Greg Saumure of GS HAIR

Sacramento salon owners Greg and Casey Saumure

What Is a Master Stylist?

We see this a lot.  Here’s the take-away right up front.  The designation ‘Master Stylist’ is useless without knowing the criteria behind it.  We watched countless hair stylists who were unable to meet GS HAIR standards, leave in a huff and put the ‘Master Stylist’ designation on their business cards because they thought they deserved it, thought they had earned it or they just liked the way it looked.

The beauty industry is unregulated and untested. Stylists are independent contractors.  Most owners don’t care as long as your rent check clears.  Our own former stylists like to throw the ‘Vidal Sassoon’ trained designation around as well.  Cringe-worthy at best.  You can read more about what it means to be a Vidal Sassoon Graduate VS. Vidal Sassoon Trained here:  Vidal Sassoon Graduate VS. Training

Here is our two-part criteria for using the title ‘Master Stylist’

1. You must have 10-years or more, full-time experience, uninterrupted behind the chair. Most were ruled out right here.  We felt if you had worked full-time, uninterrupted behind the chair for over a decade, you were truly making a living at it and probably had a good grasp of the skills necessary to build a happy clientele.  If you got your license in your 20’s, came back to it later, then struggled to build a part-time clientele at the 8-10 year mark.  You weren’t going to make it.  These stylists didn’t have the discipline or dedication to become great at what they do.  We didn’t want part-time ‘hobbyists’ working on your hair, we wanted professionals.

2. Stylists had to pass our ‘Cut Test’.  If the 10-year criteria didn’t rule you out, The ‘Cut Test’ probably would. We have the toughest entrance requirements in the salon industry.  We know just because you had a Cosmetology License, didn’t mean you know how to cut hair.  Stylists were tested on each of the 5 basic haircuts; the bob, the graduated bob, the short layer, the long layer and the firefly.

The 10-year requirement balanced ‘The Cut Test’ out. Just because you passed our ‘Cut Test’ and had been behind the chair for a few years, didn’t mean you could use the ‘Master Stylist’ designation. We knew from experience, you just hadn’t hit every snag or practiced your skill set long enough to use the term ‘Master’.  This drew quite a bit of contention, but we held our ground.  Your reputation is all you really have.  We had a stylist leave, open her own salon, and slap ‘Master Stylist’  on her business cards.  She had been cutting about 3 years. Yelp, the great equalizer ate her alive. You see, you can lie about your skills but you can’t lie about results.

If your stylist is using a ‘Master Stylist’ designation, ask them why?  What makes you a ‘Master Stylist’? What makes you an ‘Expert Colorist’?  If your stylist uses designations on their media or business cards,  ask to see their certifications.  If they proclaim to be a color specialist, ask to see their work.  If they claim a ‘Vidal Sassoon’ education, ask to see their diploma.

About Greg

Greg Saumure of GS HAIR is a graduate of The Vidal Sassoon Academy in Santa Monica, CA, class of 1984.  Greg has trained hundreds of Sacramento area hair stylists.  He is a Master Stylist and Master Colorist.  He has earned his loyal following of clients through a life-long commitment to exemplary service.  We hope that you’ll be one of them. Read more about Greg Saumure.

Where to Find Us

GS HAIR is located at 2398 Fair Oaks Blvd. Ste 9, Sacramento, CA 95825. We are on Fair Oaks Blvd. and Fairgate Drive in the popular Pavillions area.  Book direct with Greg (916)838-4642 iText. E-mail us at

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