How to hire a Hairstylist in Canada?

How to hire a Hairstylist in Canada?

Hiring a skilled hairstylist can elevate your salon to new heights, as these talented professionals bring a wealth of experience, creativity, and technical proficiency to the table. However, finding the right hairstylist is no simple task as it requires meticulous hiring procedures and extensive resources to headhunt the most talented ones.

With an expert eye for talent, Hookjobs hunts top-notch hairstylists who align perfectly with your salon’s vision, aiding you in delivering exceptional services that leave a lasting impression on your customers. In this article, we will familiarize you with how we find and hire quality hairstylists in Canada.

How we Help you Hire a Hairstylist in Canada? 

By handling certain screening procedures and providing expert guidance, Hookjobs helps you find the best-fit hairstylist candidates, saving time, effort, and resources.

The following flowchart presents our detailed process for hiring a talented hairstylist:

1. Needs Analysis

When seeking to hire a hairstylist, we must primarily conduct a thorough needs analysis to ensure we find the perfect hairstylist candidate who can meet the specific needs of your salon or establishment.

To accomplish this, we write an inception report discussing your salon’s unique requirements, your services, and the qualities you seek in a hairstylist. This initial step helps us craft a compelling job description that attracts potential hairstylist candidates who align perfectly with your salon’s vision.

Here are some essential elements we consider during the needs analysis procedure:

  • Company overview: To gain a comprehensive understanding of your salon’s identity and vision, we must know an overview of your business. Details such as the type of hair services you offer (e.g., cutting, colouring, styling), your target clientele, brand positioning, and any distinctive features that set your salon apart from competitors will be invaluable in attracting hairstylist candidates who align with your brand ethos.
  • Hairstylist role description: We aim to identify the ideal hairstylist candidate who perfectly complements your salon’s needs. To achieve this, we request a detailed description of the hairstylist role you seek to fill. Therefore, we must specify the responsibilities, hairdressing techniques required (e.g., precision cutting, balayage, or chemical treatments), and any specialized skills or certifications you prefer in the candidate.
  • Experience and expertise: Understanding the level of experience you require in a hairstylist will be crucial in targeting suitable applicants. We also need to know if you are open to hiring junior hairstylists with growth potential or if you specifically seek seasoned professionals to bring their expertise to your salon.
  • Cultural fit and salon environment: Finding a hairstylist who fits seamlessly into your salon’s culture is essential for a cohesive and productive team dynamic. We, therefore, ask you to provide us with insights into your salon’s work culture, values, and team dynamics to help us identify hairstylist candidates who resonate with your environment.
  • Timeline and availability: Knowing the expected timeline for hiring the hairstylist is crucial for efficient recruitment management. Based on your specific deadlines or seasonal demands, we look for hairstylist candidates who match with your demands, ensuring a smooth and successful recruitment process.
  • Budget and compensation: Understanding your budget for hiring the hairstylist will enable us to tailor our search to hairstylist candidates within the appropriate salary range. We ask you to provide us with details on the compensation package, benefits, and any additional incentives you offer to attract top talents.
  • Portfolio and work samples: If possible, we ask you to share any hairstylist portfolios, work samples, or references, which can greatly aid us in assessing the candidates’ capabilities and understanding the type of work you expect from them.

2. Job Posting

After understanding your salon’s requirements, we proceed to the job posting phase, where we seek to attract hairstylist talents among a large pool of potential candidates.

Through various social media platforms, Hookjobs headhunt the most professional applicants in Canada tailored to the needs of your salon.

Here’s an example of how we post your vacancy for the hairstylist position:

Job Title: Hairstylist

Location: Canada

Are you a passionate and skilled hairstylist eager to make a significant impact in the world of hairdressing? We are a leading recruitment agency in Canada, actively seeking a talented hairstylist to join a renowned salon in Vancouver, British Columbia. As a hairstylist, you will have the incredible opportunity to transform our clients’ looks, boost their confidence, and leave a lasting impression with your exceptional hairstyling expertise.


