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What are the Steps to Becoming a Hair Stylist?

Learn the different steps you need to take in order to secure a great role as a hair stylist, with the formal qualifications and training requirements you will need.

What Are the Steps to Becoming a Hair Stylist?

Are you thinking of taking up the scissors, the blow-dryer, and the curling tongs to become a hairstylist? Unsure of how to go about landing your dream role? Making a career change is always challenging. That’s why it’s helpful to use any advice from a reliable source to make that transition.

To see if this is the right career for you, read on to learn about the education and licensing requirements, important job responsibilities, employment outlook, and average salaries.

Of course, you’ll need to craft the perfect customized cover letter and hair stylist resume to land the top jobs, but there are steps to go through before you even get there.

Let’s take a closer look.

What Are the Key Responsibilities of a Hair Stylist?

Hair stylists have many responsibilities, but here are the most important ones:

  • Provide recommendations on style
  • Provide hair treatments for damaged hair or scalp
  • Wash, color, condition, cut, and dry hair on request
  • Cleaning and disinfecting the hairstylist utensils and equipment
  • Maintaining a clean and tidy salon space
  • Providing customer service support

If they own their salon, hair stylists have these additional responsibilities:

  • Budgeting
  • Salon management
  • Hire staff
  • Keep a record of clients’ appointments

Hair stylists need the technical skills to perform their duties, but they also need strong interpersonal skills to create a pleasant atmosphere for their clients. They must have excellent time management skills to ensure they complete tasks on time for the next client, yet keep a high standard to retain clients.

They need to be physically strong since hair stylists are often on their feet moving around all day.

Let’s explore the steps to becoming a hair stylist:

Step 1: Complete a training program

You can find hair stylist programs in community colleges, beauty colleges, and cosmetology schools. The duration of most programs ranges from around nine months to two years. You can sometimes earn an associate’s degree after completing a two-year program at a community college. Hair coloring, cutting, shampooing, styling, and adding permanent waves are all available as courses. You should ensure that the program you choose is approved by the state for licensing purposes.

Step 2: Get licensed

At the end of your program, you’ll need to pass some kind of examination to get your license. You must obtain this license before you start practicing as a professional hair stylist, though requirements vary by state.

Step 3: Find a job

Many hair stylists work in salons, though sometimes they rent a space in established salons but remain self-employed. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than half of all hair stylists are self-employed. It’s up to you what path you choose. But to get a job at a high-paying salon, you’ll need to build credibility through experience and bring a steady clientele with you.

Step 4: Career Advancement

Many hair stylists start with entry-level positions. They then increase their clientele list and take on extra responsibilities at a salon to advance their career. Some people go on to manage salons. Stylists with a business sense may want to branch out and start their own salons. It’s good to keep an eye out for further professional qualifications to specialize in specific areas of hairstyling.

Job Outlook

While the competition for positions is high, becoming a hairstylist now is a good move since the job market is growing. The BLS predicts that the overall employment of barbers, hair stylists, and cosmetologists will grow 19% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.

More and more people are regularly looking to professional hair stylists for a broad range of treatments and services. That’s a whole load of potential clients’ hair you could be taking care of.

So, don’t be intimidated! Start the process of becoming a hair stylist today!