A capable salon assistant can be an invaluable resource to salon owners, but perfect assistants are made, not born. A stylist fresh out of beauty school may not have much real experience working in a salon, but that doesn't mean they can't become a great assistant as long as they have a good teacher. Here are four easy steps for training the perfect salon assistant.

1. Stick to an education schedule.

When you take on a new salon assistant, one of the first things you should do is create an education schedule. Choose a specific time each week for models to come in for class, and work with your new assistant to polish their skills and refine their techniques. Make sure your assistant knows what's expected of them, and stick to the schedule you create. Be sure to give plenty of feedback, but keep your criticism constructive and don't be afraid to let your assistant know when they've done a great job.

2. Lead by example.

Some salon owners prefer to keep their assistant by their side throughout the day. By shadowing you as you work, your assistant can learn new techniques and get a feel for how you like to do things in your salon. It's also a great opportunity for your new assistant to observe how you interact with clients and deal with problems. By setting a good example for your salon assistant, you can help ensure they perform up to your standards.

3. Keep your assistant busy.

When training a new assistant, it's important to remember that your assistant isn't just there to support you, but rather the salon as a whole. Make sure your new assistant is clear on their role and responsibilities, such as cleaning up hair at other styling stations, collecting and washing towels, cleaning up discarded drinks and snacks, and so on.

4. Take good care of your employees.

Remember, your new assistant is there to support you, so treat them well! Your assistant will work harder and perform at a higher level if they feel respected, appreciated, and well-compensated. The better you care for your assistants, the more money they'll earn you in the long run.

Hiring a new salon assistant may seem like a daunting task, but with the proper training and motivation, your new assistant can become one of your most valuable team members. Try out the tips above next time you're training a new assistant, and watch as they transform into a productive member of your staff.