  • Demonstrating proficiency in a wide range of advanced hairstyling techniques, including precision cutting, layering, graduation, and texturizing
  • Being well-versed in creating both classic and trendy hairstyles that suit various hair types, lengths, and face shapes.
  • Showcasing your mastery of hair colouring techniques such as foil highlighting, balayage, ombre, and colour melting.
  • Utilizing your expertise in blowouts to give clients a flawless and polished look
  • Creating captivating updos and intricate hairstyles for special occasions, ensuring that each client’s unique style and personality shine through on their important day
  • Displaying your talent in curling and waving techniques, using curling irons, hot rollers, or flat irons to add texture, volume, and movement to the hair
  • Offering expert advice on hair treatments, including keratin treatments and deep conditioning
  • Demonstrating finesse in men’s grooming techniques, such as precise clipper cutting for short hairstyles and skillful beard grooming to achieve polished and well-maintained facial hair


  • Proven experience as a hairstylist with a diverse portfolio showcasing your expertise in advanced hairstyling techniques, hair colouring, and hair treatments
  • Proficiency in the latest cutting-edge hair trends and styles, staying up-to-date with emerging industry techniques through workshops and continuing education
  • Exceptional communication skills to consult with clients effectively, understanding their needs and desires while offering professional recommendations and advice
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced salon environment, managing time efficiently to accommodate client appointments and ensuring excellent customer service
  • Flexibility to adapt your skills to cater to individual client preferences, taking into account their hair type, face shape, and lifestyle
  • Eligibility to work in Canada and compliance with any necessary certifications or licenses

If you are a dedicated and talented hairstylist looking to take your career to new heights in the hairstyling industry, we encourage you to apply. Join our team of skilled professionals and contribute your expertise to a salon that values creativity, innovation, and the pursuit of excellence. Together, we will make every client’s salon visit an unforgettable and confidence-boosting experience through the artistry of hairstyling.

3. Resume Screening

At Hookjobs, our recruiters carefully review the resumes of hairstylist candidates to ensure they meet the minimum criteria before moving forward in the hiring process.

During the resume review, our main focus is on the candidates’ relevant formal education and certifications, ensuring they possess the necessary expertise to excel as professional hairstylists in your salon.

Here are some of the most essential hairstyling certifications in Canada that we consider:

  • Red Seal Hairstylist Certification: The Red Seal certification is a nationally recognized standard for hairstylists in Canada. It signifies that a hairstylist has successfully completed a standardized exam and met the required industry standards in hairstyling.
  • Apprenticeship Completion Certificate: Completing a hairstyling apprenticeship program is a common pathway to becoming a certified hairstylist. Apprenticeships provide hands-on training and mentorship under the guidance of experienced hairstylists.
  • Health and Safety Certification: Hairstylists must often comply with health and safety regulations to ensure a safe working environment for themselves and their clients. Obtaining relevant health and safety certifications is crucial in this regard.
  • Continuing Education and Workshops: The hairstyling industry is constantly evolving, with new techniques and trends emerging regularly. Participating in continuing education programs and workshops helps hairstylists stay up-to-date with the latest advancements and maintain their skills.

Moreover, each province or territory in Canada may have its own hairstylist licensing requirements. The following table showcases some of the most essential hairstyling certificates in different provinces of Canada:


Essential Hairstyling Certificate

Issued By


Hairstylist License

Ontario College of Trades

British Columbia

Hairstylist Certificate of Qualification

Industry Training Authority (ITA)


Journeyman Certificate

Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board


Professional Competency Certificate

Commission des partenaires du marché du travail


Certificate of Qualification

Apprenticeship Manitoba


Journeyman Certificate

Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission

Nova Scotia

Certificate of Qualification

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

New Brunswick

Certificate of Qualification

Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training, and Labour

Prince Edward Island

Certificate of Qualification


Newfoundland and Labrador

Certificate of Qualification

Department of Advanced Education, Skills, and Labour

After reviewing the relevant hairstyling certificates, we consider other essential qualities that a highly-skilled hairstylist candidate must possess:

We look for a hairstylist with significant industry experience who has likely encountered a wide range of hair types, styles, and customer preferences, which helps them seamlessly handle diverse challenges.

