Shampooers picture    Shampooers image

Shampooers are individuals who specialize in shampooing and conditioning hair. In many types of hair care settings, their work function is performed by more general hair specialists such as Barbers, Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists. In larger hair salons, however, shampooers perform this function exclusively. They generally perform their work alongside other specialists such as Manicurists and Pedicurists (also referred to as Nail Technicians), who work exclusively on nails and provide manicures, pedicures, nail polishing, and nail extensions to customers; or Estheticians (also known as Skin Care Specialists).


Shampooers are specialists employed by larger salons and/or spas to focus specifically on shampooing, conditioning, and treating hair. The treatment they provide primarily involves cleaning the hair and scalp; however, shampooer duties often go beyond cleaning and delve into other personal care areas such as scalp treatment, bleaching, tinting, and massaging. There are also peripheral duties associated with the job, such as record-keeping and maintenance or updating of customer logs. Shampooers are specialists who do not generally perform other cosmetology or barber-related tasks such as manicures, pedicures, hair cutting, skin care, or electrolysis; although these things are often done at the same venues where shampooers work.

Typical tasks performed by shampooers may include any or all of the following:

  • Shampoo customers' hair to clean it and remove excess oil
  • Massage hair and scalp for hygienic and remedial purposes
  • Apply conditioning agents to customers' hair and scalp
  • Treat scalp conditions and hair loss
  • Rinse hair
  • Apply and remove rollers or permanent rods
  • Make appointments
  • Bleach hair
  • Apply dyes to hair as needed
  • Advise customers with chronic or potentially contagious scalp conditions to seek medical treatment
  • Administer therapeutic medication as necessary
  • Update and maintain customer treatment and client information records
  • Service wigs, toupees, and hair pieces

To perform their work, shampooers make use of specialized lotions, shampoos, conditioners, and other hair care equipment. In addition to performing work on their clients, shampooers are expected to maintain clean work areas and sanitize all the implements they use. A growing number of them actively sell hair products and other supplies. Shampooers who operate their own salons have managerial duties that supplement their regular work. These duties include hiring, supervising, and firing workers. They also include keeping business records, ordering supplies, maintaining inventory, and arranging for advertising.

Job Characteristics

Most shampooers tend to work standard 40-hour work weeks, although typically salons are open during evening and weekend hours to accommodate customers who find those times most convenient for them. The work environment is normally clean and pleasant, as salons and spas usually strive to achieve an atmosphere attractive to customers. Shampooers usually spend most of their work hours on their feet, which can cause fatigue and requires physical stamina.

Communication, attitude, and image are personal traits which contribute to career success in this profession. Good shampooers should enjoy dealing with the public and must have both an ability and a willingness to follow customer instructions. Important characteristics for this job include a pleasant demeanor and an engaging personality, as there is a great deal of daily interaction with people. The ability to be a good salesperson can also be very helpful. Shampooers should have a good eye for fashion and should always maintain a neat personal appearance. Those who plan on running their own salons or spas also need good business skills.

Employment Outlook

The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (USDL BLS) anticipates job growth for shampooers to remain fairly steady throughout the upcoming decade. Shampooers who cater to all segments of the population are likely to have the strongest job prospects. Rapid growth in the number of full-service spas will generate a significant number of job openings for shampooers as well as for other personal appearance specialists.

The industry as a whole is likely to experience a healthy competition for jobs and for clients, and this will be most keenly felt in higher-end hair salons. A significant amount of turnaround in this profession will result in an ongoing need to replace those who retire or who leave the workforce for other reasons. This should result in a fairly steady demand for shampooers. In general, job opportunities will be strongest for candidates with previous experience in the field.

Shampooer Training

Unlike almost all other personal appearance workers, shampooers are not required to be licensed. Generally speaking, they also do not need formal training, although candidates with educational credentials will often enjoy an advantage in the job marketplace. Daytime or evening classes in cosmetology are offered by many public and private vocational schools. Full-time programs usually last anywhere from 9 to 24 months. Most formal training programs include a combination of classroom study and practical work experience. Including in the curricula at some schools are courses in "people skills", as these skills are an integral part of the job and as important to success in this profession as any others. Business skills are also important for those who plan to operate their own salons.

Many personal appearance workers, including shampooers, strive to continuously keep abreast of the latest fashions and beauty techniques. To do this, they typically attend training offered at salons, cosmetology schools, or product shows. Industry representatives often take these opportunities to introduce personal appearance workers to a wide range of products and services and to demonstrate the latest techniques.


Major Employers

Most shampooers are employed in beauty salons or spas, particularly in larger ones that employ specialists to work on individual facets of hair care. Although the number of shampooers employed in other venues is much smaller, some of them can also be found in department stores, nursing homes, and cosmetics stores. Some shampooers are self-employed, and a small number of them own their own salon. Many more lease booth space or a chair from the owner of an existing salon.

Schools for Shampooers are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Shampooers jobs , as of 2016

Metro Area Total Employment Annual Mean Salary
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson 830 $19,830
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell 540 $20,510
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach 490 $21,110
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington 340 $17,690
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land 250 $19,800
Pittsburgh 230 $17,170
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater 220 $21,960
Dover 80 $20,720
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn 70 $21,300
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk 60 $25,600

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Total employment and salary for professions similar to shampooers

Most Popular Industries for

These industries represent at least 1% of the total number of people employed in this occupation.

Industry Total Employment Percent Annual Median Salary
Personal Services 15,460 100% $17,280
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Shampooers.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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