Earn Your Worth: How to Increase Your Income as a Hairstylist


When we mention earning your worth, we imagine most of our readers yelling into the computer screen: “Yes, please!” Well, we have heard you! We are excited to feature Stacy Porter—regional director for Paul Mitchell—who is going to dive into how your appearance, attitude, and behavior will determine your income potential.


Many stylists—especially those who are new to the industry—may be wondering what earning your worth even looks like. How much should you be earning now, and what is your earning potential? To answer your questions, we have both bad news and good news. The unfortunate news? The national average income of a hairstylist is about $30,000 a year. The exciting news? Stacy believes that your earning potential is actually endless! She wholeheartedly believes that what you put in, you will get back out.

As a professional at Paul Mitchell, Stacy rolls with a ton of amazing professionals who most of us only get see on stage. In this circle, Stacy knows numerous hairstylists who earn $100k+ and have plenty of leisure time for themselves and their families. To reach that level, stylists need to know their value and charge for their value. So, how do you get there? Stacy has a three-step approach to earning your worth which includes: your look, your attitude, and your behavior.

Your Look

Stacy believes that you should always put your best foot forward. After all, you only have one chance to make a fabulous first impression! As a stylist, you should always make sure that your hair is done, your makeup is on, and you look your best.

When reflecting on your appearance, Stacy suggests thinking about how your clients are going to perceive you as a professional. Would a professional wear sweatpants to work? Stacy explains that when a customer sees a stylist who isn’t dressing professionally, it really relaxes the services and expectations. An unkempt stylist is no longer perceived as a professional, but transforms to a friend. How does this translate to earning your worth? If a client believes that they’re getting a haircut from a friend instead of a professional, they will expect to pay less for your services. Professionals get paid more. The bottom line: when you look good, you feel good, and you perform better!

Your Attitude

Stacy also explains that your attitude determines your profit potential. What kind of attitude does a successful stylist have? Positive! Let us remind you that attitude is a learned behavior. This means that everyone has the ability to change their attitude for better or worse. Positive stylists attract colleagues and clients who are positive, loving, excitable, and encouraging!

Again, you may be wondering how this translates to higher earnings. A stylist with a positive and optimistic attitude will set and achieve higher goals. Instead of thinking that they will never master a skill or earn their worth, stylists with positive attitudes will achieve their dreams!


Your Behavior

Attitude and behavior go hand-in-hand. The way that you think and the ideas that you formulate affect how you act both personally and professionally. Stacy believes that the stylists who earn their worth always treat people the way that they want to be treated.

As industry pros, Stacy points out that we often overlook how exciting it is to receive services at a salon! Our clients really look forward to having their hair done—just look on Pinterest! But, stylists also shouldn’t forget that their clients are setting aside a certain amount from their personal budget to be spent on their hair and hairdresser. In return, stylists need to put forward their most professional behavior at all times because the clients deserve our very best. Customers are willing to pay for your value if they believe that there is no other place that treats them as well as you do!


Occasionally, we all need to reflect on our look, attitude, and behavior. When doing so, think about the type of professional who you want to be and the type of client who you want in your chair. If you are a professional in both appearances and actions, Stacy is confident that you will earn your worth!

If you need some more inspiration and guidance, listen to Beyond the Technique podcast Episode 61: Go To Another Salon! In this episode, we show you how observing others will help you realize your own potential!

Listen to the full interview with Stacy Porter on Episode 75 of Beyond the Technique’s podcast.

Emily Kelly