Once you become a qualified hairdresser, the world is your oyster. But it can be difficult to really know what you want to do, and that’s okay!
We’re giving you a deep dive into two options: going self-employed or working in a salon.
What is a Freelance Hairstylist and How Does it Differ From Working in a Salon?
A freelance hairdresser is typically self-employed and works independently with their own client base. They might have a location where they work, or they can be mobile and visit their clients’ homes.
On the other hand, working in a salon would mean you are employed by someone else, whether that be by a small independent salon or a big chain.
The Pros of Becoming a Self Employed Hairdresser
Firstly, you choose your own hours and location. This makes your work very flexible, as you can work on your own accord and choose any location that suits you.
You can also pick the products you love and use them, rather than being restricted by a certain product brand at a salon.
With hard work, your income can be improved as you are free to set your own prices. Some people feel very accomplished and successful by working for themselves, as you have earned your success and income off your own back.
Finally, you can choose how to educate yourself and have the freedom to choose courses.
The Pros of Working for a Salon
In a salon setting, you are part of a team which means you can have support from others and can constantly learn from people around you. There is a sense of collective ambition which you can’t achieve on your own.
You also receive assistance from the salon’s marketing to grow your client base. Usually, a salon will invest a lot of money into marketing, so you might be able to gain clients at a faster rate than if you were a freelancer.
Often salons will provide educational opportunities which are sourced for you, and there are also career growth opportunities, for example, working in management or specialising in a service.
In terms of income and expenses, there is a lot more financial security as you have a clear and consistent pay packet every month. Additionally, you won’t be spending your income on supplies, as all tools and products are provided by the salon.
The Cons of Being a Freelance Hair Stylist
Working on your own might be fulfilling, but at times you might feel lonely or miss the team dynamic of working in a salon. But don’t forget, you’ll still have all those lovely social interactions with your clients!
You also have to seek education opportunities yourself. It can sometimes be hard to know which areas you need to improve without an outside perspective, so it can be difficult to stay motivated to improve.
Lots of people don’t consider the administrative work that you have to do on your own, including accounting and taxing, as well as your own marketing to grow your client base. This could mean you are constantly in work mode and do long hours.
The Cons of Working for a Salon
At the salon, there is not much flexibility in terms of hours and the products you use in the salon. This might lead you to feel quite restricted by your job. For some, you might feel like there is a ceiling on their career, as you might feel more limited as you’re not working for yourself.
Additionally, people often forget that your client base is not your own, and they technically belong to the salon you work for.
Contrary to being self-employed, a % of your earnings are retained by the salon. Again, this might make you feel like you are not earning your full potential.
Should You Choose to Go Freelance or Work for a Salon?
There is no right or wrong answer, as some people thoroughly enjoy working for a salon, whereas others might want to work for themselves. Either career path can make you feel just as successful, the most important thing is that you are happy and love what you do!
But generally, we’d recommend that you really take your time deciding what the best path is for you. There is no rush when it comes to hairdressing, so figure out what you enjoy and what you want to accomplish before making any rash decisions.
Develop Valuable Skills for Any Career
There's no doubt that you'll need to develop exceptional skills, no matter what career path you take. Why not check out our LEAF Academy?
Here, you'll learn from the best in the industry. Learn more about LEAF Academy here.