Roles and Responsibilities in a Salon
Every job has tons of working parts. Different skill sets come together to form a big machine, and every role is important to keep things moving. Knowing what everyone’s role is and how that affects the company you work for gives you a deeper appreciation for your job as a result. In the context of a salon, everyone from the salon manager to the receptionist brings something to the table. All the work we collectively do in the beauty industry is relevant and helps others feel and look their best.
Being the CEO of a salon can be tough in its own way. When you have that much responsibility it can definitely get stressful. You’re the head of the company after all, and that’s a big set of shoes to fill. An entire business is resting on your shoulders. Time management, work/life balance, communication, and decision-making skills all come together to fill this role. Being a CEO can be both exhilarating and difficult to manage, but at the end of the day, you do get to be your own boss.
Responsibilities of a Salon CEO
The Face of the Company. When you’re the CEO of a company, you represent how the general public and your employees will view every single aspect of the business. It’s your job to have clear business goals, a mission statement, and make sure everyone knows how you expect the business to be run. You’ll also be interfacing with the public with local events and putting together advertising campaigns. You’re the highest-ranking person at this establishment, so you gotta act like it!
Quality Assurance. While you’re still taking clients and doing services as most salon owners and CEOs do, you’ll want to check in on how things are running in your salon. Do sinks or bathrooms need repair? Is your air conditioning not working properly? How are your Yelp and Google reviews looking? All these little things are up to you to get fixed, whether it be physical repairs or customer service issues.
Hiring and Firing. Having a good talent pool while also picking people to hire that suit your salon’s needs takes finesse. You don’t want to hire someone who specializes in fashion colors when the majority of your clientele aren’t interested in having rainbow hair. You’ll be responsible for honing this skill and learning from past mistakes. On the same note, learning when it’s time to let an employee go is important too. You’ll be in charge of identifying consistent issues with an employee and learning how to try and remedy all types of situations. Even if you end up giving this job to someone else, you’ll still be responsible for overseeing how these hirings and firings should be going.
- Finances. When we hear “taking care of business,” many of us think of finances. The money aspects of the salon you work for will be your biggest responsibility. Taking inventory, connecting with wholesalers, making sure the lights are on and creating budgets are just a few of the fiscal responsibilities you’ll have to get good at to be a salon CEO. Without you, the business can’t run. The entire point of the salon is to make money after all!
Main Roles and their Responsibilities in the Salon
It’s not to say every other person working at a salon doesn’t have their own responsibilities, however. No one job is perfectly easy.
1. Salon Receptionist Role and Responsibilities
Salon receptionists are the first people we see when we walk into a salon. We want someone who’s friendly, helpful, and professional to greet clients. A salon receptionist can:
- Manage scheduling by checking clients in as they arrive, booking clients over the phone, completing sales at the end of a service, and scheduling additional services for clients.
- Keep retail and refreshments stocked as well as keep the front clean.
- Upsell clients on retail and educate them on products being sold, or upsell on different services.
2. Salon Assistant Role and Responsibilities
Salon assistants are usually new graduates looking for more salon experience. Salon assistants can be a great asset to your business because you don’t have to deal with bad salon habits and can teach them how you do things. A salon assistant will usually:
- Help with color formulation, blow-drying, shampooing, and any prep needed for a client’s service.
- Help with overall cleaning tasks like sweeping the floor or wiping the windows.
- Be doing tasks that help out other stylists and clients to make them feel more comfortable.
3. Shampoo Technician Role and Responsibilities
Shampoo techs are similar to salon assistants, but the focus is mainly on shampooing as the name suggests. A good shampoo tech will:
- Shampoo, rinse, and condition clients’ hair thoroughly.
- Give clients a little scalp massage and make the act of shampooing a relaxing one. (It’s hard to find people who don’t enjoy getting their hair washed and the scalp massage is a huge part of that!)
- Keep the shampoo area clean and stocked with clean towels and products.
4. Colorist Role and Responsibilities
Colorists specialize in all things hair color. Color is one of the most popular salon services, so it’s good to have experts in hair color at your salon. This job can also include any type of chemical treatment for your hair, such as keratine treatments or perms. A colorist will generally know how to:
- Mix and create formulas based on the client’s hair integrity, hair type, history of color, and current color.
