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What is a Hair Stylist?

A hair stylist may specialize in coloring services.
A hair stylist is a professional who cuts, dyes, and styles hair.
A hair stylist cutting a short bob.
Article Details
  • Written By: R. Kayne
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 21 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A hair stylist is a cosmetologist trained in the techniques of cutting, coloring, texturing and styling hair. A good hair stylist will consider many factors before suggesting a style to a client, including the type of hair the client has, facial structure, skin tone and eye color. Other factors include the ease or difficulty of maintaining a particular cut or look, the client’s willingness keep it up, and daily routine or vocation, if applicable.

Finding an experienced hair stylist is important since some processes can potentially damage hair. Going from naturally dark hair to blonde hair, for example, involves stripping hair of its color, then dyeing it. In this process, harsh chemicals are used that can burn hair if left on too long.

Weaves (adding hair extensions) can also damage hair if done incorrectly. In some cases, a hair stylist might only be trained in or familiar with a single technique. This could result in less than optimal results over the long run for the wrong client.

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Many people know the hairstyle they want before they go in for a cut, while others count on the stylist to choose a flattering cut for them. The hair stylist should ask many questions to get an idea of how much work the client is willing to put into upkeep, and if the style will be complimentary to the daily routine. A mother of a newborn might not be best suited to a longer cut, since babies have a tendency to pull hair; while a court attorney might not want a severe or edgy cut, even if it flatters her face.

Many people want a cut that can be worn more than one way. Longer hair, for example, can be pulled back or brought up into a bun for work, and worn loose around the house. Generally, longer hair also requires less upkeep. A short haircut must be cut more often to maintain the lines and shape, which means more visits to the salon and greater expense. For some people this this is part and parcel of having a high-profile job where one has to look one’s best. For others the time and expense involved in getting a haircut every few weeks is undesirable.

A hair stylist is much more than a barber, and accordingly, charges more. In some cases, the extra expense is unneeded, as in the case of getting haircuts for the kids. However, the talent of a hair stylist will show in his or her work, giving the kind of cut that makes hair look full, natural and healthy, attracting admiring attention. The right style can transform someone from homely or sallow to striking. Conversely, the wrong cut can accent less attractive features, making them even more prominent.

The price a good hair stylist will charge for a standard haircut depends on his or her experience, reputation, clientele and location. Conditioning, coloring, curling, straightening and weaves will all cost extra. It is also routine to buy styling products on the way out the door, though these are typically less expensive purchased elsewhere.

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