We must ensure the hairstylist candidates possess advanced knowledge and mastery of complex hairstyling techniques, such as intricate updos, creative colour blending, and specialized treatments.

We seek talented hairstylists with a keen sense of creativity and artistic flair. They must envision and create unique hairstyles that suit each client’s features and preferences.

We must also ensure the hairstylist candidates maintain a professional attitude and appearance as clients look for reliable, punctual hairstylists who maintain high hygiene standards.

We check whether the hairstylist applicants are adaptable. This is because clients have varied preferences, and a skilled hairstylist must adapt to different styling requests while still achieving outstanding results.

We also need to ensure the hairstylist candidates show empathy and patience when discussing and implementing changes to a client’s appearance.

4. Job Interview

After reviewing the hairstylist candidates’ resumes, we invite the most suitable ones for the hairstylist position to participate in a vis-à-vis interview with our recruiters.

The following are some general and technical questions we commonly ask when hiring hairstylists:

General Questions:

  • Can you tell us about your background and experience as a hairstylist?
  • What initially sparked your interest in pursuing a career in hairstyling?
  • How do you stay up-to-date with the latest hairstyling trends and techniques?
  • Describe a situation where you had to handle a challenging client and how you resolved the issue.
  • How do you approach client consultations to understand their preferences and needs?
  • What do you enjoy most about working as a hairstylist?
  • How do you manage your time and prioritize appointments in a fast-paced salon environment?
  • How do you handle stressful situations or busy days in the salon?
  • Describe a time when you had to work as part of a team to achieve a common goal.
  • How do you maintain a positive and friendly atmosphere with clients and colleagues?

Technical Questions:

  • What are your favourite hairstyling techniques and why?
  • Can you demonstrate your proficiency in creating a specific type of hairstyle, such as a layered haircut or a balayage colour application?
  • How do you determine the right hairstyle for a client based on their face shape and hair type?
  • Explain the process of performing a keratin treatment or deep conditioning on a client’s hair.
  • How do you handle different hair textures and provide suitable recommendations for hair care products?
  • What hair colouring techniques are you most skilled in, and how do you achieve seamless colour transitions?
  • Describe your approach to creating an intricate updo or hairstyle for a special occasion.
  • How do you address client concerns related to hair damage or hair loss?
  • How do you maintain a hygienic work environment and ensure proper sterilization of hairstyling tools?

5. Checking References

We find reference checking an essential aspect of our hiring process as it provides us with valuable insights into the work history, skills, and professional conduct of potential hairdressing candidates.

We check the references through the following steps:

  • Reference request: As part of our hairstylist hiring process, we ask the hairstylist candidates to provide a list of professional references who can speak to your hairstyling expertise and experience. We prioritize references who have worked closely with you in a salon setting.
  • Contacting references: We’ll reach out to the provided references via phone or email. We’ll seek candid feedback on their hairstyling skills, work ethic, and suitability for the hairstylist position.
  • Tailored questions: Our reference check questions focus on hairstyling techniques, hair services, customer service, and their ability to work with diverse hair types.
  • Verification & growth areas: We’ll verify the candidates’ work history and inquire about their strengths as a hairstylist and areas for professional growth.
  • Detailed documentation: Our team takes comprehensive notes during the reference check to aid our assessment of the candidates’ hairstyling abilities.
  • Reporting results: The gathered information will be compiled into a report, providing an overview of your references and their assessments, helping us make informed hiring decisions.

6. Assessing the Hairstylist Candidates

Following the reference-checking stage, we meticulously assess the hairstylist candidates’ abilities to ensure their expertise in the field.

