The Beauty Student's Guide to Success in Detroit

With a growing beauty market and hundreds of salons and spas in the city, Detroit may be the ideal place to launch your beauty career. Unique and diverse work environments throughout the metro area provide extensive opportunities for beauty professionals to perfect their skills and grow their careers.

This article explores average salaries for beauty careers in Detroit, along with some of the top salons, beauty supply shops, and specialties to consider if you plan to work in the city.

Salary and Job Growth for Detroit Beauty Careers

Are you planning to become a cosmetologist in Michigan? Detroit has a robust, growing job market for cosmetologists, hairdressers, estheticians, and nail technicians.

Beauty career salaries in Detroit are generally similar to the Michigan average but may be higher for certain specializations. For example, nail technicians in the Detroit area can earn an average of $3,000 more per year than the state average.

Career Michigan Salary Detroit Salary
Cosmetologists $31,760 $31,750
Estheticians $36,660 $36,070
Nail Technicians $29,700 $26,720

Statewide and local 2020 average salary information are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021).

CareerOneStop reports the following anticipated employment growth for beauty industry jobs in Michigan and nationwide.

Career Florida Growth National Growth
Cosmetologists +2% -2%
Estheticians +2% +17%
Nail Technicians +2% +19%

Florida employment change (2018–2028) and national employment change (2019–2029) information is from CareerOneStop (2021).

Top Beauty Employers in Detroit

If you’re looking for a beauty job in Detroit, consider these top beauty salons and spas in the city that offer a variety of services. While inclusion on this list doesn’t guarantee that the business has employment opportunities, these unique salons can provide you with an idea of the types of jobs and employers available in Detroit if you have a cosmetology license or other beauty licenses.

Black the Salon

2127 Michigan Avenue
Detroit, MI 48216

314 W. Fourth Street
Royal Oak, MI 48067

Black the Salon is a high-end beauty salon with two locations in Corktown and Royal Oak. They offer a range of hair and beauty services, including balayage, wedding services, hair coloring, recovery treatments, and men’s services.

This is not your standard cut-and-go hair salon. The award-winning salon prides itself on offering precision cuts, formal cuts, and event makeup services that go beyond the norm. If mediocrity isn’t your thing, Black the Salon might be the perfect fit. The Black the Salon team was named Best Salon by Metro Times: The Best of Detroit in 2018 and 2019 and Best Overall Salon by Real Best of Detroit in 2014.

Want to refine your beauty skills? Black the Academy offers new and seasoned stylists the opportunity to hone advanced skills like pixie cuts, graduated bobs, and beauty terminology. Whether you work at Black the Salon or another local beauty business, expanding your skills is a great way to grow your clientele.

Crème Brulee

6406 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI 48202

Crème Brulee is a luxury salon opened by entrepreneur Katrina Wilson in 2020. Wilson started her career in beauty at just 13 years old and earned her cosmetology license at 16. Over the years, she has worked with various VIPs and celebrities and received an endorsement from beauty brand Paul Mitchell. After receiving more than $500,000 in funding, she opened the first multicultural luxury beauty salon in downtown Detroit.

Today, Wilson puts that experience to work at Crème Brulee, offering a wide range of luxury spa beauty services, including massage, hair care, nail care, and beauty products. In addition to high-end services, the salon also features an event space that accommodates up to 40 guests for networking, music, and corporate events.

6 Detroit

1441 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI 48226

6 Detroit is a bright and airy salon located in downtown Detroit between Grand River and John R. It features 18 stations and offers several standard and unique beauty services, including hair color, makeup, nails, eyebrow threading, waxing, and a private cutting room. The team is committed to providing unparalleled service and addressing the contemporary needs of clients.

The salon is the winner of numerous awards, including 25 Tiffany Awards (the ultimate honor for hairdressers) for Hairdresser of the Year, Avant Garde, and Colour. 6 Detroit was also named Best Salon by Real Detroit Weekly every year from 2004 through 2010.

In addition to 6 Detroit, there are additional locations in Royal Oak and Birmingham, which is ideal for stylists looking to live outside the hustle and bustle of downtown.

The Woodhouse Day Spa – Detroit

1447 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI 48226

Located in the heart of downtown Detroit, The Woodhouse Day Spa Detroit offers a tranquil environment that is both memorable and health-driven. The spa is corporate-owned, with more than 70 locations across the United States. Despite its corporate roots, it strives to provide each client with dedicated, personal beauty services.

