Published: 17 March 2023

Navigating The Career Paths Available As A Hair Stylist

A career in hairdressing can be exciting and rewarding for those who are passionate about styling hair. There are many different paths that one can take within the industry, from working as a freelancer to becoming part of a salon team, each one offering its own unique set of challenges and rewards. Regardless of which direction you choose, understanding the various career paths available is essential if you want to find success in the hair styling world.

Aspiring hair stylists have a lot of options when it comes to their career paths. From traditional salons to more specialised areas, there are many opportunities for those who want to pursue a career in styling hair. But with so many options, it can be difficult to know where to start.
Learning the trade, through completing courses in topics such as haircutting, colouring, styling, and product knowledge, can be done either in college or at a salon academy programme. This should take anywhere from 6 months to two years.
Once you’ve obtained your qualification, the next step is to decide what type of salon or shop you want to work in. Traditional salons offer services such as haircuts, colouring, styling and other beauty treatments. Specialty shops may focus on one particular area such as braiding or extensions. You may also choose to open your own business or work freelance from home or on location at weddings and other events.

Freelance Styling
Freelance styling offers an independent lifestyle where you have greater freedom when it comes to setting your own hours, rates and stylistic choices. You don’t need to follow the same trends or styles that salons might adhere to and can instead focus on giving clients exactly what they want – whether that’s something more edgy or classic. However, there is no guarantee of steady income when working freelance so it’s important to weigh up all the pros and cons before taking this route.

Working in a Salon
Working as part of a salon team is often seen as a safer option than freelancing. Salons often provide more steady work and help with marketing so that clients can find you easily - though this will depend on how well established the salon is. If possible, try to get feedback from other stylists who’ve worked at the salon before deciding if this is right for you; find out about their experience with management and customer service so that you know what to expect if you join them.

Training Apprenticeships
If you're looking for an opportunity to learn from experienced professionals then taking on an apprenticeship might be just what you're looking for. Most salons offer training programmes for aspiring stylists and offer mentoring whilst providing hands-on experience under the guidance of qualified personnel. Apprenticeships also allow for further qualifications such as NVQ's which could help give your career an extra boost.

Becoming Senior Stylist/Manager
The final step in becoming a successful hair stylist is taking on managerial roles within a salon or even running one yourself! This brings its own challenges but also great rewards; being able to show off your creativity while managing staff members and making sure everything runs smoothly behind-the-scenes can be extremely satisfying - especially if your business flourishes! If this is something you would like to pursue then make sure that any courses or qualifications needed are completed beforehand so that you qualify for these types of positions once they become available.
No matter which path in hairdressing appeals most to you, navigating between them all takes careful consideration and planning – but with dedication and hard work it is possible reach every step in achieving success within this industry!