How Much Money Does a Hairstylist Make in a Year?

It’s true that a Hair Stylist cuts, colors, and styles hair, typically as part of a salon’s services. As part of her regular job, she may shampoo, perm, or blow-dry hair, and she may also deal with wigs and facial hair and treat the scalp for specific customers. Hairstylists or natural hair salon personnel are sometimes hairdressers or barbers (typically those specializing in men’s hair). Their average salary is determined in part by their position in the salon.

Hairdressers or Hairstylists

As of May 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that 357,030 hairstylists were employed nationally, classified as hairdressers, hairstylists, or cosmetologists. The terms “hairdresser” and “hairstylist” are sometimes used interchangeably. Cosmetologists have a distinct function in salons. They often treat the scalp and face or work with wigs and other hairpieces. These employees received an average yearly salary of $26,460, or $12.72 per hour. The highest-paid 10% earned $41,490 or more, while the lowest-paid 10% earned $16,710 or less.


Barbers were categorized separately from hairstylists by the BLS, although they can perform many of the same hair styling tasks. Although some stylists specialize in men’s hair, barbers may provide more basic services to men who need less demanding hair care, such as simple haircuts and clipper work. According to the BLS, 10,430 barbers in the United States earned an average annual salary of $28,050, or $13.49 per hour. The highest-paid 10% earned $45,410 or more, while the lowest-paid 10% earned $16,960 or less.

Other Salon Employees

Shampooers and manicurists or pedicurists are two additional typical hair and beauty salon workers. Manicurists and pedicurists deal with nails on the hands and feet, respectively, while shampooers wash and style clients’ hair. According to the BLS, 56,270 mani- and pedicurists earned an average of $21,760 per year, or $10.46 per hour, while 13,240 shampooers earned an average of $19,130, or $9.20 per hour.

Prospects for Employment

The BLS predicted that employment growth for hairstylists would be 16% between 2010 and 2020, in line with the national average. Similarly, it denotes a 17 percent increase in employment opportunities for manicurists during the same time. According to the BLS, demand for hair care and other aesthetic services is driving growth. Barbers are expected to expand slower than the general average, with less demand than stylists who provide more sophisticated services. Shampooers have the most inferior job prospects, with the BLS predicting a 9% decrease in employment as more stylists and barbers do this task themselves to save money.

How Much Does a Hair Stylist Make on Average?

Hairstylists provide women and men with beautiful hair by cutting, styling, and coloring it. They usually operate in climate-controlled, well-lit settings that are comfortable enough to entice return customers. Stylists work hours that may include nights, weekends, and holidays for the convenience of clients, whether they work full-time or part-time. They usually augment their pay with gratuities from happy clients.

Position Description

Natural hair salon stylists make money by providing scalp and hair treatments, suggesting style choices, selling hair-care products, and collecting payments. They must maintain a clean work environment and sterilize their equipment, including scissors, blow dryers, curling irons, and hairbrushes. Those who work for themselves may need to handle administrative tasks like marketing, bookkeeping, budgeting, recruiting, managing, and encouraging other stylists.

According to the job search website ZipRecruiter, the average pay for a hairstylist in 2021 is $29,779 per year or $14 per hour. ZipRecruiter discovered that typical hairstylist wages ranged from $14,000 to $52,500 annually throughout the country.

Education Prerequisites

Requirements differ somewhat per state, so check out what is required where you want to work. Most states require a person to have a high school diploma or GED to get a cosmetology license. After graduating from a state-approved barber or cosmetology school, stylists may seek licensure via exam. Typically, programs need nine months of full-time study, although this may vary.

According to the website Beauty Schools Directory, the average cost of a cosmetology school in 2020 was $10,000. Unsurprisingly, schools in major metropolitan regions like New York and Boston are usually more costly, while schools in suburban and rural areas are frequently less expensive. However, financial assistance may be available, so check with school authorities before enrolling.

Earnings Potential in Different Locations

As with most professions, geographic location has a significant impact on wages., an employment website, enables you to compare typical salaries in critical areas throughout the United States. For example, as of January 2021, the average yearly pay for a hairstylist in New York City ranged from $27,154 to $40,156. In Dallas, annual wages range from $22,425 to $33,163. Stylists in Chicago typically make between $23,946 and $35,412 per year.

Other variables like education, certifications, experience, and different talents may also affect earnings. Earnings are also determined by the number of hours performed and the hours a stylist is accessible to customers. Because many individuals work 9 to 5, stylists may discover that working evenings and weekends make the most money.

Job Prospects

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which monitors statistics and provides forecasts for most civilian professions, reports on this profession under the category “Barbers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists.” The BLS forecasts a 1% decrease in employment growth through 2029, although demand for services varies by geography.

In 2019, the BLS stated that California ( $32,720 ), Texas ( $27,030 ), Florida ( $30,410 ), New York ( $34,080 ), and Pennsylvania ( $27,290 ) had the greatest levels of employment for hair stylists, with average wages above national numbers.

Cosmetologist vs. Barber

Barbers and cosmetologists offer personal care services such as hair cutting and style. Because each state regulates these professions, the specific responsibilities and licensing requirements differ. In addition, each state determines which services barbers and cosmetologists may give, and neither can perform all of the services that the other may. However, there are parallels as well as distinctions between the two professions.

