Your comprehensive guide for starting a hair salon business

The Different Types of Hair Salon Employees

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The term “employee” is a misnomer when referencing to those who work at hair salons. Although some hair salons will hire salon managers or beauticians at hourly rates which may be considered employees, most will hire beauticians as independent contractors. Independent contractors are not technically employee as you do not have to pay them a salary. Instead they pay you to perform a service within your hair salon. Regardless, as a hair salon owner, you should be aware of the different types of individuals that may be working under your roof at any given time.

Salon Manager

A salon manager is generally one of few salaried hair salon employees. They are incredibly valuable as they can help you will paper work, record keeping, and scheduling.


Because your salon manager cannot be there at all times to make appointments, a receptionist may be a good investment. They are generally an hourly employee, and only fill in the gaps where the salon manager is not available. Their position may also be combined with a salon assistant's.

Hairdresser/ Hairstylist

A hairstylist is the whole reason for your hair salon's existence. A hair stylist must be certified by the state, and should be able to do everything from hair cuttings to coloring to hair styling for events like weddings and proms.

Shampoo Tech/ Hair Salon Assistant

These individuals are hair salon employees and are paid an hourly wage. Most are usually cosmetology students. They wash clients' hair while hairdressers are busy with other clients. Assistants also complete tasks such as folding towels, sweeping, and restocking.


Also known as a nail technician, a manicurist performs manicures, pedicures, acrylic nail applications, and tipping. They must be licensed, and are usually independent contractors.


If you intend to have a spa within your hair salon, an aesthetician is a must. These individuals provide services such as facials, massages, and waxing, and must be licensed by the state.

Massage Therapist

These individuals specialize in massage making them a great asset to any hair salon that includes a spa. Massage therapists must be licensed by the state.

The types of independent contractors your hair salon chooses to hire will be determined by the type of hair salon you open, as well as the space you have available. It is important to familiarize yourself with each type of beautician as each can provide your hair salon with a different type and style of service.

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