Salon Assistant DOS and DON'TS

by Lauren Quick | June 19, 2014

By Lauren Quick and Anne Moratto

"We're making sure our clients have the most amazing experience they can possibly have," says Andi Steloff, who has hired hundreds of assistants as the salon manager at Sally Hershberger in Los Angeles. "An assistant contributes to that and helps us maintain our level of excellence."


-Be attentive, punctual, assertive and proactive.
"Our assistants have to arrive 30 minutes before their stylist or colorist arrives," Steloff says. "They need to make sure the clients' cards are pulled with their color formulas and that the trays are set up."

-Be passionate about the industry.
"This is what you have been dreaming about all your life. You eat, breathe and dream hair," says Beth Minardi, Joico spokesperson.

-Look like a stylist; be pulled together.
"I want to see someone who took the time to style her hair and do her make-up," Minardi says. "I don't care if they have tattoos; I just want to see that they are into this industry.

-Be aggressive when applying. Make it known that you want it bad.

-Expect to work hard.

-Be open to the opportunity to learn from others.

-Expect to grow and have a good relationship with the person you're working with.


-Discuss your personal life unless the client asks you specifically.

-Keep your phone out.
"On the floor, assistants cannot be on their phones unless they are conducting business for a client or a stylist," Steloff says.

-Have super long nails; you can't wash hair that way!

-Expect to be over-coached on the basics.
"If you want to run with the big dogs, you have to have a certain level of confidence and a Type A personality to avoid making too many simple mistakes," Steloff says.

-Have scandalous, ridiculous things on social media. It will be viewed before you're taken on in a salon.

-Become friends with the clients; it's overstepping a boundary. They're not your clients... yet.




How to be the Best Salon Assistant EVER

Education extends beyond passing your state board exam, and an assistantship is step one to a successful future. 
Read more

Retail Details: Conquering the Client Conversation

Retailing remains the most viable way to increase a salon’s bottom line and boost a stylist’s paycheck, yet for some, the fear of “selling” lingers in the salon air like your 9am’s perm solution. 
Read more

How to Narrow the Gap from School to Salon

A long, long time ago I was taught a most valuable educational lesson, which I credit with making my school, the Carlos Valenzuela Academy in Scottsdale, a success in the 1990s.
Read more

Sally Hershberger Salon Manager on What Makes a Good Assistant

Salon Manager Andi Steloff and stylist David John share their thoughts on what makes a good assistant and why. 
Read more

Photo credit

Atouzo Neihule


New Hybrid Beauty School Launches in Los Angeles

by Anne Moratto

Neihule Salon + Academy, the new hybrid beauty school and full service salon in downtown Los Angeles, was founded by industry veterans Yvonne Neihule and her husband, Atouzo Neihule, who come to this new venture with a combined 35 years of experience in the world of professional beauty.

Does your salon career spark joy? When your career and your brand reflect your authentic self,...

5 Steps To Building A Salon Career That Sparks Joy

by Staff

In order to build a brand that’s sustainable, that allows you to grow and grows with you, it must be authentic. It must flatter your gifts and your talents and make you happy. In other words, it must spark joy. Here are five steps to creating and sustaining a joy-driven brand.

At Bella Luci Salon a color membership program increases appointment frequency.

Is A Loyalty Program Right For You?

by Staff

Hotels and airlines have long understood the benefits of offering membership advantages to their most loyal customers. Membership does indeed have its privileges in the forms of increased client retention, increased client frequency, greater client loyalty and boosted referrals—all critical metrics for any business.


In our video section, watch salon professionals in action, listen to the advice of salon business experts, and tour inside the world’s top salons.

11 Beauty Career Paths to Explore Today

by Staff

You can grow in all things beauty, all in one place! From salon to store to field education and beyond, there are many positions and promotions you—or a friend—can aspire to at Ulta Beauty. Check out these options, then apply at

Load More