Your salon may boast a sleek design or a hip energy, but does your town's top talent want to work there? To evaluate workplace friendliness, we challenged our applicants to tell their compensation story to a local reporter doing a feature on top places to work. They were invited to clearly outline career paths, salary expectations, and benefits packages. Extra credit went to applicants that demonstrated some creativity in their employee perks, like gym memberships or financial counseling.

Centre Salon & Spa, Tiffany Plaza
Denver, CO
centresalontiffanyplaza.com
James F. Pacifico
SQUARE FEET: 2,100
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 13
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $37
AVERAGE STYLIST INCOME: $30,000 to 39,999
BEST SELLING RETAIL: Aveda
COLOR: Aveda
TECH SUPPORT: SalonBiz, SpaBiz, Demandforce, HeavenGroup
“We have a 401k package available to all employees over the age of 21. We contribute 3 percent of the employee’s annual earnings, including tips, regardless of whether the employee contributes on his or her behalf. Our contribution is 100-percent fully vested for the employee at the time of contribution.”

Clive and Co. Hairdressing

Dallas, TX
cliveandco.com
Clive Lamb
SQUARE FEET: 2,700
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 20
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $85
AVERAGE STYLIST INCOME: $50,000 to $59,999
BEST SELLING RETAIL: Kérastase, Bumble and bumble
COLOR: Wella
TECH SUPPORT: Millennium
ASSOCIATION: PBA
“We provide our employees with a personal concierge—through our payroll services—that can be used anytime for services such as booking reservations, locating a hard-to-find gift item, concert/theater tickets, or whatever they need. We also offer the services of a licensed therapist. Each employee gets three free visits for each specific challenge or problem they may be experiencing.”

Dionysus Salon Spa
The Woodlands, TX
dionysussalon.net
Dennis and Terri Clendennen
SQUARE FEET: 2,900
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 20
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $73
AVERAGE STYLIST INCOME: $60,000 to $69,999
BEST SELLING RETAIL: Aveda
COLOR: Aveda
TECH SUPPORT: SalonBiz, Demandforce
ASSOCIATION: ABN
“Our team receives one-hour lunch breaks and complimentary hair cuts/color while on the clock. We allow four family members to receive complimentary services with them during work hours and at 50 percent with other staff members. Any family can get services during their off time with only product charges.”

Douglas Carroll Salon and Med Spa
Raleigh, NC
douglascarrollsalon.com
Douglas Carroll David
SQUARE FEET: 6,000
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 30
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $60
AVERAGE STYLIST INCOME: $40,000 to $49,999
BEST SELLING RETAIL: TIGI, Moroccanoil, KMS/Goldwell COLOR: Goldwell, All Nutrient
TECH SUPPORT: Millennium, Smile Reminder
ASSOCIATIONS: Intercoiffure, PBA
“All employees have the opportunity to attend an annual trip to the Goldwell Academy in Baltimore—all expenses paid. In addition, the salon holds an annual photo shoot for stylists to create work that can be potentially published in national beauty publications.”

Ihloff Salon and Day Spa

Tulsa, OK
ihloffspa.com
Marilyn Ihloff
SQUARE FEET: 6,000/4,500/2,500
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 134
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $50
AVERAGE STYLIST INCOME: $40,000 to $49,999
BEST SELLING RETAIL: Aveda
COLOR: Aveda
TECH SUPPORT: SpaBiz, Demandforce
ASSOCIATIONS: I/SPA, PBA
“Stylists start off as interns, then are promoted to ‘Protégé Stylist.’ We understand that building your business as a new stylist can be challenging, and for that reason, all Protégé stylists are paid either hourly or commission, whichever is greater for the first three months on the floor.”

The Loft Hair Design
Escondido, CA
thelofthairdesign.com
Shawna Cruise
SQUARE FEET: 2,200
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 20
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $55
AVERAGE STYLIST INCOME: $50,000 to $59,999
BEST SELLING RETAIL: Bumble and bumble, Unite
COLOR: Wella, Redken
TECH SUPPORT: Milano, Constant Contact
ASSOCIATION: PBA
“In all areas of full-time employment—everything from customer Relations to Director of Operations—employees are offered health, dental, vision, chiropractic, vacation, paid holidays, education reimbursement, monthly product allowance, personal goal setting, family discounts and complimentary personal services.”

Rejuvenation Spa
Madison, WI
rejuvenationspa.net
Gretchen Brown and Tina Morschauser
SQUARE FEET: 3,600
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 38
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $43
AVERAGE STYLIST INCOME: $30,000 to $39,999
BEST SELLING RETAIL: Aveda
COLOR: Aveda
TECH SUPPORT: SalonBiz, Demandforce
ASSOCIATIONS: I/SPA, NCA, PBA
“We host three to four photoshoots per year in-house, in which we pay for all of the processing of photos and enter them for submission to help our team get their work published.”

Sky Salon
Strongsville, OH
skysalon.com
Damon Jaskolka
SQUARE FEET: 2,400
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 16
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $48
AVERAGE STYLIST INCOME: $50,000 to $59,999
BEST SELLING RETAIL: Kevin Murphy, Aquage, Biomega, KMS
COLOR: Goldwell, Logics
TECH SUPPORT: SalonBiz, Demandforce
ASSOCIATION: PBA
“Sky Salon offers a 50 percent reimbursement of health-related expenses like gym membership, tennis shoes, exercise equipment, personal trainer, nutritional consultant, Wii game systems, race registration fees, and more.”

Twist Salon
Virginia Beach, VA
twisthairsalon.com
James T. Grubbs
SQUARE FEET: 1,600/1,700
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 25
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $38
AVERAGE STYLIST INCOME: $40,000 to $49,999
BEST SELLING RETAIL: Pureology, Moroccanoil, Sebastian
COLOR: Wella, Sebastian
TECH SUPPORT: Elite, Constant Contact, Groupon, Living Social
ASSOCIATION: PBA
“Benefits include 401k plan, paid maternity leave, disability and life insurance. Stylists can enjoy up to five weeks vacation time per year. Employees and their families also have the opportunity to enjoy a lake retreat home free of charge.”

Zanya Spa Salon Corp.
Lambertville, NJ
zanyaspasalon.com
Zanya Gissler and Filomena Cook
SQUARE FEET: 6,700
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 50
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $80
AVERAGE STYLIST INCOME: $40,000 to $49,999
BEST SELLING RETAIL: L’Oréal Professionnel, Aveda, Moroccanoil
COLOR: L’Oréal Professionnel, Aveda
TECH SUPPORT: Millennium, Demandforce
ASSOCIATION: PBA
“As your career progresses, staff members are able to take advanced training in the salon and outside as well. It’s important to note employees are paid their hourly rate for every hour they are in class.”

ADDITIONAL HONOREES
Avalon Salon and Day Spa, Deer Park, IL
Blo, Raleigh, NC
Changes Hair Studio & Spa, Kamloops, BC
Enright and Company, Brattleboro, VT
Eric Fisher Salon, Wichita, KS
Mango Hair Salon, Richmond, VA
Omagi Salon & Spa, Louisville, KY
Paris Parker, Hammond, LA
Paul Kenneth Salon & Spa, Woburn, MA
Pyara Salon and Spa, Burlington, MA
Pyara Salon and Spa, Cambridge, MA
You Salon, Inc., Ellicott