How to make $100,000 a year as a barber or hairstylist

Is making $100,000 a year a realistic goal for barbers and hairstylists? Like many artistic trades, making good money cutting hair can be challenging.

According to the US Department of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a person in the barber or hairstyle industry is just under $25,000 per year. That is roughly $11.97 per hour. With cash payments not always being declared, this number is probably a little lower than the actual amount earned, but it is still a relatively low number. It is clear that reaching $100,000 a year is not easy to achieve in this industry.

So what should a barber or hairstylist be doing to nearly quadruple the average rate of their peers? Here are some questions that all stylists and barbers should be asking themselves if they want to be able to make $100,000.

Are you working enough?


If you are only working three days a week cutting hair, reaching $100k is going to be extremely difficult and unlikely. Being a hairstylist gives you tremendous flexibility in your schedule. However, to reach your financial goals, plan on working four days a week minimum, and most likely five. These should be full 8-10 hour days as well. You won’t hit your goals if you work 20% less than your competition. Your hunger and drive is key to your success.

Are you charging enough per haircut?


This can vary drastically by region, services offered and clientele. Think about it less as charging per haircut and more charging for your time. What is your time worth? To reach $100k working a standard 40-hour work week, you will need to be making $50 per hour. If you are charging $25 per haircut, that means you need to be doing two haircuts every hour. Use your phone to time yourself on each haircut for the day to get a better sense of what your actual cut time is. Time is money, so find a way to eliminate wasted time as much as possible. Look at your competitors in the area to get a sense of what they charge for similar services. Do you want to be the “cheap cut “or seen as luxury? Or maybe somewhere in the middle? Research your competitors pricing to make sure you are priced correctly for what you offer and adjust your price point accordingly. You can always offer deals to your loyal clients to keep them happy if you do decide to raise your prices.

Are you making good tips?


A great way to make extra money as a barber or hairstylist is by collecting good and consistent tips. Make sure you know how much you are making in tips on average and figure out what that percentage is. The standard tip amount in the service industry is 15 - 20%. In general, clients will tip 10% even if they thought your service was bad. Make sure you are giving clients the haircut they want and let them enjoy their time with you in the barbershop or hair salon to make sure you are hitting the 18% range. Good experiences will also keep them coming back again and again.

Do you have enough clients?


Using the example above with you doing two haircuts an hour at $25 per haircut, that means you need to do 4,160 haircuts a year to meet your $100,000 goal. At that rate you need roughly 320 clients to book consistently every month to fill your schedule. Unfortunately, not all of these clients will book the following month, or maybe ever again, so you constantly need to find new clients. If you have a turnover of 30%, that means each month you need to also gain 100 new clients. This is where marketing, word of mouth, and promoting your business becomes extremely important. If you are not seeing more than 100 new clients per month, you will most likely fall short of the $100k mark. If you do services that are more infrequent, like women’s services (which can be bi-monthly or even quarterly), then you need to increase your active client number by double or triple to maintain a full schedule.

Are you organizing your schedule efficiently?


Your schedule needs to be managed meticulously. Make sure you fill in all the gaps and schedule your appointments to be as efficient as possible. Wasted space means lost money for you. It doesn’t sound like a lot at first, but missing one $25 appointment per day due to scheduling issues or a lack of available space can cost you more than $6,500 over the course of the year! Make sure you are not seeing a large amount of client no-shows or canceled appointments. This is a total waste of your time. Appointment reminders are very useful for this. It is also important to schedule breaks for some “you time”. If you are fresh and re-charged this will lead to a better client experience and higher tips.

How can Klipped help?

The Klipped haircut app lets you be in complete control of your business. Klipped acts as an easy-to-use scheduling assistant so you can add appointments into your schedule in a convenient and useful way.  It lets you market your business to perspective clients, so you can grow your clientele while better serving your existing one. Allowing your clients to view your Klipped profile and book through the app eliminates wasted time answering the phone. This helps to promote a pleasant experience for your clients in the chair because you can focus on them. Clients who book on Klipped tip an average of 24% on every service and 100% of them intend to book their next haircut using the app. Klipped also allows you to set no-show and cancellation fees so clients respect your time and you don’t get burned by missed appointments. Overall, Klipped will help you gain new clients, simplify the payment process, boost your tips, and manage your schedule professionally.

To find out more about Klipped, and see how we can help your business grow, visit