Stylists, Stop Getting By: Financial Advice for a Long Career in the Salon

We salon professionals work hard for our money and give each client the best of our creative and physical ability. This dedication eventually takes a toll on our body. I no longer offer round brushing, unless I want to check into emergency care. If a client insists on round brush styling, my teammates come to the rescue. As we begin our careers, we focus on as many clients as possible. I was first in and last to leave the salon—and, it totally paid off.

Hairdressing fatigue accumulates and eventually could limit your range of creativity. Certainly, make use of ergonomic advances in tools, products and physical surroundings. Do you have a powerful blow dryer, a brush suitable for your wrist, maybe a waist protector like the one used for heavy lifting, are the shampoo bowls the right height, or do you have to really lean over all day to scrub a head of hair?

As you make your money, think of the future. Resolve to never live paycheck-to-paycheck. Here are a few rules I follow:

  • 1) Pay Yourself First. Place ten-percent of your weekly earning in a secure saving account. Alternatively, you could visit a bank and open a retirement fund like a simple IRA for as little as $50 or less a month. Contributions to an IRA are generally tax deductible. Do you want to give Uncle Sam your hard earned income or keep a share of it for yourself?
  • 2) Streamline your product inventory. Eighty percent of your revenue comes from simple retouches, gray coverage and basic cuts; don’t buy just-in-case products.
  • 3) Think carefully before buy. We are in the fashion business and constantly new products, tint shades and finishing products are introduced. I see lots of product never used on every station.
  • 4) Your goal is six months of living expenses in savings. You will be surprised at what a difference this makes on your outlook, confidence and sense of security.

If you are thrifty and stick to a very strict budget, I commend you. However, bringing in more money, not being frugal, is what creates wealth. Being super frugal keeps you stuck at that income level forever. Hustle, grow, save.

Carlos Valenzuela has forty-plus years experience in the beauty education industry as an international consultant, trainer, author and entrepreneur. He holds a Masters in International Management, and originally trained in London, and Chicago with Pivot Point International. Carlos’s  educational program, iFabulous Salon Success guides new salon professionals to attaining successful careers in the salon industry.

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