Here are some key areas we evaluate when hiring a hairstylist:

  • Technical haircutting skills: We provide the hairstylist candidates with a mannequin head or a live model and ask them to demonstrate various haircutting techniques, such as layers, bobs, fades, or texturizing. We evaluate their precision, speed, and attention to detail.
  • Colouring and hair treatment knowledge: We present the hairstylist applicants with a scenario where a client wants to change their hair colour or needs a specific hair treatment (e.g., colour correction, highlights, keratin treatment). We ask them to explain the process, recommend suitable products, and identify potential risks or challenges.
  • Styling and updos: We provide the hairstylist candidates with different hair types and lengths and ask them to create a variety of hairstyles, including updos, curls, and sleek looks. We then assess their creativity, versatility, and ability to work with different hair textures.
  • Client consultation and communication: We conduct a role-play as a potential client with specific hair concerns or desired styles, evaluating how well the hairstylist listens, asks clarifying questions, and provides recommendations based on the client’s needs and preferences.
  • Time management and efficiency: We set up a mock salon environment with multiple clients scheduled for different services. We observe how the hairstylist organizes their time, handles appointments, and ensures that clients receive proper attention without excessive delays.
  • Sanitation and hygiene practices: We discuss with the hairstylist the importance of cleanliness and sanitation in a salon environment. We ask them to demonstrate their understanding of proper tool sterilization, station cleanliness, and disposal of single-use items.
  • Product knowledge and recommendations: We present the hairstylist with a selection of hair care products and tools. We ask them to identify the purpose of each product and recommend the most suitable ones for specific hair types or concerns.
  • Problem-solving skills: We present the hairstylist with hypothetical scenarios, such as dealing with a dissatisfied client, handling a hair emergency during a busy day, or managing a challenging hair texture. We evaluate how they approach and resolve these situations.
  • Teamwork and adaptability: We also assess the hairstylist applicants’ teamwork and adaptability within a group activity or role-playing scenario where the hairstylist must collaborate with other salon staff to achieve a common goal or handle unexpected changes in the salon schedule.

7. Training the Hairstylists

After the assessment stage, we choose the most qualified hairstylist candidates for the job. However, before officially hiring them, we conduct training sessions tailored to your salon’s specific needs, as outlined in the inception report.

Our trainers at Hookjobs train the hairstylist candidates as follows:

  • Product knowledge: Understanding different hair care and styling products is essential for achieving optimal results. Our trainers ensure that hairstylist candidates have an intimate knowledge of various product lines, including shampoos, conditioners, styling gels, and specialized treatments. This knowledge enables candidates to select the most suitable products for their clients’ unique hair needs and concerns.
  • Trend awareness: Keeping up with the latest trends is vital in the fashion and beauty industry. Our trainers ensure that the hairstylist candidates stay updated on the latest hairstyle trends, allowing them to offer modern and relevant styles to clients.
  • Cultural fit: Cultural fit is essential to ensure a harmonious and supportive team atmosphere in a salon environment. Our trainers emphasize the importance of cultural fit and assess candidates’ ability to work well with diverse colleagues and clients, promoting a positive and inclusive work culture.
  • Customer service excellence: Providing exceptional customer service is at the core of a successful hairstyling career. Our trainers impart the art of going above and beyond to meet clients’ needs, creating memorable experiences that leave a lasting positive impression.

8. Drawing up a Contract

The final step in our hiring process includes signing a contract with the hairstylist candidates before officially hiring them. When creating the contract, we include specific measures to ensure legally sound agreements in Canada.

