What it’s really like working in a beauty salon? 

Roles and responsibilities in a beauty salon

So have you always been passionate about beauty and thinking of starting a career in the beauty industry? It is full of opportunities with having the option of working flexible hours, working in beauty salons & spas and being your own boss. This all might sound very exciting but what is it really like to work in a beauty salon?

You should be aware that working as a beauty therapist isn’t the easiest job and it often requires a lot of work to be successful at it. It gets difficult especially working on your feet all day and sometimes working unsociable hours.

Advantages of working at a beauty salon 

Working at a salon or a spa has many advantages that include regular working arrangements and hours, training opportunities, support of working in a team and gaining valuable experience for your next role. You represent the salon or spa you are working at and the way you deliver your treatments, your personal appearance and how you treat your clients is very important for the business. 

Another advantage of working at a salon is that often beauty therapists can get discount themselves on treatments and products that are being sold in their salons. Depending on the salon they can get commissions on purchases and also there are many opportunities for career growth. 

Roles and responsibilities in a beauty salon 

While working in a team you are expected to accept feedback and your working arrangements will be set by your employer so often you won’t have the option to choose what you want to do. If you’re working in a popular salon, chances are it will be fully booked most of the times and the therapists then will have to undertake many treatments in a day with many different clients. 

To make sure the therapists treat their clients within the specified time and to avoid any delays on next customers there is a strict timekeeping policy in most salons. So this often leads to therapists ending up having short lunch breaks or working longer hours to keep their customers happy. Days are never the same,  appointments may be canceled or delayed depending on clients’ situations, therapists may need to adapt to a flexible schedule and even take over their colleagues’ treatments if needed. 

Friendly but professional environment 

The experience they have and the level of service they get are what differentiates a salon from other ones for the clients. So if you contribute to creating a friendly, warm but professional environment it will let you thrive at your job.

Both salon owners and clients appreciate an environment that is trustworthy and friendly at the same time so it’s one of therapists’ main responsibilities to create and support this atmosphere at all times. Providing exceptional customer service and making sure responding to some clients that request more friendly approach is required to make their clients happy. Because some clients may want to get a customized and unique treatment while also build a personal relationship where they share secrets and gossips with their therapists. 

A typical day at the salon

Therapists may undertake many different treatments for clients on a daily basis and the appointments may be either booked in advance or clients may walk in without having an appointment. Clients often are charged right after the completion of the service and the standard tip is 5-10%. Offering to book a future appointment for the clients helps businesses build a large clientele. 

They might have to give more than one treatment to one client depending on their needs. And when they are not treating any clients, therapists are responsible to maintain the salon they work at. These tasks would include answering phones, bookings appointments and making sure the salon is in good condition to offer services to their clients.

Starting their day, therapists prepare the salon and make sure the equipment is ready to use when clients arrive. Checking stocks, turning on the wax pots and getting wax strips ready are considered among first things to do in the morning. Beauty therapists are expected to turn up at least 15 minutes before their shift starts to make sure both they and the salon are ready for their first client. And also there might be 10-15 minutes delays after their last appointment of the day.

It is important for therapists to be flexible with their clients without affecting the rest of their day. If a client wants to make changes to their appointment therapists need to make sure they can do the best as long as if it doesn’t make them late for their next client. 

Keeping a calendar of all the appointments and leaving some time between clients will make it easier when things get busy and to keep the salon clean and organized. Otherwise losing track of appointments may end up in overbooking and not being able to serve clients properly. Some salons allow 10-15 minutes gaps between the clients to give therapists enough time to give aftercare advice, closing up sales, booking the next appointment and tidying the room for their next treatment. But it’s important to note that most of the salons don’t allow this extra time so it is important to keep track of the time. 

What are the working hours at beauty salons?

The working hours of beauty therapist may vary depending on the salon they are working at. The usual working hours are between 9 am-7 pm and most include working weekends. Since the beauty business usually caters women who work during the day, at many salons, there is an evening in a week where therapists might be required to work. 

The advantage of working in a salon or a spa is the regular working hours guaranteed with specific shift patterns that may also include evening or weekend shifts. Some salons may have shifts up to 9 hours and some may only provide shorter shifts such as 4 hours at a time.

On special occasions and seasonal events like Bank Holidays, Christmas or New Year, therapists are expected to work and even some extra staff may be required to meet the high demand. These extra hours requirements would change depending on the salon and holidays. 


Beauty therapists become a part of a beauty salon and its community when they start working there. These salons often have lively and vibrant atmospheres that are provided by beauty therapists who make sure their salons are differentiated from other salons. Beauty therapists represent the salon they work at and are responsible for their reputation. The clients will want to come back to these salons if they feel welcome and appreciated. And eventually, over time these clients might even become friends of the therapists. 

Loving their job is the most important quality therapists can have. The motivation to be better and to improve takes genuine love of the work. If you think you have that, then you’re already on the path to being a great addition to any salon!


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