What Does a Hair Stylist Do?

A hair stylist shampoos, cuts, colors, and styles hair. He or she may educate clients about hair and scalp care, remove unwanted hair, or dress a wig. Some hair stylists even do nails and skin care. Read on to learn more. Schools offering Nail Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Overview

Hairstylists provide hair care services to both men and women. Almost all hairstylists are able to cut, color, highlight, perm, and style hair, though there are some services (such Keratin treatments and Brazilian blowouts) not offered by all stylists.

Important Facts About Hairstylists

Entry-level Education Postsecondary non-degree award
Work Environment Salons, spas, resorts
Key Skills Attention to detail, physical stamina, customer service, creativity, time management
Licensure All states require hair stylists to be licensed
Continuing Education Periodic license renewals vary by state

Work Environment

A few hair designers work in the glamorous world of movies and runway models. Some hairdressers style dead people's hair for their funerals. Most hairstylists work in beauty shops and hair salons. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), nearly half of all hairstylists, hairdressers, and cosmetologists - who held about 617,300 positions in 2016 - were self-employed at the time. Self-employed hair stylists may own their own businesses, work out of their homes, or rent workspace from a salon or spa.

Hair Styling Services

Clients new to a stylist will often be asked to provide a picture of the look they desire. Once a plan of action has been agreed upon between stylist and client, the service time will begin. Depending on what choices have been made, the hair may be shampooed, trimmed or cut, colored, blow-dried, highlighted, and/or styled. Stylists may make recommendations for hair care products to their client; typically, the products recommended are stocked in the salon and available for purchase.

Other Duties and Responsibilities

Hairstylists employed by a salon will likely be responsible for additional tasks, such as answering the phone, making appointments, greeting customers, checking out clients, and receiving their payments. Almost all hairstylists - except those in very high end salons - will be responsible for cleaning up their work space after each client, sweeping the floor and disinfecting their tools.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the BLS, the projected job growth for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists was 13% from 2016-2026. The BLS reported the mean annual wage for hairstylists, hairdressers, and cosmetologists in May 2018 was $30,190. Those employed by performing arts companies made the most money in 2018, averaging almost $67,000 a year.

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