Here are some steps we consider when drawing up a contract with the prospective hairstylist:

  • Service offerings: We clearly define the hairstylist’s range of services in the contract, including haircuts, colouring, styling, treatments, and any additional specialty services they may provide.
  • Commission or compensation structure: We outline the hairstylist’s compensation package, including commission-based earnings, hourly pay, or a combination of both.
  • Service pricing and upselling: The contract may also address the pricing structure for various services the hairstylist offer. Additionally, it may include guidelines for upselling products or treatments to clients to enhance the hairstylist’s earning potential.
  • Client retention: We may include provisions for client retention strategies, encouraging the hairstylist to build strong and loyal relationships with clients.
  • Scheduling and availability: We specify the hairstylist’s working hours, days off, and any potential flexibility needed to accommodate client appointments.
  • Tools and supplies: We outline whether the salon provides the necessary tools and supplies or if the hairstylist is responsible for maintaining their own equipment.
  • Continued education: Recognizing the importance of ongoing professional development, we may include the salon’s support for continued education and training opportunities for the hairstylist in the contract.
  • Dress code and personal presentation: To maintain a professional image, we include appropriate attire and personal grooming guidelines in the contract.
  • Attendance and punctuality: We stress the importance of punctuality and regular attendance to uphold the salon’s reputation for excellent customer service.
  • Client confidentiality: We also include confidentiality clauses to protect sensitive client information and maintain client trust.
  • Performance expectations: We also set performance expectations in the contract, such as client satisfaction targets or service quality standards, to ensure the hairstylist consistently delivers exceptional work.
  • Termination clause: In the event of termination, we outline the notice period and conditions for ending the employment relationship in the contract.
  • Non-solicitation: To safeguard the salon’s clientele, we include a non-solicitation clause in the contract to prevent the hairstylist from soliciting the salon’s clients if they decide to leave the salon.

Labour Laws and Regulations for Hiring a Hairstylist in Canada

When hiring a hairstylist in Canada, abiding by labour laws and regulations is imperative to ensure fair and legal employment practices.

Here are some key labour laws and regulations you should consider:

  • Employment Standards Act (ESA): The ESA sets out minimum standards for employment in Canada, including provisions related to working hours, overtime pay, public holidays, vacation entitlement, and termination notice. You must comply with these standards to ensure fair working conditions for the hairstylist.
  • Minimum wage: Each province and territory in Canada sets its own minimum wage rate. You must pay the hairstylist at least the minimum wage specified in your respective region.
  • Workplace safety and health: You are obligated to provide a safe and healthy working environment for your employees, including hairstylists. This includes taking necessary precautions to prevent workplace injuries, providing proper training, and following health and safety regulations.
  • Employment contracts: It is advisable to have a written employment contract in place with the hairstylist, specifying terms of employment, compensation, working hours, job responsibilities, and other essential details.
  • Termination and severance pay: If you terminate the hairstylist’s employment, you must follow the relevant termination and severance pay rules as outlined in the ESA or provincial/territorial labour laws.
  • Equal employment opportunity: As the Canadian Human Rights Act and provincial/territorial human rights codes protect employees from discrimination, you must not discriminate against any candidate or employee based on race, colour, religion, sex, age, or disability.
  • Vacation entitlement: The ESA or provincial/territorial labour laws specify the minimum number of vacation days or vacation pay to which the hairstylist is entitled based on their length of service.
  • Breaks and rest periods: You must provide adequate breaks and rest periods during the workday to ensure the hairstylist’s well-being and compliance with employment standards.
  • Licensing and certification: Hairstylists in Canada may require specific licensing or certification to perform certain services legally. You should verify that your hairstylist candidates hold the necessary qualifications.
  • Privacy protection: You must respect the hairstylist’s privacy rights and handle their personal information in compliance with applicable privacy laws.
  • Unionization: If hairstylists are part of a union, you must respect the collective bargaining agreements and any labour relations regulations that apply.
  • Child Labour Laws: Special rules apply to the employment of minors in Canada. You should be aware of and comply with child labour laws when hiring hairstylists under the age of majority.

What is the Average Wage for Hiring a Hairstylist in Canada?

The average hairstylist wage in Canada is $35,100 per year (i.e., $18 per hour). Whereas novice hairstylists earn $29,274 annually, more experienced ones make up to $46,157 annually.