The Detroit location offers a diverse range of spa and beauty services, including facials, skin repair, massages, manicures, and aromatherapy. This spa is ideal if you want to provide beauty services outside the standard haircuts and color.

Specialties and Certifications for Detroit Beauty Students to Consider

Michigan requires a cosmetologist license to provide beauty services. As a licensed cosmetologist, you can offer many standard beauty services related to hair, nails, and skin, including:

  • Haircutting and arranging
  • Hair washing
  • Natural hair cultivation
  • Manicuring services
  • Skin care services
  • Skin and body wraps

You may need an additional license if you wish to offer microdermabrasion, electrology, or esthetician services in Michigan. The state also offers limited instructor licenses for manicurists, natural hair culturists, and estheticians. However, you may not render other cosmetology services without being separately licensed.

Balayage, pixie cuts, and wigs are popular services in the Detroit area, so consider taking advanced courses in those specializations to expand your services.

Beauty School Scholarships and Grants for Detroit Students

Many Detroit-area beauty schools offer scholarships to registered students to help pay for cosmetology schooling. In some cases, funding may cover most or all your education.

In addition to school-specific grants and scholarships, you can search for Michigan-specific scholarships and funding from the state of Michigan’s Office of Post-Secondary Financial Planning. Federal funding may also be available for certain lengthier certification programs—such as cosmetology—offered by Title IV beauty schools after you fill out the FASFA application.

The Junior League of Detroit offers $1,000 scholarships to female graduating high school seniors looking to continue their college or vocational education.

Learn more about types of financial aid for beauty students and how they work.

Looking For More Scholarships?

BeautySchoolsDirectory.com offers a $2,500 scholarship for beauty and wellness professionals. We've also gathered the most comprehensive list of nation-wide scholarships available for beauty students.

Top Beauty Student Supply Stores in Detroit

As you embark on your beauty training and career, you’ll need various products, appliances, and supplies of the trade. The following supply shops sell many of the products you need, often in bulk or at wholesale prices (don’t forget to ask if they have a student discount!). Many Detroit area beauty supply stores are locally owned and may offer a wider selection of professional supplies than chain or big-box stores.

Lee Beauty & General Merchandise

Located in Ly’s Nail, Lee Beauty & General Merchandise offers a large selection of beauty supplies, including Black beauty products, human and synthetic hair, styling tools and appliances, hair products, and wigs.

Call: (586) 294-4400
Visit: 7650 East 7 Mile Rd, Detroit, MI 48234

JJ Beauty Supply

JJ Beauty Supply sells a wide range of hair and beauty supplies, including eyelashes, lace wigs, braids, edge control products, and weaves.

Call: (313) 821-8220
Visit: 12324 E Warren Ave, Detroit, MI 48215

Beauty Hair and Wigs

As a locally-owned and operated business, Beauty Hair and Wigs sells hair, wigs, beauty products, accessories, and more.

Call: (313) 893-3871
Visit: 1990 East 8 Mile Rd, Detroit, MI 48234

Detroit Beauty Supply

Detroit Beauty Supply is a Black-owned and operated beauty supply store committed to serving the local community. They offer a diverse selection of hair, beauty, and fashion items, including braids, lace front wigs, locs, hair products, lashes, cosmetics, and apparel.

Call: (313) 727-9757
Visit: 14000 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48203

Hollywood Beauty Supply

This popular beauty supply chain has several locations in Detroit and the surrounding area. They offer a wide variety of beauty products, supplies, clothing, and accessories, making them an ideal choice for exploring new techniques and skills.

Call: (313) 345-7550
Visit: 10010 West 7 Mile Rd, Detroit, MI 48219

Other Resources for Detroit Beauty Students

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
This government site provides in-depth information about what services you may perform as a licensed cosmetologist in Michigan, how to apply for or renew your license, and the applications and forms you need to start your career.

Cosmetology Schools in Detroit
The comprehensive directory of cosmetology schools in Detroit includes information on programs, locations, and types of accreditations.

Michigan Association of Beauty Professionals
This collaborative group of beauty professionals works to raise the bar in the beauty industry. Join for free and gain access to resources, networking events, scholarships, and more.

Detroit Beauty Collective
A local group of beauty professionals dedicated to community and growth provides opportunities to explore business strategies, improve your education, and learn how to establish yourself as a brand.

Cosmetology
NonCommercial