about the salon’s services and products, so it’s important to be knowledgeable about the salon’s offerings.

Time management: Time management is another skill that can be useful for a salon assistant. This is because you may be responsible for managing the schedules of multiple stylists and other salon staff. It’s important to be able to keep track of appointments and make sure that everyone is where they need to be at any given time.

Multitasking: A common task for a salon assistant is to perform several tasks at once. For example, you may be cutting someone’s hair while another person is washing their hair and a third person is waiting to have their hair cut. This is an example of multitasking, which is a valuable skill for a salon assistant to have.

Salon Assistant Work Environment

Salon assistants typically work in a fast-paced environment with loud music and lots of activity. They may work evenings and weekends to accommodate their clients’ schedules. They may also travel to clients’ homes or workplaces to provide services. Because they work closely with people, salon assistants must be able to relate well to others and have good people skills. They must also be able to work well under pressure and handle last-minute requests or changes in plans.

Salon Assistant Trends

Here are three trends influencing how salon assistants work. Salon assistants will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Men’s Hair Care

The trend of men’s hair care is growing rapidly, as more and more men are realizing the importance of looking good. This has led to an increased demand for salon assistants who can provide men’s haircuts and other services.

As the trend continues to grow, salon assistants will need to be able to provide a wide range of services that meet the needs of men. This includes everything from styling to coloring to beard trimming. In addition, they will need to be able to communicate effectively with male clients in order to ensure that they are getting the service that they want.

More Focus on Customer Service

Salon assistants are increasingly being asked to focus on customer service in order to keep customers coming back. This means that salon assistants need to be able to provide excellent customer service and be able to handle any problems that may arise.

In order to be successful in this industry, salon assistants need to be able to understand what customers want and how to give it to them. They also need to be able to handle difficult situations and be able to work well under pressure.

A Greater Emphasis on Health and Wellness

The health and wellness trend is having a major impact on the salon industry. As people become more interested in taking care of their bodies, they are turning to salons for help.

This trend is leading to an increased demand for salon assistants who have expertise in skin care, massage, and other types of body treatments. Salon assistants who are able to provide these services will be in high demand, as they will be able to offer something that no other salon can.

How to Become a Salon Assistant

A career as a salon assistant can be a great way to get your foot in the door of the beauty industry. As a salon assistant, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about all aspects of the business, from customer service to product knowledge. You’ll also develop skills that are essential for any successful career in the beauty industry, including communication, organization, and problem-solving.

As you progress in your career, you may want to consider becoming a certified nail technician or esthetician. These certifications will give you additional training in areas such as anatomy, physiology, and chemistry, which will help you become a more well-rounded professional.

Advancement Prospects

Salon assistants typically start out with very little experience in the hair or beauty industry. As they gain experience, they may be promoted to stylist or colorist positions. Some salon assistants may eventually open their own salons.

Salon Assistant Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we believe in the transformative power of beauty. As a salon assistant, you will be a key player in providing our clients with an exceptional experience that leaves them feeling beautiful inside and out. The ideal candidate will be passionate about the beauty industry with a strong desire to learn. He or she will be a quick learner with a positive attitude, and will be able to work well under pressure. As a salon assistant, you will be responsible for a variety of tasks, including shampooing, providing scalp treatments, washing and drying hair, and providing general support to the stylists.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Arrive to work on time, well-groomed and in a professional manner, adhering to the dress code
  • Greet guests upon arrival and ensure they are comfortable throughout their visit
  • Assist stylists with shampooing, conditioning, and rinsing guests’ hair
  • Maintain cleanliness of the salon by sweeping hair, washing towels, and cleaning surfaces
  • Perform opening and closing duties as needed, such as setting up styling stations and sanitizing equipment
  • Stock supplies, such as shampoo, conditioner, and hair color
  • Answer phone calls, schedule appointments, and take messages
  • Process payments and handle cash drawer
  • Upsell salon services and products
  • Provide guests with information about after-care following their service
  • Refer guests to other stylists or services as needed
  • Attend trainings and workshops to learn new techniques

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Cosmetology license or currently enrolled in cosmetology school
  • 1-2 years experience as a salon assistant or related role
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to work well under pressure and multitask

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or related field
  • 3-5 years experience as a salon assistant or related role
  • Experience with scheduling software, such as Salon Iris or Millennium
  • Familiarity with social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office, especially Excel


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