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Last updated: October 17, 2023

How To Make 6 Figures From Stylists Who Actually DID IT

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Whether you believe it or not, YOU are your own boss in this industry. Earning a six-figure income is not out of touch, it is perfectly attainable with the right direction and motivation. We gathered real advice from real stylists working around the country to create the push you may need to take a new direction in your career and catapult your income to a higher level. Warning: hard work ahead! 


Why Small(er) Cities Have A HUGE Success Rate For 6-Figure Income

“When you hear about making six figures in a salon, you think it’s in New York, LA, Chicago,” explains Ulta Beauty’s SVP of Store & Services Operations, Nick Stenson (@nickstenson). “But in reality, that’s not the case. Our biggest performers are in smaller cities across the US because Ulta is the only destination in smaller areas for professional beauty.” 


Whether you’re in a small town or a suburban empire, many clients associate their local Ulta Beauty with a “go-to” spot for professional beauty services and education. Meaning, their go-to spot can directly translate to your chair—filling your books for you.


If you’re struggling to make a connection in your current salon, ask yourself these questions: 

  • Am I in a space where I can see other stylists’ growth happening?
  • Is my management helping me grow my income?
  • Do I have accessible continued education?
  • Are the clients in my chair representing work I am proud of?


Depending on your answers, the environment you’re working in may not be working for you. To explore more options, click here


Increasing your prices or tallying up add-on services will never get you to six figures. To earn big, you have to learn big. When we asked five six-figure stylists from across the country what the main contributor to their high-earning success was they ALL had the same answer—continued education.


Dollars come from advancing your techniques, keeping up with new innovations, brand awareness and the knowledge to deliver your client’s requests on any head of hair. When your chair is in the hub of a community’s go-to beauty destination, it is critical to understand and master services and recommendations for every hair texture and type.


Here’s what some of Ulta’s Elite Stylists had to say about continued education:

  • “The education Ulta provides is what allowed me to become a six-figure stylist,” says Dallas-based stylist Alex Godinez (@alexthecolorist). “The continuing education and the tools are what got me here.”
  • “The constant training helped me push myself to the next level,” says Ulta Beauty Design Team Member, Leo Valencia (@leo.valencia)
  • “Ulta gives us all the tools we need, they lay it out there for you and how you choose to use them, that is up to you,” says Ulta Beauty’s top earning stylist, Ashley Bohler. “It’s your own business, you’re just under somebody else’s roof.” 

Hear what stylists across the country have to say about their road to earning six figures:


It never hurts to look, find open positions near you to spark inspiration for your career.


Not every salon offers a tailored program to find the right assistant. But if they do—USE IT! Having an assistant helps in a lot of obvious ways, but something employers don’t talk about is how personal growth and money-making result from becoming a mentor. 


“The assistant program helped me to nurture someone else,” says Leo. “Teaching another person, I believe, makes you a much better stylist and educator.” “Giving me assistants to help me push sales, become a teacher and set me up for a long-lasting path of success is what set me up for success,” says California-based stylist Enza Bucaro (@enzaulta)


How To Track Your Income & KNOW Your Path

Earning a large income is more than seeing a number grow in your account. Tracking, planning and organization is a big part of creating income growth. Utilizing resources like manager touch bases, goal-oriented service menus, number tracking and detailed income assessments build a plan to stick to for your own business. 


Stress-free business building is possible, just ask these stylists:

  • “They make it easy,” says Leo. “We have touch bases with our managers, they dig deep and review our numbers to explain to us the possibilities we have—you really always have a helping hand.”
  • “The way we can track our goals to meet our goals with rewarding experiences is what motives us to continue on,” says Alex. 
  • “Having the associates and store managers as clients helped me build referrals,” says Enza. “They’re like my models that walk around the store.” 


Real Advice From Real 6-Figure Stylists (Who Were Once In YOUR Shoes!)

From cities across the country, these stylists have different goals, backgrounds and lifestyles with one common factor—earning six figures behind the chair. 


We asked the best advice they would give to stylists who think, “That’s just not possible for me.” Here is what they said:

“There is so much opportunity in this industry that people don’t know about,” says Ashley Bohler from Holly Springs, NC. “That is what I try to put out there so people don’t get discouraged. You have to stay with it and stick to it and if you truly love it, it’s well worth it.”


“When I heard about six-figure stylists when I started in the industry I wondered how I could ever get there,” says Nick Stenson, Ulta Beauty SVP Store & Services Operations. “Bottom line, it takes the right amount of commitment, the right amount of hard work. It takes dedication and passion. If you focus on doing what you love and do it really well, the dollar will show up.”


Photo credit courtesy of Ulta Beauty


“Never give up, constantly keep going. Take everyone that walks through the door to learn and do everything you can to make yourself well known,” says Enza Bucaro, Elk Grove, California. 



“I was in your shoes. It’s about the education you go after, the hard work and your determination,” says Leo Valencia, Houston-based stylist. “If you’re in a position where you want to grow, ask questions. Assist. Show up with the best attitude and you will get there.” 


Photo credit courtesy of Ulta Beauty


“Track everything, continue your education—education is key. Meet your mentors, keep all the tools you’re given under your belt and you will continue to grow,” says Alex Godinez from Dallas, Texas. 


Photo credit: Instagram via @alexthecolorist


You heard how it’s done, now do it! Discover your path with Ulta Beauty, click here to learn more.


Photo credit: Instagram via @enzaulta

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