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How to Be a Hairstylist

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How to Be a Hairstylist

Learn How to Become a Hairstylist

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If you’re wondering whether your flair for fashion and trendy styles will translate into a successful career as a stylist, take note: while these things definitely help, there is more to being a stylist than having a ready opinion on how to improve one’s appearance. Becoming a stylist takes hard work, dedication, and an enormous amount of passion. Still think you have what it takes? Fabulous! Allow me to fill you in on the details.

Once you’ve made the decision to become a stylist, you must decide which academy you will be attending. In California, 1600 hours of theory and hands-on training are required to be eligible to take the state board exam. This includes things like step-by-step procedures, sanitation, client protection, head and scalp conditions, and more. There is definitely a lot of repetition and practice in beauty school, but ultimately this will really help you. You are ready to test when you have memorized the steps for every procedure on a salon menu, in the correct order, as well as basic skin and nail care.

The state board exam is a two-part test. One part is written (theory) and the other is practical (demonstrated). The process can be a bit nerve wracking. I still remember seeing the examiner jot things down on her pad, and thinking she must be writing that I missed a step, or did a step out of sequence (even though there were several other stylists-to-be testing in the same exam room). After eight hours of simulating a full day at a salon, you are called into a large waiting room to find out if you passed the exam. I passed! Let the games begin!

After completing my board exams, I thought I knew all there was to know about hair. Boy was I wrong! I realize now that I really didn’t know anything at all, just what I believed I was supposed to know, to pass the boards. It wasn’t until I got behind the chair that everything I had learned really started making sense. All of the rules of theory were actually true! This grew my appreciation and piqued my curiosity. I now wanted to experiment more, perfect my skills, and grow more confident in my craft.

After only a couple of months assisting, I was ready to work alone. I guess all of that extra knowledge I picked up working in a salon environment all through high school really helped! Throughout the following couple of years, I worked very hard to build a full and steady clientele in an upscale salon/spa, and quickly reached max commission offered. I knew it was time to move forward.

The beginning of my third year in the industry was a big one. I relocated my clientele to a salon located in a fabulous resort in San Diego, and began my own business. Things have gone swimmingly ever since. With an abundance of classes, private training, networking, freelance and travel opportunities, educator positions, studio and set work, and a lot of networking, my business continues to thrive. I am lucky enough to do a lot of on-site and travel work, which keeps things interesting and fun.

It is nice to take a trip down memory lane and remember how it all started. To all of the aspiring stylists out there, this industry is a good and lucrative one to be a part of, as long as you have a passion for what you do. Education and growth are key to staying on the cutting edge of all current trends. Make sure to continuously feed your passion by learning as much as you possibly can! There is always room for growth.

Good luck!

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