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Last updated: June 30, 2023

14 Tips New Hairstylists Need To Be Successful

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Follow These Steps To Build A Successful Career In The Hair Industry

So you’ve graduated cosmetology school and have found yourself preparing for your first job as a professional hairstylist. While school taught you how to cut, color and style, there are still many things you can learn to help you become more successful behind the chair. From building a strong portfolio to mastering time management skills, read on for everything new stylists should know about becoming successful in the hair industry.


1. Build strong consultation skills

Being able to understand your clients’ needs and deliver the results they want, listen carefully and ask follow-up questions to ensure you’re on the same page.


2. Master time-management

Time management is key when it comes to maintaining your schedule and being on time for your clients. Learning how to be punctual and completing work within the allotted time is essential.


3. Keep your station clean

Keeping your station clean and organized not only provides a professional and enjoyable experience to your clients, but it allows you to work more efficiently too.


4. Be teachable

No matter where you are in your career, keeping an open mind and being willing to learn from peers, other stylists and your salon owner allows you to become a better stylist.


5. Stay current with trends and styles

Staying up-to-date on the latest trends and styles opens you up to expanding your clientele while being able to express yourself creatively. 


6. Build a strong portfolio

Having a portfolio to showcase your work is important as clients want to see the quality of your work before booking your services.


7. Maintain a professional demeanor

As a stylist, you represent your business, so it’s important to maintain a professional demeanor at all times.


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8. Build a strong social media presence

Building a strong social media presence by posting your work and engaging with followers will also help to build a more personal relationship with your current clients as well as attract new ones. 


9. Learn your color wheel

Have a clear understanding of hair color theory, including the different types of coloring techniques and how to mix color is key to a career in the hair industry.


10. Develop a strong foundation in haircutting

Building a strong foundation of haircutting is crucial to building a successful career. Practice and perfect your skills regularly.


11. Invest in quality tools and products

As a stylist, you need to have access to quality tools and products to provide top-notch service to your clients.


12. Continuously educate yourself

The beauty industry is constantly evolving, and it’s essential for a new stylist to continue learning and attending classes, workshops and hair shows to hone their skills.


13. Take care of your body

Being a hairstylist is a physically demanding job, so it’s important to take care of your body and invest in comfortable shoes to avoid foot and back pain.


14. Build relationships with your clients

Building strong relationships with clients, remembering what’s happening in their lives at each visit and keeping track of their hair journey will keep them coming back and referring their friends and family. Always treat them with kindness, respect, and attentiveness.


Read advice hairstylists would give to their younger selves here.