Hairstylist and Makeup Artist

Hairstylist and Makeup Artist

EmilyHudspeth

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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34 Questions

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Last Answer on April 18, 2013

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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 6 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.

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 6 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 6 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.

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

Asked by Chesuray over 6 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.

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 6 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 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 6 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.

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

Asked by GeoffM over 6 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?