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The salon industry is thriving, comprising a larger part of the country's workforce every day. Even in the smallest or most casual locations, each salon is a hive of organization, specific roles and duties.
The owner or manager may not be a cosmetology graduate but instead focuses on budgeting and book keeping, conflict resolution and the hiring and orientation of stylists and support.
The receptionist is the face of the salon who greets customers, answers phones, handles inquiries and schedules appointments for the styling staff.
The salon assistant is often a cosmetology graduate who is working for advanced learning opportunities. Their responsibilities include helping with color formulation and application, washing and blow-drying clients, and general housekeeping duties, such as sweeping hair.
Some state regulations allow for salon staff to earn while they learn in apprentice programs. The duties are generally the same as those of an assistant, though the apprentice receives more guidance and instruction.
Some salons have departmentalized services, split between colorists and stylists. While colorists mainly work with color, many offer other chemical services, such as perms and relaxers.
A stylist's specialty is the hair cut, though some also offer simple services such as a shampoo and blowout and advanced services such as hair-extensions applications and updos for special events.
Jennifer Van Leigh began writing short pieces in 2007. With over five years in the hair industry, Van Leigh has contributed articles at Atlanta Salon & Spa and is certified as an extensions stylist. She studied scriptwriting and creative nonfiction in Gallery 37, a Chicago youth arts program.