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Understanding the Different Hairstylist Levels and Job Roles


Source: Dmitry Kalinovsky

Are you making your way into the hair and beauty industry as a stylist and looking to better understand the salon and what to expect when working your way up? If so, you have come to the right place.

As hair industry professionals, we are here for you every step of the way. Whether you need to stock up on your favorite professional salon tools or need expert advice, we are always happy to be your go-to resource.

As you may be learning, stylists start at different levels when they first start working in a salon and have the potential to move up within the business and industry. It’s important to note that every salon may have its own way of implementing levels. However, we will cover this kind of system to best prepare you for what to expect once you enter the industry.

What Are Hairstylist Levels?

Whether you are shopping around for a new hairstylist or you’re a stylist researching the kinds of salons you want to work at, you may have noticed that salons offer appointments with stylists at different tiers or levels. Stylists who are at the lower levels or tiers may have a lower starting price for services, whereas stylists at higher levels or tiers have more experience, therefore have higher-priced services. It’s important to note that different salons may have different terms or names for each level and may also have more than three levels. Most salons have information on their websites regarding the different levels they have.

  • Level 1 – A level one stylist may also be referred to as a junior stylist. These stylists are just getting their start in the industry and are sponges for knowledge. Typically, level one stylists have the fewest clients and industry knowledge. However, junior stylists will work on building clientele and their skillset while helping out around the salon, which means they won’t be at this level forever. Some of the additional job roles that junior stylists could require are stocking up at the salon supply store, assisting senior and master stylists, handling chores and processing or washing clients when needed.
  • Level 2 – Level two stylists are also known as senior stylists. These professionals have been in the industry for a few years, established their clientele base and developed their skills. Senior stylists usually focus solely on their clients and take new clients who prefer to see a stylist with more experience. A level two stylist is also going to cost a little more than a junior stylist.

Level 3 – A level three stylist is also called a master stylist. These stylists have the largest clientele list and also offer services that they specialize in. Since master stylists have some major industry knowledge, they do a great deal of educating and helping to train junior stylists. You may see master stylists traveling to different salons to educate and train on specialty skillsets they have developed as hairstylists. Master stylists are also typically the most expensive.

Source: Vadimgozhda |

Why Do Salons Have Hairstylist Levels?

There are a variety of reasons why salons implement levels to benefit both the customer and to help stylists acclimate to new environments. Here are some of the most common reasons why levels exist in a hair salon.

  • They Offer More Options for Clients – Hairstylist levels give clients more options when it comes to choosing a salon and paying for the service. Stylists who are more junior or just starting out may offer their services to clients at a more affordable rate than more senior stylists. This gives clients the ability to visit a salon they like while also being able to tailor the pricing to their budget.
  • They Incentivize StylistsStudies show that goal-setting is a great way to achieve goals faster and level up. Levels at salons work the same way as they can incentivize stylists to work toward the next level as they master their craft.
  • They Help Salons Train and Develop Stylists – Salons are not immune to workforce issues and shortages and it’s more important than ever to establish a pipeline of talent coming into your salon on a regular basis. Having levels helps provide junior hairstylists with more opportunities to learn and develop their craft.
Source: Volha Shakhava |

As you work your way into the salon and through these levels, remember that you will move into the higher levels as you develop. In the meantime, take every opportunity to learn new techniques along the way.


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