How to Make $100k+ as a Hairstylist

• 15 July 2022

You probably got into the hairstylist profession because you love helping other people look and feel beautiful (or handsome). As a hairstylist, you are passionate about helping people look their best, take pride in your work, and thrive on the ability to express your creativity that this profession allows. 

Every hairstylist has something special that they love and excel at. You could be a color specialist who does funky rainbow colors on your clients. Maybe you focus on blowouts, updos, or even simple cuts. Success as a hairstylist looks different to everyone, but as long as you are happy with your work and making your clients look and feel beautiful, then you have already succeeded. 

No matter what type of stylist you are, you have a special set of skills that you bring to the table and those skills can be used to make over $100,000 per year! It is all about knowing how many services you need to schedule every week in order to meet your goal income. 

Hairstyle Lifestyle

Hair Lifestyle

There are a plethora of different types of hairstylists out there. You can choose one or two to specialize in, or do a wide variety of services. Whether you focus on  men, women, haircuts, conditioning treatments, or color, there are so many popular models for a hair business. As a hairstylist today, if you can make people look and feel beautiful, you can make great money.

Doing hair also has the potential to be one of the most mobile professions. Stylists can do hair anywhere as long as they have their tools. The economics of this career can be lucrative and comes with a vibe like no other. Here is how $100,000 happens

Economics of the Hair Industry

There will never be a lack of people who want to have their hair done. It is one of those things that people typically don’t have the skill to do themselves at home, so they will be seeking out professionals to do the job for them. 

There are an estimated 303,000 hairstylists and barbers in the United States and the industry is projected to grow 19% in the next ten years. That’s incredible growth and it means that the hair industry will provide massive opportunities to entrepreneurs in the coming years. If you are a hairstylist or barber, then now is the best time to position yourself for massive business growth!

Thousands of hair professionals use PocketSuite to manage their bookings and payments, so we have unique insights about the road to making six figures or more in this ever growing industry. 

The average hair professional using PocketSuite is making about $16,711 per year. This average does take into account stylists working part time hours as well as those who are working full time.  However, when we run the numbers for the top 10% of stylists using PocketSuite, we see that they are making an average of $68,281 per year. The following is a road map of how to level up your hairstylist business.

First, let’s talk numbers. Hairstylists traditionally have four main drivers of income. The first of these is hair cuts. Then we have treatments, color, and styling. Most stylists do a combination of these four things in their business. 

To make a path to goal incomes of 50K, 80K, and 100K, we will focus on a business based on combining these services into packages. By combining lower cost services such as haircuts with higher price point services such as color or treatments, you have the ability to significantly increase your revenue. Each of these income models includes 3 weeks per year of vacation.

When it comes to reaching your goal income as a hairstylist, there are two important stats to keep in mind; your hourly rate and the number of appointments you take each week. While stylists don’t “charge per hour”, you can, and should, be using an hourly rate to help you come up with the costs of your services. You will also want to keep the cost of products in mind when you are pricing your services. Clients book you for services, and most of the higher cost services will take you quite a few hours to complete. We will be basing our path to $100K on the average cost of a session booked with you. This wakes into account higher cost all over color appointments as well as lower cost cut only appointments. 

The amount you charge varies widely among hair professionals and depends a lot on your geographic location, level of experience, and the clientele you serve.

Whatever rate makes the most sense for your area and clientele, it’s clear you can make six figures by doing nothing but filling your hairstylist books with clients who love your work!

Creating Recurring Revenue as a Hairstylist

The most important step in your path to a 100k plus hair business is creating recurring revenue and regular repeat clients. 

One popular way to do this is to ensure that you have your clients book their next appointment while they are still in your chair.  If they are getting a color service, make sure you set them up for their next appointment right after you finish. This ensures that your books are full and your client remembers to book their next appointment.

This re-booking strategy works well for hairstylists because so many times clients will go home and get busy, completely forgetting to book their next hair appointment. People have busy and chaotic lives, reminding them to schedule their six week color follow up appointment while they are still in your chair will ensure that they don’t have to worry or stress once they go home. 

Tipping The Hairstylist

It is pretty much an unwritten rule at this point that the majority of clients will tip their hairstylist. This does not mean you should expect them to, so always make sure you set your rates at what you actually need to make and don’t depend on tips to get you where you want to be. 

That being said, gratuity is an important part of a hairstylist’s income. PocketSuite makes it easy for clients to leave a tip for you upon checkout. All you have to do is turn on the gratuity feature within the app and it will prompt your client to leave a tip at checkout. They can select whatever amount they want to leave you, or even bypass gratuity all together if the decide to do so.

