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How Do I Become a Hair Dresser?

Hairdressers need to build a steady client base if they want to open their own salons.
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  • Written By: Harriette Halepis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 July 2014
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In order to become a hair dresser in most areas of the world, you will have to obtain a professional license. A hairdressing or cosmetology license will allow you to work as a professional hair dresser. The type of licensing you will need largely depends upon the country that you live in, though almost all licenses can be gained through formal education.

Procuring a diploma from a cosmetology school is one way to apply for a professional license. Another way is to look for a certificate program in your area. The main difference between a cosmetology school diploma and a hairdressing certificate is the length of time that you will have to study. While a diploma may take years to obtain, a certificate may only take months.

Once a diploma or certificate has been successfully completed, all graduates can then apply for a license. Almost all salons around the globe require hair dressers to have a professional license prior to practice. In addition, nearly every salon will require new professionals to gain many hours of hands-on experience.

Within the hairdressing world, experience is vital. Most clients will not book appointments with newly licensed professionals, which is why many salons ask new employees to work as assistants prior to working with individual clients. Some cosmetology schools also offer newly licensed professionals entry-level jobs, working in school salons, in order to provide recent graduates with work experience.

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To become a hair dresser who is well-respected and well-paid, most people must build up a clientele. After a steady client-base has been established, a hairdresser may decide to open a salon. While this is often the dream of many hairdressers, numerous years of hands-on experience must be gathered before any individual business can be opened.

The path that you take in order to become a hair dresser is largely up to you. Begin your career as a hairdresser by looking on the Internet at various school programs. Most schools that offer hairdressing diplomas and certificates require students to have a high school diploma, though this is not always the case.

As soon as you find a program that will work for you, applying to this program is the best way to become a hair dresser. If your state or country does not require a hair dressing license, then you may want to consider an apprenticeship at a salon. By taking into account the steps listed above, you will be able to become a hair dresser in no time.

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Discuss this Article

pleonasm
Post 4

@KoiwiGal - Well, yes and no. There are some hairdressing schools out there that are fairly exclusive. I think you can't get into them unless you've completed and done really well on a beginner course in hair dressing, and having good grades in high school probably helps as well.

Many of them offer courses for the average person who just wants a few tips on how to keep their hair looking nice between salon visits as well, so you can get a taster and see if you're any good at hair styling.

I would look at where top stylists studied and did their apprenticeships to get an idea of where to apply to if you are looking to get into the best places.

KoiwiGal
Post 3

@anon185913 - My sister went to hair dressing school and she took just the kinds of subjects you'd expect. Classes in hair dye, curling, cutting, and so forth.

They also had classes in accounting and business management I think, although I'm not sure if those are common to all hair dresser schools. And I'm not sure if they were given any choice in the classes they could take, or if all of them were compulsory.

In high school, she took art classes and science I think, although she wasn't really aiming for hair dressing school at that point. I think the school she went into looked at her grades but they weren't particularly picky.

Hairdressers work hard and can be very skilled, but getting into the school isn't exactly like getting into Harvard. I think as long as you are polite and enthusiastic in the interview, you'll be able to get in, whether you completed high school or not.

Mor
Post 2

Remember that you might want to specialize in different kinds of hairdressing. It's easy to think that all hair is basically the same, but it really isn't. There are very different kinds of hair between ethnicities (and few major cities in the world right now are composed of only a single ethnicity) and different kinds of hair within a single ethnicity as well.

Curly hair needs special experience, for example, you can't cut it in the same way that you would cut straight hair and expect it to turn out well. Thick hair and thin hair need different treatment too. Children's hair and adults hair should be treated differently.

And on top of all that, you need to keep up with all the new styles.

That's why it pays to specialize in a particular kind of hair. If you become known in your neighborhood as an expert in curly hair, believe me, you will not be able to stop women from making appointments. Word of mouth is the best advertisement you can get when becoming a hair dresser.

anon185913
Post 1

what subjects do you need to be a hairdresser?

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