Articles > Business > What Would You Do: Should I Become My Salon’s Manager?
Last updated: April 08, 2024

What Would You Do: Should I Become My Salon’s Manager?

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Should I Take This Management Opportunity At My Salon?

Have you ever been approached with the opportunity to do something new in your career, but weren’t sure if you should take it? One of our BTC fam is facing a similar crossroads and needs a little advice. Should they leave the chair behind and take on a new position as salon manager or maybe do a little bit of both? Keep scrolling to see what you guys had to say on the subject!


“Hi. I have a question and I don’t know who else to ask. I’m a hairdresser and I was asked to be a manager at my salon. I’m not sure how I feel about it. Does anyone have experience with doing hair and then switching over to management? I don’t know how much I should negotiate when it comes to salary. I was given numbers, but I don’t know if I am being underpaid to do the things that are required of me. Should I ask if I should still do hair as well? I hope someone can help. Thank you. :)”


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Go For It!


“I own a busy hair salon and I am behind the chair 40 hours a week, plus management! I face issues all the time that challenge me to the core, but I have never grown so much as a human in my life. I am way stronger, smarter and patient, and I think it would be a great building block to your career!” –@lori5646


“I wouldn’t give up my clientele. You never know what could happen. They could fire you a year later, then all your clients are gone. If you do it, I would only do it under the conditions of still working behind the chair.” –@stacy_salonst


“Don’t give up your clients. Still work behind the chair, but try it out. If it’s too much, give the position back. If you don’t try you’ll always wonder. Besides, when you’re comfortable you’re not growing. You need to always strive for more. Good luck!” –@hair_by_jackiev


I own, manage and operate my chair on a daily basis. Every so often it gets overwhelming. My clients have to wait a minute while I handle a management issue, and phone calls to clients with questions are made during my lunch break. I come in early to place orders or stay late to do payroll and review numbers. Schedule moments in your day to handle certain tasks. Wearing many hats is tricky, but if there’s a pay raise for you and an opportunity for growth I’d say go for it.” – @hkhairstudiokatie


I would definitely get all of the information from your employer, look at what other management positions in your area are getting paid online (not just the hair related positions) and negotiate based on that. THEN GO FOR IT! If you don’t like it, you can always go back to being behind the chair. I would see if you could still do hair and manage. I feel like that would be ideal, because then if you decide to go back to just doing hair you won’t have lost your clients. 😉” –@balayageaf


Do it! You will learn so many valuable lessons, BUT ask your employer to send you on a management course first. This will at least give you the right tools to start. Good luck! ❤️” –@lolalimoncello


“First, know what’s expected of you. Make sure your goals align with the shop owners goals. Make sure you’re in a position to be able to step away from the chair to do certain things. Make sure you have a decent relationship with your coworkers and you’re able to effectively lead them. Know your hourly worth behind the chair, and expect more for managing. I would suggest a 90 day trial, then you can renegotiate after the 90 days are up.” –@autumndoesmyhair


“I currently am the shop director at my salon. Personally, I love it. I manage a staff of 22 and there are some days where you feel overwhelmingly challenged, but the growth you get to build for yourself is more rewarding than anything. Use it as a stepping stone to better train yourself to one day hopefully build and run your own business. Don’t ever be afraid to grow in your career. Also if you decide to make the transition to managing a shop, having clear goal and plan in mind to will help keep you organized. I don’t know how big your shop is, but if you have a good foundation you will be just fine.” –@ashhslay808


“My favorite job was when I was a manager. I still did hair as well. Give it a try. If you’re feeling that you’re not sure about your pay, is negotiating more at this time a possibility? If not, if you want the job do it for a few months and then renegotiate.” –@snippy_cin


“Your boss obviously sees potential in you! This is your chance to learn the other side of hairdressing and paves the way to so many more opportunities! I say do it for sure. Just don’t be too hard on yourself. It can be a tough gig sometimes.” –@jayneybabes



