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The hairdressing industry is the field concerned with creating and maintaining a wide variety of hair styles that can frequently change according to popular trends. Skilled professionals in this area of the cosmetology industry are able to cut, color, style, and alter the textures of hair on clients of all ages, genders, ethnic backgrounds, and walks of life. Working in the beauty industry usually affords the opportunity to work in a creative field with an often-steady supply of available job positions in many geographic locations. Many experienced hairdressers take advantage of opportunities to become business owners in the hair salon industry as well; some even go on to develop their own hairdressing companies and lines of hair care products.
A career in the hairdressing industry requires a good foundation in skills such as hair-cutting scissor techniques, proper hair sectioning during a haircut, and determining the types of haircuts that would look the best on each client based on his or her features. The ability to correctly identify which hair colors would best enhance each client's skin tone is also a vital skill. Beginners in the hairdressing industry are also required to learn chemical processes such as hair straightening and permanent waving. Each hairdresser usually acquires these skills through a comprehensive course of study in a cosmetology school. Some veteran beauty industry professionals may also teach student hairdressers these needed skills through apprenticeship programs.
Working successfully in the hairdressing business requires technical skills, good interpersonal communication skills, and prudent decision-making skills. The hairdressing industry involves interacting while a variety of clients who each have their own likes and dislikes, and an important part of the hairdresser's job is to actively listen to and communicate with each client both verbally and non-verbally. Since many hairdressers choose to work as independent contractors rather than as salon employees, these professionals also need to be able to effectively advertise their services in order to attract and maintain a good base of clients.
Change is a frequent occurrence in the hairdressing industry in terms of both style trends and the techniques used to create them. One hair color shade may be popular one year and outdated the next, and the same premise can frequently apply to haircut lengths and textures. Savvy hairdressers who wish to keep growing their client base keep up with these trends and take advantage of continuing cosmetology education in order to be able to create the latest looks on their clients.