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Updated on August 4, 2014

All About The Field Of Hairdressing!

What is it like to be a cosmetologist? What do you have to do? What do you need? Business tips etc. This lens will be a place to hear from my over 20 years in the hairdressing business. There are so many aspects to this wonderful profession that allow creative individuals careers from the salon to entertainment to corporate.

Most people start their career in a salon. If you love spending time with many different people and making them feel great about themselves, this is the job for you!

Some people for various reasons will want to get out from behind the chair. Some end up on stage sharing information at hair shows, some work on photoshoots, television or film and another group will end up working for various product manufactures to create education programs for stylists or product development. And then there are the unsung heroes, the cosmetology instructor!

These are just a few examples of what you can do once you have some experience!

** All images on this lens are mine unless otherwise noted.

* The image in the intro module is of me and taken by ShauntBPhotography.

So you want to be a hairdresser?

So, what do you do now? Well, the first thing is to make sure that you really do want to become a hairdresser. Talk with your own stylist about it. She/he will tell you all about it. Visit a few schools. There area tons of different ones. Just click on one of the sites advertising on this lens!

Stop by and visit one. Get your hair done by one of the senior students and ask questions. Maybe assist at your salon. Help out with folding towels, sweeping up hair, and answering the phones. See what you think before you jump in. Cosmetology School can be expensive.

But make sure it is the environment that you are looking for. Make sure you will enjoy going there. You will be spending at least 8 hours a day there for the next year.

Each state has different regulations and training varies. Find this out before you attend. Once you complete schooling you will need to take your examinations. Again, this varies from state to state. Once you pass the exams, you receive a license and you can start working as a full fledged stylist!

Check out this site to see the requirements of your state:

Your State

Getting a Job

How do you find your right salon to work at

During your last few months at school now is a good time to start to figure out where you might want to work.

Some good things to try are to talk with your own stylist you went to before you went to school. If you had a good relationship with them maybe you might want to offer to take him/her to coffee and get some suggestions. Also a lot of schools have career days and salons will come in and meet the students. Talk with the people who come in. They might be the people you interview with later. Ask them questions. Get their cards. Ask them if you can stop by and get a tour of the salon.

Then give the salon a call. Don't just show up. Set up a time to stop by and visit. When you are there talk about what their requirements are to work there. They may have an assistant or training program. If it is a smaller salon they might and maybe you could just volunteer to come work on Saturdays while school is going on and afterwards to be there to help clean, answer phones, tear foils etc. If you work hard they may decide they cannot live without you.

When they get to know you and see your work they will be more apt to hire you at that point.

Look in Craigslist for ads under the salon area. Look in your paper. There are a lot of websites that list job openings. Try or your local Stylist magazine.

Many salons will expect to see a demonstration of your work. Make sure you bring a model or friend with you. Cut their hair before so you are already familiar with them and so you will have a better idea of what you are going to do on the model. If you are only showing a haircut make sure your model's hair is freshly colored. This will show your future employers that you are thinking of their entire look and that you are prepared.

You might want to prepare a head sheet diagram with your cutting angles, haircolor design and color formulas to hand them during the interview process. Also make sure you have one resume for each person at the interview and maybe one extra for any surprise guests. Also, bring any examples of your work, letters of recommendation, client testimonials (gather them from your school clients), etc in a nice portfolio.

Long Hairdressing Seminar at KMS California Academy Santa Monica
Long Hairdressing Seminar at KMS California Academy Santa Monica

Getting Out from Behind the Chair

Working at a salon is not the only thing that is now open to you. Once you have gained some in salon experience there are so many paths your career can take. Some really enjoy working on photoshoots and fashion shows. Start out locally working with student photographers and fashion designers. Offer to work for free to start to build your book. Go to a local dance studio or modeling agency and start building your book by doing their hair for their headshots. Before you know it you may be working on a shoot for a big company.

Some stylists start working in the entertainment industry. Think of all the television shows you see. They all have a hair teams making sure that each star is looking their best.

Another popular area that experienced stylists go into is in education. There are two main directions for this. One is educating in Beauty Schools and the other is educating for the product companies. Many educators end up traveling the country or the world and seeing places they never would have dreamed of. My work has taken me throughout Europe, South American, Asia and North America.

Brittny Professionals Wig Brush Combo
Brittny Professionals Wig Brush Combo

This specially designed brush will keep your extensions looking great!

Knot Genie Detangling Brush, Fairy Pink
Knot Genie Detangling Brush, Fairy Pink

Making a huge splash these are great for detangling hair without damage!

Bellrino 24" Cosmetology Mannequin Manikin Training Head with Human Hair - Lindsey
Bellrino 24" Cosmetology Mannequin Manikin Training Head with Human Hair - Lindsey

You will need to have one of these to practice your skills on!


Keeping Your Skills

As a stylist, once you think you know it all it is now time to quit. There is always something to learn. To keep your skills fresh reach out and learn new techniques or fine tune skills you need to improve on.

Either work with associations like the Professional Beauty Association or ask for your favorite manufacturers like Schwarzkopf Professional about what kind of classes they offer.

Find out about Messing Creme by yours truly!

How to protect your hair extensions.

An easy modern updo.

This is a must have style to know!

Reader Feedback

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    • NibsyNell profile image


      6 years ago

      Really helpful lens! I'm sure this will help a lot of people who are considering this career path.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      It was nice reading through this lens and understanding some of the aspects of becoming a hairdresser. Looks like you've gained a lot of experience so far!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great lens . This is a first lens i read about hairDresser . I want to see more of your lens . Be great . Also i be follow you . Have a nice day .

    • strayspay profile image


      9 years ago

      Good first lens and very good information


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