How Much Do Hair Stylists Make? Discover the Earning Potential of a Stylist’s Passion

How Much Do Hair Stylists Make

Are you a hair stylist with a burning passion for making people look and feel their best? Of course, you love what you do, but you also want to earn a living wage. So, let’s dive into the fascinating world of hair stylist salaries and explore how much you can expect to make in this rewarding profession.

Factors Influencing Hair Stylist Salary

As with any profession, several factors can affect a hair stylist’s salary. Understanding these factors is essential for determining your earning potential and making informed decisions about your career. Here are some influential factors:

Education and Experience Level

Your education and experience level play a significant role in determining your earning potential as a hair stylist. Generally, those with more education and experience can command higher salaries. Completing cosmetology school, for example, gives you an advantage over those who haven’t.

Geographic Location

Your location can have a significant impact on your salary as a hair stylist. Salaries can vary widely depending on where you live and work. Urban areas often offer higher earning potential than rural areas. Additionally, states with higher costs of living generally have higher salaries.

Type of Salon or Establishment

The type of salon or establishment where you work can also affect your salary. High-end salons and spas may pay more, while chain salons or franchises may offer stability and benefits at a potentially lower salary.

Clientele and Level of Demand

The number and type of clients you have can impact your salary as well. Hair stylists with a loyal following or who work with high-end clients can charge more for their services. Additionally, working in a salon or area with a high demand for hair services can increase your earning potential.

Additional Skills and Certifications

Having additional skills or certifications can also impact your salary as a hair stylist. Specializing in certain areas, such as wedding or editorial styling, allows you to charge more. Obtaining certifications in extensions or color can also increase your earning potential.

Average Hair Stylist Salary

To set realistic expectations for your earning potential as a hair stylist, it’s crucial to understand the average salary in the industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the national average salary for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists was $30,190 per year or $14.51 per hour as of May 2020. However, keep in mind that this is just an average, and your salary may differ based on various factors.

National Average Salary for Hair Stylists

The national average salary provides a starting point for understanding how much hair stylists make. However, remember that this average is influenced by factors such as experience, education, and location.

Comparison of Salaries in Different US Regions

Salaries for hair stylists can vary significantly depending on your location. Stylists in metropolitan areas generally earn higher salaries compared to those in rural areas. According to the BLS, the top-paying states for hair stylists are Hawaii, Washington, and the District of Columbia, with an average annual salary of over $40,000.

Salary Breakdown by Hourly, Weekly, and Annual Rates

Understanding how your salary is calculated is essential. Hair stylists can be paid hourly, weekly, or annually. According to Payscale, the average hourly rate for a hair stylist is around $11.50, while the average annual salary is around $29,000. However, these numbers can vary based on your experience level and location.

In conclusion, understanding the average salary for hair stylists is crucial to help you set realistic expectations for your earning potential. However, keep in mind that your salary can vary depending on factors such as experience, education, and location.

Top-Paying States for Hair Stylists

If you’re a hair stylist looking to maximize your earning potential, consider working in one of the top-paying states for the profession. Here’s an overview of the top-paying states based on data from the BLS:


As of May 2020, hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists in California earned an average hourly wage of $18.73, equating to an annual salary of $38,970. This exceeds the national average.


Hawaii is another top-paying state for hair stylists, offering an average hourly wage of $18.37, or an annual salary of $38,190. The high cost of living in Hawaii contributes to these elevated salaries.

District of Columbia

The District of Columbia, including Washington D.C., is the third-highest paying state for hair stylists. Stylists in D.C. earn an average hourly wage of $18.31, or an annual salary of $38,050.

Factors influencing higher salaries in these states include the cost of living and demand for hair stylists. Keep in mind that education, experience, and clientele also play significant roles in determining your salary.

Tips for Increasing Hair Stylist Salary

As a hair stylist, you want to ensure that your salary reflects your skills and experience. Here are some tips to help you increase your earning potential:

Investing in Education and Training

Investing in education and training allows you to expand your skillset. Attend classes, workshops, and stay updated with the latest trends. Obtaining additional certifications enables you to provide more services, leading to higher earnings.

Building a Loyal Client Base

By providing exceptional service and building strong client relationships, you can increase repeat business and referrals. Cultivating a loyal client base translates to a steady stream of clients, resulting in higher earnings over time.

Offering Additional Services and Treatments

Expanding your service offerings to include additional services and treatments can boost your earning potential. Hair extensions, coloring, and specialty treatments like keratin treatments or hair masks attract new clients and increase your earnings per appointment.

Negotiating Salary or Commission with Employers

If you work in a salon or spa, negotiating your salary or commission can increase your earning potential. Discuss your performance with your employer, highlighting the value you bring to the business. Negotiating a higher salary or commission rate ensures fair compensation for your work.

By following these tips, you can increase your earning potential as a hair stylist and ensure fair compensation for your skills and experience.


Being a hair stylist is both rewarding and financially lucrative. Many factors influence your salary, including education, experience, location, type of salon, and clientele. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists was $26,090 in May 2020. However, top earners can make upwards of $50,000 per year or more, depending on expertise and location.

At Hair Style, we understand the importance of providing our clients with the best possible service. We value our hair stylists and strive to create an environment that fosters growth and success. We hope this guide has answered your questions about hair stylist salaries and the exciting opportunities available in the beauty industry. If you’re the kind of person who dreams of transforming lives through hair styling, we encourage you to explore all the possibilities that await you.