Hairstylist and Makeup Artist

Hairstylist and Makeup Artist


Richmond, VA

Female, 30

I work as a hairstylist and makeup artist for anything and everything you could imagine. A typical work-week can be special events, photo shoots, commercial production, makeup & styling lessons and more. Ask me anything!

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35 Questions


Last Answer on April 18, 2013

Best Rated

How come sometimes my stylist washes my hair, and other times a separate washer does it instead? It seems like just another way to bilk an extra tip out of me.

Asked by SenecaW over 12 years ago

An assistant or shampoo tech help the stylist manage their schedule. Having someone someone shampoo the client allows the stylist to finish up the previous client, eat lunch or go to the bathroom. Scheduling can be more efficient and the stylist can book 45 minute appointments with no breaks instead of hour appointments and a specific lunch time. The two biggest benefits to the client are that they usually don't have to wait and typically get an extra nice scalp massage while their stylist is getting the station set up for their appointment. You can tip the same amount that you would if your stylist did everything. The stylist usually tips out the shampoo tech at the end of the day (similar to a server tipping out the bus boy) or you can divide your tip between the two. Its whatever you are most comfortable with.

My stylist if FABULOUS -- I've been to a million of them, and I trust no one more than her. But her salon just raised her rate by almost 30%! That might be a dealbreaker. As a pre-existing client, should I be entitled to her original rate, and if so, for how long? (Thank you for doing this, btw!)

Asked by Maggie over 12 years ago

Wow, 30% is a big jump and would probably be a deal breaker for a lot of people. Price increases are the way a stylist gets a raise. You know you lose some but that you will make space for new clients. Sounds like you have a pretty good relationship with her and if you have been going to her for awhile I am sure she doesn't want to lose you as a client. I suggest opening up a conversation with her about it, ask her if she has or would consider honoring the original price (or maybe a 10-15% increase?) to existing clients and have new clients pay the new rates. You could also ask if they have a system for referrals. I worked a salon where we encouraged our existing clients to send their friends and for each person they sent, they got 20% off their next visit.

Why don't more stylists work out of their homes after building up their client base?

Asked by JanineCali over 12 years ago

Some people like keeping their work and personal space separate. The biggest reason that most people avoid it is because it often conflicts with the state board of cosmetology rules and regulations. Depending on the state you live in and are licensed, the rules differ. At one point, I lived in Louisiana and the rule there was that you could have a home salon but it had to have a separate entrance from the home and the work space could not be shared where food was prepared. In an effort to keep the industry professional and maintain safety and sanitation, the state board ,who controls are licenses, required individuals as well as each salon to have a license so they can stop in anytime to make sure you are being sanitary. This board exists to protect the consumer.

Assuming you work a fair number of weddings, would you say that the whole "Bridezilla" idea is exaggerated, or do you encounter a lot of them? Was there one in particular that stood out as the worst of the worst?

Asked by MelissaH over 12 years ago

The whole "bridezilla" is interesting. I would say that there are some brides who are easier than others. Weddings are interesting, the bride is under a considerable amount of pressure. Between trying to keep parents, guests, family, her fiancé, and everyone else happy, there will be some moments where you wouldn't be your best self. When those moments happen, it is almost always 100% related to something that has nothing to do with what she is freaking out about. A lot of tension builds and then the bride will lose it over flowers when she is really angry with her sister. If you keep that in perspective, it makes things easier to deal with. Yes, there is always one that you will never forget.

Do hairstylists like to chat with their clients, or would they rather not make small-talk and just focus on the cutting?

Asked by 407thHeaven over 12 years ago

I prefer to take the lead from them. I’ll ask a few questions and if they want to be chatty, then I will listen. If it seems like they are looking for more quiet time, then we can do that, too. I have some clients who ask tons of questions because they want me to chat them up and some who want to do the talking, I just listen. It is their time so I let them decide on who (if anyone) is going to do the talking.

What's the grossest hair or head ailment you ever saw on the job?

Asked by Chesuray over 12 years ago

Honestly, I haven't encountered many icky situations. Working in higher-end markets -- a nice salon in Santa Monica or more elite special events -- has shielded me from that. But I’ve heard stories from my friends and coworkers that are insane! The two things that come to mind are the elderly lady who came to the students at Aveda Institute after she had been hospitalized. She had longer hair and the hospital staff had not taken care of her hair and after months of bed rest, she was left with her hair tangled and matted in knots. She did not want to cut it and cried all day while the students and instructors attempted to shampoo/condition/detangle it. I was with another client so I was not helping with this but it was so sad. She had not been taken care of properly and she was very emotional about losing her hair. She didn't want to cut it but it was coming out in handfuls. Oh, it was awful. In another situation, I was observing a more experience stylist who was teaching a class in another salon. The salon had provided models for the class, which is standard practice. We were only there for about 30 minutes when the stylist had to stop the class because the first "model" had lice. The model was terribly embarrassed and very upset. She had two children in elementary school and they had picked up lice at school the week before (very common). She had treated them but didn't realize that the situation had spread to her. Unfortunately, for sanitary reasons, the class was cancelled.

