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Become A Hair Stylist

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Working As A Hair Stylist

  • 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

  • $30,785

    Average Salary

What Does A Hair Stylist 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 Stylist

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 Stylist Jobs

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Hair Stylist Demographics

Gender

Female

89.6%

Male

8.4%

Unknown

1.9%
Ethnicity

White

63.1%

Hispanic or Latino

15.1%

Black or African American

11.9%

Asian

6.6%

Unknown

3.3%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.5%

French

10.2%

Japanese

4.2%

German

3.3%

Italian

2.8%

Arabic

2.3%

Mandarin

1.9%

Portuguese

1.9%

Amharic

1.9%

Cantonese

1.9%

Yoruba

1.4%

Polish

1.4%

Swedish

0.9%

Vietnamese

0.9%

Dutch

0.9%

Korean

0.9%

Bosnian

0.9%

Russian

0.9%

Swahili

0.5%

Samoan

0.5%
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Hair Stylist Education

Schools

Empire Beauty School

27.8%

Regency Beauty Institute

12.3%

University of Phoenix

10.7%

Paul Mitchell-The School

8.2%

Aveda Institute

5.7%

The Beauty School

3.5%

Ashford University

3.4%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.0%

Liberty University

2.8%

Kaplan University

2.6%

Houston Community College

2.3%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

2.2%

All Beauty College

2.2%

The Academy

2.1%

Douglas J Aveda Institute

2.0%

Sacramento City College

1.9%

Grand Canyon University

1.9%

Strayer University

1.8%

Essex County College

1.8%

Fullerton College

1.8%
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Majors

Cosmetology

57.7%

Business

11.6%

Health Care Administration

3.2%

Medical Assisting Services

3.1%

Nursing

3.0%

Criminal Justice

2.8%

Psychology

2.5%

General Studies

2.5%

Education

1.7%

Accounting

1.7%

Nursing Assistants

1.6%

Liberal Arts

1.4%

Communication

1.2%

Graphic Design

1.0%

Human Services

1.0%

Medical Technician

0.9%

Management

0.8%

Marketing

0.8%

Pharmacy

0.8%

Elementary Education

0.7%
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Degrees

Other

46.2%

License

14.8%

Associate

12.0%

Bachelors

11.9%

Certificate

9.0%

Diploma

3.6%

Masters

2.3%

Doctorate

0.1%
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Real Hair Stylist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Hair Stylist/Dresser Cutler Soho LLC New York, NY Feb 15, 2010 $50,000
Hair Stylist Cutler Soho LLC New York, NY Feb 15, 2010 $50,000
Hair Stylist Cutler Soho LLC New York, NY Mar 01, 2014 $45,000
Hair Stylist Cutler Soho LLC New York, NY Mar 01, 2010 $45,000 -
$50,000
Hair Stylist Cutler Soho LLC New York, NY Nov 01, 2016 $45,000
Hair Stylist Cutler Soho LLC New York, NY Aug 20, 2012 $45,000 -
$50,000
Hair Stylist Cutler Soho LLC New York, NY Mar 01, 2012 $45,000 -
$50,000
Hair Stylist Pyrametrics LTC Inc., D/B/A John Dellaria Salon New York, NY Apr 09, 2008 $40,000
Hair Stylist Charlie Jeong Hair, LLC Palisades Park, NJ Jun 13, 2016 $39,173
Hair Stylist Mingle New York, Inc. New York, NY Nov 20, 2015 $39,042
Senior Hair Stylist Odonata Ltd New York, NY Mar 30, 2016 $39,042
Senior Hair Stylist Odonata Ltd New York, NY Feb 25, 2016 $39,042
Hair Stylist D&R Vie En Famille, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jun 14, 2016 $38,189
Hair Stylist T & J Gawisori Hair Shop, Inc. Hoffman Estates, IL May 10, 2012 $32,700
Hair Stylist P J & E, Inc. Niles, IL Jan 27, 2012 $32,698
Hair Stylist P J & E, Inc. Niles, IL Apr 27, 2011 $32,698
Hair Stylist Isabelle Goetz Washington, DC Oct 14, 2014 $32,552
Hairdressers, Hair-Stylists & Cosmetologists Kenny's Hair Salon Arlington, VA Oct 10, 2008 $32,328
Hair Stylist/Colorist Eliaho Corp.T/A Amour de Hair New York, NY May 17, 2016 $31,949
Hair Stylist Polaris Hair Studio.LLC New York, NY Sep 12, 2012 $31,500
Hair Stylist Polaris Hair Studio.LLC New York, NY Oct 16, 2014 $31,500
Hair Stylist Ashtin Salon Inc. Del Mar, CA May 19, 2016 $27,893
Hair Stylist Royal Party Corporation Pasadena, CA Jul 10, 2016 $27,518
Hair Stylist Epoch USA Inc. Los Angeles, CA Jul 21, 2016 $27,518
Hair Stylist International Salon Group, Inc. Beverly Hills, CA Nov 21, 2016 $27,518
Hair Stylist Queenshair Buena Park, CA Feb 08, 2016 $27,456
Hair Stylist Epoch USA Inc. Los Angeles, CA Jan 22, 2015 $27,456
Hair Stylist Brain Group USA, Inc. Costa Mesa, CA Apr 20, 2016 $27,456
Hair Stylist AFM Chicago Venture Glenview, IL Nov 04, 2010 $26,915

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Top Skills for A Hair Stylist

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  1. Hair Extensions
  2. Salon
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Specialized in cutting, curling, relaxers, hair extensions, dyeing and tinting hair.
  • Assisted Stylists Monthly inventory Receptionist Salon software system training
  • Owned and operated a sole proprietorship hair styling business Retained loyal clientele through excellent customer service
  • Perform cosmetology services on clients-scheduling appointments-Inventory
  • Provide beauty services to clients including analyzing customer's hair and other features to recommend or suggest beauty treatments or styles.

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Top Hair Stylist Employers

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Jobs From Top Hair Stylist Employers

Hair Stylist Videos

Career Advice on becoming a Director/Hair Stylist by Shaun H (Full Version)

Career Advice on becoming a Director/Hair Stylist by Shaun H (Highlights)

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