Is becoming a hairdresser right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

What do hairdressers do?
Career Satisfaction
Are hairdressers happy with their careers?
What are hairdressers like?

Still unsure if becoming a hairdresser is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a hairdresser or another similar career!

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How to become a Hairdresser

becoming a hairdresser requires dedication, hard work, and a passion for the art of hairstyling. Here are the steps you can take to become a hairdresser:

  • Education: Obtain a high school diploma or equivalent. While not always required, it's beneficial to have a strong educational foundation.
  • Complete a Cosmetology Program: Enroll in a state-approved cosmetology program at a vocational school, community college, or specialized cosmetology school. These programs typically last around 9-12 months and cover topics such as hair cutting, styling, coloring, chemical treatments, and salon management.
  • Obtain State Licensure: After completing your cosmetology program, you'll need to pass a state licensing exam. The exam typically includes a written portion and a practical demonstration of your skills. Requirements for licensure vary by state, so it's essential to research the specific requirements in the state where you plan to work.
  • Gain Experience: Start gaining hands-on experience by working as an apprentice or assistant in a salon. This allows you to further develop your skills under the guidance of experienced professionals.
  • Build a Portfolio: As you gain experience, start building a portfolio showcasing your work. Include photos of hairstyles you've created, before-and-after transformations, and any special techniques or styles you excel in.
  • Obtain Employment or Start Your Own Business: Once you're licensed and have gained sufficient experience, you can seek employment at a salon or spa, or consider starting your own business as a freelance hairdresser. Networking and building relationships with clients and industry professionals can help you establish yourself in the field.
  • Continuing Education: Stay current with industry trends and techniques by participating in continuing education courses, workshops, and seminars. This helps you stay competitive in the field and expand your skills.

There are several reputable certification programs and credentials that hairdressers can pursue to enhance their skills and expertise in specific areas of hairdressing. Here are some examples:

  • Redken Certified Colorist (RCC): Offered by Redken, this certification program focuses on advanced color theory, techniques, and product knowledge. It demonstrates proficiency in Redken hair color products and techniques.
  • L'Oréal Professionnel Color Specialist: L'Oréal Professionnel offers a certification program that provides in-depth training in hair coloring techniques using L'Oréal Professionnel color products. It covers advanced color theory, formulation, and application techniques.
  • American Board of Certified Haircolorists (ABCH): The ABCH offers certification for hair colorists who demonstrate a high level of skill and expertise in hair coloring. The certification process includes a written exam and a hands-on practical exam.
  • Great Lengths Certified Hair Extension Specialist: Great Lengths offers a certification program for hairdressers who want to specialize in hair extensions. The program covers installation, maintenance, and styling of Great Lengths hair extensions.
  • Olaplex Certified Stylist: Olaplex offers a certification program for stylists who specialize in hair treatments using Olaplex products. The certification demonstrates proficiency in using Olaplex to repair and strengthen hair during chemical processes.
  • DevaCurl Certified Stylist: DevaCurl offers a certification program for stylists who specialize in cutting and styling curly hair using the DevaCurl method. The certification covers cutting techniques, product knowledge, and styling methods for curly hair.
  • Wella Professionals Master Color Expert: Wella Professionals offers a certification program for colorists who want to become Master Color Experts. The program covers advanced color theory, formulation, correction techniques, and personalized client consultations.
  • Schwarzkopf Professional Certified Colorist: Schwarzkopf Professional offers a certification program for colorists who want to specialize in using Schwarzkopf Professional color products. The program covers advanced color techniques, product knowledge, and client consultation skills.
  • Pravana Certified Chromasilk Colorist: Pravana offers a certification program for colorists who want to specialize in using Pravana Chromasilk color products. The program covers advanced color theory, formulation, and creative coloring techniques.