How to Get a Job as a Hairdresser
Although job prospects are good, there is fierce competition to receive a place in a prestigious salon. For the best chance, Buchanan suggests that cosmetologists-to-be align themselves with a good beauty school. “That’s going to give you some great foundation,” he says. At the same time, Buchanan also advises going to “graduate school,” which means working in a salon for at least a year. “That’s when you get to hone your craft,” he notes. Gaining salon experience also enhances people skills. “You have to have an outgoing personality and be ready to serve the customer,” Buchanan says. “The biggest headache is when you find people who are technically great but don’t deliver great service.”
Interview Questions Submitted by Real Hairdressers
"Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer and how you dealt with it." - American Girl Hair Stylist Candidate (Overland Park, KS)
"Do you have a clientele?" - Regis Corporation Hair Stylist Candidate (Kalamazoo, MI)
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What is the Job Like?
Changing your physical appearance can be stressful, for both a hairdresser and his or her client, and there are times when tension runs high in this job, particularly if a patron is displeased with the final results. This also means the job has substantial rewards. “When I say to someone, ‘Let’s enhance the shape of your face with this type of hair cut,’ and then to watch their face light up and see how grateful they are when they see the outcome – I still get goose bumps,” Buchanan says. Happy clients also translate into larger tips and more business referrals, which could eventually lead to a brass ring: the chance for a hairdresser to own his or her own salon.
Keep in mind, however, that hairdressers usually work irregular hours – most of them standing up, with plenty of nights and weekend work – and this will particularly be the case if you’re a business owner, but the perk to being self-employed is having more control over your work schedule.
Last updated by Jada A. Graves.