How much am I supposed to tip my hairstylist? Am I also supposed to tip my hairwasher?

Asked by P_Minus over 12 years ago

A tip is a little something extra and a way to say "thank you" to your stylist. The amount is at your discretion, but 15-20% is most common. Feel free to bump that up to 20-25% when the stylist has to squeeze you into the schedule, stays late, gives you extra attention for a special occasion, or for a holiday bonus. Stylists really appreciate and remember those clients who tip generously, and this can be really helpful when you need that last-minute appointment and the schedule is packed. If someone other than you stylist shampoos your hair, an appropriate tip is $2-5, depending on how fabulous the massage was!

As an entrepreneur, are you enjoying the business side of your job as much as the creative side?

Asked by GeoffM over 12 years ago

For the last three years, I have been both an entrepreneur/business owner and an artist. That is a tough combo to manage. While I enjoy some aspects of running a business, there are parts that are more difficult. I would say my least favorite parts are probably the most important, like negotiating rates, getting payment, book keeping, etc. Of course, I would prefer to do just do the fun stuff but that is the trade off when you are an entrepreneur. Right?

Does it bother you when clients play on their phones during an appointment?

Asked by Loueez over 12 years ago

No, it is your time to use however you like. I do need you to keep your head up (especially if you want a straight haircut or want me to be able to do your makeup) and still. Since I am working on the head and face area, holding the phone to your face is not a great idea since that would be directly in the way of me doing what you have made the appointment for.

What is the typical percentage that a hairstylist gets for each haircut? Is it true that it is not necessary to tip the hairdresser if he/she is the owner of the salon?

Asked by LuckyLady over 12 years ago

Every salon does it a bit different. When I first started in a salon I made 30% commission for the first 90 days then it went to 40% after that 90 day trial period. Then once I was there for a year, the percentage was based on how much money I brought it. For example (I can't remember exactly), if my sales were under $1500, I made 45%. Once my service totals were over $1500 per week I made 50 or 55%. The more you bring in, the more you keep. There was a 10% commission on retail (shampoo, styling products) sold. The owner takes all financial responsibility for expenses like products for retail, backbar, advertising, electricity, water, etc. The stylist just shows up and does the work. I no longer work in a salon but only do on location jobs for styling and makeup. So I am the owner and get 100% of what I charge but also pay out 100% of advertising and other expenses. I don't expect a tip but always appreciate the little something extra when clients add it on.

When choosing which styling product (e.g. gel, pomade, hairspray) to use at the end of a haircut, does the stylist choose what she actually thinks will work best, or whatever product the salon is pushing that month?

Asked by Jason over 12 years ago

That would depend on the stylist. I always kept my clients best interest my priority since that is a more valuable long term relationship than whatever I would make off a short term promo. Good stylist/client relationships are based on trust. I am going to be honest with my client and only recommend what they need or what will work well for them so that I remain the expert and they continue to see me.

What types of clients are the worst to deal with?

Asked by Monica over 12 years ago

When I meet with a client and I see that they are super disorganized, emotional or indecisive, I know that I am in for a rough one. Typically, these are stressful situations so we need to go into things with a plan. I can help with the plan, but it’s important for them to share their vision with me so I can make it happen. I may be a lot of things, but a mind reader is not one of them.

How do you deal with clients who just can't make up their minds and are never pleased no matter what you do?

Asked by JSweets over 12 years ago

After 9 years, I feel like I am finally getting better at handling that challenge with a little more grace than I used to. I’m hoping as time goes on, I get a little better every year. For now, when I encounter this type of client, I start by getting as much clarity as possible up-front. Then I will go over what the results would be so that we all go into this with clear expectations. I do not make a move until we are all clear on the time and financial investment involved and what the maintenance will be like. If we can't reach a clear understanding, then sometimes it is best to remove yourself from the situation. This is honestly the hardest part. I want to tackle any challenge, but as I’ve grown and matured as a stylist, I have come to understand that I am not the "right fit" for every client and I cannot meet everyone's expectations. It’s better for me to help them find another person who can make them happy than for me to try and try and fail. And, if you we are really being honest- MEN- are the most particular, less likely to embrace change and most difficult to make happy. BUT once you gain their trust, they are the most loyal.

