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Hairdressing Career 101: Guide To Making Your Way in the Industry

The beauty industry is a tough one, and to say that you need to work hard in order to be well-known and respected is an understatement. You need intense perseverance and commitment, not to mention an incredible talent that should be improving non-stop. As a beginner, the road ahead will be intimidating, but if you love a good challenge, the prize is absolutely worth the cost.

If your calling is to be a professional hairdresser, take note of the following tips on kickstarting your career:

1. Enrol in a Beauty School

Even if self-studying is becoming a trend, you’d be much more valuable and credible in the industry if you attended a beauty school, specifically a state-licensed cosmetology program. Make sure you’re qualified because many states require people working in the field to have at least a high school diploma or anything equivalent. But if you’re currently attending or have attended a vocational high school which has its own cosmetology program, then you may no longer attend a separate beauty school.

Cosmetology programs typically run for nine months up to two years. You can find hairdressing programs on the website of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS).

2. Build Your Portfolio

hair salon ownerTo earn the attention and interest of prestigious salons and potential clients, having a diverse portfolio is key. You may showcase your work through prints or digital media, but it’s advisable to have both. For a printed portfolio, choose a 9″ x 12″  or 11″ x 14″ book, made of leather or wax skin material. This makes your portfolio easy to clean when hair product residue lands on it.

Creating an online portfolio is easy, with many affordable websites designed specifically for that purpose available. When you go to an interview, bring a tablet with you where you can show your portfolio to your potential employer.

Make sure to adequately showcase your speciality with before-and-after photos. Make your models pose in all angles so the results can be clearly seen. Show off your styling range as well, posting photos of at least six to seven different haircuts. Have models of varying hair types, too, so that potential clients and employers will see how well you work.

3. Obtain a License

Even with a rocking portfolio, your professional career cannot fully push through without a license. Prerequisites include the age of at least 16 years, high school diploma or anything equivalent, and a certificate from a state-licensed cosmetology program. You may also be required to pass a written and practical exam.

 4. Get Hired or Start Your Own Business

After completing everything mentioned above, you may start job-hunting or opening your own business. Make sure you have a diverse portfolio to showcase your works and attract many clients. Invest in top-quality hairdressing and/or styling tools, such as all types of shears, blow dryers, shampoos, etc.

Develop your personality as a professional as well. Your customer service skills should be outstanding and your ability to work alone and with a team must be impressive. Stay up-to-date with the latest trends in hairdressing techniques. Get to know your clients well, too because it’s important to build strong relationships with them. Most importantly, maintain cleanliness and proper hygiene at all times. Your skills and experiences will mean nothing if you’re an unsanitary worker.

Keeping these helpful tips in mind, a successful professional career will be right at your fingertips, so keep working hard and improving. Stay on top of your game, and later on, you’ll find yourself at par with the esteemed figures in the industry.

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