If you have a passion for beauty, love working with people and want a career with a great deal of potential, hairdressing could be the ideal profession for you. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), hairdressers - also called cosmetologist - enjoy flexible schedules and a great deal of professional freedom.
Hairdressers and cosmetologists are trained to analyze a customer's facial structure and select hairstyles, makeup and other products to best fit that individual. While most hairdressers only deal with hair, many are trained in all aspects of cosmetology, which includes general knowledge about beauty, hair and skincare. They are licensed to perform a number of hair treatments on customers, including:
In addition, cosmetologists are trained in skin care and many of them perform duties which cleanse and beautify the skin such as facials and head and neck massages. Some of them also perform nail care and give manicures and pedicures, as well as nail polishing.
Most hairdressers and cosmetologists go through some sort of formal training. Though there are many different ways to become licensed and ready to practice as a hairdresser, here are some traditional steps to follow:
In some cases, you may be able to do an apprenticeship instead of earning a degree from a cosmetology school. There are many big name salons that offer their own specialized training programs, specific to that salon.
In order to be successful, hairdressers and cosmetologists must be clean and neat, both in terms of personal appearance and also in terms of their work areas. Interpersonal skills are very important in this profession, as the ability to attract and retain a strong customer base is vital. An addition character trait for a successful salon worker is the ability to be an effective salesperson. Other good attributes to have include talent in the areas of fashion, art, and technical design.
While most hairdressers earn their degrees or certificates to practice cosmetology, these credentials can serve as stepping stones to other careers. Salon owners or cosmetology directors typically benefit from business training in addition to basic cosmetology training. Those who hope to become cosmetology instructors may also be required to complete teacher training.