What was the largest tip you've ever received? Had you done something extra special to earn it, or was it just a wildly generous client?

Asked by JaimeJay over 12 years ago

I’ve been lucky to receive some pretty fabulous gifts and cash tips around the holidays when I worked in a salon. Now that I’m a freelancer, about half of my clients will add a little something extra on top of what they pay for the event. It’s not expected but always appreciated. The best "just because" tip I have ever gotten was from a male client, who I had been doing monthly haircuts only ( no color, etc) for about a year. One day for no reason, it wasn't my birthday or any other major holiday, he left me $100 in cash. On the envelope he wrote, thank you for all your hard work." It’s nice to be appreciated.

What are your thoughts on "Brazalian Blowout Keratin Treatment?" How safe is it? How long does it last? Is "Brazalian Blowout" brand really the best or would "Coppola" be a close second? Really appreciate your professional judgement!

Asked by blondshell over 12 years ago

I don't have much experience with any of these treatments. I have never done on a client or had it done myself so I can't give a personal testimony. There seems to be conflicting opinions. I tend to avoid harsh chemicals like this since it hasnt been around long enough for us to really know if there are significant side effects.

At what point did you know that you wanted to become a hair stylist?

Asked by SimonSez over 12 years ago

I basically grew up in a beauty shop in Louisiana (think Steel Magnolias) with three aunts as beauticians. While studying PR and business at Louisiana State University, I worked as a salon coordinator at an Aveda salon. It was there that I got my hands into makeup and watched all the talented artists work behind the chair to make hair magic. Two weeks after graduating from LSU, I was enrolled at the Aveda Institute and began my studies. Since I was surrounded by hairdressers, I would say that this was my destiny.

Do you find it helpful when clients bring pictures from magazines to show you what they want, or in the back of your mind are you saying, "this is TOTALLY unrealistic?"

Asked by BombshellMel over 12 years ago

We all (myself included) pick out pictures of either people who look like us or people we think are pretty. However, that being said, I do encourage clients to bring in both pictures of things that they do and do NOT like. Then when we consult, I ask them what they like about the photo. Sometimes, it may just be that they like one thing but not the over all look. That gives me guidelines of what to go for an what to avoid.

Have you ever had a complete misfire on someone's hair, such as turning someone's hair orange or chopping off locks you shouldn't have?

Asked by galfriday over 12 years ago

Oh my gosh, the things we did in beauty school! Once I got into the salon and was working with actual, paying clients, I made sure that I to know what the result would be before applying color or getting out my scissors. But, when I was in school, the instructors and students would encourage the 'just try it' method with everything. It was a great way to learn because you figured out really quickly what worked and what was a disaster. I remember that I tried to color my friends hair at home even though we had not really learned this particular technique yet. For some reason we thought we could do this since we considered ourselves to be so advanced. When her hair turned our the most neon shade of orange you have ever seen, I was so upset but she just laughed and said that it was ok because we can just fix it. Um, I dont know how to fix it!. Oh, how fearless we were back then. One of color instructors happened to be a friend of mine that I had known before I became a student. She was a colorist in the salon I worked at in college. When I called her in a mad panic, she told me that messing up and making disasters was the way you learn to be a great colorist. She said you will not truly understand color theory until you can do and undo anything. The next day she told me how to fix it and we were back in business. I learned that she was right, that good colorists know how make pretty color and fix bad color. There were so many situations where I had a client come to me after having a color disaster either at home or another salon. Once you "fix" something for someone, you gain his or her trust for life.

Do you cut men's hair too? What one hair / skin / hygiene tip do you wish all men would adopt?

Asked by David over 12 years ago

Yes, I do cut men's hair. The good news is that guys still have it pretty easy in this department. You aren't expected to do much, just the basics. Just keep it clean and simple. Not too much, just enough, product in the hair. The biggest thing that men often ignore is skin care. You don't wear makeup, so protect yourself from the sun with a basic moisturizer with SPF 30 everyday.

What is your single favorite part of the job?

Asked by GeoffM over 12 years ago

There are so many favorite parts! Aside from being able to play dress-up and experiment with fun products, I LOVE the relationships that I have with my clients. Being with them through stressful/exciting/happy times is an honor. It is really special to be able to make someone look and feel great during an important moment. Now that I am a freelance artist, being 100% mobile has taken me to some exciting places (Ireland, Mexico, and around the US) and I am ready for more.

How come every time I ask to take ONE inch off, it winds up being 3-6? This happens every time!!