- Apply well-blended highlights, lowlights, balayage, etc. that flow well with the client’s hair.
- Sometimes do a color correction. This is a difficult and expensive service for people who have a lot going on with their hair color and it can take years to become an expert.
- Educate clients about their hair, what color would work for them, products they should use to maintain their hair, and generally be a teacher for clients when it comes to their color and hair type.
- Sometimes apply chemical treatments like perms, relaxers, keratin treatments, hair gloss, etc.
5. Hairstylist Role and Responsibilities
A hairstylist is usually the full package. They often take on the role of colorist on top of their normal hairstylist duties. This is the central role of any hair salon and hairstylists usually wear many hats. Regular hairstylist duties include:
- Doing haircuts for people of all hair textures and style needs.
- Sometimes doing a colorist role with hair color, toners, and more.
- Blow-drying, styling, and up-dos.
- Building relationships with and following up with clients to gain a base of clientele.
- Keeping things clean around their station by sweeping hair, sanitizing tools, etc.
6. Salon Management Role and Responsibilities
Salon managers can be hired to help busier salons with many of the responsibilities a salon owner or CEO might have. It’s all dependent on the type of salon. Some things a salon manager might handle could look like:
- Handling licensing, permits, inspections, inventory, finances, and any of the back-end parts of running a salon.
- Reaching out to clients who’ve had negative experiences and focusing on how to get client satisfaction higher.
- Overseeing productivity and cleanliness is up to standard
- Hiring/firing employees as well as conducting training and orientation for new hires.
Other Roles and Responsibilities
Salons offer a variety of services, it’s not always just hair. Adding additional services to your salon can bring in new clients, and can give you an opportunity to upsell on other services to your established clients as well.
Makeup artists appeal to people looking for makeup for special events or people who want to learn more about makeup application techniques. Makeup artists can also coordinate with stylists to complete a look for weddings or other special events. A makeup artist will usually be:
- Applying or airbrushing makeup on clients with knowledge of skin tone, skin type, and how makeup will last throughout the day.
- Educating clients on the products they’re using and how to apply similar products to achieve a look.
- Consulting and working with clients to achieve the look they want
- Sanitizing and cleaning tools, and using good sanitary practices for makeup to avoid contamination.
A massage therapist, or a masseuse, is a popular spa treatment you can provide at your salon. Massage therapists can provide deep relaxation for clients, and this service can be appealing for people who want to have a day to relax and unwind. A typical day for a massage therapist would include:
- Utilizing extensive knowledge of the body to promote pain relief, circulation, and relaxation on different parts of the body. This can include hands and feet and involves different types of oils and creams.
- Educating clients on different techniques to stretch muscles with extra tension. Some massage therapists do acupressure and can give clients particular spots to work on for headaches and stress.
- Creating a calm, relaxing atmosphere and maintaining a clean and sanitary workspace.
Estheticians, or skincare specialists, are another great asset to your team if you’re looking to relax your clients. An esthetician will most likely:
- Provide facials and massages based on the client's concerns such as dry skin, wrinkles. Etc.
- Perform various types of waxing services such as eyebrows, legs, chin, and Brazilians.
- Educate clients on what they can do to address their skin concerns outside of the services provided
- Offer services like lash extensions or microblading. This is fairly new and popular.
- Focus on a clean environment with properly sanitized equipment.
Barbers usually focus on providing masculine services and haircuts and specialize in facial hair care. Barbers usually:
- Provide men’s haircuts, beard grooming and trimming, and basic styling services.
- Educate men on how to properly care for their facial hair and how to style their hair.
- Give professional shaves and sometimes provide waxing services for the face.
- Pay attention to the cleanliness of their workstation and sanitation of their tools.
Nail artists are another popular service. Getting your nails done appeals to a wide variety of people, whether it be for aesthetic reasons or for nail health. Nail technicians come at a variety of skill levels with many different techniques, but nail techs can:
- Give manicures and pedicures, which can include hand or foot massages and treatments.
- Apply nail polish or acrylic nails in a variety of different colors and designs according to the client’s wishes.
- Identify nail health concerns and make proper suggestions on how to address them.
- Keep their workstation very clean and sanitized to prevent fungi or bacteria from affecting someone’s nails.