5 Tips You Should Know Before Becoming A Hair Stylist/ Makeup Artist / Hair Dresser / Cosmetologist
How to Become a Hair Stylist
Becoming a hair stylist may be the perfect career path for you because it is fun and offers flexible hours. You'll also find it rewarding since you get paid to make people look gorgeous! In order to get a job as a hair stylist in the United States, you'll need to complete a training program and obtain a license from your state.
If you’re enthusiastic about becoming a hairstylist, work on being a people person as you will be interacting a lot with customers on the job. Also consider whether you are able to manage physically demanding work, since you'll be spending most of the day on your feet. Because you won't be able to please every customer, learn how to respond well to criticism. Then, decide whether a career as a hairstylist is financially right for you, keeping in mind that you'll earn extra from tips.For tips on opening up your own salon, or going freelance, keep reading!
Deciding If a Career As a Hair Stylist Is Right for You
Have passion.In order to succeed as a hair stylist, you really need to love this type of work. The job can be demanding and the training can be expensive, but it will all be worth it if you love going to work every day. If you love working with people, expressing your creativity, and paying attention to details, a career as a hair stylist may be perfect for you.
Be a people person.Hair stylists need to be extremely personable in order to retain clients. Many people return to the same hair stylist time after time because they enjoy talking with him or her while they get their hair done. You are also likely to get better tips if you can make your clients' experience very enjoyable. If you don't enjoy talking to people or are not very upbeat, this profession may not be right for you.
Learn how to take criticism.Not everyone will be happy with their haircut. In order to be successful as a hair stylist, you will need to be able to deal with unhappy customers, learn from your mistakes, and not take criticism too personally.
Be ready for physically demanding work.Hair stylists spend the majority of their work days on their feet, which can take a toll on the body. If you have problems with your back or knees that make standing for long periods of time difficult, you may want to reconsider becoming a hair stylist.
- Keep in mind that you will probably need to work evenings and weekends as well, at least when you are just starting out.
Crunch the numbers.Before you decide to become a hair stylist, you should understand what your income potential will be and how much the training programs will cost. It is best to do some research on these figures in your area, as salaries and program costs vary dramatically from place to place.
- According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a hair stylist was ,770. This does not include tips, so you may be able to earn much more.
- Cosmetology programs typically cost somewhere in the neighborhood of ,000-,000. Keep in mind that you might be able to apply for scholarships and financial aid.
Getting the Proper Training
Finish high school.In most states, a high school diploma or GED is required to become a hair stylist. Check with the licensing board in your state for more information.
- If you are currently a high school student, find out if there are any vocational high schools in your area that would allow you to complete some or all of the training hours required for a hair stylist license in your state. Some high schools also offer programs that allow students to take some classes at the high school and others at a local community college. These options will save you a lot of money, so take advantage of them if they are available.
Research cosmetology programs.If you have already graduated from high school or if a high school vocational program is not an option for you, you will need to complete a state-approved cosmetology or hair stylist program in order to obtain your license. There are a variety of different programs available, and they all differ in cost, duration, and curriculum, so be sure to research your program thoroughly.
- Depending on your area, you may have the option of attending a community college to obtain an associate's degree in cosmetology or attending a cosmetology, beauty, or hair school to obtain a certificate.
- If your state issues separate licenses for cosmetologists and hair stylists, you may be able to find a program that focuses only on hair. Most states, however, only offer licenses in cosmetology, so you will be required to take some classes in areas such as makeup, skin care, and nail care as well.
- It is a good idea to tour all of the schools you are interested in and ask the admissions advisers lots of questions about the curriculum.
- Look for programs that are accredited by an institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Accreditation means the program's curriculum meets a set of industry-specific guidelines. You will likely have an easier time finding a job if you graduate from an accredited institution, and you will be able to apply for federal financial aid.
- Apprenticeships are also a training option in a few states. This is a much more affordable option for completing the necessary training and it will allow you to start working in the field with a professional hair stylist right away. Check with your state licensing board to see if this is an option in your state. If it is, you should be aware that it will likely take longer to complete an apprenticeship than it would to complete a cosmetology program.
Complete the program.Most cosmetology programs take between one and two years to complete, depending on whether you attend part-time or full-time.
- You should expect to complete a combination of classroom work and hand-on work during your program.
- At most schools, you will begin your hand-on training by working on mannequins, before eventually progressing to working on real clients at the school's salon.
- In addition to learning how to cut, color, and style hair, you will likely be required to learn about things like sanitation, anatomy, and business management.
Get licensed by your state.Once you complete your program, you will be required to apply for a cosmetology or hair stylist license in your state. Licensing procedures are unique in each state, but you will typically be required to pass a written test and a practical test to demonstrate that you understand the theories of hair styling and are capable of implementing them.
- If you move to another state, you will need to apply for a license in that state in order to start working as a hair stylist. Keep in mind that requirements for licenses vary from state to state, so you may also be required to take additional training courses.
Keep your license current.Most licenses need to be renewed every few years. Depending on your state, you may need to take continuing education courses in order to renew your license.