Asked by Loueez over 12 years ago

If you have a relationship with your stylist, meaning you see the same person regularly, that shouldn't be an issue. You should both have the same idea of what an inch is. Also, there are times when you may need more off , if you haven't been to get a cut in 6+ month. If that is the case, your stylist should stop you when you say and inch and explain where the end result will be if they take off what they think you need to lose. Do not get up and go to the shampoo bowl if you are not on the same page. Make sure that you are both in agreement of the where the length will be when you are done. Sometimes, people have different expectations of what an inch means. You can try to use a different frame of reference, like you want it above/below your shoulders or right at the collar bone. You should agree on where that is.

What ethnicities' hair is the toughest to deal with?

Asked by Brooke over 11 years ago

Every hair type is a bit different and probably the one closest to your own is the easist to deal with since that is what you have the most experience with. With training and knowledge any hair texture can be manageable. You just have to know the right tools and products. 

How much can an A-list hair stylist earn in a year?

Asked by MoneyTalksBSWalks over 12 years ago

I am not sure but as soon as I make it big, I will give you full disclosure of my annual salary. (Kidding!) Honestly, I’m not 100% sure. I would imagine that once you reach the A-list that probably comes with a celebrity clientele, multiple salon locations, product lines, etc. At that point, the income is coming in from so many directions (your work, product endorsement and sales, then your employees sales), that the annual revenue could be more than I would imagine. Several hundred thousand? A million? Millions? Maybe, who knows?

If a client fails to pay or the check bounces or something similar, what recourse do you have? Do you just badger them with phone calls, or do you get the authorities involved?

Asked by Chesuray almost 12 years ago

Because most of my business is special events, corporate events, commercial advertising I don't have too much of an issue with that. My contract/service agreement requires (non-corporate) clients to pay prior to the service. So, if they didnt pay, I don't do the service. My contract has a returned check fee, that has only happened twice and they promptly submit the payment with the fee. Bouncing checks isn't legal so people will pay up when they do that. These days I accept credit card or cash on location so that I don't have to run that risk. I never have a problem with my corporate clients, except that it takes them FOREVER to pay.

Do employers, in this field of work, care about tattoos?

Asked by Katie K about 11 years ago

That depends on where you work. I am self employeed so I approve of my own tattoos. But if your clientele is more conservative, you may have to cover them up a bit. Typically hairdressing has a bit more creative freedom so it isnt an issue. 

If a long-haired woman sits down in your chair and says, "Gimme the G.I. Jane cut!", do you just go ahead and do it, or do you try and talk her out of it?

Asked by slick city over 11 years ago

I don't talk anyone out of or into anything. But I would not just chop before I asked some questions on what was driving her to make this decision. I have turned away many a woman who was freaking out about break up or some thing else like that. I just tell them to come back in 3 days and if they still want it we will do it. If this woman with waist length hair is cutting it all off because she is in chemo and knows she will lose it anyway, then we go for it. Basically, its a case by case decision.

Do you have any recommendations on facial moisturizers that are not so expensive? Any recommendations on skin care during the winter time?

Asked by Katherine over 11 years ago

I like Cetaphil (lotion and cleanser) for my basic routine. They are dermatologist recommended, really gentle, a nice price point and available at CVS or Walgreens. I just made 2 videos on winter skin care tips, you can see those on my youtube channel here and here

what are the best hairstyles for women with thinning hair on top?

Asked by anna lee over 11 years ago

Shorter is better for giving the illusion of density. The more length there is, it tends to flatten out. 

Hi, I want to be a hairstylist when I graduate. I'm thinking of going to an Aveda institute but I just wanted to know THE BEST colleges to go to for that sort of thing. Money really isn't a problem. Thanks! (:

Asked by Jane about 11 years ago


Hello, My name is Tiffany. I have been a hairstylist sense 2000. I was recently ask to be a stylist for a photo shoot. I was really bothered by the make-up artist that kept telling what to style to do on the clients. I just want to make sure that

Asked by Tiffany about 11 years ago


No offense but why are hair stylists, barbers, and other hair people so crazy? And what is with pink lemonade?

Asked by Hello over 4 years ago


What advice would you give to someone looking at going into Hairdressing?

Asked by Jess about 10 years ago


first scenario my fee in NC is $45.00/with lashes
I freelance (my only source of income)
People always ask ab group rates or long term client program.
whats fair and reasonable
for a party of 8-10 girls& a 2-4x month makeup client.

Asked by vee over 10 years ago


Is it rude to leave a small or no tip for my hairstylist? I know waitresses basically only make what they get in tips; but is it different for a hairstylist? also where I get my haircut they charge $30, which is expensive for me

Asked by me almost 11 years ago


I was wondering is it possiable for someone to go bald from dying their hair and how could you tell if your going bald ?

Asked by chasity over 8 years ago