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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

  • $37,000

    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 Career Paths

Hair Stylist
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Assistant Manager
Branch Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Store Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Substitute Teacher Consultant
Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Specialist Account Executive
Sales And Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Substitute Teacher Account Executive
District Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Specialist Account Executive
Sales Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Patient Care Coordinator Office Manager
Business Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Technician Shift Leader
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Cosmetology Instructor Cosmetologist Assistant Manager
Co-Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Cosmetology Instructor Cosmetologist Manager
Business Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Cosmetology Instructor Cosmetologist Owner
Owner And Chief Executive Officer
7 Yearsyrs
Teller Consultant Product Manager
Brand Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Teller Consultant Co-Founder
Founder And Chief Executive Officer
7 Yearsyrs
Specialist Credit Analyst Credit Manager
Collections Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Teller Executive Assistant Owner/Operator
Food Service Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Artist Owner/Manager Salon Manager
District Leader
5 Yearsyrs
Stylist Educator Education Consultant
Educational Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant Owner/Manager Salon Manager
Spa Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Driver Foreman Business Owner
Entrepreneur
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Hair Stylist?

Average Yearly Salary
$37,000
Show Salaries
$30,000
Min 10%
$37,000
Median 50%
$37,000
Median 50%
$37,000
Median 50%
$37,000
Median 50%
$37,000
Median 50%
$37,000
Median 50%
$37,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Publix
Highest Paying City
Tacoma, WA
Highest Paying State
Arizona
Avg Experience Level
3.7 years
How much does a Hair Stylist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Hair Stylist in the United States is $37,886 per year or $18 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $30,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $47,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Hair Stylist Salaries

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

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Top Skills for A Hair Stylist

  1. Hair Extensions
  2. Salon Services
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Shaped hair according to complimentary facial features and added elaborate hair extensions.
  • Worked alongside facility administration and staff to ensure availability of salon services.
  • Provided exceptional customer service, answered phone calls on a regular basis while scheduling appointments and maintaining an organized schedule.
  • Provide beauty services to clients including analyzing customer's hair and other features to recommend or suggest beauty treatments or styles.
  • Provided complete hair care services, sanitation and sterilization, appointment scheduling

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Hair Stylists

  1. Idaho
  2. Wisconsin
  3. New Jersey
  4. Indiana
  5. Oregon
  6. Nevada
  7. Arizona
  8. Washington
  9. Georgia
  10. Virginia
  • (54 jobs)
  • (275 jobs)
  • (487 jobs)
  • (263 jobs)
  • (141 jobs)
  • (91 jobs)
  • (167 jobs)
  • (250 jobs)
  • (378 jobs)
  • (445 jobs)

Hair Stylist Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 35,468 Hair Stylist resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Hair Stylist Resume

View Resume Examples

Hair Stylist Demographics

Gender

Female

76.8%

Male

19.4%

Unknown

3.8%
Ethnicity

White

64.0%

Hispanic or Latino

14.6%

Black or African American

12.4%

Asian

5.7%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

69.3%

French

8.2%

Japanese

2.9%

Portuguese

2.5%

Italian

2.1%

Arabic

1.9%

German

1.8%

Russian

1.6%

Polish

1.6%

Swedish

1.4%

Amharic

1.0%

Mandarin

0.8%

Korean

0.8%

Bosnian

0.8%

Cantonese

0.8%

Hmong

0.6%

Yoruba

0.6%

Carrier

0.6%

Chinese

0.6%

Vietnamese

0.4%
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Hair Stylist Education

Schools

Empire Beauty School

32.8%

Regency Beauty Institute

12.1%

Paul Mitchell-The School

9.2%

Aveda Institute

8.3%

The Beauty School

5.8%

All Beauty College

4.5%

Beauty Academy

3.2%

Remington College

3.1%

Douglas J Aveda Institute

2.7%

The Hair Academy

2.5%

Ashford University

2.0%

Everest Institute

1.9%

Houston Community College

1.7%

Tricoci University of Beauty Culture

1.7%

Academy of Hair Design

1.7%

Avalon School of Cosmetology

1.5%

Kaplan University

1.4%

Milan Institute of Cosmetology

1.3%

Liberty University

1.2%

Jean Madeline Aveda Institute

1.2%
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Majors

Cosmetology

63.5%

Business

9.2%

Medical Assisting Services

3.9%

Nursing

3.2%

Health Care Administration

3.1%

General Studies

2.0%

Psychology

1.9%

Criminal Justice

1.9%

Education

1.2%

Accounting

1.2%

Liberal Arts

1.2%

Nursing Assistants

1.2%

Management

0.9%

Pharmacy

0.9%

Dental Assisting

0.8%

Graphic Design

0.8%

Communication

0.8%

Human Services

0.8%

Medical Technician

0.8%

Elementary Education

0.6%
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Degrees

License

23.6%

High School Diploma

21.8%

Associate

16.8%

Certificate

15.9%

Bachelors

10.1%

Diploma

9.1%

Masters

2.6%

Doctorate

0.1%
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Top Hair Stylist Employers

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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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Updated May 18, 2020