While we don’t factor gratuity into our path to 100K, this can be a huge factor when it comes to meeting your goal income. 

Hairstyle Barbers

Text Marketing for Hairstylists

Past clients and people who booked one appointment and have not yet rebooked are a huge business asset. You can use text messaging to send out seasonal promotions and deals to your entire list of past clients. Text messaging is one of THE most effective types of marketing, ranking higher in ROI than emails and social media. 

PocketSuite has a great tool called smart campaigns that empowers stylists to automatically text past and present clients. You can easily segment your client lists and send “love to see you again” promotions to past clients, seasonal deals to your current clients, or any mix of deals and texts that you want to send. 

Text marketing does have a small cost associated with it, but it is an amazing investment to make. On average, for every dollar spent on text marketing though smart campaigns, you get $18 back in bookings. Implementing text message marketing can help you easily reach your goal number of appointments every week and have you reaching your goal income in no time.

Hairstyle Marketing

Recommending Products to Your Clients 

Another great way to help you reach your goal of 100K plus as a hairstylist, is to recommend high quality products to all of your clients. You are the expert when it comes to hair and hair care, so don’t be afraid to recommend some amazing shampoos, conditioners, and styling products to your clients that they can use at home between appointments. 

PocketSuite makes it easy to add on product offerings. Right in the app, you can recommend products to your clients that they can pick up at the time of their appointment. Getting a cut and color? Automatically recommend a color extending shampoo and conditioner that is perfectly suited to your client!  

This feature also makes it easy to keep track of all of your on-hand inventory as well as track your top selling products. You will also be ready for tax filings with income and sales tax reports right in your app.

Getting New Clients for a Hair Business

Every business needs to bring in new clients. Here are a few strategies you can try as a hairstylist. 

Referrals: Referrals are a huge way to drive new clients into your chair. No one is a better cheerleader for you than a happy client. You can incentivise your current clients to send you new clients. Offer them a discount on their next appointment when someone they referred books their first appointment with you. 

Reviews: Did you know that 92% of people check online reviews before they make a purchase? If you have a business at all, you need to set up a Google Business Profile (GBP) and start accumulating reviews from your happy clients. 

This does multiple things. For one, positive reviews on a GBP will help you rank higher in local search. This means people looking for “color specialists near me” will be more likely to see your business pop up  on Google.  Secondly, it lets people know you are trustworthy and good at what you do. They will see all of the happy clients leaving reviews, and feel safe booking you to manage their mane. 

Getting reviews doesn’t have to be hard either. Simply ask your clients to leave you a review! You can use PocketSuite to smart campaigns to automatically text all new clients asking them for a review. 

If you don’t ask for reviews, then very few people will actually remember to leave you one once they leave your chair. Even worse, the people who are likely to remember to leave you a review on their own are the people who are upset, and we don’t want that! You can protect your rating simply by asking your happy clients to help you out. 

Social Media: Hair is a visual medium, and social media is a perfect place to show off your work. Stylists live by their style book, and social media is the best place to highlight your strengths. 

Make sure you are getting photos and video content of all of your clients. Obviously, make sure you receive permission from your clients beforehand, though most of them will be perfectly happy to oblige. Post these on your Instagram, Facebook, and/or TikTok profiles to really highlight what you can do

When posting, make sure you always geo-tag your photo so it will pop up in location searches. Also make sure you are using relevant hashtags (if applicable) and write a fun and catchy caption that will grab potential clients attention. 

Local Advertising: Invest in local Google ads for the town or zip code where you operate. Limiting your ad campaign to the hyper local level keeps costs down and finds you leads of people looking for stylists in your area.

Hairstyle Bookings

Hiring Stylists to Build a Hair Empire

Why stop with just filling your own book reliably? Once you are on a roll, there is no reason to stop building your hair empire. After all, at this point, you are a pro at marketing yourself and getting clients. Rather than turn away business because you are full, why not hire other hairstylists and repeat the process of filling their books with clients. You will make more money and they will make more money. It is a win-win situation!

Managing team members for your hair business can be easily done with PocketSuite Teams. People will come to associate your business and team with a certain style or specialty as well as high-quality results. You will also get to mentor other stylists which most people tend to find extremely fulfilling. 

The road to 100K will look different for everyone, but this roadmap will help you get where you want to be while growing your hair business empire.