Did you love playing with dolls and styling their hair as a kid? Well, congratulations! You are a born hairstylist! Now that you’re all grown up, it’s about time you live your dream and passion.
A hairstylist boosts the personality and changes the appearance of a person. Better still, a pro stylist will turn the client’s imagination into reality.
Besides, people can visit their hairstylist as often as weekly. Aside from being skilled, a hairstylist is also friendly and passionate about all things concerning hair.
Read on to know all about the journey of a pro hairstylist.
What Is The Job of a Hairstylist?
As a hairstylist, you’ll have to handle various and wide-ranging hair needs of different clients. Often, the hair and scalp for each client are different. Therefore, a hair stylist needs to address the requests individually.
Bear in mind that hairstyle and cut is not anything ordinary to do. A hair stylist advises the best that matches the client’s face shape.
The duties of a hairstylist include washing, drying, straightening, conditioning, bleaching, styling, and more. A pro hairstylist will always want to know the specific requirements before working and will strike a conversation to get to know and build a relationship with the client.
Moreover, a hairstylist should always ensure that the work environment and tools are clean and in order.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that hairstylists earned an average salary of $28,770 in 2015. However, the actual salary varies with the stylist’s experience, qualifications, reputation, clientele, employer, and job location.
So, a barber in a small town will probably earn less than a stylist in an executive metropolitan salon. Hair stylists with their own salon can make more money. But, they have to pay rent, employee salary, and buy products and equipment.
What Are the Steps of Becoming a Pro Hairstylist?
- Go to School
With the passion of being a hairstylist, training is mandatory. You will get training through a cosmetology college or vocational school.
You will also find cosmetology programs in some technical high schools. This is a perfect way to start training for your desired course early.
So how long will it take to study haircare and hairstyling ?
Usually, a hairstylist training program can be between six months to two years in duration. Most importantly, ensure that you enroll in a state-approved training college. This way, it will be possible to pass your licensing exam.
Some states might agree to some completed hours of training as an alternative to attending a vocational school. The requirements of joining a college for professional training differs from state to state. Therefore, ensure you are following the requirements of the state in which you are residing.
- Passing the Exam
Licensed hair stylists are more in demand in every state. Once you complete the training, you will have to clear an exam to get the license.
The state-approved exam consists of written and practical sections. In the case of a practical section, you will have to display your skills in a real hairstyling set-up.
For instance, a hairstylist aspiring to specialize in barbering must pass a barber state board exam. Passing is mandatory to secure your future in the career. A barber state board exam will enable you with adequate barber practice before the final exam. So, there is nothing to really worry about.
After passing the exam, don’t waste time. Immediately get in touch with the state licensing agency for the license.
- Look for Employment
When you become a licensed professional hairstylist, it’s time to look for a job. Besides, your passion for your work, earning a decent living is very important, right?
Most state-approved cosmetology schools offer internships or jobs for their qualified hairstylists. Nonetheless, most hairstylists turn to salons to seek employment opportunities.
There are vast opportunities in this field. You can work in hotels, nursing homes, spas, hospitals, cruise, and malls.
Did you know that about 54% of hairstylists are self-employed? So, you can opt to become independent. This means to become your own boss or a freelancer earning commissions.
While starting your own business sounds like a perfect idea, it has a few challenges. Above all, it shouldn’t be a hurried decision. Instead, it would help that you first gain experience as an employee first. This will equip you to develop the necessary knowledge of how you’ll run your business.
If you plan to turn into an entrepreneur in this domain, you can do a course in business administration. This will help you know all the significant steps and tricks of running your own hair care company.
Dream big to be more than an employee.
- Get Certifications
The general thumb rule states that acquiring special certifications will help you beat your competitors. Better still, customers will trust your services knowing how qualified you are. Nobody wants an amateur dealing with their hair or skin!
Aside from the usual state-approved licensing, there’s more. This includes advanced training certifications that don’t feature in the standard hairstylist course lists.
Advancing specialization further is a good approach to being a hairstylist. This is the only way customers will perceive you as a pro. So, you can become an expert in categories like coloring, hair extensions, hair prosthetics, hair replacements, and even hair relaxing.
- Build Your Portfolio
Each time you offer extraordinary services, don’t forget to take a photo! It will enable you to build a portfolio to display your expertise. Stepping into greener pastures will be easier this way.
Also, it’s a powerful way of growing your clientele as seeing is believing. Clients will believe when you show them what you are capable of.
So, create from ordinary to unique experiences. For instance, repair a poor dye job, or improve a haircut to suit the client’s face.
There is great power in social media. You can use it as a platform to show off your work. Without doubt, this will attract more clients.
- Stay Updated
Some states require a regular fee for you to maintain your hairstylist license.
Check the requirements of your state to remain in sync with the requirements. This way, your business and career will remain safe.
Moreover, keep learning new styles and be abreast of new tools in the domain. As a fast-growing industry, trends keep changing. You will have to meet customer demands and needs. It feels terrible to clients when a hairstylist is not able to cater to individual preferences.
Even as you decide to pursue your hairstylist dream, remember hard work is a must. With your hard work, and a great portfolio you will always be able to find an edge over your competitors. Remain updated. Keep polishing your skills. Who knows you will be a business owner one day!.
Also remember to be patient in this career path because it indeed pays! All the best!