What Are the Responsibilities of a Stylist?

Explore the job duties of stylists in detail. Get info about their main responsibilities, regardless of whether they work in hair, makeup, clothing or another field. Schools offering Fashion Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Defined

A stylist enhances the appearance of a client for different purposes like entertainment or personal satisfaction. Generally, a specific descriptive job title is given to a stylist depending on the industry. For example, if you worked in theatre you might be a costume stylist. Other types of stylists include makeup artists, hair stylists, fashion stylists, movie stylists, television stylists, and celebrity stylists.

The education necessary for this career varies. Entering into a cosmetology program at a beauty school could be an ideal choice for you if you want to become familiar with hair care, makeup, skin care, and nail care. Other undergraduate programs that can help a stylist include costume or fashion design.

Important Facts About Stylists

Median Salary (2014) $23,120 ('for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists')
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 10% growth
Licensure Required nationally, requirements vary by state
Similar Occupations Manicurists, pedicurists, skincare specialists

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Although specific job duties will vary, depending on the sub-field and skill set, the following are common responsibilities of all stylists:


Your styling responsibilities are the main focus of your job. For example, if you're a hair stylist, you'll have to be able to use the proper tools and techniques to cut and style hair. These skills are often gained through formal education, such as completing a cosmetology course, or through work experience.

Customer Communication and Interaction

To obtain employment, retain clients and present customers with a positive experience, you'll have to possess excellent communication and customer service skills. It helps to understand what your clients want and have a clear idea of what services you're offering.

With that information, you can explain clearly the options available to clients to enhance their appearance. For hair care, this could involve taking the customer's desire for a short haircut and then offering several different short cut options. For fashion, it would most likely involve identifying what kind of fashion the customer is interested in and then finding several different outfits that meet those interests.

You also want to be warm and friendly, so you can make your clients feel comfortable. You often get a chance to engage in small talk with a client, which allows you to find out about their interests and become friendly with them. On the other hand, if your customer is uncomfortable with talking, you'll have to respect that preference to make him or her feel at ease.

Preparation and Clean Up

You'll need to prepare your work area by gathering the tools and products that you will need to complete your job. You may have a station already set up with the general tools that you use, but for each client, you may need to gather additional supplies in order to customize your area to suit your client's needs. For example, if you will be coloring a client's hair, you would need to gather the coloring products and tools.

After you complete a job, tools and products have to be put away. You also have to dispose of byproducts, like cut hair or trimmed nails. You also need to clean your work area and follow proper sanitation protocols to prepare the area for the next client.

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