Hairdresser Job Profile

A hairdresser job is the perfect career for a creative, style-conscious, people-person. You will enjoy hands-on interaction with clients, regular hours in a comfortable, lively work environment and plenty of opportunity to advancement. 

Facts About Hairdresser/Hair Stylist Careers

  • Hairdressing requires a combination of technical experience and creative talent to be successful.
  • Hairdressers are often therapists for their clients, listening to their troubles and concerns while they are doing their hair.
  • Hairdressers must stay current with both hair and fashion trends to duplicate popular looks that clients will want to wear.
  • Hairdressers need excellent interpersonal skills to communicate with clients before, during and after the style is complete.
  • Hairdresser’s careers are often made or broken on reputation.

Work Opportunities for Hairdressers

Trained, experienced and skilled hair stylists are in high demand in a number of different environments. While salon experience is the typical way to being a hairdresser's career, opportunities outside of the stand-alone salon are more prevalent than ever. Hairdressers can work:

  • On movie and television sets as part of the on-site hair and makeup team.
  • In a hotel or spa as part of the beauty team for guests.
  • In large salons with a group of hairdressers.
  • Independently, as a hair stylist that goes to the client's location.
  • As an on-call hairdresser for photographers.
  • As a personal hairdresser for a wealthy client or celebrity, traveling with them to meet their daily and event needs.

Education/Experience Needed to be a Hairdresser

Hairdressers typically seek formal training and education at a cosmetology school after receiving their high school diploma or GED equivalent. In school students will learn about:

  • hair texture,
  • color,
  • cutting, 
  • styling, 
  • extensions,
  • weaves,
  • styling products and accessories, 
  • permanents and relaxers.

Completion of an accredited cosmetology program usually takes 9 months, if you attend full time. After finishing school, most states require licensing before the hairdresser can work full-time in a salon. Some licensing tests include both written and hands-on testing.

Most hairdressers will apprentice under a skilled, experienced hairdresser for a few weeks or months, depending upon the skill-level exhibited before taking on clients by themselves. Their first 2 to 3 weeks of work at a salon typically include menial jobs like sweeping cut hair from the floor, washing customer's hair and making appointments. 

Typical Hair Stylist Salary

New hairdresser salaries begin about $22,000 and increase with both experience and reputation. The average hair stylist makes about $33,000, with the highest wages in the larger metropolitan cities. Hairdressers that work on movie or TV sets, or for celebrities, can earn even higher wages and benefits.

Some experienced, popular stylists can attain a sense of celebrity themselves that they can use to create their own hair products lines and accessories--a lucrative additional extension of the business.

The Future of Hairdressing Careers

Hair stylist jobs are here to stay and are projected to increase steadily over the next few years. As celebrities and their famous hair stylists continue to make stylish, polished hair more and more popular, the demand for more complicated and frequent hair maintenance will also increase. In addition, more men are becoming frequent clients of stylist and kids are demanding more costly and frequent services at a younger age.