Hairdresser Job Description
Hairdressers provide beauty services including hair coloring, styling, shampooing, and cutting. Some hairdressers also perform hair removal, makeup, and skin care services.
Excellent customer service skills are required to become a successful hairdresser. It’s much easier to retain existing clients than it is to find new ones, so hairdressers need to listen to the needs of their clients and provide them with service that will keep them coming back each time they need their hair done.
Sometimes clients have very specific requests, but other times they can only explain the style they want in very general terms. Interpreting what a client wants can be difficult sometimes, so good listening and communication skills are important.
Most hairdressers work in salons, but there are also many opportunities for employment at resorts, spas, hotels, and other similar businesses.
The majority of hairdressers lease space in someone else’s salon, but many also go on to open their own salons as they gain experience and develop a strong client base.
Hairdressers spend the majority of their shifts working on their feet. This isn’t a physically demanding occupation, but it can be exhausting.
Hairdressers are exposed to many chemicals that can be potentially harmful. Chemicals found in hair coloring and straightening products contain harmful chemicals that can cause serious health problems. It’s possible to reduce the risk of harm by taking proper safety precautions.
Many hairdressers work part time, but there are plenty of full time opportunities as well. Hairdressers normally need to work on evenings and weekends to accommodate their clients’ schedules.
How to Become a Hairdresser
All hairdressers need to be licensed in order to practice. The first step to becoming licensed is attending a state licensed cosmetology school. After graduation, they must pass a licensing exam administered by the state they wish to work in. These exams normally combine practical test as well as a written test.
Some states require hairdressers to have a high school diploma, but not all do. Most cosmetology programs take about a year to complete, but more prestigious schools can take much longer. In many cases, completing these programs results in an associate’s degree.
Cosmetology programs begin by teaching students the basics of hair styling, and gradually progress to more advanced courses. They also cover sanitation and ethical practices as determined by the Board of Cosmetology and the state’s department of health.
Fashion can change very quickly, and hairdressers need to stay up to date on the latest trends. If they don’t, they may quickly find that their styles have become out of date.
If you want to open up your own salon, taking courses in marketing, sales, accounting, and business can all be very helpful. Introductory courses are available at most community colleges, as well as four year schools.
There are currently 627,700 hairdressers in the United States, with 21,810 new hairdresser job openings created each year.
Hairdresser jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.
Hairdresser salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most hairdressers make between $18,400 – $30,000 per year, or $8.86 – $14.42 per hour.