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What Does a Professional Hair Stylist Do?

A professional hair stylist may dye a customer's hair.
Part of a professional hair stylist's job is to cut hair.
A hair stylist will provide tips on how a client can best care for his or her hair.
Hair styling products.
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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 13 October 2014
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A professional hair stylist works with clients to accurately create the different hair styles they may ask for. This may involve cutting, coloring, perming, or styling hair for a special event, among other services. The hair stylist may own his or her own business and work independently, or may work as part of a group of stylists at a salon. Mobile hair styling is also becoming more popular, where a hair stylist will come to a client's house to style hair.

A potential professional hair stylist will likely begin his or her career by attending cosmetology school, where she will learn all about her chosen profession. She will also get the opportunity to practice and hone her skills. After cosmetology school has been completed, a hair stylist must take a certification exam and become licensed in the state in which he or she will be practicing. After becoming licensed, she is now free to work with clients.

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A professional hair stylist may set appointments to see clients throughout the day, or may allow walk-ins. Some accept a combination of both. It is always helpful to call ahead of time to see what times are available, however. Many professional hair stylists are able to set their own hours, and may be able to come in early or late to style hair for a client. In addition, hair stylists that work independently may be able to set their own prices, whereas those who work for a salon will likely not have that option.

When a professional hair stylist sees a client, he or she will ask what type of hair style the client wants. If the client has a clear idea of a hair style, then the hair stylist may just proceed from there. If the client is unsure, however, a hair stylist may offer some suggestions, show some photos, or offer other advice regarding choosing a hair style. In addition, if a hair stylist feels a client's choice will not work well, he or she might offer alternatives.

For instance, a client might want a haircut that is too short for her hair type, or a hair color that is not flattering with her skin tone. A professional hair stylist should be able to recognize this before styling the hair in an unfortunate way, and should be able to tactfully encourage the client to try a style that is more flattering. This will help to ensure happy clients and repeat visitors to the salon.

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anon183913
Post 4

I love this page. It was just what i need because i would love to become a professional hair stylist. But my other dream is to become a professional singer, but to me it doesn't matter what job i do because they're both my dreams and I hope to fulfill one of them.

@Yumdelish: Iso agree with you about those hair products because i think the best products are from the salon, not those crazy store products. Since my aunt is now getting a degree as a hair stylist i go to her for all those salon hair products.

angelBraids
Post 3

I've been sporting short hairstyles for a long time, which means I have to go to the hair salon every five weeks or so to keep it neat. I am really grateful to have a good place to go, with someone I trust. When you have short hair there's not much you can do about a major hair cutting disaster!

I can't imagine doing this job myself. Apart from all that standing I would find it hard to make conversation all day. My hair stylist seems to be a therapist to a lot of customers too!

yumdelish
Post 2

@Valencia - I love buying products at the hair salon. Maybe I'm kidding myself but they always seem to make my hair look so much better than usual. The best places make personal recommendations as to which things to purchase, rather than just selling you any old thing.

I know that a professional hair cut is essential, but the shampoo, conditioner and styling products you use are really important when you try to recreate that fresh from the salon look at home.

Some of my friends dislike the sales aspect, but I've always found you can say no if you really want to. If a stylist was pressuring me I'd be reluctant to go back again.

Valencia
Post 1

My sister works part time in a beauty and hair salon. She's not qualified to cut hair yet but when she's finished studying she'll be looking for hair stylist jobs.

One of her duties right now is to promote the professional hair stylist products used in the salon. There's a good margin of profit in these and she gets a commission on everything a customer buys.

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