Manners in the Salon: 10 Etiquette Rules for Hairstylists & Staff

Manners in the Salon: 10 Etiquette Rules for Hairstylists & Staff

In cosmetology school, you’ll learn to cut and style all types of hair. You’ll use your creativity to apply color and highlights, and you’ll learn the techniques to apply makeup flawlessly. Once you graduate and pass your state board exam, you’ll be ready for your first salon job. Upon securing your first position in a salon, it’s crucial to adhere to proper salon etiquette for staff to ensure a harmonious workplace environment.

Being successful in your new cosmetology career goes beyond the technical skills: you also need to practice good salon etiquette to earn the respect of your clients and coworkers. Displaying professionalism in a salon setting not only fosters client trust but also cultivates a sense of camaraderie among fellow stylists. The good news is that exhibiting proper salon etiquette is pretty much common sense.

As you hone your technical skills, build your reputation as a respectful, professional stylist. Upholding salon etiquette for stylists is as essential as perfecting your craft, as it establishes you as a reliable and conscientious team member. Follow these 10 commonsense rules of etiquette; they’re not that much different than those you would practice in most social situations.

Be on time. When a customer selects a particular appointment time, it’s for a reason. If you are so irresponsible as to come to work late, take too much personal time or make your customers wait, you’re immediately off to a bad start. Be considerate and respectful of your customers’ time and mindful that your behavior reflects on the salon’s reputation.

Keep your cell phone quiet and out of sight. Taking personal calls while you are doing a client’s hair is just plain rude. Restrict your calls to breaks and lunchtime. If there’s truly an emergency at home, instruct your family to call the salon and leave a message.

Woman getting a haircut

Get a clear understanding of what your client wants, and be honest about what you can do. If your client wants a shorter haircut, for example, you need to clarify exactly what that means. Shorter to her might mean a trim, but to you it could indicate a complete style change. Also, if a client with stick-straight hair wants curl and volume, you might need to explain why her hair’s texture might not give the exact results she wants. Be very clear to avoid disappointment. It’s ok to make suggestions, but never just assume.

Remain courteous and professional when talking with your client. Avoid talking about volatile topics, including religion and politics. Watch your language, too, so that you don’t offend anyone. If possible, focus on the client’s interests and hobbies. It might help to take notes after your appointment so that you’ll know what to talk about next time – the new grandchild, her dog, the vacation to Hawaii, etc. Hopefully, you’ll develop a long-standing professional relationship with your client. Remember that referrals are good for your business!

Look the part. What you wear and how you look reflects on your work. If you show up looking as if you just got out of bed, that’s not going to bode well with your clients. Be clean, neat, well-manicured and well-dressed. Your clients come to you hoping for a new look – or at least a better look – and your appearance can give them hope that they can look that good, too.

Smell good. Make sure your breath is clean and fresh, avoid excessive perfume and don’t forget to use your deodorant. You and your client (as well as your coworkers) will be in close quarters long enough to notice.

Woman getting haircut

Avoid gossip. Don’t talk negatively about your boss, the salon or your coworkers to your clients, and don’t share gossip. It never ends well.

You don’t need to shout. Nobody likes a loudmouth. Speak at a level that’s loud enough to be heard, but not by everyone in the salon.

Prepare your station before your client arrives. Have all of your tools set up and ready to use, and clean your station. Sweep up the hair from your previous client, and be prepared to offer your full attention to the client in your chair.

Keep learning. A hairstylist’s world is ever changing and competitive. To stay on top of the latest trends, tools and techniques you’ll need to keep learning. Attend seminars and trade shows. Take professional classes. Read the trade magazines – and know what the celebrities are wearing and doing. If you do, you’ll be more confident and comfortable doing hair.

Interested in Becoming a Cosmetologist?

When students make the decision to enroll at Paul Mitchell the School at Campus, in Sacramento, they are given the tools they need to adequately prepare them for a career in cosmetology and beauty.

Are you ready to become a hairstylist and study cosmetology? Regardless of your goal in cosmetology, MTI’s Paul Mitchell The School helps you develop the beauty and cosmetology skills you need for a rewarding career. Maybe you want to work in a family member’s salon or for a world-class franchise. Perhaps you’d like to share your expertise by teaching others or work as a professional makeup artist. The opportunities are out there.

At Paul Mitchell The School at Campus, you’ll learn salon techniques, as well as the business fundamentals you’ll need. You’ll learn about marketing, merchandising, client retention and cash flow management. All of that plus small class sizes and one-on-one attention from your industry-professional instructors will prepare you for the next step: taking the California State Cosmetology Board exam. From there, the sky’s the limit.

Make your dream a reality. Register for the cosmetology program at Campus today.