The average wage for hiring a hairstylist in Canada can vary from province to province. The following table demonstrates the average hairstylist wages in different provinces and territories of Canada:

Province/TerritoryGeneral Minimum WageLiquor ServersStudent Minimum Wage
British Columbia$16.75$17.00$29.63
New Brunswick$14.75$17.00$22.89
Newfoundland and Labrador$14.50$14.50$21.37
Nova Scotia$14.50$15.00$23.79
Prince Edward Island$14.50$15.00$21.92

Different Types of Hairstylists we Hire in Canada

We hire various types of hairstylists with different specializations and roles in Canada.

Here are some common types of hairstylists we may consider hiring based on specific requirements:

Hair colour specialists focus primarily on hair colouring techniques, such as highlights, lowlights, balayage, ombre, and corrective colour. They have in-depth knowledge of different colour products and formulations.

Haircut specialists excel in precise and creative haircutting techniques. They are skilled at creating various haircut styles, from classic to trendy and avant-garde.

Styling specialists are experts in creating diverse hairstyles for special occasions, events, and formal affairs. They excel in updos, curls, braids, and other intricate styling techniques.

Salon managers oversee the day-to-day operations of the salon. They handle scheduling, client appointments, and staff management, ensuring the salon operates efficiently.

Hair extension specialists specialize in applying and maintaining hair extensions, offering clients options for length and volume enhancement.

Bridal hairstylists focus on creating stunning hairstyles for brides and bridal parties, catering to their specific preferences and wedding themes.

Creative hairstylists are skilled in experimental and artistic hairstyling, often participating in photo shoots, runway shows, and hair competitions.

Men’s grooming specialists cater to male clients, offering tailored haircuts, beard grooming, and product recommendations.


Professional hairstylists serve as the cornerstone of your salon’s reputation and brand image. Their artistry and dedication to their craft create a positive word-of-mouth buzz, attracting new clients and building a loyal clientele base. Whether you own a high-end salon or a cozy boutique studio, rest assured that Hookjobs will help you discover the hairstylist who will create the perfect look for your discerning clientele. Through its efficient hiring process, Hookjobs has a proven track record for finding the best fit for your business.


Is hair stylist in demand in Canada?

Yes, it is. WorkBC, the official job board for British Columbia, predicts substantial growth in the field of hairstylists over the next decade. During the period from 2021 to 2031, there are expected to be over 6,000 new job opportunities in this profession.

How much does a salon owner earn in Canada?

The average salary for a salon owner is CA$91,305 per year in Canada.

What are the typical working hours for a hairstylist in Canada?

The typical working hours for a hairstylist in Canada can vary depending on the salon’s operating hours and the hairstylist’s schedule preferences. Generally, hairstylists work 40 hours per week.

What skills should I look for when hiring a hairstylist?

When hiring a hairstylist, look for technical skills such as hair cutting, colouring, and styling expertise. Strong communication and customer service skills are essential for client satisfaction. Consider their creativity, ability to keep up with industry trends, and professional approach to work.

Should I consider hiring young hairstylists or older ones?

There is no black-and-white dichotomy in your choice for young or older hairstylists, as they each bring unique strengths. Young stylists offer fresh ideas and tech-savviness, while older ones bring experience, expertise, and a loyal client base. A diverse team can create a dynamic work environment that benefits your salon and clients.

Can I hire foreign hairstylists in Canada?

Yes, you can hire foreign hairstylists in Canada through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), which requires obtaining a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada.

Can I hire hairstylists on a part-time basis?

Yes, you can hire hairstylists on a part-time basis, especially if your salon requires additional help during peak hours or seasonal demands. Part-time hairstylists can provide flexibility and cost-effectiveness in staffing.

Is language proficiency important when hiring a hairstylist?

Yes, language proficiency is essential for effective communication with clients and team members in the salon. A hairstylist with good language skills can better understand client needs, provide personalized service, and build strong client relationships.

Can I offer incentives like commission-based earnings to motivate hairstylists to perform well?

Yes, offering commission-based earnings can greatly incentivize hairstylists to perform at their best. It aligns their success with the salon’s, motivating them to provide exceptional service and increase client satisfaction.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *