How to Dress for an Interview at a Salon

Black and white is a winning combination at many salons.
i Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

You could probably describe your hair salon in one word, be it “casual,” “hip,” “sophisticated” or -- no pun intended-- “cutting-edge.” The fact is, every salon has an image, and one of the ways it projects this image is through its employees. If you’re wondering how to dress for an interview at a salon, one of the most important steps you can take is to pay a secret visit to the salon so that you can replicate the look. After all, if you can dress the part, the interviewer is more likely to see you playing the part, too.

    Step 1

    Visit the salon on a busy day and take note not only of the clothes employees are wearing, but also how they accessorize the look and do their hair and makeup. Many salons favor black-and-white attire. Check to see if the women are wearing slacks or skirts and if their look is more conservative or trendy.

    Step 2

    Err on the conservative, good taste side if you’re in doubt or see people dressed in various ways. A suit is probably too formal; it is generally not conducive to the bending, reaching and general physical activity that underscores the nature of salon work. Ensure that a skirt is neither too short nor too tight, and leave low-cut tops and blouses in reserve for a Saturday night on the town.

    Step 3

    Wear stylish but comfortable shoes, avoiding high heels. They could create the impression that you don’t realize that salon employees spend the better part of the day on their feet.

    Step 4

    Accessorize your outfit fashionably. Follow the “less is more” maxim. Consider limiting your choices to classy earrings, a watch and a ring. Remember that you want your interviewer to focus on you and not wonder what possessed you to wear bulky, obnoxious earrings to a job interview.

    Step 5

    Spend some time on your nails, makeup and hair. Favor the low-key approach, but send the message that you -- a potential member of the beauty industry -- enjoy and embrace key elements of the trade. For example, wear clear nail polish rather than loud colors; go easy on the eye makeup and wear a shimmer of lip gloss; and make sure that your hair is clean and doesn’t fall in your face and that any dark roots don’t show.

    Step 6

    Keep in mind that you can always “glam up” your look. But if you present an over-the-top image at an interview, your questioner may assume that you may be averse to toning it down.


    • It’s perfectly acceptable to ask your interviewer point-blank if you are dressed appropriately for the salon, especially if you think a job offer may be forthcoming. Asking for advice is the sign of someone who wants to please.

the nest