Hair Stylist Career Introduction
Hair stylists are expected to blend technical training in shampooing, coloring, highlighting, cutting, and texturing with a sense of artistry and fashion to give each client a particular look. They deal with a wide range of client requests and must know how to duplicate a style from a picture, fashion a precision or textured cut or style, communicate with clients, schedule appointments and always stay on top of trends. Stylists work flexible schedules, performing a wide range of services for male and female clients of all ages.
How to Become a Hair Stylist
If you want to become a hair stylist, research the hair stylist degree programs in your area. Many community colleges, beauty schools, and other private trade schools offer hair stylist degree programs. Students can demonstrate their skills on mannequins and live models, and take a multiple choice test for certification after completing the program.
Educational Requirements for Hairstylists
Most hairstylists are licensed cosmetologists. In their training they learn about the health, structure, and care of hair, nails, and skin. Some states offer hair stylist training programs that require fewer hours than the 1500 to 2000 hours required for a cosmetology license, so students can complete the program in about a year. With a cosmetology certificate, graduates can specialize in the following areas:
- Hair cutting and coloring
- Texture services (perming and straightening)
- Extensions, braids, and dreadlocks
- Editorial styling, platform work, and fashion shows
- Beauty school instruction
The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that projected growth for this industry through 2018 is much faster than average. Hairstylists earn on average between $10 and $20 per hour, plus cash tips, and many are self-employed.