Hairstylist/Cosmetologist: A Day in the Life

As a stylist in a salon that charges $50 for a cut, you're especially careful to pamper your clients.

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As a stylist in a salon that charges $50 for a cut, you're especially careful to pamper your clients. So, unlike at the $15 salons, you're spending an average of an hour with each one, especially if you're shampooing, coloring, or treating the person's hair, or consulting on a major tonsorial overhaul. That leaves plenty of time for chit-chat. One of your clients today has been with you since you started cutting hair, and now she also has you cut her son's.

On average, you do six or seven "heads" a day. A side benefit of working in a higher-end salon is that you spend less time per day using scissors, which means less risk of repetitive strain injury, common among haircutters in high-volume operations.

No matter how upscale your salon, between clients you have to sweep the floor and clean your instruments. More pleasant, manufacturers' reps occasionally pop in to clue you in on the latest lotions, potions, and hottest looks.

Two mornings a week, you work your hair magic in a nursing home, where you pamper residents who'd have a hard time getting to your salon.

At the end of the day, you're happy to get off your feet but still are glad to know that tomorrow is a workday.