Expert Advice

Salon Assistant DOS and DON'TS

Lauren Quick | June 19, 2014 | 2:04 PM

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.




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