You Should Pass On That


“No! Go work for yourself.” –@ladyletton


“If you have to ask, then probably not.” –@lzrdrox


Stay where you are—less headaches.” –@pcabral16


“Do not ever give up your client base!!!! That takes years to nurture and is the bread and butter for your entire future!!!! I love my clients and I highly doubt any money from managing can ever compare to the revenue behind the chair!! Best of luck!!” –@debe_62


“No!!! I did it for 4 years! Between micromanaging from upper management to the whining about everything from stylists, I’ve stepped down and am now working on going on my own. It was awful!” –@rebeccawardjohnson


“No, it’s not worth it. It’s too much stress and no matter how hard you’re working they always complain.” – @nasrinnina


Here’s Something To Consider


“My advice is to remember to listen to your staff as staff, not as your friends. I was a salon manager for 18 months a few years back and I demoted myself after selfish bosses told me I didn’t work hard enough. I worked 60+ hours a week at the time. Think about what it will entail and ask the business owners what their expectations are. Don’t dismiss your staff’s ideas and quips, they are your representatives. I hope you make the right decision for you, not for the glamour.” –@nicolina.palma


“I say it depends on what you are more passionate about. A great hair stylist doesn’t always make a great manager. Sometimes it’s better to focus on one thing you want to blossom in while doing amazing hair. When I open a store front I’m hiring a NON-hairstylist to manage my salon.” –@adornbysadi


“First, ask yourself what is the most important job for me. If it’s customer service, then turn it down. If leading the team, keeping the books, scheduling personnel and planning marketing is what you’d rather do, then accept it. As an owner or manager you spend less time behind the chair and more time handling logistics.” –@chip1217


“Would it make you happy? That’s the question you need to ask.” –@starlit_walks


“It depends on you. If you feel you can handle the pressure of managing a situation with peers that have always seen you as one of their own, like being on the other end of being firm and enforcing new rules or changes they might not like. Just make sure it won’t ruin the air in the space you work in, because it might just backfire on everything being ‘managed’ and might make it harder for things to transition. If you feel ready for that, you should manage and just manage. If you have some loyal clients that only want to see you, speak with your boss about it. Good luck with whatever you choose to do!” –@katyaaa124


“I was manager and ran a full column at a salon for five years. It wasn’t worth the stress, unpaid overtime or the small wage increase I got. I’m glad I did it though, as I gained experience and it pushed me into the place I’m in today. If the money is right I say go for it, but don’t replace your hairdressing for it. 💜” –@kelly.corson


“I love being a manager, but I would definitely lay out that you need time to do the job and can’t be booked out everyday. My mistake! Being booked out and trying to do everything else is a nightmare!!” –@tashhelliott


“I manage the salon I work at and am still behind the chair. It can be a lot of added stress and sometimes, I would rather just be a stylist. But, it can also be very rewarding to see your team and salon grow and achieve goals.” –@carlson_danielle


“I managed a salon and did hair. I negotiated my rent price and had no problem doing both. It is frustrating because it’s basically babysitting adults, but if you build a relationship with your team based on respect you can make it work!” –@kristielee117


“I currently manage my shop and still cut hair. Our owner is pretty absent, so I do things how I want. Sometimes I prefer the management part opposed to dealing with customers. In the beginning it was kind of rocky, because we dealt with losing stylists and having to hire new girls. Sometimes there’s issues and I’ve dealt with my share of headaches, but for the most part I’ve been BLESSED with an amazing group of girls and we really are a family.” –@jenxxjuliana


“1. Consider how many people you’ll handle. 2. Is there a nice culture at your job. How’s teamwork? Being a manager where people don’t get along is stressful. 3. Check out salaries in your area or the labor report. 4. Do it if you feel you’ll like it and if you feel you’re ready for the responsibility. If you are not sure, tell them you’ll try it for two or three months to see how you like it. 😃🙌🏻❤️🙏🏻” –@daisy_meli_


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