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Become A Hair Specialist

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Working As A Hair Specialist

  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Getting Information
  • Deal with People

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Repetitive

  • Make Decisions

  • $50,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Hair Specialist Do

Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists provide haircutting, hairstyling, and a range of other beauty services.

Duties

Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists typically do the following:

  • Inspect and analyze hair, skin, and scalp to recommend treatment
  • Discuss hairstyle options
  • Wash, color, lighten, and condition hair
  • Chemically change hair textures
  • Cut, dry, and style hair
  • Receive payments from clients
  • Clean and disinfect all tools and work areas

Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists provide hair and beauty services to enhance clients’ appearance. Those who operate their own barbershop or salon have managerial duties that may include hiring, supervising, and firing workers, as well as keeping business and inventory records, ordering supplies, and arranging for advertising.

Barbers cut, trim, shampoo, and style hair, mostly for male clients. They also may fit hairpieces, perform facials, and offer facial shaving. Depending on the state in which they work, some barbers are licensed to color, bleach, and highlight hair and to offer permanent-wave services. Common tools include combs, scissors, straight razors, and clippers.

Hairdressers, or hairstylists, offer a wide range of hair services, such as shampooing, cutting, coloring, and styling. They often advise clients, both male and female, on how to care for their hair at home. They also keep records of products and services provided to clients, such as hair color, shampoo, conditioner, and hair treatment used. Tools include hairbrushes, scissors, blow dryers, and curling irons.

Cosmetologists provide scalp and facial treatments and makeup analysis. Some also clean and style wigs and hairpieces. In addition, most cosmetologists actively recommend professional hair care products or salon hair care products.

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How To Become A Hair Specialist

All states require barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists to be licensed. To qualify for a license, candidates are required to graduate from a state-approved cosmetology program.

Education

A high school diploma or equivalent is required for some positions. In addition, every state requires that barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists complete a program in a state-licensed barber or cosmetology school. Programs in hairstyling, skin care, and other personal appearance services are available in postsecondary vocational schools.

Full-time programs in barbering and cosmetology usually last at least 9 months and may lead to an associate’s degree. Most of these workers take advanced courses in hairstyling or in other personal appearance services to keep up with the latest trends. Those who want to open their own business also may take courses in sales and marketing.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists must obtain a license in order to work. Qualifications for a license vary by state, but generally, a person must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Reached a minimum age of 16
  • Received a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Graduated from a state-licensed barber or cosmetology school

After graduating from a state-approved training program, students take a state licensing exam that includes a written test and, in some cases, a practical test of styling skills or an oral exam.

In many states, cosmetology training may be credited toward a barbering license and vice versa, and a few states combine the two licenses. A fee usually is required to apply for a license, and periodic renewals may be necessary.

Some states have reciprocity agreements that allow licensed barbers and cosmetologists to get a license in another state without needing additional formal training or state board testing, but such agreements are not common. Consequently, people who want to work in a particular state should review the laws of that state before entering a training program.

Important Qualities

Creativity. Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists must keep up with the latest trends and be ready to try new hairstyles for their clients.

Customer-service skills. Workers must be pleasant, friendly, and able to interact with customers in order to retain clients.

Listening skills. Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists should be good listeners. They must listen carefully to what the client wants in order to make sure that the client is happy with the result.

Physical stamina. Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists must be able to stand on their feet for long periods.

Tidiness. Workers must keep a neat personal appearance and keep their work area clean and sanitary. This requirement is necessary for the health and safety of their clients and for making clients comfortable enough so that they will want to return. 

Time-management skills. Time-management skills are important in scheduling appointments and providing services. For example, routine haircuts do not require the precise timing of some other services, such as applying neutralizer after a permanent wave. Clients who receive timely hair care are more likely to return.

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Hair Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

82.6%

Male

15.7%

Unknown

1.7%
Ethnicity

White

58.7%

Hispanic or Latino

15.0%

Black or African American

13.4%

Asian

9.2%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.0%

Akan

10.0%

Arabic

10.0%

Portuguese

10.0%

French

10.0%
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Hair Specialist Education

Schools

Regency Beauty Institute

15.4%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

7.7%

University of Phoenix

7.7%

Everglades University

7.7%

Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology

3.8%

Mississippi State University

3.8%

University of West Florida

3.8%

Spartanburg Technical College

3.8%

College of Lake County

3.8%

Edgecombe Community College

3.8%

Dudley Beauty College

3.8%

American Institute

3.8%

Belhaven University

3.8%

Central Piedmont Community College

3.8%

Schoolcraft College

3.8%

Carteret Community College

3.8%

Nashville State Community College

3.8%

Northeastern Illinois University

3.8%

University of Connecticut

3.8%

North Carolina Central University

3.8%
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Majors

Cosmetology

30.2%

Business

19.0%

Psychology

6.3%

Health Care Administration

6.3%

Nursing

6.3%

Environmental Science

4.8%

Nursing Assistants

3.2%

Medical Assisting Services

3.2%

Criminal Justice

3.2%

Specialized Sales And Merchandising

1.6%

Alternative And Complementary Medicine And Medical Systems

1.6%

Computer Information Systems

1.6%

Culinary Arts

1.6%

Mathematics

1.6%

Precision Metal Working

1.6%

Finance

1.6%

Fine Arts

1.6%

Real Estate

1.6%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

1.6%

Elementary Education

1.6%
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Degrees

Other

37.6%

Bachelors

21.2%

Associate

11.8%

License

8.2%

Certificate

8.2%

Diploma

7.1%

Masters

5.9%
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Top Skills for A Hair Specialist

  1. Hair Extensions
  2. Customer Service
  3. New Clients
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintained current with the industry's leading hair products and hair extensions.
  • Provided excellent customer service and solutions to customer with escalated service issues.
  • Pre-booked appointments to guarantee repeat business.
  • Managed incoming phone calls to arrange individual appointments to facilitate business.
  • Assessed clients' hair care needs and performed various beauty services.

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