This is a very common question and most commonly a misunderstood answer. There's two or three answers that are relevant.
The standard answer is to work from Fair Work Australia’s Hair and Beauty Modern Award 2010
This states that an hourly pay rate of $20.79 to $23.94 plus entitlements, allowances, penalty rates etc are added. This changes every July 1st so be aware of the current Award by visiting the Australian Fairwork Commission's Website . Goodluck trying to read this though it's not easy to understand.
Apprentices pay rates vary widely depending on their school qualifications, age and a few other conditions. It isn't an easy question to answer broadly so please check where you fit by reading the Award carefully. If in doubt contact us and we'll try to help.
The 'real' earnings of a hairdresser is actually far easier to explain than the convoluted Award. Basically Hairdressers are paid a minimum retainer week - which is the Award rate or higher. Then they are remunerated on their productivity by way of a sales commission. It's very similar to other industries in this respect.
So the equation is more value you add to the clientele the more you are rewarded. In actuality i's the clients who decides the earning levels of their hairstylists as they 'vote' with their 'bums on seats' and their wallets.
Top and in demand Hairdressers can earn $50k to $80+ depending on their schedules and performance.