What do I need to know to become a professional hair stylist?
There are some careers that just put feel-good power in your own two hands. You know, that feeling you get from making someone feel good because they look good. And the reason they look good, is that rocking new hairstyle you are personally responsible for creating. Yes, a great hair stylist is part superhero, part artist, and a lot of other things to some people, (counselor, advisor etc.) If that sounds like your dream job, you might be wondering what it takes to become a professional hair stylist. Fortunately, we’re here to walk you through the basics. Let’s dive in!
Learn about the education requirements
The best way to find out what the education requirements are in your state, is to contact your state licensing board. Since licensing requirements vary from state to state, you’ll want to be sure you understand the ones for yours. But most states require hair stylists to attend an approved cosmetology program and pass a state licensing exam.
Find the right state-approved cosmetology program for you
You can get a list of the approved programs in your area from the state licensing board. But choosing the right cosmetology program for you is a little trickier. A few important things to consider when selecting a beauty school to get your training include:
- How long has the school been in business?
- Does the program offer hands-on training?
- Is the location convenient for you?
- What is the program length?
- Does the program have industry accreditation?
- What is the cost of the program and does the school help you navigate financial aid if you qualify?
Enroll in a cosmetology program and get trained
Once you’ve done the research and chosen a program, that’s when the fun really starts! Most programs will have some classroom time where you’ll get instruction on a variety of topics including hygiene, proper sanitation techniques, and even the business side of cosmetology. There are also typically a mandatory number of clock hours you’ll have to complete, of actual supervised, hands-on practice to sit for the state licensing exam. But this is where you’ll get to learn all those techniques and skills you’ll be taking into the real world.
Complete the program and pass the licensing exam
Once you’ve graduated from the program and completed the correct number of practice hours, you’ll be ready to get licensed! Depending on the state, the exam will be both written and practical skills, or just written.
Get to work
Now that you’re trained and licensed, you can take your skills to a salon, a spa, hotel, cruise-line, or be your own boss and open your own salon! The sky’s the limit when you have the skills to create all kinds of signature hairstyles! And speaking of skills, you’ll need to keep refining yours with continuing education classes to maintain your license.
Once you’re off and running in the world of beauty, you can let your inner artist run free and earn a living! That’s what we call the best of both worlds. If you’d like to learn more about a career in cosmetology, check out the Cosmetology and Hairdressing Program at Continental School of Beauty. With 3 campus locations across upstate New York to choose from and over 50 years of experience, Continental is helping students get the hands-on training they need to launch careers as professional hairstylists. Contact us today to learn more.