- Even if you are not required to take continuing education courses, it may be a good idea. Trends are always changing, so it will be important for you to keep up with the latest techniques and styles.
Get advanced certifications.In order to stand out in the job market and earn more money, you may want to consider taking some additional courses beyond those that are required for your licenses. You can choose specialty areas to focus on, such as hair color or hair extensions.
- You may be able to find courses at your local cosmetology school, through the manufacturer of a hair care product, or through a professional organization.
Getting a Job
Write your resume and cover letter.When applying for jobs online, you will need to to submit a resume and cover letter that detail your experience, training, and interests. Be extremely thorough when writing these documents and make sure to highlight qualifications that make you a unique candidate.
- Don't forget to include any experience that you have working with customers. Even if you weren't working in a salon, customer service experience is a plus.
- If you're not confident about your grammar and spelling, make sure to have someone proofread your resume and cover letter for you before you submit them.
- Make sure to tailor your resume and cover letter to each position you are applying for. You don't need to start from scratch, but you should make sure to focus on skills and qualities that will be most important for each specific position.
Create a portfolio.You will need to show off your skills to potential employers, so having a portfolio of your work is extremely important. Take before and after pictures of as many clients as possible and include your best work in your portfolio.
- Your portfolio should show off your strengths, but it should also showcase your versatility. Try to show examples of a wide variety of cuts and styles.
- Make sure to get consent from your clients before taking their pictures and explain to them what you will be using the pictures for.
- Having an online portfolio is advisable because you can simply include a link to it whenever you submit an application online. You may also want to have a nicely organized binder if you plan on applying for jobs in person.
- Update your portfolio regularly.
Get your foot in the door.If possible, try to get a job at a salon while you are still in school. You will not be able to work as a hair stylist, but you may be able to work as a receptionist or office assistant. Experience working in a salon will be very valuable to you, and you might even get a promotion to hair stylist once you obtain your license.
Inquire about career placement services.Your cosmetology school can be a great resource to you when you are looking for a job, so don't forget to ask for help! Most schools have relationships with local salons, so they may be able to help you find a job when you graduate. They can also give you advice on how to prepare for interviews.
- Start working with the career services department at your school before you graduate. Even if you don't have your license yet, you may be able to introduce yourself to salon owners, and maybe even get a conditional job offer.
Apply at salons and spas.You can search for jobs at salons and spas online by using job boards such as Craigslist and Indeed. You can also try visiting local salons and inquiring about available positions, but always be sure to have your portfolio and copies of your resume on hand.
- While you may have to be a bit flexible with your first job, you should still try to focus on applying to salons that offer the services you enjoy the most. If you love coloring hair and you get a job at a salon that only does haircuts, you may not be very happy.
- If you get an interview, make sure to research the salon thoroughly so you know what kinds of services they offer.
- Remember that you need to come across as passionate and friendly during your interview. While you should definitely talk about your technical skills, make sure the interviewer also gets a sense of who you are as a person.
- Don't be surprised if you're asked to demonstrate your skills before you are offered a job.
Try freelancing.If you can't find a salaried position at a salon, or if you're looking for the freedom to make your own schedule, you can try leasing a booth or a suite at an established salon. In this scenario, you will essentially be working for yourself.
- When you lease a chair at a salon, you will pay the salon a fee to use the space. You will be responsible for providing your own tools, marketing your services, and scheduling appointments. Make sure you thoroughly understand the terms of the agreement before you sign.
Open your own salon.Another option is to open your own salon, although you should probably only consider this if you have some knowledge of how to run a business and some experience as a hair stylist.
- If you open your own salon, you will be responsible for a lot more than just styling hair. You will have to deal with managing employees, maintaining your salon, and marketing, among many other things. You may not have any time to style hair, so make sure you are prepared for your role as a business owner.
- Opening a franchise is a good option if you want some support with marketing and brand development. You could also consider purchasing an established salon if you don't want to start from scratch.
Consider other related career options.In addition to working as a hair stylist in a salon, you might also consider a variety of other related careers. Some options include styling hair for magazine shoots and fashion shows, teaching at a cosmetology school, or becoming a sales representative for beauty products.
QuestionWhat will I need to start a salon?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerA salon needs a minimum of 3 workers at all times, 2 seats, essential kits (scissors, water, and comb), with all workers paid at least minimum wage, quarter of a year hygiene checks, and finally, at least a 10 meter by 10 meter area in which to operate.Thanks!
If I already know the techniques, can I just get my license without paying for school?
What schooling do I need to become a hair and nail stylist?
How many hours need for become a stylish ?
- Don't be offended if a regular customer stops coming to you. It's not an insult to you personally, so just forget it and move on.
- Don't expect to make a lot just starting out. It will takes time to establish a good customer base.
- If a customer complains about their hair, always offer to fix it free of charge. You might lose a few bucks, but you'll keep a valuable customer.
- The hair industry is a highly competitive one. Don't be offended if it takes a few tries for you to get hired, especially if you're fresh out of beauty school.
Video: A Hairstylist Shows How Difficult The Job Really Is | #GRINDITOUT
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