Barbers and Their Work

Barbers cut and style hair using clippers, razors, scissors, blow dryers, and other hair-care tools. They may also shave or trim mustaches and beards. In addition, barbers may examine a customer’s hair or scalp and suggest treatments or products that address issues such as dry scalp or damaged hair. Barbers may also color and style hair and fit, clean wigs and other hairpieces.

Cosmetologists’ Roles

Cosmetologists are licensed to cut, style, and color hair in most states. They usually provide facials, scalp treatments, and hair conditioning services. Some provide makeovers, teaching customers how to apply cosmetics correctly. Cosmetologists may also sell their clients the cosmetics or skincare items they suggest. They may also style hairpieces and wigs.


Although regulations vary by jurisdiction, most states prohibit cosmetologists from shaving clients with razors and limit them to only trimming a beard or mustache with scissors. Barbers are usually the only people with authority to use a razor to remove facial hair or cut hairlines. Likewise, cosmetologists are often the only people who can remove hair using wax. Barbers cannot provide manicures in most states, but cosmetologists can. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, barbers mainly serve male clients, while cosmetologists, who offer nail care and cosmetic services, usually serve more female customers. According to the BLS, barbers are expected to expand at a slower pace of 7 percent between 2010 and 2020, while hairdressers and cosmetologists are expected to grow at a 16 percent rate over the same time.


Cosmetologists and barbers must be licensed in all states. Exact criteria vary, but most require completing a formal training program at a cosmetology or barber school and passing an examination. Both jobs require customer service skills and physical endurance since most workdays are spent standing and walking. Because natural hair salon experts must adhere to specific hygienic standards, these occupations include sterilizing combs, brushes, and equipment and keeping floors and workspaces clean. Salaries do not vary much. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly wage for barbers was $11.45 in 2010 and $10.94 for cosmetologists.

Are you considering establishing a salon?

Then I’m sure you’ve wondered: “How much money do salon owners make?” and “Is a Salon Owner pay much higher than a Salon Manager or Salon Worker’s income?”

These are valid concerns. Being a salon owner entails a great deal of responsibility. You must deal with any problems in the salon while also ensuring that there is enough money in the bank at the end of the month to pay the salaries of your salon workers.

But how well are Salon Owners paid for the additional responsibilities? And how may salon owners improve their earnings?

What is the average salary for salon owners?

Natural hair salon owners earn an average of $70,000 per year. The Salon Owner’s compensation is determined by the kind of salon, its location, and how effectively the salon company is handled. Hair Salon Owners earn an average yearly income of $75,000, Nail Salon Owners earn $58,000, and Spa Owners earn $78,000. The salon’s location influences the pay by up to 50% compared to the average, and salon owners may make more than six figures with proper business management.

The figures shown here are extrapolated from publicly accessible data in the United States. Understandably, the answer to the question “how much do salon owners make?” is much more nuanced than a simple figure.

The Complete Reward of Owning a Salon

Simply looking at the anticipated salon owner income does not credit the rewards of becoming a salon owner.

Most salon owners opt to open their own companies because they have an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to build something for themselves.

They wish to actualize a concept and goal they could not accomplish as a salon employee. Although this is an inherent incentive, it is something to consider if you are contemplating a career as a salon owner.

However, there are additional monetary incentives. When you run a salon, you are not just rewarded by the monthly income you pay yourself. You’re establishing a brand, a staff, a location, and a customer base. If you choose to sell it, you’re constructing a company that will offer an even greater return.

As a result, comparing salon owners’ pay to staff salaries does not provide a realistic picture. Therefore, we will continue to look at what you can anticipate earning as a salon employee before moving on to how you may impact the salon owner’s revenue.

Salons in the Future

Is there growth in the salon industry?

Regardless of whether you work in hair, nails, or spas, the salon sector as a whole is expanding.

More companies will be able to join the market due to this. The yearly growth rate is slightly over 2%, projected to rise further. With the salon sector worth almost $60 billion, it is becoming more attractive to young company owners.

Service Expansion

The development of services has played a significant role in the continuing growth of salons over the last several years. As a result, hair salons have expanded their offerings to include packages such as complete care treatment, massage/shave, and other beauty treatments.

Another famous example is hair salons that provide tanning treatments. These treatments combine two services of any kind from the same industry into a single bundle to increase profit. When you begin to extend the services you provide, you open the door to new, previously uninterested customers.

Bundling services into packages has resulted in a rise in total sales in the sector over several years. You may find more information on service possibilities in my list of services to consider for your salon menu here.

Product Expansion

Salons have always been places of service. However, as the industry continues to innovate, many business concepts that offer new revenue have grown. That’s because of the introduction of selling retail to consumers who are getting a service. Salon companies’ yearly earnings have risen as a result.

Job Prospects

Jobs in the salon sector have a promising future. From now through 2026, job growth is expected to increase by 13%.

Is the Salon Industry in Serious Risk

There is no such thing as guaranteed success in business. However, the salon industry is exhibiting a favorable trend compared to many other sectors. The salon business is continuously expanding, but the services provided also show no signs of diminishing.

Over 70% of all women visit a salon regularly for at least one service. Men lag at about 50%, although the percentage of men who attend salons regularly is gradually increasing (MIN).


I hope this information has helped you determine how many salon owners/operators, barbers, or hairstylists possibly earn. However, the solution is not as simple as a single number. Some variables influence a salon owner’s compensation. This article is dedicated to assisting salon owners in growing their businesses. 

Hair color & cut by April Rorie

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